Readers’ Opinions, 6-8-2014

Civil discourse

Editor:

In a May 28 R-J article, Democrat Town Committee Chairman Edward Rosenblatt said “his minority party’s role is to provide a voice of opposition and alternatives to Republican plans.”

While I agree that offering alternatives is a component of sound leadership, I was taken aback by his assertion that the Democrat party role is to provide a voice of opposition.

People are frustrated with party politics on a national, state and local level — specifically, the inability of the parties to come together on decisions that make sense and move government forward. I ask Rosenblatt to turn away from opposition politics and embrace the support of genuine collaboration and civil discourse. Rosenblatt also said, “Democrats opposed this year’s budget due to what they saw as high spending and reduction of the rainy day fund. Reserves were accumulated under Democratic council leadership.”

I offer the following response: The “rainy day fund” is a portion of the town’s “unassigned fund balance” defined by financial policy to be 10 percent of revenues. At June 30, 2009, the last year of Democrat control, the “rainy day fund” was at 8.7 percent ($11 Million) and policy at that time called for 9 percent.

At June 30, 2013, the “rainy day fund” was at 13.4 percent ($18 Million). As a result, the town council accepted board of finance recommendation to raise the policy floor from 9 percent to 10 percent. In preparing the 2014/15 budget, the board recommended using the excess over the 10 percent to cash-fund several capital improvements.

The rainy day fund is set aside for emergencies or one-time opportunities. The practice of using the rainy day fund to balance the budget ended with the 2012/13 budget, which was the first balanced budget.

(The writer is chairman of the Southington Board of Finance.)

John Leary, Southington

City vs. Christmas

Editor:

Warning to any organization that helps the city put together any events or festivals: When things are going good the politicians and city like to take the credit, but when there is a problem they run and hide or have amnesia.

The Christmas In The Village committee thought they had insurance because on Oct. 5, 2004 City Councilman Keith Gordon reported to the CITV committee that he had spoken to then-city manager Roger Kemp and it was decided that CITV would become an official city event and would be covered under the city insurance. Then in 2007 we needed to show proof of insurance to use a local business parking lot. Councilman Gordon each year would get a certificate of insurance from the city risk manager.

It was not until Holly Wills and I got subpoenaed in March 2014 that we found out that the city does not consider CITV a city event and it is not covered by city insurance. The certificate of insurance was only good for use of the parking lot.

For 15 years, the city has provided police, parks dept., signs, stage, tents, garbage cans and other equipment. For 15 years, the CITV committee (comprised of South Meriden residents, business owners, councilmen and police officer) have raised money through sponsors and recently have added a car show to bring the community together free of charge.

The city, working with CITV committee to bring many different organizations together to celebrate the holiday season, is what makes this event so well attended. For the city manager to say this is not a city event and has compared it to a block party is very disheartening. Fifteen years without an incident — and now CITV is being thrown under the wagon.

(The writer is co-chairwoman of Christmas in the Village.)

Aprill Ouellette, S. Meriden

‘Ho, ho, ho’?

Editor:

I read (R-J, 6-5) with great sadness the cancellation of Christmas in the Village in South Meriden. While the committee’s feelings on the matter are understandable, the city should do all it can to support event-organizers on the litigation issue and assure the celebration’s continuation. It’s a huge undertaking, and a tremendous asset to the city — one which requires very little city support.

At the very least, the city should take over putting up the flags and wreaths on South Meriden’s Main Street lampposts. They currently install them downtown, and the lampposts were purchased for South Meriden with flagpole holders. So why would the city not do the installation? As the flags and wreaths have already been purchased, there’s little cost to the city to do the installation and, thus, there would be no liability to committee members in the event of an injury.

It’s a sad situation, and residents are the losers.

Sharon Cwirka, Meriden

Voting power

Editor:

The subject is the vote. In the wrong hands, it is more deadly than a gun. You can see it now. Obama is a scholar. He understands our laws and I believe that he continues to ignore them. How long do we have to put up with this guy? Connecticut is full of Democrats, and I think that they are complaisant. Votes put Obama in power and supported him with Democrats.

Bob Karlon, Wallingford

Big heart

Editor:

On behalf of John Siedlichi American Legion Post 181 (of which the writer is commander), I would like to congratulate our puppy drive chairman Chet Miller on a very successful effort. With the support of two Route 5 stores, we were able to collect over $5,000 in three days. Our Post 181 members who volunteered for this project were greeted by a very generous and enthusiastic public. That helped us exceed our goal.

All the funds raised will be donated directly to hospitalized veterans in Connecticut and to those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan being treated at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland. Wallingford has a big heart. We know your donations will be appreciated by those that sacrificed so much. Thank you to a very generous and caring community.

David Gessert, Wallingford



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