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Readers’ Opinions, 3-7-2014

Retirement benefits


While I applaud City Manager Larry Kendzior’s efforts to reduce an expected tax increase, in the past two days I’ve read of two ways to do that, with which I disagree. Yesterday (3-4) I read that eliminating Meals on Wheels for Meriden’s seniors would save $29,000. That seems like a drop in the bucket, considering the total city budget. I’m fortunate that I will probably never need this program, but my mother did in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was one of several services which enabled her to remain in her public elderly housing (VNA-CT, Community Care, etc.) as long as possible. This morning, I read that new city employees hired after July 1, 2013 would not be eligible for health insurance in retirement. I understand the underfunding the $39 million pension and liability benefits is a massive problem to correct. There have been times when I was concerned about the previously underfunded teacher retirement system. I wonder who these employees are who were hired after July 1, 2013. What type of positions do they hold?

I will share that my retirement benefits are funded solely by my contributions to the system. (Yes, there is interest applied.) I am only eligible for medical coverage from my last employer at the group rate. I pay the full group rate, my benefit after 35 years (full retirement) in a public school classroom. I’m not complaining, as I chose my profession and my town (not Connecticut’s “gold coast”).

Karen J. Ostby, Meriden

Awesome event


I was in attendance at a middle school basketball tournament this weekend, in which I was shown what great school spirit a Wallingford school displayed. Both Holy Trinity varsity basketball teams played in their deanery championships this past Saturday, and the JV boys played in their deanery championship consolation game. For a local school with without a gym, that’s is pretty impressive. The girls varsity team has amassed a league record of 10-1, including playoffs, while the boys varsity had a league record of 15-1. I would like to proclaim what a great school they have and how truly proud I am to be a part of it, as two of my grandchildren are currently playing for their basketball teams.

There was a tremendous following at the each of the games, attesting to the school’s spirit, with students, teachers, parents, friends, siblings and grandparents cheering for their team throughout the afternoon. The HTS crowd and their coaches are to be commended for their example of sportsmanship. The amount of heart I witnessed was amazing. Each of the 3 teams played hard but were always in control. Even during heated moments during the games, they showed class and poise beyond their years. Whatever the outcomes, they played with pride. It was truly an awesome event.

Rae Barbieri, Wallingford

In deep debt


It should be noted that the president’s visit to Connecticut cost taxpayers $188,000. I don’t understand why we needed him here to make his pitch when our liberal Gov. Malloy has made up his mind. All this is a political move to boost his reelection. I think the people of this state need some better leadership than just spending more. Our businesses have been leaving the state and moving away because we are not friendly to them. This will also encourage some businesses to hire fewer people. I don’t see that this is a priority to us at this time.

When I was raising a family, in order to make ends meet I worked three jobs, any we survived. Later, I found a job that took care of my family and only had to work one job. Let’s be real! If you are working for minimum wage, then better yourselves and get a job that will take care of your needs, and also give up those expensive cell phones, iPads and video games. If you live within your means, then you might get ahead. Don’t expect the government to bail you out. Instead of giving away a “surplus” (money that we borrowed), pay down the debt. Yes, we don’t have a surplus — we are in deep debt.

Raymond Rys Jr., Wallingford

Transparency, please


I have some questions regarding Mayor Manny “The Placeholder” Santos which I believe voters have a right to know. I’d like to see more transparency from the mayor. Namely, I’d like to know: What are the facts about Manny Santos receiving pro bono legal services from Martha Dean, the former GOP candidate for Attorney General? My understanding is that in January 2013, on “Face the State,” Dean asserted that “the massacre that took the lives of twenty students and six educators was a hoax created by the Obama administration to further it’s gun control agenda.” How cold and heartless. GOP Hartford leaders Cafero and McKinney called these comments “vile” and former Governor Rowland distanced himself from Dean while, in my opinion, Santos embraces her. I’d like to know more about why he is receiving free legal assistance.

Paul E. Gradwell, Meriden

Vote them out!


I went to Meriden City Hall recently, and it’s still the decades-old problem with parking. There is no parking for the taxpayer. Between the parking lot off Norwood Street and back of the library parking lot, every space is reserved for big shots at City Hall or the Board of Education.

As always, this no concern for the Democrat-controlled council, as long as they have a close spot and let a senior citizen walk a mile.

Next election vote out the rest of the Democrats, who show time after time no care for the taxpayers.

Irene Welskopp, Meriden

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