Letters to the Editor
Return common sense
On Thursday, Aug. 12, from noon to 8 p.m. at all polling locations, the voters in Fairfield will have the opportunity to bring common sense back to the way we borrow and spend money.
In June, the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) narrowly approved $350,000 to bond money (borrow) to construct softball and other athletic fields in Hoyden's Hill.
How can we let this happen when:
"¢ Our country is in the midst of a prolonged recession;
"¢ Persistent unemployment continues;
"¢ Our first responders, Fairfield police and fire departments, had their budgets cut;
"¢ Our teacher's took a zero percent pay increase during their budget negotiations;
"¢ The RTM just voted down the Fairfield Fire Department's union contract and the Town Hall employees' contract because of issues with post-retirement benefits and the its burden on the taxpayer.
Further, foreclosures are on the rise, seniors and others are being taxed out of Fairfield and the state budget crisis is just as bad, and that will affect the town sooner rather than later. How in good conscience can our Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance and our RTM bond for a softball field during these economic times? What is the message we're sending to our children: don't worry, we can't pay for it so we'll just bond it?
Our town, state and country are in this financial crisis because we continue to spend or borrow money we don't have and ask the taxpayers to pay by raising our taxes.
Please vote "No" on Aug. 12 and demand our government act with common sense.
Blame for Stratfield situation misplaced
If letter to the editor writer Len Theis believes that Stratfield's image is suffering [Fairfield Citizen, July 28], he should have taken the time to find out why, instead of blaming First Selectman Ken Flatto.
The only one responsible is Walgreens, which made a foolish business decision. There is no need for a drugstore at that corner, and if they succeed in putting it up, it will only be a matter of time before it fails.
I now drive to Trumbull to buy groceries because I do not want spend three hours in the super-duper whooper store to pick up a few items.
It's also obvious that Mr. Theis never attended any of the zoning meetings on this issue, or maybe he didn't notice the hundreds of people who were there, all of whom were against Walgreens, except one person. At one meeting, so many people came that they were turned away because there was no more room.
I want to give a big "thank you" to Ken Flatto and Julie DeMarco and all others who worked so hard to help our community.
Bonding is not for
Inappropriate. Disrespectful. These are two words that describe the $350,000 that the RTM narrowly approved to construct a dedicated girls softball field and facilities on the open space property owned by the town on Hoydens Lane.
It is inappropriate for the town to bond $350,000 on a non-essential recreational facility given the current state of the economy. Fairfield's annual debt service rose from 7.3 percent of the annual budget in 2002-03 to 10.8 percent of the annual budget in 2009-10. The annual debt service is scheduled to rise another $4.3 million by fiscal year 2014-15.
I do not spend money that I do not have, especially on recreational items, and the Town of Fairfield shouldn't either. Spending money that we don't have greatly contributed to the economic crisis that we are currently facing.
It is disrespectful to bond $350,000 for a recreational facility when the Fairfield teachers took a 0 percent raise, over $193,000 was cut from the town's operating budget, $3 million was cut from the education budget by the Board of Selectmen, $250,000 was cut for a bathroom renovation at Dwight Elementary School that would have made the bathrooms ADA compliant and $75,000 was cut for a new roof at the homeless shelter run by Operation Hope.
Scheduling may be difficult, but the girls have not been denied access to current field space. Continued bonding of such non-essential projects may deny these very same girls the chance to ever raise their own families in Fairfield due to the increased tax burden these projects will bring to the town.
Tell your elected officials that enough is enough. Show up and vote "No" to the referendum on Aug. 12, from noon to 8 p.m. at your regular polling place.
On Thursday, Aug. 12, registered Republicans, Democrats and Independents must vote "No" at their usual voting locations on the referendum for $350,000 to build a field for girls' softball.
Why? Because bonding, which raises taxes, should be reserved for essential items such as schools, police cars, fire engines and teachers' salaries. All of these items serve the entire community -- Police, fire and the Board of Education, among others -- and all suffered significant budget cuts when the town budget was finalized earlier this year. The ball field, a nonessential item, would serve only a specialized group of 350 young people, and should be financed through the budgetary process of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Furthermore, times are tough for many Fairfield residents. I have two friends who have had to get reverse mortgages on their houses in order to remain in Fairfield. Another friend, in his 60s, was laid off some months ago. With no job in sight, health insurance for him and his family runs out at the end of August. None of these folks want taxes to go up even one dime. These are scary times.
And the town wants to bond $350,000 for a softball field! We need fiscal restraint, fiscal responsibility. The ball field will come to pass, but bonding is not the way to go.
Vote "No" on Aug. 12.
Thanks for support of Connecticut Challenge
I am the mother of Jessica Ellison, the 15-year-old cancer survivor you referenced in your editorial "Pain is my pleasure" [Fairfield Citizen, July 30]. At this time I would like to thank you and the other 700-plus riders who participated in last week's Connecticut Challenge supporting cancer survivorship statewide.
Our experience with cancer is that the end of the treatment protocol is only a milestone, not the end of the cancer experience. Harsh chemotherapy drugs, radiation and surgery have many long-term complications which often do not surface until years later. Surviving cancer is a lifelong task. Funds raised by the Connecticut Challenge will be used to provide medical guidance as we navigate the road ahead.
Many people are familiar with the dark side of cancer. However, we have discovered that there also exist rays of light. The gathering of cyclists and volunteers who recently contributed their time, efforts, financial contributions and even sore backsides to support cancer survivors is one shining example. Our family was extremely moved.
As a final note, I would just like to add that Jessica had a great time. The energy and camaraderie were contagious. What better way to celebrate life?