LETTERS: Wallingford politics, Congrats to Southington’s Chris Palmieri

LETTERS: Wallingford politics, Congrats to Southington’s Chris Palmieri

Proud to circle the wagons


Since 2019 began, Jared Liu has written five R-J op-eds totaling some 3,700 words (yes, I counted). As we all know, quantity does not necessarily equal quality. As Steve Knight and I and others have pointed out, much of what Liu writes is either blatant misinformation or fantasy. Many of his claims are easily refuted because he has not bothered to talk to the people who could supply correct information. Those of us who are subject to far lower word limits cannot challenge all of Liu’s assertions, but we do what we can to put the truth out there. For our efforts, we’re labeled “the usual suspects” who are “armed and ready” (Councilor Testa, Letters 6/23). Truth matters. Integrity matters. Facts matter. Contrary to Testa’s allegation, it’s really not hard to get the facts if one wants them. It’s disingenuous of Liu to misrepresent easily verifiable facts; to criticize the current administration and its employees for doing things that they are actually not doing; and to suggest that the town should be doing a particular thing (as if it isn’t) when, in fact, the town is already doing it. Maybe he hopes nobody is paying attention. That’s not the kind of leadership Wallingford needs. Read Liu’s words very carefully. He uses words like “invest”, “secure”, “construct” and “create” frequently. Those, and others, are euphemisms for “spend”.  His claim that every idea will pay for itself is not realistic. So where will the money come from? I could respect honest policy differences; it is Liu’s false narratives and inaccuracies that I find objectionable. If caring enough to try to rebut false information, pie-in-the-sky fantasies, and distasteful insinuations by a mayoral candidate makes me an armed and ready usual suspect who is circling the wagons, I am very proud indeed.

Patricia J. Kohl, Wallingford

Start asking some questions


In 2013, the Town of Wallingford commenced an arbitration proceeding against the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (“CMEEC”), the entity responsible for purchasing power for the Wallingford Electric Division from 1994 until 2014.  Wallingford claimed that CMEEC had been overcharging it for years. When Wallingford began its arbitration, officials estimated that the Town would recover $18 million.  The actual recovery paled in comparison to the Town’s original estimates.  The Town only received $3.67 million.  When the $2.85 million that the Town spent in attorney’s fees is taken into account, the actual award was a measly $800,000, a far cry from the original $18 million estimate.  What went wrong?  Why did we not receive the $18 million?  Was a reasonable settlement ever offered?  When and under what terms?  These questions are important not just because of the gross discrepancy between the estimated recovery and the actual recovery, but also because there is a suggestion by the arbitrator in the written decision that Town officials misunderstood the terms of the agreement between the Town and CMEEC.  There is also some suggestion that the Town’s delay in pursuing arbitration limited the amount that it could recover.  These issues should be very concerning to every Wallingford resident.  Surprisingly, the Town Council — the very entity charged with seeking answers to these questions — has been completely silent. Why have members shown no concern regarding a $17 million discrepancy?  Are members worried about what they may find?  Are they worried the answers to these questions may implicate them or political allies?  Members need to remember that they represent Wallingford residents, not themselves.  The people of Wallingford deserve to know what happened. The Town Council needs to start asking some questions. 

Jaime Hine, Wallingford

A big thumbs-up to Palmieri


Congratulations to Chris Palmieri on his appointment as principal of DePaolo Middle School. He earned it and is certainly qualified for this position.

Big thumbs-up to seven members of the Southington School Board who voted for his appointment, acknowledging his credentials and many years of tireless dedication to DePaolo, all Southington students and the community. He demonstrates this by mentoring many students, leading the middle school theater program, leading the Apple Harvest Festival Committee, vice-chairing the Middle School Building Projects, councilman/(chair) and others too numerous to mention. 

Big thumbs-down to those elected leaders and anonymous cyber cowards who attack his ability to perform many functions. Doesn’t Chris have the right to determine how much he can handle on his plate? Bigger thumbs-down to those elected leaders who state or imply conflict of interest in his performing duties for both the Town Council and DePaolo. Some of these same elected leaders have spouses or other family members who are employed by the town or school system as teachers, school administrators, department heads, etc. Are there conflicts of interest regarding their spouses/relatives?  

As a parent of DePaolo grads, I witnessed strong, capable leadership that Chris Palmieri, working with former principal Frank Pepe (congrats on his well-deserved recent appointment as SHS principal), many teachers and staff demonstrated in re-establishing stability and a strong learning environment at DePaolo.  

I thank Chris for all he does for our students and community. Keep up the good work, “Mr. P.”

James Bowes, Southington