Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jeff Winter: Bothered and Bewildered; Conflicted and Confused

I guess it was a ridiculous thought that the purpose of the Economic Development Commission is to promote the Town of New Milford and to find ways to increase our commercial and industrial tax base.  Ridiculous because its Members tolerate its Vice-Chairman, Jeff Winter, who does just the opposite, launching regular attacks that could have a negative impact on the Town's finances.  Now that he is a newly-registered Democrat, I wonder why Chairman Frank Wargo doesn't do something about his colleague's behavior.

An example.

Nanci Hutson recently reported in the News-Times that Mr. Winter, "questioned the quality and veracity of financial records kept by the town's finance director, Ray Jankowski." Another quote: "I have concerns about the finances in general," Mr. Winter said. "Auditors' findings show me the mayor and Mr. Jankowski are not serious about financial issues and this results in an inefficient use of resources."

Winter, who admitted to the same reporter that "he has political aspirations," could very well discourage rating agencies and investors who don't like this kind of controversy.  Can you imagine the cost to the Town if our Moody's Aa1 drops because of the antics of this ill-informed critic of the Mayor, Council and Finance Department?  Not a pretty thought.

Ill-informed? You bet.

An example.

In a recent FOI request, Mr. Winter cited chapter and verse about certain Bond Anticipation Notes.  To those who are completely uninformed about such topics, the accusations sounded reasonable but there was an immediate response that put the lie to his allegations and he was loathe to admit his mistakes.  This is a recurring theme.  He repeatedly appears before the Town Council and, like the salesman that he is, sounds like there should be some truth to what he is saying.  But no.  When the facts are out, it's just a lot of wind.  Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

So what exactly has Mr. Winter accomplished on the EDC?  I can't find anyone who'll give me one fact.  My guess?  Nothing. But he sure does spout off a lot.  Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I wish that Mr. Winter would focus his energy on the Board of Ed, identifying revenues that it receives that somehow never make it to the General Fund.  I think the Auditors would appreciate his help.  They need all the help that they can get.

Why is Mr. Winter an anti-tax-relief kinda guy?  In another News-Times article, Reporter Nanci Huston wrote, "Winter voiced concern about taking $1.5 million from the town's medical benefits account to reduce the amount residents have to pay in taxes."  This has gotta be a popular statement from a wannabe politico...yes, we all want higher taxes, Jeff.

Oh, well.  Let's get the party started.

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