Letters to the Editor: Election 2017
Published 12:00 am, Sunday, October 22, 2017
Local elections are less than a month away, and I hope that Fairfielders have started to learn about the candidates’ positions and prior accomplishments. As a District 3 resident, I heartily endorse our Democratic slate of candidates for Representative Town Meeting.
Heather Dean, Matt Jacobs, Doug Jones and Sharon Pistilli will bring a substantial range of skills and experience in order to strike the balance between affordability and quality of life that makes Fairfield such a special place to live and raise a family. Parents of school-age children, seniors, all Fairfielders, can be confident that Heather, Matt, Doug and Sharon will work diligently for bipartisan solutions that will secure the future of our town.
Editor’s note: The letter writer is a member of the Board of Selectmen.
To the Editor:
Most people realize if they see a dog roaming unattended in their area that the dog is someone’s pet, and any good and kind person would either take the dog to the nearest animal control shelter or call the shelter. Some extremely kind people take the dog in and post a picture on numerous lost and found pets sites on the internet trying to reunite the dog with the family who owns and loves the dog.
Unfortunately, most people do not do the same for cats. People see cats roaming around and think they are either strays or feral and are up for grabs or pay no attention to them at all. Some will see a cat in their neighborhood and either begin feeding him or decide he is cute and take him home for a pet, never bothering to see if he is missing by a family that loves him.
Some don’t realize that many people, like me, have indoor/outdoor cats. We let our cats go out into nature like they are supposed to — to hunt, to explore and enjoy the outside, especially on a beautiful day. But sometimes they wander, and yes, some people will pick them up and take them to give them a home, not realizing that the family that already loves him dearly in their hearts and souls are out looking for him, searching high and low to bring him back to his home.
My beloved 1 1/2-year-old grey-and-white neutered Bunga went out on Oct. 1 in my neighborhood of Southport and has not come home! I have called every animal control shelter in my area to alert them in case he is brought in. I have his picture and story on multiple lost and found pet sites on the internet in our area. I have posters up in my neighborhood; have looked high and low in my area for over two weeks without success. I check the internet multiple times throughout the day to see if anyone has seen or found him.
There are so many cats missing on these websites and very few “found.”
Whenever you see an unfamiliar cat in your area, please stop and think that someone who loves him may be trying to find him. Call your local animal control/Humane Society to see if anyone is missing the cat. Take a picture and post it on any one of the numerous lost/found websites in your area. Let your heart lead you to do the right thing and help you reunite this pet with those who already have a special place in their family for him.
To the Editor:
True leadership is not about cutting small percentages out of the budget, hobbling the town, when we need to reserve funds. The current RTM leadership is presenting a paper tiger as a true tax savings, while underplaying the fact that this was done against the Republican-led finance committee’s advisement.
This removal of $820,000 from the town side budget’s contingency led to an average of $31 savings a year, per household. This amount is not worth losing library hours, public works support and support for the police and fire departments. Not to mention, the cut further tightened a lean budget in a time when it was well-known the state was having huge budget problems and our town would likely be affected.
Thanks to the governance of Mike Tetreau and team, true prudence in fiscal and social policy has led the way. This means that despite not having a commitment from the state as of yet, Fairfield operates with minimal disruption to our services. Fairfield has maintained the triple-A bond rating, as well — saving us actual money.
I call upon the town’s people to come out to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7, and champion the leadership and democratic values that make Fairfield such a great town.
To the Editor:
Tom Flynn has earned Fairfield’s support for another term on the Board of Finance. Tom has a strong understanding of Fairfield’s municipal budget; his experience will be essential to combat upcoming fiscal challenges. The instability at the state level has imposed financial stress upon our town. The governor has proposed eradicating millions of (our very own!) dollars in education funding as well as forcing the Fairfield taxpayer to pay the balance of the state’s unfunded liabilities. This is no time for conjecture or naiveté. We need a proven leader.
In addition to his 12 years (7 as Chair) serving the Board of Finance, Tom is a CPA and is a seasoned professional with CFO and CEO leadership experience. Currently, he is the Senior Director at a management consulting firm, focusing on corporate transformation and restructuring. This is exactly what Fairfield needs; innovative ideas that bring real results.
Tom’s family is firmly embedded in Fairfield and he has a vested interest in the success of the town. With your support, Fairfield will be in good hands. Vote for Tom Flynn.
To the Editor:
While Halloween can be a little scary with ghosts, witches and zombies running around your neighborhood, there is nothing scarier than the danger posed to your community when people get behind the wheel drunk.
Drunk driving crashes increase during holidays like Halloween, but you can do your part to keep our roads safe. Whether your plans involve a monster mash or a murder mystery, plan ahead to use a ride-share service, designated driver or public transportation to help get to and from your destination safely whenever alcohol is involved.
Together with Anheuser-Busch, we are reminding everyone that there is no excuse to drive drunk and it’s up to you to #GiveADamn and keep our roads safe for everyone this Halloween. Over the past 30 years, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesaler partners have invested more than $1 billion in the United States to promote alcohol responsibility and prevent drunk driving.
From everyone at Dichello Distributors Inc., we’re wishing you a hair-raising, spell-binding and safe Halloween!
Alcohol Awareness & Education Coordinator
Dichello Distributor, Inc.
To the Editor:
Fairfield lost a good friend last week in the passing of Bob Frigo after a short illness.
Following a successful career as a GE senior executive, Bob put his interpersonal and managerial skills to good use for our town. He was an asset to the town in many ways: serving as library trustee; co-chairman of the town’s Affordable Housing Committee; founder of the At Home in Fairfield group; one of the founders of Fairfield Senior Advocates and chairman of its Housing Committee. Bob was supportive of Bigelow Center plans and activities; it was his idea to develop a directory of available senior discounts, a now-popular Bigelow Center publication.
At a time when it is fashionable to be loud and opinionated, Bob was anything but that: the quintessential soft-spoken, mild-mannered, true gentleman of ages past. He opened doors through his kind demeanor, courtesy and diplomatic approach. He cared deeply that steady progress be made on important issues that inured to the long-term benefit of our town and those less fortunate than he.
Bob will be sorely missed by his friends, but the example he set will be carried on.
To the Editor:
I have spent a lot of time with Christine Vitale over the past 10 years — as members of the Junior League volunteering at Curiale School in Bridgeport; as parents sitting in the audience at Board of Education, Board of Finance and RTM meetings; as fellow PTA members — and in that time I have always been impressed by her energy, initiative and keen grasp of many complex educational issues, as well as her ability to be respectful of differing views and opinions.
If elected to the Board of Education, she will bring years of experience as a former middle school and high school PTA president, SEPTA representative, Board of Ed representative and PTA Council member, as well as a balanced perspective and the ability to rationally assess the difficult issues that the district will be facing. I hope you will join me in voting for Christine Vitale for the two-year seat on the Board of Education.
To the Editor:
Who is going to pay for the expansion of Fairfield’s sewage treatment plant? How do the residents living near the treatment facility feel about further expansion into their backyards?
And what about the impact on the school system and other town services? Why does town hall keep making decisions that will only drive down further our property values by raising the local tax rate?
The treatment plant is operating at 95 percent capacity today. The plans to expand it are already under quiet development in town hall. The change from commercial zoning to residential zoning on Commerce Drive will necessitate the expansion. Commerce Drive would better be named, these days, as Foolish Way.
After the Democrats appointed Tetreau to first selectman in the summer of 2011, he asked the taxpayers for more money to pay for the cleanup at the ill-fated Fairfield Metro Center. After Ken Flatto resigned in the spring of 2011, “somebody or somebodies “ in town hall changed the cleanup standards from residential to commercial use. The change simply cost more. Somebody had to pay for the unauthorized change in scope or the town would get sued.
I say “somebody or somebodies” because Tetreau’s latest sidekick on the Board of Selectmen, Kevin Kiley, headed up the Board of Finance look-see into that scope change back in 2011. Kiley insisted that the look-see find no accountability anywhere. The work was being done. After all, part of the failure belonged to Kiley’s BOF, which, by town charter, is supposed to assure proper purchasing controls are in place in town hall. Kiley wanted to pay the bill and move on..
The fact that the scope change was made so that multistory residential could be built at the FMC, at no cost to the private owner, was of no concern to Kiley. Kiley is happiest when he just blindly raises taxes. And make no mistake, multistory residential is what Tetreau had up his sleeve for the FMC from the outset. And that slippery slope has just kept on sliding.
The FMC did solve the train stations’ parking capacity problem in town. The town now has more than sufficient capacity to meet the demand. However, the parking problem could have been solved for a fraction of what town and state government have thrown at the problem and keeps throwing at it. On everything else, the FMC has been a failure, as so many of us had warned.
Commercial development at the FMC was supposed to bring in $6 million additional revenue to the town each year and cost the taxpayer nothing extra. That never happened and never will. The FMC was supposed to end congestion in Fairfield Center. That hasn’t happened, either, and it never will.
Town government is a mess. And the state does not have the money to keep bailing it out. Even the Democrats are coming to that realization. We need a new direction out of town hall.