Readers’ Opinions, 3-6-2014


Inequitable

Editor:

I am writing to share my opinions in relation to the recent sewer rate change for those of us Southington residents who are private well-owners. I fully understand that revenue must be increased to offset the near $300k deficit. However, I do not fully understand how the annual $400 per household cost for private well-owners was created, but I accept it. The problem I have is how this rate is being implemented amongst private well-owners. To me, and to many homeowners, I’m sure, it is totally inequitable. Based on what I’ve read and my personal conversations with two engineers from the sewer dept., everyone who has a private well will be billed the $400 flat rate, regardless of the number of people in the household. Today, the annul sewer rate is $130 per person in a home — the new rate will cost that one person an additional $270 (a 20 percent increase). The homeowner with two occupants (most likely a young or retired couple) paying $260 today will incur a 53 percent increase ($140).

Now the inequity: The private well homeowners with 4 occupants are today being billed $520 (4 x $130) with the new $400 flat rate — a $120 (23 percent) reduction is realized; the household with 5 occupants is today paying $650 annually — tomorrow, his bill goes down $250, for a 38 reduction; the homeowner with 6 occupants is today billed $780, with a 48 percent (or $380) reduction with the new rate. And this reduction in cost continues to grow as the household occupants grow. The result is that the household with one or two members is subsidizing the larger household. Realistically, they have much more water going into the sewer, and yet are getting a reduction in cost. How can the Town Council justify this methodology?

Mitch Mazur, Southington

Support appreciated

Editor:

On Friday, February 28, my family suffered a fire. I would like to thank the Meriden Fire Dept. for there professionalism and courtesy to me and my family, especially to our son and daughter. Not only were they fighting the fire, they took time out to make sure our kids and my wife were comfortable. I would also like to thank the fire dispatcher — she was comforting on the phone and very professional. I would also like to thank the Red Cross of Greater New Haven for all they did and their understanding and compassion for our children. The Meriden YMCA made my wife and daughter shed tears of joy — thank you so much.

Finally, I would like to thank the many residents of Meriden. Meriden gets a bum rap. But Meriden people take care of Meriden people; the donations are wonderful. Being overwhelmed by the people of Meriden with the many donations have truly made this disaster a tad bit better, and I thank you all for the outpouring of support that we are receiving. I’m proud to say that I’m from Meriden. Again, Meriden takes care of Meriden, and I salute each and every one of you. Thank you all, so much.

Chris Dingwell, Meriden

Quality rentals

Editor:

As a local Meriden landlord, I’m a small business owner. The rental properties I own are my product and my tenants are my customers. I took a financial risk when I purchased the rental properties, and if I don’t provide quality rental units and find good tenants, my business will suffer.

The City of Meriden spends a lot of time talking about economic development and bringing small businesses to downtown, but I feel that landlords are forgotten in this discussion. Worse yet, it sometimes seems like local landlords are looked upon as bad for the city. I know that the majority of rental property owners work very hard to improve their units and they care about economic growth in Meriden. Fixing the Certificate of Compliance program in Meriden to focus on the handful of landlords that don’t take pride in their properties would be more beneficial to Meriden. We all want the same end result — improved neighborhoods, renewed development and investment in the downtown. Support local landlords by calling your Meriden City Councilor and telling them to change the Certificate of Compliance program. We need your support!

Jeff Busa, Wallingford

Meriden flea circus

Editor:

Having recovered from the vertigo induced by watching the latest Meriden City Council meeting on public access CATV twice, I have some brief observations, each requiring its own letter to the editor.

First, Brian Daniels seems to be the only person seated at the ellipse with a command of our language capable of forming a thought and then speaking a cogent sentence. He was correct in mentioning the pending lawsuits, vis-a-vis the mayor’s passing out his board recommendations during a council meeting. The Tea Party-inspired We The People (WTP) surrogates, in mentioning the PLA non-sequitor were not. The main issue is the conflict between the City Charter, giving the mayor appointment powers, and the council rules requiring those to be placed on the agenda, where they could be allowed or disallowed by Majority Leader Dominello. The mayor, who still is hampered by his unfamiliarity with the Rules of Order (causing him to appear as the flailing ringmaster of an intellectual flea circus), is not well-served by the Corporation Counsel (a defendant in the aforementioned lawsuits) failing to make this conflict understandable to him.

It’s apparent that the emerging WTP far-right Republicans are succeeding, like their cohorts in Congress, in bringing government to a halt if they don’t get their way. They and the mayor don’t seem to know the meaning of the word “compromise.” They don’t seem to know the meaning of too many other words, either. Until the council and the mayor clearly and legally define their roles, Meriden is a ship without a rudder and a vacuum of uncertainty, providing fertile ground for the emergence of dangerous ideas and consequences which no one can predict.

Work together. Your neighbors, the electorate, placed their confidence in you.

Christopher M. Harran, Meriden

Meriden taxes

Editor:

Another sad day in Meriden — City Manager Kendzior (who I consider to be overpaid at $140,000) wants to punish the taxpayers again with a another yearly tax increase. I hope the council doesn’t vote for it. It’s about time all the Democrats get voted out. At the very least, taxes should be cut in half.

Brian Welskopp, Meriden

Powerful message

Editor:

Hundreds of local volunteers and supporters filled Wallingford’s Lyman Hall High School on Saturday, February 22, for the annual Dominican Republic Mission Team’s dinner, show and silent auction. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the generous donors, supporters, and volunteers that raised money and awareness to send over 250 local people to server the poor in the DR in 2014. We were blessed to have Amaury Telemaco as the headline for the show — a nine-year major league veteran and current pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox at their DR Academy — who grew up in one of the Haitian sugarcane villages we visit. He left all of us with a powerful message of how important is that we help those in great need in the DR as it is providing hope for so many in those villages. On behalf of those voiceless people in the bateyes who will be helped this year through our local volunteers, thank you again to every single volunteer, supporter, and donor. More details at drmissionteam.org.

John Powers, Wallingford

Terrified

Editor:

Over the holidays, my seven-year-old grandson was boasting that he is only afraid of one thing. Thinking “monsters under the bed,” I asked what, and he responded: “Lockdown drill at school. When we have a drill, I actually shake.”

This is what the National Rifle Association has contributed to our society. Children terrified at school because our best approach toward preventing gun violence is more guns, lockdown drills and armed teachers. This, my friends, is the vary essence of mental illness. As they say, “Follow the money.” If you think that it is the National Rifle Association that is in back of this travesty of justice, think again. It is the gun manufacturers. Don’t kid yourself, the association doesn’t have that much money.

The bastardization of our Second Amendment stands as one of the constitutional mockeries of our time. When written, pitchforks and shovels notwithstanding, the only real “arms” available were a sword, a flintlock rifle and a cannon. The purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure a well-armed militia, not to allow anyone to have unbridled access to high-powered, high-capacity automatic weapons, the likes of which the constitutional convention never envisioned.

Until the Second Amendment is respected for what it represents, and our spineless leaders in Washington refuse to bow to the powerful gun lobby, I fear that senseless gun violence will be part of our culture. As a result, children will shake with fright during mandatory lockdown drills in schools. How sad that a supposedly “civilized” nation accepts terrified children in schools as a reasonable and necessary consequence of what some believe is their God-given and Constitution-protected right to bear arms. Now, that is something to fear. In the future they will look back at this period, and shake their heads. How foolish and naive.

Edward G. DeRosa, Meriden

Priceless

Editor:

I wanted to write a letter of appreciation to our fire station. I went to my daughter’s house to change the battery in her CO detector, which was beeping. I installed new batteries, but it continued to beep. I took it to the fire station, and the firemen looked at it and said it was no longer any good. He stated that the CO detectors can actually go bad after a period of time. I asked if they had any I could buy, and he said they had some, but there was no charge. He said they cannot put a price on saving a life. He gave me the new detector, and I installed it immediately in the house. I am grateful for the assistance of the crew at the fire station.

Paul Gibson, Wallingford



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