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

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