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More of the Same

The recent election solidified the Democrats hold on town government, but the Republicans are poised to reinvent themselves into a viable alternative, one Republican says.

To the Editor:

As I review the list of salary increases recently approved by the Legislative Council I found it interesting that the increases are essentially the last act of the old council before the newly elected Legislative Council members take over.

I suppose the first thing that needs to be stated is that the voting public wholeheartedly endorses this kind of government. For those of you who are complaining - get over it. The government we have is the government we deserve. It will be business as usual for the incoming council - make no mistake about that.

What the most recent election has shown us are two things: 1) the mayor now has absolute power to do as he pleases; 2) there is no downside to unpopular decisions. The mayor and his council are working with impunity. A low turnout election is an indication that most people have given up on any hope of changes occurring in Hamden. As a result, the taxpayer will be punished in a ways that many cannot begin to appreciate, but will soon be revealed as the mayor moves forward with his tax and spend agenda.

The salary increases are just the first installment to the unending tax and spend philosophy embraced by the old and supported by the new council members. For those of you who are able, get out now while you can salvage some property value.

For those of us who are hoping for change, this is my prediction of what must occur. First folks need to be fed up with the status quo.  Who among you believes the Chief Administrative Officers salary should be increased from $72,652 per year to $90,000 in one step? This is nothing more than back door politics endorsed by the ruling party that has absolutely no regard for the working man or women.

Unions can no longer trust an administration that insists they sacrifice while the fat cats get fatter. This will play out with a vengeance as contracts come due.

The administration has been emboldened by the recent election results believing they now have carte blanche to do as they please. The truth is they do. While the truth hurts it is not the final word on the matter.  The Republican Party, of which I have been a critic, has lost its way. Voters have had no alternative. Do they vote for tax and spend Republicans or tax and spend Democrats?

This has been a wakeup call for decisive action. The Republican Party will most definitely undergo a complete reform. A party platform will be developed to communicate clearly what Republicans mean to accomplish. New members will be recruited to build up a dying party. New energy will be injected to compare and contrast Republican ideals alongside the record of the Democrats.

With any new movement there will be internal controversies and conflicts. However, the end result will be a new Republican Party capable of taking on the Democrats as the town slowly sinks under the weight of toxic tax and spend policies.

Stay tuned.

Ron Gambardella

Tony November 22, 2011 at 06:22 PM
The voters chose not to elect you as Mayor twice and this year chose not to even elect you to the Town Council in your own ward. Can't you accept that people just don't agree with your ideas and maybe find a way to positively contribute to the Town.
Marty November 22, 2011 at 06:48 PM
The voters won't chose you unless you have a D after your name and it has nothing to do with whether they agree with your ideas. I applaud Ron for his continual efforts to try to bring to light what many refuse to see.
Ron Gambardella November 22, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Hi Tony, I appreciate your comments. It would help me if you could be a little more specific. What exactly are those ideas of which you disagree? Perhaps we can find mutual points of agreement.
Joe November 22, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Hamden needs a major change but I guess people like to pay higher taxes and let the town waste it's money...it's time to move out of this town and really out of this tax you to death state!! The problem is that people just vote for their parties and not give one thought about the issues... most of us are loosing our jobs and how in the heck are we going to pay high taxes and survive when unemployment gives us pennies... it's time to drop parties and work together and find a reasonable solution to this or it will never get better and we will be like Greece and now Italy..in a major downward spiral and no way out!!! Let's start taking care of thgis country and not worry about the rest of the world, I know they don't worry about our economy ..it goes both ways but I have never seen it come our way yet!
Chris November 22, 2011 at 08:53 PM
@ Tony..what are your specific ideas to keep property taxes low and keep the town from spending money it doesn't have? Maybe we can elect you next time...
AG November 22, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Thanks Ron for all you've done to elucidate the the issues facing Hamden. As a registered Democrat you have earned my vote, more than once. These past two administrations have demonstrated, for all those who care to look, at the irresponsible behavior of the of the Democratic party in charge. It shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone that this lame duck legislative council rewarded these non union administrative positions in such a backhanded manner. Exactly where the tipping point will be for the electorate to demand new leadership is up for speculation. I'm not as hopeful as you are in this regard, so I'm buckling down and awaiting the massive tax increases that will have to come in the next couple of years. If you can swim now would be a good time to bail out of Hamden, for those unable to move, grab a life vest.
George Levinson November 23, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Ron, don't you get it? it's not about Republican or Democrat. There are plenty of fiscally responsible Democrats, like myself, out there. The big issues are over spending, particularly at the Board of Education, management of benefits, particularly health care and resolution of the Town Pension Plan. Giving Curt Lenz a big raise isn't justified but in the end it's only 18K. Compare that to Pension and health care totalling 50 Million annually (and exploding) and the BOE that is mismanaging/wasting 80 Million, and everything else is small potatoes.
Ron Gambardella November 23, 2011 at 03:48 PM
Hi George, There is much that you and I agree. I fully support your work trying to get the message out regarding the BOE spending and the pension issues. However, one of the reasons we are in this dilemma is that there has not been an opposing voice in Hamden's local government that has had the power to object to the levels of spending we have seen over the past 10 or more years. The Legislative Council is like minded when it comes to spending. Without an opposing force to block spending measures, where do you suppose pressure for change will originate? The electorate has already spoken. You and I can only draw attention to the issue. Ultimately, it is the voting public who will decide. Thus far, they have decided that higher taxes and spending is the direction that they support.
Charles Baltayan November 23, 2011 at 04:02 PM
18K here, 12K there....not just nickel and diming, it is a systemic disregard for what is timely, correct, and morally and ethically sound. The administration has no regard for the taxpayer or care for providing cost effective services....Nothing to be Thankful for here and clearly the voters/polls can't be trusted.
Bryan Johnson November 23, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Normally I try to stay out of things that do not involve the BOE. Being the newest member (as of Sunday) I will agree there is much work to be done. Most of the issues are due to poorly negotiated contracts and a district that is very top heavy (teachers and administrators). Change is going to take time, but like Ron said when the there is no opposing voice (or one that can provide a block) then the problem persists.
Charles Baltayan November 23, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Bryan, Never apologize for expanding your scope as you are a resident and taxpayer, too! Did you mean to include 'teachers' in your 'top heavy' description of the district?
Bryan Johnson November 23, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Charles, not apologizing just make sure lines of demarcation are drawn with regards to my focus within the political realm that way it reduces ambiguity. Yes I did mean to include teachers as currently 47% of teachers make 57% of the salary costs, I am all for seasoned teachers but the current tools for evaluation. We have no billeted English Language Arts Curriculum Director but one for Phys. Ed. since not every child has PE on a daily basis I think that needs to be changed. Just one example of improving the process in my mind.
Thomas Alegi November 23, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Mr. Levinson you may will be a fiscally responsible Democrat, but the Democrats who are in control of Hamden at this time are NOT. I hope you would agree with me Mr. Levinson that more fiscally responsible Democrats have to come forward in the Democratic Party and speak about reducing the out of control spending in this town, not just for Republicans or Democrats, but for everyone who lives and works in Hamden. Mr. Levinson you must be aware by now that there is a high possibility that if you continue to speak and write about fiscally responsible in the Democratic Party you could become an outsider in your own party. Funny thing this has already happened to Republicans and Democrats who have spoken about fiscally responsible being implemented in Center One.. Is this becoming a trend in both political parties here in Hamden?
Bryan Johnson November 23, 2011 at 07:10 PM
I realized I left out part of the sentence. I am all for seasoned teachers but the current tools for evaluation need to be improved upon so they are not judged solely by the students performance on standardized testing. I know at the state level there has been a proposal to do away with lifetime tenure for teachers and move them towards a 5 year renewable contract. I am all for that as I think that tenure can be, in some cases, a bad thing. In the interest of full disclosure I am a child of an educator so I have seen both sides of the coin on a very personal level.
Charles Baltayan November 23, 2011 at 07:45 PM
The more informed the bwetter the perspective certainly w/ regard to education but it will be a novel approach totie performance to any town employee!

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