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Readers’ Opinions, 4-22-2014

Working families


I can’t believe the number of workers in Connecticut trying to make it on minimum wage. Studies show the majority are adults working more than 20 hours a week. I want to thank our Connecticut Democratic Senator Dante Bartolomeo and area Representatives Buddy Altobello, Cathy Abercrombie, Hilda Santiago, Mary Fritz, Mary Mushinsky and Joe Areismowicz for their support of our working families by gradually raising the minimum wage to $10.10 in a couple years.

I am so disappointed that no Republican legislator supported the increase. Large retail stores and many fast-food stores pay very low wages while making huge profits. I like those who pay their workers much better. We should all support working families.

Ellen Montemurro, Meriden

Of slight benefit


Pat Kohl’s letter (R-J, 4-17) scolds a prior letter from Bill Fritz (R-J, 4-11). Fritz had suggested a portion of Wallingford’s town cash reserves might well be better used to offset this year’s tax increase at this time of unemployment, underemployment and small business’ disappearing profit margins. Kohl compared Moody’s financial ratings for Cheshire (Aa1) versus Wallingford’s — (AAA), one step higher. She added lowering our cash reserves might well result in having our bond rating take a step down to Cheshire’s level.

Kohl must not have heard of “cost benefit.” As the town does borrow at a fixed interest rate at each bond issue, none of the existing debt would be affected. How much will the town be borrowing on average in this and future years? What would be the added dollar cost each year if the financial rating was one step lower? Finally, what impact would that added dollar cost have on our mil rate? How many millions are we stashing into our cash reserves in order to accomplish this slight benefit?

Wes Lubee, Wallingford

Honest work


Last year, one big-box chain store made $17 billion in profits. A large fast-food chain restaurant made $5.46 billion. Yet many retail and fast-food workers are so underpaid that they qualify for public assistance, food stamps and healthcare. These big, profitable companies can afford to pay better wages without raising prices or cutting jobs. If they don’t, the state should tax them more to help pay for the basic benefits we provide.

Respect your employees. Honest pay for honest work.

Richard Gault, Meriden

Safety net


Our safety net wasn’t designed for working families but for those in need. Unfortunately, many fast-food and large retail stores pay so little and provide few or no benefits that their employees live in poverty and are in need of the basics. These companies are not responsible citizens and are shifting their costs onto taxpayers. A recent study estimates that a single big-box chain store could cost taxpayers between $900,000 to $1.75 million every year. If these practices don’t change, we should increase their taxes so we can recoup our costs and lower taxes for everyone.

Deanna Chaparro, Meriden

‘Only one bucket’


I was cleaning my house and I had a lot of rubbish to get rid of. So I called Meriden’s sanitation department and asked if I could get another trash bucket. They told me that there is only one bucket allowed per family. They pick the garbage up by means of a mechanical device on the truck. This “rule” makes no sense to me.

Paul Esposito, Meriden

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