Friday, July 31, 2009

1300 In Milford Lose Power

Severe thunderstorms that swept through the region this afternoon wreaked havoc with the evening commute, with downpours and heavy winds leaving fallen trees and downed power lines in their wake.

Particularly hard hit was the Milford-New Haven area, with thousands of customers left in dark by electric outages. That area had been under a tornado warning until about 4:30 p.m.

The Merritt Parkway was reported to be shut down in both directions in Trumbull and Orange by trees that fell across the travel lanes, triggering multiple accidents. The Trumbull stretch, which was not expected to be cleared until between 6 and 7 p.m., is between exits 52 and 53. In Orange, the affected section of highway was between exits 55 and 56, but authorities say it was reopened about 5:30 p.m. However, delays were expected to continue indefinitely.

The community with the largest blackout was Milford, where United Illuminating reports that nearly 1,300 customers lost power. In Orange, there were close to 600 outages and in Woodbridge, more than 700 were without electric service.

In the greater Bridgeport area, although tree and wires were felled by the storm, only scattered power outages were reported by early evening.


As an addendum to this post it is important to note that record numbers of utility poles were being dug up all over town. The work on these utility poles may have been a factor in the power outage and should be looked into.


Update Video Of Aftermath

Tornado Warning Issued For Milford Area

The Connecticut Post has just issued a tornado warning for our area. The warning quoted, "has been issued for Northern New Haven County and Middlesex County until 4:30 p.m. Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near Naugatuck."

Tornado warnings are a reality in this area, although none have caused any serious problems the video below captures a tornado that touched down in the Long Island Sound off the Milford coast line.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Milford Democrats Dine on Lobster as Taxpayer "Hardship" Increases

This post is to express my disagreement for what amounts to Milford's Democrats alarming choices of candidates. While no disrespect is intended to any of their candidates personally, politically I must take issue and point out my concerns.

On the choice for Rep. Roy to run for city clerk as a "Retirement Job," as I understand it is perfectly legal for Mr. Roy to run for a second full time job, and collect a second government salary (this could also be in addition to extended healthcare benefits and also a lifelong state pension). This in my opinion is outrageous and Lambert's defense of it wrong. Roy's nomination directly usurps the job of City Clerk whereby absenteeism, retirement, profiteering and cronyism becomes the new hallmarks of a Milford City Clerk. While I personally deplore any politician working one set of hours for two full time salaries, I would hereby hope that Rep. Roy is ethical enough to immediately announce his resignation from the legislature if he is elected to the position of Town Clerk. I would also hope he takes the job seriously and not treat it as his "Retirement Nest Egg." This is the right thing to do.

Their other choice Ms. Salvatore, I cannot really say much, other than she is very new to our city. She, having lived here for such a short time, is a complete stranger to just about everybody I know. Personal comments about her to me, and on blogs, show grave concern that her ambitions and personal agenda will supersede any benefit to Milford.

The people in Milford need to remember that you get the government you vote for, and if anyone votes based on their "friendship" than know that your "friends" may disappoint you come tax time, school time, or when you need emergency services. Personally I support Peter Spalthoff and the Independent Party, however, I really do feel for Tim Chaucer who was "short changed" by his party. I personally wish him success in his primary because I believe he is more deserving of Milfords respect than Ms. Salvatore.

Second Teen Goes Missing

Police are looking for a second 17-year-old girl who may have joined another 17-year-old who has not been seen since last week, police said.

Police detectives said Wednesday that Marissa Mignacco was reported missing by her foster parents after she left home Tuesday and did not return.

Mignacco may have joined Felicity Costin, who has been missing from her Merwin Avenue home since last Wednesday. That girl was reported missing by her foster parents Friday.

Mignacco is described as a white female, about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. She has brown hair, green eyes, and a tattoo on her chest that reads, "Beautiful Disaster," with a star in the middle.

Costin is described as African-American, about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing about 110 pounds. It's believed that she may have gone to New Haven, where she has friends.

Anyone with information about either girl's whereabouts is asked to call police Detective Sgt. Antonio Vitti at 203-783-4766.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beatle Mania Comes To Milford

A group of New Haven musicians will perform the entire Beatles catalog in alphabetical order - from "A Day in the Life" to "You Really Got a Hold On Me" - for five nights next month at Daniel Street.

The band first took on this challenge last summer, and the crowd support has inspired them to do it all over again. For many fans young and old, this is the special event of the summer.

The success of last year's endeavor also gained the band a coveted spot at the BEAT Expo later this year, which is the massive Beatles convention that will be coming to Connecticut in November.

"It's really just celebrating everything that they've given us," said guitarist Tim Palmieri, of the band The Breakfast. "I absolutely feel all of these songs from the inside to the out."

The group – which features Palmieri on lead guitar, Breakfast drummer Adrian Tramontano, former Breakfast bassist Ron Spears and frequent collaborator Sean Miller on mandolin – will take over Daniel Street each Sunday in August to accomplish the feat. Special guests will join the band throughout the month.

Even Beatles tracks that never made it onto a Beatles album – such as "Not Guilty" by George Harrison and "Come and Get It" by Paul McCartney – will not be overlooked. "It's a challenge both musically and vocally," Miller says of the endeavor, "but we are fortunate that together we share a vast knowledge of the music."

Event Details:

The Beatles A-Z; performed by Tim Palmieri, Adrian Tramontano, Sean Miller and Ron Spears Every Sunday in August: August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Daniel Street, located at 21 Daniel St., Milford, Conn., 203-877-4446
Tickets $7 in advance; $10 at the door; 21+, children allowed with guardian
Doors at 5 p.m., Beatles A to Z at 6 p.m.

Contact Tim Palmieri at 203-464-6320 or Sean Miller at 203-915-9916 for more information.

By Helen Bennett Harvey Original Post

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Alderman Raymond Vitali R5, May Hold Jonathan Law's Future In His Hands

The future of a $4 million addition to Jonathan Law High School rests in the hands of Alderman Raymond Vitali, R-5, after the Board of Finance rejected authorizing funds for the work Monday night.

The Finance Board’s 3-2 rejection means the request will be sent back to the Board of Aldermen. The aldermen will need a supermajority to approve the addition, and reverse the Finance Board’s decision.

Earlier this month, the aldermen voted 10-5 to approve creating a draft bond authorization, which was a critical first step toward allocating the $4 million for the work.

All nine Democrats and Vitali, a retired longtime school principal, approved creating the draft bond allocation, while the board’s remaining five Republicans voted against the project, saying a recession is not the right time to be borrowing funds.

In order for the aldermen to get a supermajority vote, Vitali would again need to break from his party and vote with the Democrats.

Vitali, who is aware of his role, stood up during the Finance Board meeting held at the Parsons Government Center Monday, and said, “I am the two-thirds vote.” He said the entire process has been “purely political,” but did not elaborate.

After the meeting Vitali declined to say how he’d vote, saying he needed to learn more about the city’s finances and “do some thinking.”

Before the Finance Board’s vote, Republican Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. again reiterated his strong objection to borrowing any money, while the nation is in a historic recession.

He also said it sends a terrible message to borrow funds many residents are suffering financially.

Finance Board Chairman Jack Skudlarek said he had concerns that the aldermen, and not Richetelli, placed the project on the agenda calling it an “extraordinary” measure. Skudlarek said the mayor as the city’s chief executive officer places items on the agenda, and Richetelli said, while unprecedented, the move was legal according to the bond counsel.

Skudlarek also said he was not convinced there were any immediate health and safety concerns warranting that the project be approved now.

Proponents of the Law addition say the bids came in $1 million less than anticipated, and waiting would likely mean the city would receive less state reimbursement.

Jonathan Law Principal Janet Garagliano said the addition is needed because next year 15 teachers are projected to be using carts, which means they do not have their own classroom.

She said the school is short two science labs, and is looking to convert storage space into reading classrooms. Four classrooms have been converted from storage spaces in the school.

The work includes construction of a 12,234-square-foot addition including seven regular classrooms and two science laboratories in a ninth-grade wing.

Finance Board member Joseph Agro said the project should move forward because it’s likely costs will only increase in the future, but board member Joseph Fitzpatrick argued the bids are too high, and it’s likely the costs will drop.

Aldermanic Chairman Ben Blake, D-5, defended the aldermen’s actions saying typically the city spends $15 million annually on bond projects and by approving only $4 million for the Law addition it’s still “reining back considerably” the amount of money that is borrowed.


17 Year Old Milford CT Girl Goes Missing

Police are asking for help in the search for Felicity Costin, 17, a local teen reported missing Friday by her foster parents, who live in Milford.

Costin is described as African-American, about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing about 110 pounds. It's not known what she was wearing.

Police said that she left home last Wednesday, and has not been seen since. It's believed that she may have gone to New Haven, where she has friends.

Anyone with information about Costin's whereabouts is asked to call Detective Sgt. Antonio Vitti at 203-783-4766.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Democrats On P&Z Question Richetelli Land Deal

The Planning and Zoning Board has given its OK to the city’s acquisition of 7.6 acres for open space on Burnt Plains Road, which Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said will link several tracts. Purchase of the $600,000 tract still requires action by the Board of Aldermen.

Among PZB members present for the vote, Cathy Paterson, D-1, was the lone dissenter. However, PZB Vice Chairwoman Kim Rose, D-3, said several members did have questions about the purchase, especially since it would deplete the city’s open space account.

But Richetelli defended the purchase, saying he worked out a “very favorable” financial arrangement with the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority.

According to the financial terms of the deal, the city would pay $300,000 to the water authority at closing, and the second $300,000 would be paid over a 10-year period, at $30,000 a year. There would be no interest for the first five years and then 5 percent interest the last five years, the mayor said.

Richetelli said he hopes the city can apply for state grants totaling $300,000 for the open space acquisition, so the total cost to the city for the land would be $300,000. Richetelli also stressed that the initial $300,000 would come from open space and various reserve accounts so there would be no bonding for the land.

The water authority performed two appraisals on the land; one came in at $800,000, the other at $600,000. The authority’s board decided to sell the land for the lowest appraisal, and offered it first to the city.

If the city passes, then the land will be offered next to the state Department of Environmental Protection. If the DEP also declines purchasing it, the land would then be sold on the open market where a developer would end up with it, the mayor said.

“It’s a very valuable piece of property,” Richetelli said. “It links up with other considerable city owned pieces of open space. It will prevent development in the middle of some really beautiful open space.”

The property is adjacent to the former YMCA property on Orange Avenue the city purchased last year. The land also is close to fields on Red Bush Lane. A private development there could lead to the construction of at least six or more single-family homes, the mayor said. Richetelli said the city’s plan for the land is that it remain open space forever.

Rose said she didn’t vote on Richetelli’s request because she was serving as acting chairman during the vote. But she said, like Patterson, she had several concerns about the land acquisition. One is about depleting the city’s open space account, because other, more valuable properties may become available, and the city would have no money, Rose said.

She said PZB members voted to approve the acquisition because “it absolutely made sense to own it” and because it will link other parcels, but it puts “the onus of $300,000 on the taxpayers.”

Aldermen are expected to vote at the board’s August meeting.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Milford P&Z Says No To Recycling Facility

A bid to reopen a landfill closed by a court order as a recycling facility is headed for court.

Darlene Chapdelaine, spokesman for Recycling Inc., said Thursday the Planning and Zoning Board did not follow its own procedures in denying the application Tuesday night.

Richard J. Barrett and Joseph F. Barrett, of Stratford, are the owners of the 6.71-acre site at 990 Naugatuck Ave., next to the Housatonic River. It had been leased to Associated Carting Inc., which was closed in a settlement between that company and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal two years ago.

The attorney general had filed suit against Associated Carting Co. at the request of the state Department of Environmental Protection and the city after several large, open containers of household garbage were discovered on the site. The company had a permit to accept construction debris.

Chapdelaine said city officials treated the new application -- for a "volume reduction facility" that removes recyclable material from the waste stream -- as if it was by the same applicant for the same use that was prohibited in 2007.

"They had decided to deny this application before the public hearing, and it was not circulated to the other city departments for comment, like zoning applications always are," she said.

The PZB changed its regulations for the Housatonic Design District to ban facilities such as the one Recycling Inc. is proposing. The new regulation took effect Wednesday; the company's application was considered under the earlier rules, PZB member Frank Goodrich said.

"Upon the advice of the city planner we denied it without prejudice," Goodrich said. "It was an incomplete site plan.'' The facility has been approved by the DEP to receive 1,000 tons of material per day, some of it arriving by barge. Chapdelaine said the recycling plant conforms to the state's solid waste plan.

"Of the 51 properties in the Housatonic Design District, only seven are residential," she said. "This facility would create at least 20 new jobs. Who exactly would it hurt?"

City officials noted that one of those residential properties is the 320-unit Caswell Cove Condominiums.

"I spoke to the Planning and Zoning Board and urged them not to approve this," Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said. "The application calls for bringing garbage in by barge and rail.

"I also spoke to Attorney General Blumenthal and we are united in this," the mayor said.

Chapdelaine, however, said the matter will be decided in court, "and we're going to win.''

Goodrich said Tuesday night's hearing already felt like a legal proceeding. "They had a court stenographer there," he said. "The last time I saw that was with [housing developer] AvalonBay."


Friday, July 24, 2009

Current Zoning Law May Make Flagpoles and Basketball Hoops Illegal

According to John Grant, the Milford Independent Party candidate for Zoning and planning, an outrageous new revision was made to Milford's zoning laws. The section in question 4.1.1 and (listed on the P&Z website) defines a STRUCTURE as follows:

STRUCTURE - Anything constructed or erected which requires location on the ground or attachment to something having a location on the ground. Except as otherwise indicated, "structure" as used in these regulations shall be deemed to include buildings, swimming pools, open entries, signs, and fences or walls more than three feet in height other than retaining walls.

This vague definition can apply to just about anything over three feet high and not excepted. This includes your flagpole in your yard, your kids basket ball hoop or maybe more infuriating your outdoor fire pit or artwork.

Furthermore, and according to John Grant "this section is in conflict with other zoning sections and I understand 'un-officially' they are thinking of changing the definition of structure to make this cause less violations."

The thought of redefining the word "structure," however prudent, does not change the fact that the P&Z may have made lawbreakers out of thousands of citizens in town who erected basketball hoops and flagpoles.

John Grant, said that if he is elected he will vow to fight vague zoning definitions and support Milford"s citizens who wish to erect reasonable patriotic or sporting products. While he does not believe that all zoning laws are bad, he does believe that greater care must be given to language that is too loosely defined.

Grant also believes, that many Zoning laws lack a proper enforcement apparatus citing that the enforcement section of city hall is understaffed and ill prepared to actually engage in enforcing anything that has not sparked public outrage.

To read more about John Grant click on the link below to visit his profile.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Salvatore Wins Dem's Support Chaucer Demands Primary

Economic Development Commission Chairwoman Genevieve Salvatore easily secured her party’s mayoral nomination Wednesday at the Democratic Town Committee convention.

Salvatore, a local lawyer whose first foray into city politics was her appointment to the Economic Development Commission this year, secured the nomination by a vote of 81 to nine.

“I am taken aback and humbled by the support,” Salvatore said. “This year we are going to finish what we started two years ago. We are going to take back City Hall.”

Salvatore was challenged by Timothy Chaucer, a longtime city preservationist.

Chaucer, who failed in his attempt to gain his party’s backing for mayor, said Wednesday there is a “99 percent chance” he will pursue the nomination and force a primary.

Chaucer said he was not given an opportunity to speak in front of the 1st and 4th District committees, and predicted he would fair better at a primary than he did at the convention.

Chaucer forced a primary in 1987, eventually winning it and general election to become a member of the Planning and Zoning Board.

“The rank and file Democrats know who I am, they know what I stand for,” Chaucer said.

Under state law, if a primary is necessary, it will be held Sept. 15, said City Clerk Alan H. Jepson.

Jepson, who announced in May he will not seek re-election, was first elected city clerk in 1987 and has routinely enjoyed cross-endorsement.

The Democrats chose state Rep. Richard Roy over PZB Vice Chairwoman Kim Rose to replace Jepson as their nominee for city clerk.

New to the ticket for the Board of Aldermen this year is current chairman of the Police Commission, the Rev. Carleton Giles, and Luke Lynch from the 4th and 1st districts respectively.

The Republican slate will be set at its nominating convention Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Two Republicans were vying for the GOP mayoral nomination. But Wednesday, Republican Town Committee Chairman Tom Jagodzinski announced that former aldermanic Chairman Tom Beirne is no longer challenging four-term Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. for the Republican nomination.

Bierne confirmed he has withdrawn from the race.

Milford residents will also have a third-party choice in November. The Milford Independent Party, with former GOP Town Committee Chairman Peter Spalthoff at the head of the ticket, plans to run candidates for most positions.

James Tinley NH Register


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Milford School Suspensions Decline To 16

Officials say the good news is that the number of city students being expelled from school dropped significantly, from 27 in 2007-08 to 16 during the most recent school year.

But the bad news is that the cases involving the expulsions “were more involved,” said Superintendent of Schools Harvey B. Polansky.

Five Joseph A. Foran High School students, one from Jonathan Law High School, and six Alternative Education High students were expelled for inappropriate behavior, officials said. Additionally, one Harborside Middle School student and two from West Shore Middle School were expelled, according to a report produced by school administrators. The annual expulsion report is mandated by the state.

The report details that a 17-year-old Foran student was expelled for one year last July for inappropriate sexual behavior in school; an Alternative Education student, also 17, was expelled in February for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a weapon on school grounds, and an 18-year-old Law student was expelled in May for threatening via the Internet to shoot up the school.

Also, the report says, on June 10, two Foran students were expelled: one for one semester for igniting fireworks in the school, causing the building to be evacuated, and another for a school year for inappropriate and threatening text messaging.

Other students were expelled for threatening staff members, possession of marijuana at school, stealing and possession of stolen property, bullying and threatening, and threats made to students, the report says.

“The value of the expulsion report is it gives us knowledge of what the teachers and administrators have to face in the building,” said Board of Education Chairman David Hourigan, D-4. “It gives us a perspective as to what goes on during the day.”

Hourigan said it’s interesting that the total number of expulsion cases has declined since last year. He said the state has amended the expulsion law, which makes it more likely students will be expelled.

The law previously allowed administrators to suspend students five times, for up to 10 days or a total of 50 days, before expulsion, but now students can only be suspended for 10 days before they have to be expelled.

As for the severity of the cases, Hourigan said, unfortunately “these things happen year after year.”

“Our hope is the number of incidents decreases as the kids get wiser,” Hourigan added.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tim Chaucer Demands Change In Milford

The city would look very different today if Tim Chaucer were running things.

In formally announcing his candidacy for mayor Monday evening, the Democrat listed several instances when his intervention -- even as a private citizen -- got large development plans rejected.

"When the current administration formulated plans to consolidate our two geographically balanced high schools, we formed Milford Citizens Against Mega Schools," he said during a rally on the City Hall steps.

"We showed how consolidating was not only a bad idea educationally, but would be more costly to the city taxpayer. We won the battle."

Chaucer said he opposed a proposal in the 1980s to reroute Gulf Street so that a developer and his daughter would have homes with a better view. "I am proud that we protected the beautiful vista from the Indian burial ground on Gulf Pond when elected officials did not have the city's best interests at heart."

The retired history teacher reminded the 15 supporters at the rally that the historic Merwin-Cadley homestead on Gulf Pond was torn down last year despite assurances by Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. that it would be saved. A developer paid less than the market value in exchange for a conservation easement that was to protect the property, Chaucer said.

The candidate said he opposed a plan to improve Eisenhower Park because it would have meant charging fees to residents to recoup the cost. "The park is there for
everyone to enjoy, for free," he said.

"And it certainly doesn't need $20 million of so-called improvements."

City officials were "asleep at the switch'' when the Langner property next to the library became available several years ago, Chaucer said.

"It was a park-like setting with black walnut trees, and it could have been acquired to add to the recreation complex next to it," he said. "Instead, there are condos on it now and parking at our ball fields is at a premium."

Chaucer said that he would foster open government by, among other measures, putting a logbook in the mayor's office that anyone could review. "It's transparency. We ought to know who our mayor is spending his time with." He'd also consider periodic public hearings on the operation of city departments and to hear residents' complaints.

The candidate admitted he faces an uphill battle at the Democratic nominating convention Wednesday night. Most party leaders seem to have promised their support to Genevieve Salvatore, currently the chairman of the Economic Development Commission. Chaucer would not rule out a primary.

Salvatore said, "It isn't surprising to me that there are more people interested in this race. Many people in Milford are dissatisfied with the status quo and we all agree that it is a good time for a change in leadership. While it's great that others are concerned about Milford's future, I am confident that I will be nominated by the Democratic Town Convention this week.

"I have a strong vision for our city's future and I believe that such vision, together with strong leadership, will be crucial for our success in November and beyond."

Richetelli said he is running on his eight-year record in office.

Peter Spalthoff, the Independent Party mayoral candidate, said, "Tim announcing that he is running for mayor simply goes to my belief that the citizens of Milford can only be the winners with more choices of candidates. There is no reason in the world why there should only be two candidates for the position."


About Chaucer: Timothy Chaucer is the former chairman of the Milford Conservation Comission and a former elected member of the Milford Planning and Zoning Board. n He founded Milford Citizens Against Mega Schools several years ago to fight attempts to consolidate Jonathan Law and Joseph A. Foran high schools. n Chaucer has been program chairman for the Milford Historical Society for the past five years, and is nominating chairman for the Milford Preservation Trust. n He is the founder and director of the Milford Marine Institute Inc., which has educated more than 1,000 Milford children since 1983 about the value of salt marshes, woodlands, farmlands and meadows. n He is a retired high school and college instructor of American history, as well as criminal and civil law, and retains his state teaching certification


Monday, July 20, 2009

Milford Moves To Abate Blighted Properties

A "clear path'' for handling blight complaints was unveiled Monday by Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr.

The proposed ordinance drafted by City Attorney Win Smith at the mayor's request would put the Health Department at the center of what until now has been a fragmented process.

The city's health director, Dr. A. Dennis McBride, will have the role of anti-blight officer, and residents' complaints would be made to that department.

The Health Department already coordinates several initiatives designed to ensure safe housing conditions, "and it makes sense to keep this there,'' Richetelli said.

The mayor has in the past maintained that the city doesn't need an anti-blight ordinance because existing laws address the problem. "What has changed is the economy,'' he said Monday afternoon.

"We're seeing more dilapidated properties, even more complaints about high grass,'' the mayor said. "We've been handling them from this office and forwarding them to agencies with code-enforcement authority.'' The proposed ordinance includes an appeal process, including the opportunity for property owners to bring the matter to court.

Members of the Economic Development Commission last month agreed to work toward a better-coordinated process for addressing blight, noting the lack of a centralized complaint office.

The commission is chaired by Genevieve Salvatore, a Democratic candidate for mayor. Richetelli said he was unaware of that effort when he advanced his proposal.

"I prefer to get things done," the mayor said. Two run-down and hazardous houses, one on East Broadway and the other on Village Road, were torn down by the city this year, and a Benham Avenue property was repaired, with the city filing a lien for repayment.

The Board of Aldermen will have the proposed ordinance in time for its Aug. 3 meeting, officials said.

Salvatore said that she is "glad that the mayor has finally seen the importance of this issue. The EDC recognized that blight was concerning Milford citizens some time ago."


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Downtown Citizen's Bank Robbed

Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday morning at the Citizen's Bank branch downtown.

Brandishing a gun, a man wearing a bandana demanded cash from a teller at the bank, at 123 Cherry St., shortly before 9:30 a.m., according to Officer Vaughan Dumas, police spokesman.

The robber fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash, heading south on Gulf Street toward Milford Cemetery, Dumas said.

Described as 6 feet tall with a slender build, the suspect was wearing khaki pants, a gray hoodie and a dark baseball cap, police said. He disguised himself by wearing a blue-and-white bandana and mirrored aviator-style sunglasses and held a small black weapon in his right hand, witnesses told police.

Police have released photographs and video surveillance images from bank security, hoping anyone who recognizes the suspect will come forward.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spalthoff Challenges Mayor's Commitment To Jonathan Law's Students

Mayor Richetelli’s sense of priorities and judgment continue to frustrate and confound me. I spent July 6Th at the Milford Aldermanic meeting along with other fellow tax payers. We were all there to speak up in favor of moving forward with the existing plan and proposed bonding for completing important and long needed renovations on Jonathan Law High School. This is a project that was previously approved and committed to by the Mayor. To date, tens of thousands of dollars have been spent. I, along with other Milford taxpayers at the meeting, spoke out in favor of completing the project, and adamantly objected to leaving important renovations to this school unfinished at a time when our community needs the investment most.

The contractor has decreased the project’s cost by nearly 25%, which will, if we move forward, save the City almost $750,000.00. In addition, the current interest rate on the bonds are likely lower now than they will be in the future, and completing the project now would most certainly bring a larger reimbursement from the State as a high priority infrastructure project. But, all the numbers and logical arguments aside, Mayor Richetelli made a commitment to the citizens of Milford, and to the students and faculty at Jonathan Law. A commitment that he is now not ready to follow up on.

Sure, these are difficult economic times-and some projects, even important ones, will have to go on the back burner. But just a few days after the Aldermanic meeting, the Mayor got word from Governor Rell that she was standing by her commitment to the Silver Sands boardwalk project. Ironically, Governor Rell noted that “the State should honor its promise to extend the boardwalk. “Not surprisingly, Mayor Richetelli agreed with her, calling her decision “wise” because construction costs are low and significant money has already been spent. Sound familiar?

Fortunately, by the end of the July 6th meeting, the Aldermen did pass the resolution to raise the bond money and finish the Jonathan Law renovations-despite the five republicans voting against it, and Mayor Richetelli’s personal recommendation to vote against it as well.

The most confusing and frustrating part of Mayor Richetelli’s inconsistent opinions is that it would appear our Mayor is more strongly in support of extending a boardwalk than investing in our schools. This, my friends, is completely unacceptable.

I do want to thank Governor Rell for standing by her commitments to Milford's infrastructure projects, and to the Aldermen who made thoughtful and logical judgments in favor of the Jonathan Law bonding proposal. And, an extra-special thank you to all of you who took time out of your day to make your voices heard at the Aldermanic meeting. It is largely your voices that moved the project forward and gained the Aldermen’s support.

Peter L. Spalthoff

Independent Party Candidate for Mayor 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Woodmont Day 2009 Will Honor The Late John Volk

Woodmont Day will be a homecoming of sorts for the late John H. Volk.

The director of the aquaculture division of the state Department of Agriculture for 21 years, Volk is credited with improving the cleanliness of Long Island Sound and the farming of shellfish.

A resident of the Woodmont section of the city more than 40 years, Volk died in November 2007. But the state lab's research vessel has been renamed the John H.

Volk and borough residents will unveil a memorial bench and plaque on July 25.

State Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, and a neighbor of Volk's, pushed the bill through the Legislature this spring. It was signed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell last month.

"When John and I were young, you could walk into Long island Sound up to your knees and still see your feet,'' Roy said. "Then for many years you couldn't, but the Sound is much cleaner again, largely thanks to John. You can see your feet again.'' Volk began his career as a biologist for a local oyster company, and did much research into how to increase the yield of bivalves in state waters. He was also part of a team of scientists that identified the parasite that decimated the local oyster crop in the late 1990s.

Woodmont Day Co-chairwoman Kelley Cummings said the plaque and bench will be at the foot of Belmont Street, next to the fishing groin.

"We'll dedicate it near the end of the Woodmont Day Parade, as the marchers reach that spot,'' she said.

The parade steps off at 9 a.m. July 25, and will take about 30 minutes to reach the memorial, organizers said.

The boat named for the late scientist will also be part of the day's events, moored just off the Woodmont shore.

The vessel is due to be replaced in a few years, but Roy's measure includes naming the new craft for Volk as well, for up to 20 years.

The theme of this year's neighborhood block party is "Woodmont Goes Green,'' an idea that would have pleased the local environmentalist.

"We'll have information booths on recycling, composting, solar heating and other things that people can do to protect the environment,'' Cummings said.

John H. Volk He lived in Woodmont section of Milford more than 40 years. He was the principal biologist for Long Island Sound Oyster Farms from 1978 to 1982. Volk was the director of the Bureau of Aquaculture of the state Department of Agriculture from 1982 until his retirement in 2003. He served as an advisor in the development of vocational-technical aquaculture programs for high school students. He published research on shellfish growing and harvesting, and was a co-author of a study of a parasite that devastated the oyster crop along the Connecticut shoreline in the late 1990s. The study is available on-line at Volk died Nov. 12, 2007, after a long illness. Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed a bill in June that names the state aquaculture lab's research vessel the "John H. Volk.'' The boat is docked at the state aquaculture lab on Rogers Avenue in Milford.

Original Story By Frank Juliano CLICK HERE

Photo from

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bookworm's Delight Saint Ann Hosts Benefit

Bertha the Bookworm invites all voracious readers to Bookworm’s Delight, a used book sale, on August 1, 2, 8 and 9, at the Saint Ann School Hall, 499 Naugatuck Ave.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. August 1 and 8, and 8:30 a.m. to noon August 2 and 9, organizers said. All proceeds will benefit Relay for Life of Milford. The public is invited.

Bertha, who sources says really loves books but would never really eat one, says the stock is "delightful," including thrillers, military books, best sellers, classics, cookbooks, romance, books for children and more. For more information call (203) 874-0634.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Richetelli Budget Cuts Nix Milford Bike Patrol

There are three fewer police officers patroling the city since the fiscal year began July 1, and Police Chief Keith Mello says it’s beginning to have a tangible effect.

The Board of Aldermen voted to eliminate an officer position from the budget, saving $52,000, and the police union was the only municipal bargaining unit to not accept a wage freeze as part of a new contract, resulting in two positions not being filled this year.

“Being down three positions, there has to be a reduction in some areas,” Mello said.

One popular program being “temporarily discontinued” is the downtown bike patrol, he said.

On weekdays, an officer on a bicycle was downtown to help with pedestrian safety, traffic enforcement and to provide high visibility for businesses.

Mello said the officer also helped provide enhanced safety for the thousands of residents using the train station.

Mello stressed there is still coverage downtown being provided by regular police patrols.

The bike patrol was instituted several years ago at the request of downtown business leaders, who wanted more police presence.

This past year, the downtown officer has written 10,000 tickets, the chief said.

Mello also said this year there may be a marginal increase in the response time for “low-priority calls,” but “high-priority calls will still receive immediate and appropriate response.”

Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said there are three vacancies in the Police Department, but two of those positions could be filled at any time if the police union agrees to a new two-year contract, which would include a no-wage increase this year, and a 2 percent increase in the second year.

Seven other municipal unions agreed to a similar deal, saving the city about $700,000.

Richetelli said talks between the police union and the city are in the “beginning stages.”

The mayor said he has been in talks with Mello to ensure the three vacant positions will not hurt on public safety.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Facade Collapses At Wesfield Mall Injuring Shopper

MILFORD -- A facade at the Westfield Connecticut Post mall partially collapsed Monday morning, slightly injuring a shopper and forcing several stores to close.

About 200 linear feet of a dry wall facade fell on the shopping center's upper level about 11:15 a.m., striking a 27-year-old male shopper, said Capt. Chris Zak, spokesman for the Milford Fire Department. The man suffered minor abrasions on his back, and was treated at the scene by firefighters. He was later transported to Milford Hospital, officials said. His name was not immediately available.

The façade has a metal frame behind it, and has "substantial weight,'' Zak said. Wires hung from the framing and broken pieces of drywall were lying on the floor in front of PCX, a youth apparel store that had opened July 1.

The façade had also peeled from the front of three adjoining stores: Motherhood Maternity, Gymboree and Hot Topic.

Thomas Raucci, the city building inspector, ordered the fifth store in that area, Lane Bryant, closed as a precaution.

Raucci inspected the section of the mall for structural damage Monday afternoon. The four stores would be allowed to reopen as soon as the debris was removed and the area determined to be safe, officials said. That could happen as soon as Tuesday morning, Assistant Fire Chief Robert Healey said.

The section of the mall where the facade fell was last renovated prior to 2000, mall spokeswoman Lee Sterling said. "The cause is under investigation and the mall is cooperating fully,'' she said.

The rest of the mall remained open for business as usual, she said.

Yellow caution tape blocked off a set of stairs leading to the affected stores from Door 4, the closest mall entrance, but a seating area and an escalator at that entrance were available.

A series of kiosks in the center of the lower level, below where the drywall had fallen, were also cordoned off for safety reasons. That area included a T-Mobile counter, a photo booth and beverage vending machines.

Zak said that a row of columns that flank the corridor in front of the five affected stores will be checked to make sure that no structural damage occurred. The columns appear to support the skylight and dome that enclosed the mall in the late 1980s.

There was no construction going on in the area where the section of facade collapsed on Monday. A man-lift was in the center of the mall, enclosed by metal gates, as part of a project to remove an escalator that led to the old food court, mall officials said. A new food court was built as part of the 2006 expansion.

Plastic sheeting covered a portion of the damaged wall in front of the affected stores on Monday, as air handlers removed dust from the area.

Most shoppers appeared to be unaware of the incident.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rell Gives Milford Green Light To Boardwalk... Again.

MILFORD — Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Friday the state will honor its commitment to Milford and move forward with a boardwalk project to link Walnut Beach and Silver Sands State Park.

Rell Friday ordered the state departments of Public Works and Environmental Protection to lift their suspension of the project and proceed with the $2 million boardwalk.

The project, which had gained approval and funding from the state Bond Commission in 2006, had never made it past the planning stages.

Work almost started in 2008, but nests of piping plovers, a species of bird protected by state and federal statutes, were found in the proposed path of the boardwalk.

The project was redesigned to avoid the plover nests, but still sat on the shelf until last month when the DEP and DPW announced the project had been suspended indefinitely as a way to save money in the midst of a recession.

That all changed Friday with an order from Rell to go ahead with the project.

“Given the state’s budget deficit and the current state of the economy, I appreciate the efforts of the DPW and the DEP to cut costs wherever possible,” Rell said in statement. “But we have made a commitment to the city and people of Milford and it needs to be honored. Bond Commission approvals for this project were granted nearly three years ago — had the work not been held up, it probably would have been completed by now. This project should go forward.”

Rell’s decision came on the heels of a press conference held Thursday by local officials urging her to step in and give the project a green light.

“I had the opportunity to speak to Governor Rell today, and I expressed my gratitude and the gratitude of Milford and the citizens and business owners of Walnut Beach and Silver Sands areas,” Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said Friday. Richetelli said based on Rell’s direction, the DPW should solicit bids for the project “immediately. ” A firm time-line for the project should emerge next week.

“I’m so ecstatic right this minute I think I’m going to celebrate,” Walnut Beach Association President Joe Garbus said when told Rell had ordered the project to go forward.

The boardwalk has long been sought to reconnect Walnut Beach to Silver Sands State Park and city officials and residents are hopeful increased foot traffic will drive revitalization in the Walnut Beach and Silver Sands areas.

Original Article

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Numbers Put Malloy And Bysiewicz In Front, Amann Trails

Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy who is exploring a run for governor in 2010 raised $144,135 during the last three months and Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz isn’t far behind having raised $141,005 during that same period.

Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell raised $20,010 over the last three months and since forming her exploratory committee Rell has raised a total of $90,463. Since starting their exploratory committees in February Malloy has raised a total of $272,210 and Bysiewicz has raised a total of $239,530.

It’s unclear at the moment how much former Speaker of the House James Amann has raised. Amann’s campaign manager, Jim McMahon, said Friday that Amann has had one fundraiser to date, but has another half-dozen scheduled over the next few months.

“It’s no longer about fundraising,” McMahon said Friday referring to the new public campaign finance system. “It’s about raising enough money to qualify for the state grant.”

Amann, whose campaign is already out of the exploratory phase is the only declared candidate in the race and as such has to follow different fundraising guidelines than those still in the exploratory phase. Contributors to Amann’s campaign are only allowed to give a maximum of $100, while Malloy, Bysiewicz and Rell can receive contributions of up to $375. However, if they make the transition to a candidate committee only the $5 to $100 contributions will count toward the qualifying amount of $250,000.

Candidates who raise $250,000 are then eligible for $1 million in public funds for the primary and $3 million for the general election.

McMahon said he doesn’t have the final numbers yet, but says Amann has been traveling around the state “solidifying a tremendous amount of support.”

“Our state faces many challenges and I am pleased that so many citizens agree that it is time for real leadership in Hartford,” Bysiewicz said. She said she has traveled the state and visited with close to 70 Democratic Town Committees asking for support for the Democratic nomination next year.

Malloy has visited 62 Democratic Town Committees since forming his exploratory committee in February.

“I’m gratified and energized by this outpouring of financial support as I continue to explore a run for Governor,” Malloy said. “Over the past two quarters, our fundraising has been consistent, steady, and successful.”

C Stewart CT News Junkie. ORIGINAL STORY

Friday, July 10, 2009

Soon After Opposing Law Construction, Richetelli And Lambert Condemn Boardwalk Cancellation

Just a few short days ago I was at city hall fighting for the Jonathan law expansion with Peter Spalthoff, and the city Alderman agreed with us that education is important. The Alderman Voted in favor of the Bonding and the kids of Milford scored a small victory.

This Boardwalk story today is a parody of this subject, and in lieu of those events has brought me a smile with some great irony. The irony here is that Lambert was absent at the Jonathan Law Meeting, she made no known comment on the school cutbacks, while Richetelli said the city is struggling and this is not the "right time" to be spending money on fixing up our schools.

Jonathan Law's Principal along with a platoon of concerned citizens asked for our kids to have proper facilities built including one Law student who said the condition of the restrooms are of grave concern and somewhat of a "joke" with the student body.

Still yet these important issues, (and after a few short days) are long forgotten, because Lambert and Richetelli would rather ignore the issue of Jonathan Law students being educated on carts, and "fly" down to the beach to demand our financially strapped state build Milford a giant Boardwalk.

Lambert has been heavily favored by the elderly here in town, as she herself is a volunteer and a senior at the Milford senior center. It is no secret that seniors in Milford are Anti-Education as they have made their voices heard loud and clear during the last tax increase. Lambert also received much needed support from seniors and has done little to push for a world class school system here in Milford. Lambert appears to support much of what seniors want.

While I must sit back in awe, as I watch this politically motivated beach spectacle take place, I must also stand dumbfounded that our leaders actually believe the state is going to build us a boardwalk ahead of fixing this states health care fiasco.

Rell already vetoed two bills, and CT has a 9 Billion Dollar Budget gap that is growing every day. One really has to wonder if our Lambert and Richetelli have any basis in reality on this boardwalk issue. While they both enjoyed some free press, I must sadly say... "Sorry Ms. Lambert and Mr. Richetelli if we cant afford schools, than it stands to reason that Milford cant afford a luxurious boardwalk."



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Milford Zoners Alter Trash Plant Regulation

The Planning and Zoning Board this week approved a regulation change that bans recycling plants and trash-hauling operations in one of the city’s heavy industrial zones.

The change to the Housatonic Design District, a large swath of land along the Housatonic River north of Interstate 95, received unanimous support from the PZB, but received heavy criticism from business interests.

The change, which goes into effect July 22, bans all “trash hauling, solid waste processing, construction and demolition debris storage and processing, recycling plants and volume-reduction facilities” in the district.

The banned uses, however, are allowed if they are “accessory to a permitted principal use.”

With the change, existing transfer stations and recycling centers are grandfathered in by the old regulations and can continue operations. They are, however, considered a “non-conforming use” and cannot expand the operations.

Critics contended at a public hearing that the change would alter the character of the district, hurt the city financially and amount to illegal spot zoning and illegal taking.

But City Planner David Sulkis said a language change to the original proposal tightened the regulation and should have eliminated “99 percent” of the concerns.

“It’s going to basically protect the neighborhoods surrounding this zone from heavy traffic typically generated from the waste-hauling industry,” Sulkis said. He said the regulation would also protect the nearby Housatonic River from possible environmental damage.

Sulkis said the change passed Tuesday night with little discussion.

“We heard some forceful objections to this regulation change at the public hearing, many of which were from businesses that will not be impacted,” PZB Chairwoman Jeanne Cervin said. “When the wording was tightened up, it was clear that the power company, Iroquois Gas, Gas Equipment Engineering Corp. and, of course, the city transfer station and the sewer treatment plant, which are not subject to our regulations, will not be impacted.”


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dolphins Spotted In Long Island Sound

Experts say more dolphins are visiting Long Island Sound this summer. They say they've recorded a pod of at least 100 bottlenose dolphins in the Sound. Joseph Schnierlein of the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk says dolphins are often spotted in the Sound, but nobody's seen this many there since the 1950s.

Kim Durham of the Riverhead Foundation on Long Island says the coastal bottlenose dolphin is more commonly seen off the coast of New Jersey and farther south. She says the Long Island Sound dolphins should do well as long as they're not bothered by humans.

Boaters should be aware of their presence, and yield their boats until they pass. Some theories as to why they are here may be due to the positive environmental changes to the water quality in the sound. The Dolphins, also are feeding on the fauna which may be bountiful enough to keep them around.

Bloggers are posting videos of their dolphin encounters all over youtube and like blog sites Curious people can find some great videos of these encounters just by doing a simple video search.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Milford Alderman OK Bonding For Law Expansion

Bonding will go forward for an addition to Jonathan Law High School after the Board of Aldermen approved funding for the project Monday night, largely along party lines.

The board heard numerous pleas from a crowd of parents and education officials to pursue the bonding, due to lower construction costs -- bids came back roughly 25 percent cheaper than expected -- and complaints of overcrowding and outdated facilities at the school, which serves 1,050 students.

Alderman Raymond Vitali was the sole Republican to break from his party and join all nine Democrats in voting for the bonding.

In response to questions from members of the board, Law Principal Janet Garagliano said that in the upcoming school year, every classroom will be used during every period, and 15 teachers will be on carts, without permanent classroom homes.

The $3.2 million addition would add eight classrooms, including two new science rooms, and "some desperately needed storage spaces," she said.

Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. and GOP aldermen, Judith Toohey and Minority Leader Vincent Ditchkus Jr., urged the board to reject the bonding, cautioning that there are no guarantees in a shaky economy.

that's hemorrhaging jobs and strapped taxpayers can't afford extra expense.

"It's not about our commitment (to the capital improvement plan)," Richetelli said. "It's about taking prudent financial steps and sending the right message to our taxpayers. I don't like putting these projects off. However, now is not the time."

Board Chairman Benjamin Blake and several Democrats countered that the project is "a scaled back version" and should be done now to take advantage of a favorable bond rating and low costs that will save about $1 million, plus avoid wasting $250,000 already spent on architectural and engineering fees.

"Fiscal responsibility is not only cutting spending," Blake said before the vote. "Fiscal responsibility is also understanding the importance of thrift. This is a no-brainer."

Ditchkus said the additional bonding would amount to "almost a backdoor tax. We've already balanced the budget. We have to come up with the money."


Michael Konopka for City Clerk 2009 Shares His Ideas

I am Michael Konopka, Milford’s Independent candidate for City Clerk. Please take a moment to review some of the initiatives I will take when elected. As an engineer and a manager, I am confident I will be able to implement these items and more, and do so with little or no financial impact on the taxpayers.

•Preserve Historical Documents
◦Create digital backups of paper records
◦Employ modern storage practices for existing records
◦Inventory and catalog all records
◦Evaluate and redesign emergency plans and current protective systems, focusing on preservation.

•Modernize and Organize
◦Index records for more efficient and accurate searches
◦Create database(s) for electronic document searching
◦Generate electronic versions of all common forms
◦Utilize website and email communications to reduce operating costs
◦Redesign web interface to optimize ease of use and capability
•Strengthen Customer Service
◦Evaluate all forms for efficiency and ease of use
◦Simplify licensing and application processes and requirements
◦Provide clear and concise instructions for all services offered
◦Ensure a pleasant experience for everyone utilizing the office
•Streamline Operations
◦Update licensing procedures
◦Eliminate wasteful spending and time management
◦Re-evaluate fee structures to ensure competitive rates
◦Digitize and organize land records for efficient use by lawyers, banks, title companies, realtors, and other professionals

Thank you for taking the time to visit this site and review the items I feel are necessary to bring the Clerk's office into the 21st century. Remember that the City Clerk is the only non-political, elected office in this city. I urge you to look past your political affiliations and view this election as a job interview, not a popularity or party patronage contest. In doing so I hope that you will support the candidate who can and will do the best job for this great city. Please consider the above issues and view my bio to see why I am the best choice for City Clerk. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me using any of the methods listed at the top of this page, or submit your inquiry directly through the site by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you and serving you as City Clerk.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4Th Celebration At The Post Mall

This year the July Fourth tradition of the Westfield Post Mall fireworks show was on schedule. The fireworks were launched right after dusk and lasted about 15 Minutes and boasted a grand finale.

Kids also entertained themselves at the town Carnival with rides, and a Ferris wheel in the mall parking lot. Viewers of the fireworks were located in multiple shopping plazas near the mall. My vantage point was behind Stop & Shop in the Staples parking lot. The event was well attended and people from all over came to our town to witness the show.

This event is an annual tradition and is expected to be on again on July 4Th 2010.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mail Delivery In Milford Hits Record Low

This is a blog about my daily conversations with our friendly mailmen in town. Recently I noticed there have been at least three different people delivering mail to my location. Earlier this week my local mailman Daniel stopped by to get his computer repaired and we got into a discussion about the status of the Postal Service here in Milford.

He repeated the same things that I heard my New Haven Ave. Mail person say, and that is "that the volume of mail in Milford is dramatically down." Daniel estimates that his route alone is off by about 50%.

This decline in volume could eventually translate to increased layoffs of Milford Postal workers, and the expansion of routes for the more senior postal employees. This problem has also been resonating at the national level as the post office has been running advertisements to boost flat rate box shipping.

This program, it is hoped, will increase volume from shippers who wish to have flat rate boxes up to 70Lbs. shipped anywhere in the U.S.

The economy has certainly been a factor in the Post Office problems, but when it is combined with the advent of e-mail and electronic transmissions that do not require postage, the future of the mailman gets pretty uncertain.

From my own personal experience the only things I receive via my mailbox is mostly bills and junk mail. Even many of my bills, if no money is owed or I pay online results in nothing being mailed to me in some cases.

Reform is required to alleviate these issues, and our misleading leaders always end up reverting to punitive actions against those systems that result in the problem. For a long time now there has been talk on Capitol Hill of taxing the Internet, and some Representatives have gone so far as to suggest a tax on e-mail to aid the ailing Post Office.

This idea was met with contempt from those in the Internet community who support "net neutrality" a concept that precludes any censorship, or regulation of the Internet. Media giants like Rupert Murdoch and Senator Rockefeller have gone on record and said the Internet is a economic hazard, not only to commercial interests but to the energy grid and military systems.

Thus far, there has been no successful legislation or attempts to tax E-mail to help the Postal Service, however the banking sector did succeed in having a court shut down Wikileaks, marking the first major case of Internet censorship in the U.S.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Independents Day Meet And Greet On Lexington Green

The shot heard around the world, and the start of the American Revolution in 1775 began at Lexington Green in Massachusetts. In like manner, and to celebrate that monumental event, the Newly formed Independent Party will be at Lexington Green in Milford for a "Meet and Greet" and celebration of our Republics Independence from the aggression and tyranny imposed by foreign monarchs.

The meet and greet is set for July 18Th, 2009 and is open to all friendly voters, and their children, who live in Milford. Refreshments and appetisers will be served, and the event will commence promptly at 4:00P.M. and will conclude at 8:00 P.M. feel free to drop by at your leisure between those hours.

The address is 44 Lexington Way N. here in Milford. To RSVP or to request directions call (203) 247-4357, or (203) 247-7933.

Officially there is no charge for this event, but attendees are encouraged to support the Independent Party by making donations. Acceptable donations are between $5.00 and $100.00. If anyone wishes to donate more please let the MC at the event know and proper paperwork will be made available. Donations can be made by cash, or check only no credit or debit cards.

We look forward to seeing you there the Saturday of this event. To e-mail any questions you have do so at

To see photos of the Mass. Original Lexington Green Click HERE

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Westfield Mall Gets 11% Tax Decrease

The city and its largest taxpayer, Westfield Connecticut Post mall, have struck a deal on its taxes, which will result in the mall paying the city $1.2 million less over the next three years, said Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr.

Westfield appealed its 2007-08 tax assessment. The 1201 Boston Post Road mall was valued by the city to have a full market value of $251 million, but Westfield officials felt the true value was just $151 million.

Assessor Dan Thomas said the mall and the city reached an out-of-court settlement, which is essentially down the middle at $200 million. Sources said if the city had gone to court and lost, then it could have been forced to pay Westfield $2.4 million immediately.

That $2.4 million figure equaled the two years of taxes that they would have had to repay, if the $151 million valuation was upheld. By settling, the city will not have to write the mall a check.

Thomas said over the next three years, Westfield will have a tax credit of $400,000 per year for a total savings of $1.2 million. Westfield pays the city $3.8 million annually in taxes.

Thomas said it’s normal for tax appeals to result in a 10 percent adjustment, and Westfield’s reduction is 11 percent.

“I’m satisfied with the $200 million figure,” Thomas said.

Thomas said since the city has decided to freeze the phase-in of its revaluation over three years, the mall’s assessment is frozen at $125 million.

Richetelli said the tax agreement with Westfield was important to both the mall and the city’s long-term economic future.

“Westfield is our largest taxpayer. It’s vitally important to the community that the mall and retail remain viable,” Richetelli said. “The settlement is fair to both sides. It’s a good compromise.”

Richetelli stressed Westfield did not receive a special deal because it’s the city’s largest taxpayer.

“This avoids a very costly and drawn-out litigation,” Richetelli said. “This protects and enhances the viability of the mall to attract good tenants.”

Richetelli said Westfield’s tax credit will not hurt next year’s budget because the spending plan, which was approved in May, took into effect the $400,000 tax reduction.

By Brian McCready, Milford Bureau Chief


Alan Jepson Retiring From City Clerk

There is no greater icon in town than our beloved city clerk Alan Jepson. For most of his life Jepson served the town of Milford in various offices, including the duty of our Mayor.

Jepsons retirement marks an end to over Twenty years of service as Milford's City Clerk. These memories are none the less fonder around this time of year, because on the 4Th of July Alan would dress the part of Uncle Sam at out town celebration and greet residents at the gazebo on the green. For the first time in many years the man under the beard and hat will be someone else, as Alan will not be doing it again.

Alan is at the age where he is ready for retirement, but those in the Independent Party here in Milford have stated that Jepsons retirement has also brought some challenges for those individuals who are seeking to replace him.

The job of City Clerk will be passed on, and some popular names are emerging as contenders for the post. The Democrats are expected to put up Currently Serving State Rep. Richard Roy. Roy, who has not formally announced he will retire from the the House if elected Clerk, has the option of holding both jobs. This will allow Roy to earn a salary estimated at $130,000.00 per year. This of course, also comes with benefits from the state as well as the city of Milford. This would make a Roy win a very lucrative proposition.

According to the Democrats, the position of City Clerk is "Settled" and they are expecting no Republican contender, this they indicated on their blog is the "tradition." Of course the blog post has been removed as of today, but none the less the allegation now stands and no known Republican contender exists yet.

The Independent Party in Milford, is questioning the the practice of "Cross Endorsements" and the practice of "holding multiple elected offices." Should someone like Dick Roy run for, and succeed in his bid for City Clerk the people of Milford could be denied the exclusivity of that office, instead sharing Mr. Roy with the state legislature if he fails to resign. The Independent Contender for City Clerk Michael Konopka has indicated he will give the people of Millford "110% of his attention," hence meeting the expectations of the job and the needs of the public.

This Democratic practice of "double dipping" was seen once before when Gubernatorial contender Jim Amann attempted to take a $120,000.00 job as the new CT House Speaker Donovan's assistant. This job was to be accomplished in tandem with his private sector job working as a fund raiser for a Charity and Running for Governor with the funds (3 Million Dollars) he expects to receive from a CEP grant.

Even though the city of Milford will miss our endeared City Clerk Alan Jepson, the voters need to be vigilant against the shenanigans of party politics here in town. The public pays the City Clerk very well for a reason. That reason has more to do with the fact that it is a full time job that demands a great deal of time and responsibility.

That responsibility also includes attending Board of Alderman meetings as Jepson did very well. Placing a person in this office, who also holds the job of a State Representative will surely find conflicts in his ability to attend the aldermanic meetings. This will also limit the amount of time he can spend at his desk in the Clerks office. The Clerk needs to be available to personally sign important documents, and this should be noted when discussion as to the individual candidates career choices arises and the condoning of absenteeism. They need not be the problem of Milford's Taxpayers.

Photo from Milford Rotary Website