As the summer season comes to a close, I would like to thank the neighbors and families who participated in the city’s first community garden at the corner of Meriden’s Liberty and Center streets. Working together, this project helped teach the children and families how to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers. The garden gave the neighborhood and community an opportunity to work together in creating a common place where they took pride in their garden. I would like to give a big thanks to Larry Pelletier. The garden would not have been a success without his guidance, dedication and passion. Also, kudos to the many garden sponsors who contributed towards the building of the garden. I am hoping we see more community gardens within the city next year. (The writer is a member of Meriden’s Lower Eastside Watchdogs Neighborhood Association.)
Regarding any controversy concerning the Town of Wallingford having high taxes and placing blame on the mayor: I remembered the Charter, and my career with the Town of Wallingford, and working with my department head, preparing department budgets, presenting them to the mayor and final justification to the town council. There were mayoral cuts, some restored by the town council. The town council would then vote on a final budget, setting the tax rate. I remembered the mayor could either sign the budget, do nothing and let the budget as passed by the council take effect, or veto the budget. I recall the town council increasing department budgets, with the largest increases to the Board of Education. I recall projects the mayor advised not to fund (due to the economic considerations to the taxpayers) were passed by the town council despite his warnings.
Pursuant to the Charter, the mayor and town council are a part of any tax increases or decreases the setting of the tax rate. Oh, the rhetoric used in political mudslinging. Councilors have made statements on the record they were not voting on a final budget because it made no difference. Remember those party-line statements?
Well, any councilors who make that statement should be voted out office for not upholding their sworn duty to the citizens they represent.
As for the tax increases, I believe the taxes were increased for legitimate reasons, whether you agree or not. If you want the services with a minimum tax increase, that is the process.
Our town is a great place to live, and that is due to present, responsible administration. The problem is really with state government. That is the real tax problem. Gee, who controls that process?
William Butka, Wallingford
According to the liberal left, requiring ID before one votes is discriminatory to the poor and minorities, and is therefore regarded as “voter suppression.” Those same poor and minority people can’t board a plane without an ID. Is that “travel suppression”? They can’t get a library card without an ID. Is that “reader suppression?” They can’t drive a car without an ID. Is that “driver suppression”? They can’t buy a gun without an ID. Is that “self-defense suppression?” They can’t buy alcohol without an ID. Is that “buzz suppression”? They can’t buy nail polish at a store without an ID. Is that “cuticle suppression”? They can’t apply for fishing or hunting licenses without an ID. Is that “ability to feed your family suppression”? In some states, they can’t buy certain cold remedies without an ID. Is that “cure of cold suppression”?
With all this suppression going on, you’d think you would hear even more from the liberal left about the plight of the poor and minorities who don’t have IDs, and the great war being levied upon them by the evil suppressors.
Tim Roy, Wallingford
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Larue Graham, Democrat for Meriden City Council, has my vote. The endless hours he devotes to our city are awe-inspiring. He is a leader of our youth sports programs, providing wholesome activities to our young people as an alternative to the streets. He has ably filled the shoes of Danté Bartolomeo (a tough act to follow) on the City Council. They say that if you want something done, ask a busy person. We can all be grateful to Larue Graham for his selfless service to our community.
Madeline Gallagher, Meriden
It has been said that there is no Democrat or Republican way to pick up garbage, that party label doesn’t matter in municipal government. In Meriden, we have proven that party does indeed matter. Our Democratic local officials are leading an historic transformation: revitalizing downtown, inaugurating a transit-oriented district around a new train station, creating a centerpiece park, rebuilding our high schools, attracting investment, all while holding down taxes. Meanwhile the minority parties offer only nay-saying, following the national Republican playbook of rabid obstructionism. Keep Meriden moving forward — vote Democrat this November.