Sunday, November 20, 2005

News Briefs

Here's a few stories from around the state:

Enfield Town Manager Forced Out

Enfield's Democratic town council majority was successful in forcing longtime town manager Scott Shanley to resign. Shanley had been at odds with the Democratic council over budget issues. There is coverage by the Journal-Inquirer here and here.

I'm not happy with this. We have one year to go until revaluation, which is going to be a nightmare. Shanley was an experienced town manager who worked well with government and town staff. Breaking in a new town manager at this time is going to be very difficult.

The entire point of having a town manager is to have a full-time administrator to run the staff and give the town council good, nonpolitical advice on how the town should be run. Shanley was a fine example of this sort of town manager. The Democrats' push to remove a competent manager and, presumably, replace him with someone who agrees with their way of thinking, politicizes the position to a degree that I find troubling.

From a purely political standpoint, Mayor Patrick Tallarita is for a brief moment acting like a strong mayor (in the governmental format sense). Enfield, which has found stability under the council/manager form of government, doesn't need a strong mayor.

Jack Stone Rejects Selectman Seat

Rep. John "Jack" Stone (R-Fairfield) rejected the seat he won on the Fairfield board of selectmen in the November election. Stone lost the first selectman's race to incumbent Kenneth Flatto (D), but polled enough votes to win a selectman's seat. Stone, who represents the 134th House District, has said he'll finish his term in the legislature instead of sitting on the Fairfield board.

The 134th is on the list of races to watch in 2006. It will become more interesting if Stone decides not to seek another term.

Simmons Sounds off Against War Critic

CT Blue has video of U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons (R-2nd) attacking war critic John Murtha for demoralizing the troops with his dissent. Judge for yourself whether or not this is justified... and whether or not we're going to stop talking about Vietnam any time soon.

Campaign Finance...zzz...

Campaign finance reform is still stuck in park following another go-round of squabbling between legislators and the governor's office.

If this keeps up, the regular session is going to start without campaign finance reform put to a vote. We might as well have a full-time legislature at this point.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Simmons sounds off against war critic???"

did you actually watch/listen to the speech. At no time did Simmons "sound off" or "attack" Rep. Murtha.

Simmons rightfully expressed his opinion as to why immediate withdrawl from Iraq isn't a good idea.

you are usually fair-minded, but on this one you missed the ball.

Genghis Conn said...

Anonymous,

There's no direct attack, but go back and watch the first ten-fifteen seconds or so, in which Simmons is talking about how demoralizing criticism of Vietnam was to the troops during that war. His message is obviously aimed at current war critics.

The point of the House's exercise on Friday was to answer Rep. Murtha's call for withdrawl, and Simmons does so--albeit without naming him. It still seems like he's sounding off against a war critic to me.

What bothers me most about this particular debate is that the raw emotions of the Vietnam era have colored the judgement of both sides.

Anonymous said...

Genghis,

I agree with you on the Shanley "firing" and call it what you want but he was fired. I had the good fortune to work with Scott when I was a Councilman and we were very fortunate. As you said, he was a straight shooter and didn't play politics. Beyond that, his knowledge in administrational management is second to none and his experience in town would have been cruticial in the upcoming reval, as you stated. Unfortunately "Captain Tallarita" as my former Council colleague Alice Egan said (" I fell like I am watching Captain Tallarita moving deck chairs on the Titanic.") has an ego the size of China and wants things his way. I think he sees his re-election with his 2nd 7-4 majority as a mandate to do whatever the hell he pleases. The thing that gets me is of the current council, 5 people haven't even worked for the man including 2 democrats who have called for his ouster, Deputy Mayor Ken Hilinski and District Four Councilman Doug Maxellon. Speaking of Ken, funny to read that he says the residents will just have to "trust the Democrats..." and Patrick keeps talking about how HE needed to make this move...yet when sworn in they both vowed to include the ENTIRE Town Council. I happen to know for a fact that the Republicans have not been included in any discussions on the subject. And Patrick claims to be a leader? What ever happened to open government? It's a sad day for Enfield indeed, not just because of the Shanley "firing" but the emergence of the premadonna that is our Mayor. To me the most telling tale of this whole thing is the last paragraph of the Journal Inquirer article where Former Democrat Mayor Bill Vayda slams the current Democrat majority on the council for this idiotic move. I just pray that in 2 years time the residents are blinded by the rhetoric of these Democrats.

Blue in CD2 said...

Some news from the world of Gubinatorial candidates -

New Haven mayor withdraws pay-raise plan

NEW HAVEN -- Mayor John DeStefano Jr. had quietly asked for a raise, but he now says, forget about it.

Without fanfare, the mayor recently advised New Haven's aldermen he'd like a four-percent raise --- from $115,000.

The mayor's spokesman tells the New Haven Register today it "made sense" not to take a raise. The city raised taxes by three mills this year.

DeStefano is running for the Democratic nomination for governor.


http://www.wfsb.com/Global/story.asp?S=4146471

4% on top of $115K is $119,600

Blue in CD2 said...

Here is an extended article about this story that just came up on the New Haven Register, it gives a little more background on the issue.

DeStefano backs off request for raise
Andy Bromage , Register Staff

NEW HAVEN — Mayor John DeStefano Jr. has withdrawn a request for a 4 percent raise that would have bumped his salary from $115,000 to $119,887.
DeStefano, through a spokesman, said he would not seek a biannual pay increase "in light of the city’s finances and in light of the fact that taxes were recently raised."

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"Even though it’s (under $5,000) a year and doesn’t break the bank, it made sense not to take a raise," said Derek Slap, the mayor’s press aide. "It’s the best thing for the city and sends a message to taxpayers."

DeStefano was re-elected to a seventh term in a landslide victory Nov. 8 that marked an all-time low for voter turnout.

By charter, raises for the mayor and city clerk must be approved by the Board of Aldermen as an ordinance amendment by Jan. 1 after Election Day. City Clerk Ron Smith will also forgo a raise, Slap said.

The Human Resources Department quietly submitted the mayor’s request, signed by chief of staff Karen DuBois Walton, to the Board of Aldermen recently, before withdrawing it last week.

The mayor sought a $4,887 raise, equal to 4.25 percent, in line with raises city school teachers received this year, Slap said.

New Haven taxpayers were hit with a 3-mill tax increase this year, and raising the mayor’s salary could have played badly for DeStefano, a Democrat who is running for governor in 2006.

Slap said DeStefano’s decision in no way related to his campaign for governor, or the fact that, if elected to that office, DeStefano would depart City Hall for Hartford mid-term.

"This is really about the city budget," Slap said.

DeStefano’s last pay raise was in 2003, when it increased $5,000 from $110,000 to the current $115,000. In 2001, aldermen approved a $12,397 (13 percent) pay raise, but DeStefano later took a voluntary $5,500 pay cut as city layoffs mounted, leaving him earning $104,500.

Going further back, aldermen approved pay raises for DeStefano in 1999 (6 percent), 1997 (21 percent), and 1995 (17 percent).

DeStefano is presently the highest paid non-school board employee on the city’s payroll. Other big city mayors’ salaries are as follows: Hartford, $125,000; Stamford, $113,518; and Bridgeport, $108,723, according to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Aldermen had mixed reactions to DeStefano’s decision.

Board President Jorge Perez, D-5, said bluntly, "The mayor made a wise decision, taking everything into account."

Fair Haven Alderman Joseph Jolly, D-14, said the board probably should revisit the mayor’s salary, though perhaps not this year.

"Mayor is an important job and they probably need to make a little more than the current salary," Jolly said.

Westville Alderman Carl Goldfield, D-29, applauded the mayor for setting a good example.

"We’re in for some tough budget years coming up," said Goldfield, who is expected to win election as board president in January. "He is exercising caution and hopefully in the future we’ll be able to give him a raise and we won’t have to worry about it."

Genghis Conn said...

Gah! Please provide a link and an excerpt instead. Copying an entire article, even for this sort of purpose, is considered plagiarism.

MVD said...

more on Simmons defense of the Iraq War at:
http://2cd.lonseidman.com/?q=node/868

Anonymous said...

Simmons also directly sounded off against Murtha in an AP story referenced at the Second District Watch:

http://2cd.lonseidman.com/?q=node/865

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton=Rob Simmons re:Iraq

http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/11/21/build/nation/39-clinton-iraq.inc