Friday, May 22, 2015

Milford, Meet Your New Government!

Developers, affordable housing projects and civil discord is the theme in 2015. Last night I attended City Hall, and there was a full house of over 100 People in attendance. Everyone was against a New Jersey Developer, and a high powered Lawyer. Still, in his very professional presentation along with his paid experts, a controversial argument was made to sell his bosses project to the Planning and Zoning Commission in Milford.

One of the key anti 8-30G organizers, June O'Connell was in attendance. In hand she had petitions and documented proof that these types of projects not only destroy our animal sanctuaries, but they create traffic congestion, noise and light pollution, and are a direct assault on pets and wild animals whom are expected to get hit by cars in increasing numbers.

Developers have faced such an uphill battle on these projects that they have resorted to the courts and an obscure Law called 8-30G. If people knew that 8-30G was more than just a law, but rather a tool used by builders to sue cities like ours, they would be appalled.

Lets get you up to speed here on 8-30G because in my opinion its much more than just a tool of a socially liberal agenda to colonize unwilling communities. It is rather, a wrecking ball to all that we hold dear, it overrides the decisions made by our democratically elected leaders, and it invalidates any and all petitions we submit regardless of the number of signatures. It destroys our woods, overloads our sewer systems, taxes our Police and Fire Department and creates ever increasing demands on our government for services that have already been slightly cut each year due to fiscal constraints and budgetary challenges within our city. Most upsetting it changes the social makeup of our community by bringing in a populace, both legal and illegal, that statistically will vote for a liberal agenda of increased taxes and more free social services.

Developers, however are unconcerned, their goal is to use this Law to MAKE MONEY, they build in areas where they could not ordinarily build under the legitimate laws of the community. Many accept the guaranteed rental payouts by HUD and section 8 tenants. Many could care less about the nature of the people who rent their property, even if they are fresh out of prison, a child molester or an undocumented family bused in by FEMA. We are told that the people who will be living in these complexes are Teachers, Firefighters, and upstanding members of our community, however, when looking at similar developments it becomes clear that this is just another of many lies. Consider this, if this is true why are the people of Milford being called Racist or rather intolerant?

Most frustrating for the people of Milford is that despite the repeated denials by our local Planning and Zoning Boards, developers just get their permits approved by the Superior Courts. The builders claim a wrongful denial of their projects under the 8-30G Affordable Housing Statue of the state of Connecticut. The judges almost always side with the developers who then can build exactly what they want. This by decree makes an unelected Judge our government robbing us of our right to self govern.

The issue here, at least for me is a matter of principle, a matter of (Historically Speaking) our new Manifest Destiny, only this time its developers who are colonizing our cities and towns because they feel its their right to do so with whomever will settle into their objectionable projects. Projects not born of sound Democratic policies, nor built with the consent of the governed but rather built by decree of a tyrannical judge hiding behind a tyrannical law. When it comes to 8-30G I ask how can a law be just when so many are openly against it?

The days ahead, I expect are going to be rocky. The Developers keep submitting 8-30G petitions and the game is afoot. The object of the game is to garner enough points so we win a moratorium of 4 years. Then we play again and again, at least until the only thing left to do in Milford is to "vote with your feet" and leave the state. I suppose if nothing changes, we should all save our pictures so one day we can remember how Milford used to have woods, and a pretty serene country setting.

In conclusion I will say, that its better for an elected official to defend our honor as citizens, and  to do so by defending our community by voting against any projects that threatens to destroy the public trust, and/or render the power of the P and Z as celebratory. Personally, I believe we need to deny these permits on principle alone, thus exposing the fact that the Superior Court and 8-30G is our government and not the Planning and Zoning Commission. The people of Milford deserve to learn the truth, the type of truth David Sulkis our  corrupt "City Planner"  who in a recent memo to a Developer all but said (siding with developers) these projects are a "certainty" and will be "approved" no matter how much we object.

With all this going on. Where are our State Reps? Where are our Senators? Why are they MIA at these meetings?

See a mere sample of these references on objections to similar Milford projects now with thousands of signatures against them.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Milford Independents Retire Davis and Maroney

The Milford Independent Party was the Kingmaker on two Milford state seats. These were the State Rep. Races for the 117th and the 119th. Congrats to Pam Staneski and Charles Fearraro both of whom were put over the top by the Milford Independent Party. See the local results at the link below. This year marks a new milestone in local politics and the importance of the role the MITC is playing in local politics. Milford for the first time in many years has Two Republican and Two Democrat State Reps in Hartford giving the city balanced representation. To all of you who voted Independent, keep up the good work and keep voting Independent, your vote had a lot of weight this year.

Click HERE for the 2014 Milford election results.


Although victory is sweet for the victors, its only proper we thank those who served and if I can keep your attention a bit longer I think it is only proper that I add some additional clarification on how we ended up flipping 1/2 the state reps in our town.

Clearly this was a bad year for Democrats in general, and try to understand and appreciate that there is going to be some criticism coming from the individuals who were defeated. This criticism is likely going to be shared by their respective political party as well as their campaign leaders and financiers.

Therefore, I will answer those critics by saying what I have always said, that each year an invitation is sent out and shared with the leadership of each respective party with a stake in representing the people of our town. We also send a personal telegram via U.S. Mail inviting every voter registered with the Independent Party. We also notify the City Clerk and do our best to get the local papers to notice our meetings.

The Republicans chose to attend our annual caucus, and the Democrats declined citing issues with the leadership of the Independent party and their belief that we are not representative of the broader party that represents true Independents. This statement was made and documented in the Milford Mirror, see article dated September 23, 2014 written by Jill Dion in the Milford Mirror.

This decision by the Democrats, in my opinion, seems to be in conflict with E-Mails I received from both Kim Rose and Gayle Slossberg, each of which had the endorsements of the Independent party in previous elections. Both Kim and Gayle said they could not attend, citing personal scheduling conflicts. However, Democratic party Chair Richard Smith indicated that THEY decided  "not to seek any endorsement of the Milford Independent Party"   and had gone on to give his reasons despite the fact that all four of our state Reps Republican and democrat, have, or have had, in the past received our endorsement.

The decision of the Democratic Party leadership to not participate in the 2014 MITC caucus may have been directly responsible for the defeat of two of their candidates, who technically won the election on their own merits but lost the general election on the Independent line, a line that was assigned by handful of registered Independents who voted at the MITC caucus. Their vote was likely due to the fact that they had heard nothing from either Davis or Maroney.

While I often hear harsh criticism by the Democratic party for my personal political views, and my conservative values I always respond with the same statement, that my views are solely my own and not the views of the candidates or the party as a whole. In the past we have endorsed several Democrats including Suzanne Manning, Kim Rose, and Gayle Slossberg (who worked to get the signatures required for the Independent Party State Senate seat in Milford) see HERE for the manning endorsement in 2011.

With this election wrapped up I will conclude that it remains the goal, scope and purpose of the Milford Independent party to push forward with our mission of electing "Honest people" to promote "Honest Government." Our creed is simple, we do our best to choose candidates based on the premise that they do not "lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do." The caucuses exist for the sole purpose of having an annual open and constructive bi-partisan forum. One where we encourage the candidates, and current elected officials to constructively confront one another on the issues. The voters at the caucus are encouraged to keep an open mind make their ballot choices accordingly.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Milford Independent Party grows by 10%

This is something to celebrate, especially since the Independent party has been solely run mostly of my own devices. With few people, and I mean very few people writing or pushing the local Milford Independent Party besides myself and a handful of dedicated fans and helpers, our collective party still grew by 10 percent this year.

Imagine what gains could have been made if just a few more people as dedicated, and as committed  as myself, decided to talk to their friends and family. Perhaps print them a Voter Registration form, and encouraged them to register for the Milford Independent Party.

The big surprise, and my source of inspiration, continues to be the people of Milford who never seem to be lacking in magic, and I must admit, I have had my doubts about how long this party would last. When we compare ourselves to other minor parties such as the Green Party, Independence Party, the CT for Lieberman Party etc... We realize that there is something truly magical happening with the Independent Party, not only here in Milford but in the state of Connecticut as well.

As excited as I am about our paltry growth, of which amounts to a rank swelling membership of 231 registered party members, I am also realizing that this number is emblematic of a growing discord with party politics. So many people, young and old are growing weary, and disenfranchised by the leadership in America. Record numbers are registering as Unaffiliated wanting nothing to do with any sort of political party. We need not say more than the dismal approval ratings of our legislative bodies, such a Congress and its 7% approval rating.

People fundamentally know something is wrong in America and the people of Milford know that this is about to become an even bigger local problem. Today’s news ought to be called “Tales of the Washington Crypt.” We need not mention every dismal, enigmatic, perplexing, and outrageous headline that we read or watch on the vitriolic debate channels that dare call themselves news, but rather we should come to embrace the fact that we have each other, and strive to make all our politics local. Perhaps if we get it right here in Milford, other towns and eventually our state will emulate us. I believe that the highest form of flattery is to imitate someone you envy.

To explain what I mean, I will first stress that how we care for one another, treat one another, how we show our respect for our community and defend our town from those outside influences that would seek to exploit us for their own agenda, is one of those things. This is what we should discuss as a community moving forward in the years ahead. We should work on making the decisions of our local legislative bodies stand firm, without outside veto’s, conditions, overrides, contractual obligations etc.. My point here is that the destiny of our community ought to rest with us and not the state, federal, or especially a foreign treaty. This is what I believe is worth fighting for, this is what I believe is the root of freedom, and the burden we share together. If you think Freedom is Free, than I suggest you visit Arlington Cemetery.

Milford is that special place by the sea, historically significant, quaint, and not borne of those developers who would tear down our last standing tree for a profit. I believe our town is comprised of good people, People that I find to be truly resilient in the face of this kind of adversity. Nothing speaks better, or demonstrates this better than the multiple relief efforts of the last few hurricanes, those who fought to save our woods, our heritage, and need I mention the amazing unity borne of those forces imposed on us by nature’s water and snow.

It is with this fraternal and kindred spirit, that today’s headlines, likened to these natural disasters, cause me minimal loss of sleep. I am happy to say that there is no better place to live and work than right here in the city of Milford.

With this said, I will reconnect with my normalcy bias and continue about this cheerful rant of mine with the upmost sincerity, and highest and most positive attitude. I shall move forward today with a steadfast commitment to all that is positive. To that which brings me joy and to that which deserves my upmost attention.  So moving forward let’s focus on gratitude, peace in our lives, and a building of lasting friendships with people who are committed to that terrific motto of "Honest People for Honest Government."

For those who may not know, that phrase is not just words on our banner, it’s not a promise or a commitment; it’s an amazing quality of a good person. We would hope that through Honesty, through not tolerating those who lie, those who cheat or those who steal, we ourselves would lead by example rather than by scandal. Honesty is that first step, in lighting the way for succeeding generations to follow this one.

In conclusion, I will say that only through us and our actions, can our community become a better, safer, and more enjoyable place to live and work. We therefore need to look no further than our friends and neighbors, our children and parents, our aunts and uncles and those we hold dear, for the inspiration we need to succeed in all that we do. In the end it is you who can make a difference, it also may be you who make or break the local headlines, and it is you who can help to expose or protect our city from harm.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Milford Developers Should Have No Right to Ruin Milford

There has been a constant and outgoing outcry over what Developers can and cannot do in Milford. Personally I have and will always remain an advocate of individual property rights and support the rights of homeowners to do as they see fit to do on their own property;  so long as, what they choose to do is reasonable, logical and does not infringe on the freedom and liberty of their neighbors.

This is where the issue of Giant corporations and mega developments under the color of law come in, mainly 8-30G or what should have been named “the Slumlord Dream Act.” The idea of Affordable housing is a fair and just cause. The state has crafted such laws with the intent to help low income residents in our state. Ct has a very interesting mix of people, from the very wealthy in Fairfield County, to the very poor in cities like Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport.

Very soon the influx of refugees from Central America will be looking for housing as well. These low skilled workers will pose a significant challenge to the housing markets everywhere. Many of these individuals are un-educated non English speaking laborers, and will be struggling to compete in a market that is becoming increasingly automated by machines, robots and computers. The future of unskilled labor in America is in question, as is the challenges posed by those in College and Grad school today, whom are also burdened with over One Trillion in student loan debt.

 So the dynamic has become somewhat of a paradox that limits and hinders all but Japanese style living in cramped and compact quarters. This should also bring into question the term “Affordable,” is this sincere or is this "code" for developers to make their mega construction projects more socially palatable. We also must wonder and consider who 8-30G was written for, the Developers or the Poor? I think if you follow the money you will get an answer that is “crystal clear.”

Overdevelopment follows a cycle, cities become dense, quality of life is denigrated, our open space is decimated and our taxes are all but abated. Congestion and traffic and noise pollution on our roads and bridges will require more maintenance and repair, while those liberals who sought out to set housing victims free will watch those they championed toil and remain in despair.

America is a place where people come to aspire and dream, this is a place where Freedom and rule of Law are what ought to be. We look at one another and see where we all came from, most Americans have their roots on Ellis Island others won lotteries for citizenship and some made America their home by way of family and marriage. To live and work in America is an honor, a privilege, and a blessing. It’s not a right, an entitlement or a debt owed to someone.

No matter how we have come to be here in America, and for many of us Milford, everyone desires to live in an affordable home with their family or perhaps on their own terms. Everyone has a right to survive, and everyone has a right to pursue their own happiness as they see fit.

Right now here in our Great city, many of us feel that our environment, and open space are more valuable than the erection of those housing projects that will densely pack in countless people into our community for a hefty profit to a developer or corporation.

Many of us have and will continue to argue that Milford already has enough affordable housing despite the false and misrepresented figures offered by our local Developers. Some things they fail to consider are the record low interest rates afforded first time home buyers, the countless HAMP modifications that made existing homes affordable, the innumerable houses in town that sold for under $350,000.00 and of course the myriad of other places one can live and work for a fraction of the cost of living in our state. This should all be proof enough that our state and town is doing just fine.

Rarely do we read in the paper that families are complaining about the lack of affordable housing, but we do constantly hear about builders and their lawyers fighting our P&Z boards and writing nasty letters accusing innocent people of the vulgarities of racism, bigotry and the like vitriol that I personally believe is their disdain for free thinking people whom have been awakened to the reality that these Developers are just bullies and have little to no interest in keeping homes affordable.

With all this said I therefore must applaud the people of our community to have the insight and forethought to see this state statue for what it is… a legal tool that greedy developers abuse for their own rational interests. It gives me great delight to see the people of Milford fight and fight back as hard as the developers do. This, my friends, is the way to remind the bullies with bulldozers that we decide what is best for our town NOT THEM. Keep up the good fight, because this is not yet over!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Milford High School Merger Considered

Some years ago, I wrote an article here on this blog discussing the merger of the two High Schools. This discussion was at a time when few saw that our student population was in a sustainable decline. This decline has now arrived and a Long Range Planning Committee has taken it to task. Milford Patch has been the local sounding board for numerous objections, conclusions, and criticisms of ideas proposals and suggestions they have thus far put forward, none-the-less the issues of limited resources, and financial strains are are the forefront of how to get the best result for Milford's future pupils.

Thus far it has become very clear that Milford has its share of critics, including Mr. Chaucer who is yet again on record objecting to the High School merger and leading the opposition at town hall meetings where he is very clear about his opinions. This issue was on record some years ago, at the link below I have documented Mr. Chaucers concerns as I have my own.

There is no doubt that our kids deserve a world class school, and there is no doubt in my mind that big changes are on their way in the not so distant future. These changes are just as I predicted they would arrive and no I did not read into the "Tea Leaves" to arrive at my conclusions as so many of my liberal critics would allege.

The answer to the present situation, and its associated future trends is rooted in Game Theory, whereby you look to important factors like school age kids born today, the state of the local economy, the mill rate, the financial obligations of the city, the condition of the present schools, and the assumption that our city planners make decisions that save money, serve the interest of the department of Education and yes you have a pretty solid idea that our schools are in for a big change like or not.

Regardless of what is decided, the only concern I have at the moment is that more adults than kids are involved in the open meetings of this long range planning committee. With the schools impacting the daily lives of our towns teenagers more so than their parents I grow weary that their input is not complete or capable of delivering a well rounded discussion with intelligent and viable solutions. Hopefully school board members will reach out to the Kids for their thoughts and ideas on their education future in Milford. This is the type of approach I would like to see happen if we are serious about coming up with a well rounded solution that as few people as possible will object to,

For now, however it is pretty clear that we are not going to satisfy everyone, and the ongoing debate and challenges are healthy regardless of what I personally believe. It is my hope that this long Range Planning Committee will be successful in its endeavors and our school system will emerge stronger and better despite the confusion and added complication of yet another controversial Bill Gates program called Common Core at the center of its deployment objectives.

The following article below is my position on Chaucer's thoughts back then, and they still stand today now that this committee is tasked to address some long overdue education restructuring concerns.

Ben Blake "The Snake" Raising Taxes AGAIN!

Why?! Bailouts of the pension fund. Raises to city workers, outrageously higher Obama care insurance costs and least but not least a Million dollars in interest on banker borrowed money... But do not worry Blake say's the picture could be "Rosier" next year as our schools are being targeted to pay for FAILED Liberal programs.

Despite the Obvious, Liberal Blake defender and Democratic Party Chair Richard Smith said the Pension fund was "Not being bailed out." Without citing a reason or perhaps being unaware,of what Brian McReady reported in his new Blog "Milford Now." McReady alleges to have personally sat down with Mayor Blake and has gone on record with the below reasons for why our taxes are going up "slightly" or in my opinion a rosy word for "slighting" the residents of Milford year over year incrementally rather than exercise the will and courage to stand up to the "long train of fiscal abuses" that are ongoing and never ending regardless of what party holds office. Here are the reasons for being "slighted" yet again by Blake:

1. The city has to make a $2 million payment to fund its pension fund for municipal employees next year. Blake said the city’s pension fund is still strong and ranked one of the top five in the state, but the city is still feeling the effects of the stock market decline from 2008-09.

2. The city has to pay an additional $1 million for debt service next year. The city’s debt service has grown with the recent completion of past capital projects including $95 million in major sewage treatment plant upgrades.

3. Health insurance costs continue to skyrocket costing taxpayers an additional $1 million next year. The national trend is a 9.2 percent to 9.7 percent average increase.

4. Contractual obligations, including salary increases for municipal employees, which averages 2-2.25 percent

My response, to Mr. Smith was as follows...

The best way to reduce your taxes, is to subsidize them with Liberal programs. There is the Home Affordability Modification Program (HAMP), EBT Benefits and EBT Cash Cards for Food and pocket Money, Energy Assistance through TEAM, Husky D Free healthcare (For Low income family members), Life line can eliminate your Cell Phone Bill, there are also Property Tax rebates at city hall for Veterans and Seniors, if all else fails sell your jewelry, get rid of a spare car or eat out and vacation less... or you could ask yourself do I really need to live in this Liberal Mecca called CT and Milford. Anyone who investigates life outside of CT quickly learns that life here is by far the hardest of most any state in America. Its going up a "little bit" every year no matter who you elect..... Keep voting Liberal Imbecile and this is what you get!



Despite the FACTs Rich is of this opinion..

"Of course Rocco. Brilliant as always. Hate to respond to one of your posts but I see you still say whacky things. No one is bailing out a pension fund and the small raises our hard working city employees are getting are not paid during a depression. And, wow, why didn't I think we should just tell contractors to do more work and ask for less pay. I'll write that down." 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Milfords CAFR Figures Continue to Disappoint

FACTS DO NOT LIE! Milford Liberals rack up city debt, and erode the balance sheet the same as their predecessor Liberal Republicans. The Graph below demonstrates that when it comes to eroding the city balance Sheet, Mayor Ben Blake keeps topping all previous records held by Jim Richetelli. The city is not yet bankrupt because we still have a few more assets than liabilities, but we are now 75% of the way there with Blake "the tax and spend snake." I predicted some years ago that under the present trends the city would be in big trouble around the end of 2014 at the latest, because that is when (under the present trends) Milford would have depleted its entire asset base. Every good accountant will tell you that when you have more Liabilities than assets you have a negative net worth or in other words you are bankrupt. This makes borrowing more difficult and creditors grow concerned about a responsible plan whereby the city can balance not only its budget but its books. This often results in a massive spike in property taxes, credit downgrades and a decline in services. The future of Milford looks puzzling with this administration at the city helm. We may want to think about fixing this problem before it fixes us. The source of these reports are the annual CAFR's located on the city website and the town public library. 

To enlarge the graph click the Photo Click HERE for direct link to the 2013 CAFR Also a larger Image is available here