‘Let it go’
Jason Zandri stepped up to raise money to continue Wallingford’s Fourth of July fireworks for the past few years, and has done a good job. It’s really too bad that he thinks that just because somebody disagrees with him, it must be political or narrow-minded.
I had to laugh at Zandri’s letter to editor (R-J, 3-7). He thinks the annual fireworks are an “income generator” for the town? Is he serious? Do the vendor licenses he mentioned even come close to the cost of overtime for town employees? I can imagine that the overtime is nice for those employees who earn it. But I’m confused. How exactly is that a “benefit” to me or any other taxpayer? Is he really suggesting that the town should pay for those services so that employees can keep earning that overtime? I think Zandri is trying so hard to convince people of his point of view that he doesn’t even realize that he’s not making sense. Maybe it’s time to let it go.
Gayle Greco, Wallingford
In poverty’s shadow
Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s recent proposal to eliminate funding for the human services infrastructure program may cancel one of the most efficient and effective initiatives available to Connecticut’s low-income residents. The governor’s budget proposes elimination of the infrastructure service program that provides “core-funding” for Connecticut’s community action agencies, such as New Opportunities of Greater Meriden. The elimination of $3.4 million would cancel $2 million worth of federal matching funds and fully defund this service delivery system that provides clients with programs designed to help them achieve “self-sufficient lives.”
Regionally, these cuts will force closure of New Opportunities’ family development offices in greater Meriden, greater Waterbury and Torrington. These closings will prevent over 51,000 people from locally accessing services such as fuel and housing assistance, early childhood education, elder services, health care, family development programs, employment/training programs and health coverage, among others.
The proposed cuts will also force New Opportunities to close its bi-lingual CNA and business/office technology training programs, the Meriden summer food program, our popular summer camp program for inner-city youth and the free, volunteer income tax preparation service. The tax program alone enabled area applicants to receive federal rebates totaling over $2.3 million last year.
The economy’s unremitting sluggishness has produced record “first-time enrollments” in almost every program offered by the state’s community action agency network. Fixed-income seniors, working poor, single-parent households and unemployed college graduates represent some of the fastest-growing segments of those now living in poverty’s shadow.
Few programs in the governor’s two-year, $40 billion budget can match the community returns or the financial dividends provided by the human service infrastructure program. This historically successful, low-budget line item has earned its place in the state’s budget. (The writer is CEO/President, New Opportunities Inc.)
James H. Gatling, Waterbury
What type of leader needs to have his name plastered on a government website? I suggest we look at our own state government website — ct.gov — and see who is being portrayed as the primary “mover” in our state. It is as if to say “no one else does anything, but me.” True leaders share credit and, in fact, let others lead the way. It is the nurturing of teamwork to achieve goals that is important in leadership, not selfish credit-taking. This is one of the principles of limited and efficient government. It is the attitude of ego that drives liberalism and today’s “we know better than you” government failures. In Connecticut, we have increasing taxes, a bloated government, increasingly large numbers of our friends leaving the state and a sense of perpetual dysfunction. In our last gubernatorial election, our governor disgracefully ran a campaign designed to draw attention away from his poor record. Let’s honestly ask ourselves how has this Democrat-controlled legislature and governor improved the state? The answer is, he and it haven’t. I suggest our governor and our legislature realize more of this type of government is not the answer. It is the problem. If they want to begin repairing the ills besieging our state, start taking a more responsible, less selfish and more conservative tack. I believe that big government liberalism has failed.
Serge G. Mihaly Jr., Wallingford
I believe that our governor says one thing, and then does another. Are you surprised? Broken promises and politicians seem to go together like bread and butter. Taxes and tolls (I hope tolls will never come back) and giving huge pay increases to loyal wealthy cronies. Job layoffs are very possible for hard-working state workers.
The politicians in Washington have been hounding Obama for years. Funny. The GOP never hounded Bush during Sept. 11, 2001 security, weapons of mass destruction and claims that Saddam Hussein was partly responsible for Sept. 11, 2001, or the great economic recession and huge gas oil increases of 2008. That president and his vice president left a huge mess in the Middle East after Hussein was toppled. Still, the GOP blames Clinton and Obama for mistakes made during the past 22 years. Jeb Bush admits mistakes were made during his brother’s administration. Brother Neil admitted nothing in the 1988 savings and loan scandal. Neil’s mom said that her son is a good boy and would never purposely take part in any wrong-doing.
Sort of reminds you what Marlon Brando (as Mark Anthony) said in the 1953 film “Julius Caesar” — Brutus and his bunch are all honorable men, even though the evidence is clear that an assassination took place. Guess what? They were also politicians. Nothing’s changed in 2000 years.
Nick Piccolo, Southington