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Readers’ Opinions, 9-29-2013



I am submitting this letter to express my sincere thanks for the efforts of Representative Cathy Abercrombie during this past legislative session. I had the opportunity to watch first hand Representative Abercrombie work on behalf of the constituents of Meriden and am extremely impressed by her dedication and sincerity in approaching her responsibilities.

In January of 2013 I began a new endeavor as Executive Director of the Alliance of Boys and Girls Club in Connecticut with the primary goal of seeking state funding for the clubs across Connecticut. She was very supportive of the efforts of the Alliance and was instrumental in our ultimate success of securing an investment for the children in Meriden, as well as children throughout Connecticut.

While this was an extremely hectic legislative session with many long days, Representative Abercrombie always found time to answer questions and listen to the needs of Boys and Girls Clubs. During the Boys and Girls Clubs “Youth of the Year Day at the Capitol,” Representative Abercrombie made sure the Youth of the Year members were properly introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives along with Representative Toni Walker of New Haven. The members were received with rousing applause and it is an experience the Youth of the Year members will always remember.

Once again, thank you to Representative Abercrombie for her dedication, thoughtfulness and sincerity working for the constituents of Meriden and the young people who attend the Boys and Girls Clubs across Connecticut. (The writer is Executive Director of the Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs in Connecticut.)

Don Maleto, Meriden

Emergency care


Today we had a student who needed emergency medical care at the downtown Meriden Center of Middlesex Community College. I want to thank our city emergency crews for their near immediate, efficient, and effective response to our 911 call. I also want to thank our students (many of whom are Platt and Maloney graduates) for their help. They were calm, thoughtful, and several were trained in CPR and able to assist our staff during the emergency. (The writer is Director, Meriden Center, Middlesex Community College.)

Tami Christopher, Meriden

Does not compute


The Town of Wallingford has 1200 people working in various jobs, such as the school system, Park and Recreation, Public Works, the Electric Division, etc. All 1200 employees get handed a check every Friday afternoon because, every Friday, an employee from one of these various departments, or individual schools, drives over to Town Hall to pick up the checks for the employees in that school or department. Town employees are then allowed to leave work an hour early on Friday afternoons so they can drive to their local bank to deposit their pay checks. This can sometimes create a problem as one teacher told me, who was out of town on school business on a Friday, and couldn’t pick up her pay check until Monday morning because the school office was locked over the weekend. Doesn’t this sound rather strange to you? What does it cost the town to print out 1200 pay checks every week? What does it cost in time and money to have an employee from every school, office or department in town drive over to Town Hall to pick up a stack of pay checks? What does it cost to allow employees to leave work an hour early so they can physically deposit their checks in their bank? Most banks don’t charge a dime to have employee checks electronically deposited in each employee’s account and a pay stub can electronically be down-loaded by any employee if needed. Isn’t this a strange way to manage taxpayers’ money? All because the mayor refuses to use computers.

Lois Olesen, Wallingford

Preserving the past


If you weren’t in the audience at the Meriden Library this past Tuesday, you missed a fantastic talk about the Civil War in Connecticut given by David Koch an Associate Professor from Housatonic Community College. He gave a non-stop interesting, educational and entertaining picture of people and places as well as the political happenings in Connecticut during that time. The talk was co-sponsored by the Meriden Historical Society who will be holding an open house at the Andrews Homestead. The exhibit will feature the Police and Fire Departments of Meriden. The Meriden Historical Society is charged with preserving Meriden’s past for future generations. We need the continued support of the citizens of Meriden and look forward to welcoming you to the Andrews Homestead and sharing your stories of life in Meriden.

Christina Ruel, Meriden

Dead tree, dead end


Frustrating is a mild way of describing more than 7 months of requests to Meriden to have a dead tree removed from city property on Ivy Drive. Despite an e-mail to Mark Zebora (using the city web-site directory), completing a form at Parks and Recreation on Liberty Street, making monthly visits to Liberty Street, requesting information as to when the tree might be removed, a personal visit to Larry Kendzior’s office in August (with his secretary writing a note to Larry), not one of our city officials has called to provide any information. On September 24th, I wrote a note detailing all the attempts, to date, to have the tree removed, including pictures of the eyesore/dead tree. I hand-carried copies to the offices of our mayor, city manager and Mark Zebora, but not a call/response from anyone.

Our neighborhood prides itself in having well-manicured yards and is, what I would describe as, an above average neighborhood. It is quite clear that it doesn’t matter how well your street/homes are maintained, as the city continues to leave a 75-foot dead spruce tree on Ivy Drive’s cul-de-sac, with no regard as to its impact to the overall appearance of our neighborhood. What action is required to have a dead tree removed from city property?

W. Harrie Rand, Meriden

Political Opinions

(100 words maximum)



I have known Miguel Castro for several years. He is a man of great character who genuinely cares about Meriden’s future. In his short time on the council he has worked hard to learn issues affecting our city. Miguel was instrumental in saving the summer camp program for our city’s youth. He pays attention to quality-of-life issues that are often overlooked. Please join me in voting for Miguel Castro on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Luz Benitez, Meriden



For the life of me, I can’t understand why naysayers in this community feel funding education is a waste of money. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders! They deserve every opportunity for educational success. As a community we should be making investments that not only provide the best education possible and give them state-of-the-art facilities, but also encourage them to stay in Meriden. Kyle Abercrombie understands that. He is a smart young man who will put the interests of our children first. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, vote for Kyle Abercrombie.

Mildred Torres-Ferguson, Meriden

Wallingford taxes


Another Wallingford election is coming up again; people (in opinion letters) are complaining about our real estate taxes. A local real estate agent and I compared real estate taxes in Meriden, Cheshire, North Haven, Hamden and Wallingford for various styles, square footage, features, etc. Surprise! Wallingford had the lowest real estate taxes for all those studied. Sure, town expenses are going up, as our yearly budget shows. But Wallingford electric bills, compared to CL&P and UI, thankfully are much lower every month. With taxes and services provided, it appears our present Mayor, Bill Dickinson, definitely deserves re-election.

John O. Roy, Wallingford

Common sense


The Meriden Republican team is running to get our voices heard and restore common sense to our local government. Working for special interest groups at the expense of the taxpayers needs to stop. Its time the residents of Meriden have representatives who are concerned about them and their futures. Residents’ income is not increasing yet our taxes and expenses are. We need councilors that are responsible and cautious with our money. We have seniors on fixed incomes, unemployed residents and residents stretched to the max. We need common sense to be restored to city hall. Vote Republican on November 5th.

Liz Whitney, Meriden



I have enjoyed my time on Meriden City Council over the last year, and feel that during that time I’ve made several contributions. I’ve actively participated in downtown flood control efforts, worked to keep the mill rate at a minimum, secured funding to save our children’s summer camp program and served as a voice for small business owners. It’s been a privilege to serve on the council, and I would like to continue. It’s my intent to work just as hard over the next four years as I have this past year on issues that are important to Meriden residents.

Miguel Castro, Meriden

Political positions


We have a town that has been controlled by people who seem to only care about their own political positions and yet they claim they are for lower spending. They waste money ignoring state EPA directives and so far have cost the people of Wallingford over $30,000 for this one incident, and then claim they couldn’t remember being notified that they were in violation of the rules in 2009. It’s time for a change. We need to elect Jason Zandri for mayor.

Robert Olesen, Wallingford



Democrat Luke Ford and his family are wonderful people. Hardworking, honest people like Luke Ford are exactly what the Meriden City Council (or any city) needs to keep moving in the right direction. Luke Ford’s work ethic ensures that things will get done properly. Please vote for Democrat Luke Ford this fall to propel the city of Meriden forward.

Kasey Sullivan, Southbury



Jason Zandri’s campaign literature includes a chart showing tax history of Wallingford’s mayor and councilors. But wait — only eight of nine councilors’ homes are listed. Zandri omitted one councilor’s information. Why? It didn’t support his claim that we are all overtaxed. This councilor’s property actually declined in value in the most recent revaluation; his tax rose a grand total of $132 from 2007-2011, an increase of a measly 1.5 percent. I’m sure there are many others that don’t follow Zandri’s script. I guess his strategy is, “If it doesn’t fit, you must omit.” Zandri is not mayor material.

Arleen Whelan, Wallingford



Luke Ford is exactly what Meriden needs. I am proud to call Luke Ford my Dad. He is a family man, community man and union man. My father always cared for others well-being. I know many people shout out promises and never fulfill them. However, my Dad has already proved himself as a noble community member. He spearheaded the PLAs in Meriden to get his community brothers and sisters back to work and bring income directly into Meriden. Luke has right on his side. So let’s do the right thing and vote for Democrat Luke Ford this fall.

Kenneth P. Ford, Meriden

Gives back


I would like to offer my support of Len Rich, running for Council at Large. Len is a hardworking, caring man. He’s raised a family here in Meriden. He understands the needs of the community and wants to see Meriden grow. Len believes in initiatives that will keep our best and brightest here in Meriden. Len is a staunch supporter of public education and would be a voice for all of us on the council. Please give Len the opportunity to serve and give back the community that he loves and has supported his whole life.

Rob Kosienski Jr., Meriden

Public safety


The most important service municipalities provide is public safety. Larue Graham is a strong advocate of community policing, school resource officers and a staunch supporter of Engine 3. Earlier this year when there was talk of closing the Engine 3 fire station on Broad Street he listened to the concerns of the residents in his district. Many of them, especially seniors, feared the closing of Engine 3 and what it would mean in a time of need. Larue took the time to learn the facts and made his support known. We can rely on Larue to do the right thing.

Craig Hanson, Meriden

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