Saturday, February 5, 2011

Recap In Politics Around Milford

The Snow still persists, having broken all records and for the first time in recent memory bull dozers are out doing snow removal. This year the kids missed Eight Days of School and as a result their April vacation is expected to be very short. This is provided that no more cancellations occur between now and then.

The snow also took its toll on Milford's crumbling schools, the Board of Education has been addressing these 100M repair costs on and off for years but last week the debate abruptly shifted when the East Shore Middle School Roof was is in danger of collapsing due to the weight of the heavy snow. The kids were all relocated to Foran H.S. where they are expected to remain until the safety of East Shore is guaranteed.

The Mayor, as usual, is proposing his Eighth Consecutive Tax Increase and using his traditional argument that it only amounts to a few hundred dollars more per home owner in Milford. Since the Mayor began using this argument eight years ago homeowners have seen their taxes incrementally rise to several thousands of dollars per year and over 2,500 homes have been foreclosed on or sold as a direct result of taxation and the cost associated with living in CT.

According to The housing situation in Milford continues to remain shaky as several new Foreclosures have entered the market this week further challenging the "Grand List" and driving up the towns Mill Rate. This rate is expected to change dramatically when the Assessor completes their re-evaluations (not done since the top of the market) and the new figures are entered next year.

The biggest property devaluators  continue to be the Middletown Power line project. There are apx. 1,000 homes impacted by those lines. The new towers replaced the shorter wooden towers that looked very similar to the telephone poles on the street. The new towers are a residential hardship,  they are solid steel towers barreling over 135 Feet in the Air. Those homes that once blended with nature and low lying utilities are now permanently marred with industrial high voltage lines and equipment. Many of these homeowners are already engaged in a class action lawsuit against those who built them.

In other news this week, The Town Planning and Zoning Department has erupted in controversy over a leadership crisis involving the selection of a chairman. This disruption inconvenienced and costs local businesses money in lost time over several days. The P&Z was abrubtly suspended when 5 members of the board walked out of the meeting while the public was waiting for permit approvals. However it did not stop them from issuing citations against every small business up and down the Post RD and New Haven Ave.

Complaints from businesses were mostly related to signage and the desire of those business owners to maintain marketing freedom to obtain customers in a challenged economy. The City of Milford insists that all funds and moneys due the city must be paid, proper permit paperwork must be filled out, and inspectors must be satisfied. This applies to all signs even if its a "weekly special," "flag" or "Temporary Promotion."

The City of Milford aggressively enforces its regulations against local small businesses and through its enforcement actions expresses its acrimony toward them.  Last year was a typical reminder,  that was the year a private collection agency was hired and deputized with authoritative power to collect business taxes the city tax collector and Mayor claimed were "under reported."

The national economy, inflation and the continuing growth of social programs has been especially beneficial to Milford as the Federal aid has increased in the last Three years to our city residents who are increasing becoming dependent on public aid or just leaving the city.

On a final word thus far there are no official announcements for any candidates running for Mayor in 2011.

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