Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mayoral Hopefuls Debate Local Environmental Issues

The (Environmental Concerns Coalition) ECC Debate kicked off as scheduled at 6:P.M. all candidates in the running were present and questions were prepared in advance by the ECC moderator.

Candidates had 2 minutes to answer each question, and a rebuttal of their opponents of one Minute. This was the protocol for the first few questions, the next four questions were drawn randomly from a hat and were pre-written by the ECC and selected by each candidate. The audience was also permitted to openly ask questions at the end of the debate.

Of the initial questions asked, the issue of purchasing open land was agreed upon as a good idea by all candidates. The next question regarding Milford's deplorable record on Recycling sparked the most debate.

While the question formulated by the ECC corresponded with the 6% figure as reported in the CT Post Jim Richetelly took issue with the numbers as inaccurate. Richetelly alledged that the number was "under-reported... an error" and held up a copy of the DEP report that he claimed indicated Milford was recycling 12% of its renewable waste not 6%. Richetelli said that Milford is not "last in the state, but doing much better than people believed."

One public question came in regarding the funds to purchase open space, Richetelli exhausted nearly all the money in the open space fund in his latest Naugatuck land deal purchase. The issue of how to pay for this was best addressed by Peter Spalthoff who indicated he would make it a "budget item," and purchase land as part of the routine operations of the town. There was little disagreement to this, since all the candidates agreed that purchasing open space saves Miford's taxpayers money.

There was also debate on adding a paid commissioner to go out and manage the land purchases. Tim Chaucer said that the best candidate for this job would be an "outdoor enthusiast who really knows the town and its land very well."

Each candidate Praised, and addressed, the Clean Energy Roadmap approved by the Board of Aldermen last month. The plan lays out steps the city should take to become environmentally sound. The Roadmap was authored by a community task force and is a step by step plan for city officials to follow.

When it came time for the audience to ask questions, the first question was regarding public transportation. All candidates vowed to improve public transportation and do their part to make certain Milford has more bus stops and convenient locations to get people to and from their local destinations.

The next question from the audience got interesting because I do not think the moderator expected an off topic attack of Richetelli. The man who asked the question specifically addressed it to Jim. He started by saying he made several unanswered telephone calls to Jim, then followed up with more unanswered e-mails. Than after contacting his aide was able to get to talk to him.

Expressing disgust over his experience, he then charged that he did not get the tax decrease that Jim advertised in his "mail piece" that he held up to the audience. He said "I am an engineer, and I am very good with numbers. I looked at my old bill and compared it to my new one... where is my savings!" The moderator told the gentleman that this was an environmental forum not to get "off topic." she said that perhaps "the candidates could answer those types of questions after the debate."

The candidates nonetheless did answer the gentleman's question, and Richetelli stood up and told the gentleman "everyone in Milford received a 2.6% tax decrease plain and simple." Geneveve Salvatore reminded the man that the tax decrease was courtesy of the Democratic led Board of Alderman and that Richetelli's rejected budged actually would have raised his taxes.

The event lasted over an hour, and all the Candidates for Mayor remained long after the meeting and respectfully spoke to the public. However it is important to note, that what is mentioned above are just some notable highlights. MGAT Channel 79 on Cablevision did videotape the event and it will be made available to the public in its entirety in the next week or so and I recommend we all watch it. The more informed you are the better choice you will make come election day.

Video Per Commenters Request
Double Click Video if Cropped

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's clear this article and this website are pro-Spalthoff and pro-democrat. This article is one sided and makes Richetelli look pretty bad. I was at the debate and he did say a lot of positive things that are not mentioned here. I hope the public does watch the video so they can see for themselves. I don't appreciate your type of reporting- it's not "fair and balanced".