Sunday, July 24, 2011

Candidates Announced, Let the Battle Begin!

Last night's caucuses by both the Democrats and Republican revealed our candidates for the fall election. And they are: 

Town Council R's
David Schrum -1st District
Tom Ruocco - 2nd District
Andy Falvey - 3rd District
Steve Carroll - 4th District
Sylvia Nichols - At Large
Mike O'Donnell - At Large
Jim Sima - At Large
Tim Slocum - At Large 

Gerry Brittingham
Todd Dixon
Ed Hill 

Town Council D's
None - 1st District
Matt Bowman - 2nd District
Joe Schmitt - 3rd District
Peter Talbot - At Large
Patti-Flynn Harris - At Large
Michael Ecke - At Large
Dan Nowak - At Large
Bob Behrer - At Large 

Cathy Hellreich
Marlena Soble

This looks like a rematch for the Town Council. Let the battle begin! :-)

With no democrat candidate for the 1st District, David Schrum will go uncontested in this election. While there are 4 seats up for election on the BOE, the democrats have only put up two candidates. I'm happy to see new faces running in this election, particularly on the BOE. As I've mentioned on my blog I'd like to see more new faces on the BOE. On that note, I'm very excited to have Ed Hill on the slate. Ed is a brilliant attorney, in my opinion, he's methodical, dependable and I'm looking forward to working with him on the BOE.

It was reported in the Record Journal that the Democrats had a difficult time finding additional candidates for the TC and BOE.  Even the RTC, while seeking candidates, found that many out there just cannot commit the time that's required in order to serve the town properly. In my opinion, I think the economy has taken a higher priority in people's lives these days and there's not enough time available to attend meetings or let alone campaign.

There has been no announcement from Mike Evans' political party yet.

Thoughts, comments are welcome. All candidates are more than welcome to post on my blog, introduce themselves and share their views/positions.


Bob said...

I'm republican but I'm a point whereby candidate party affiliation doesn't matter much to me anymore.

In my opinion, we need candidates that actually will do what they say they're going to do. I can't help but feel politically glad-faced, even by some of the elected officials in my own party.

I hope we have a different crop of candidates, fresh faces this time around.

We need candidates that will actually listen to their constituents especially after they're elected.

It's the same old story...every election year they stroll by the house pretending to be your best friend looking out for your best interests. Some even hand out trinkets and trash. Then we never see or hear from them again.

As far as I'm concerned, with the exception of Andy Falvey I will not vote for another current TC member seeking re-election. You had your chance, you failed and you failed to listen to the voters. Time to move on and give someone a chance.

As for the boe members up for re-election, I think 10 years is more than enough. You haven't been able to make a noticeable difference in 10 years then you're not going to do after 10 years. Let's get some fresh faces on the boe.

Anonymous said...

Andy is a great candidate and town councilman. With the exception of his position on the turf field along with Slocum, Carroll and Nichols(Sima, Ruocco and Schrumm remain steadfast opposed to turf) he joins the rest of the R's in like voting. He may be better looking than the others, possibly taller but the other distinction is lost beyond his direct efforts in the third district he represent, i.e. Mixville,West Main st, etc.

I guess my question for you Bob is why say you're a Republican. Unaffiliate. If your satisfied with Hartford and our President I fail to see where Andy fits in to that equation either.

Any reasonable Cheshire voter should be looking at the person and not the party. The party does however frame certain core princibles such as not standing for every union wage increase or work rule, etc. You won't wage this battle alongside many D's.

Define your beaf and get directly involved. You're needed. Most locals don't give a rip and that is a shame. Others use the excuse you've somewhat leaned on that there is no difference. There is.

Anonymous said...

great, another few years with David Schrumm. Does anyone have a hot poker I can stick in my eye. Can this town PLEASE get someone who will finally man up (so to speak) and stop grandstanding. Responsible spending is one thing, being cheap and foolish is another. you get what you pay for this town is circling the bowl because it keeps waiting for the next better thing. Wait to develop the linear trail, the state bails us out (and loses its control), North end development -lets wait for apple or ibm, not coming but lets make it difficult for other development. Pool construction - low bid bubble (enough said on that). Push off town computer infrastructure projects- higher costs now necessary, Turf - hundreds of towns going this route but Cheshire is special and has more knowledge of issues (NOT), teacher cuts (but we buy them IPADS), its an epic issue.
Last one out of town please turn off the light (because we are in competition with other towns for energy consumption)

Anonymous said...

Ugh... are these the best candidates this town can offer? You must be kidding me with this slate.

Anonymous said...

Republican Councilor Andy Falvey grew increasingly frustrated with questions asked by fellow Republicans James Sima and Thomas Ruocco and stormed out after the meeting in Town Hall.

"Idiots," Falvey yelled. "Stupidest bunch of people I've met in the longest time in my life."

The meeting was taped for broadcast on local cable television.

Anonymous said...

Which meeting was this?

He also once walked out on a BOE meeting.

Tony Perugini said...

I happen to agree with Andy. And I understand his frustrations as it pertains to the turf field. But I'm also concerned that the turf project has grown out of control. What started as a (arguably) simple turf installation has somehow morphed into replacing the entire track as well. That was not in the scope of what the BOE asked for.

But on the flip-side, Town Councilors have reasons to be concerned and have every right to be asking the questions they're asking. Yes, the BOE Planning Committee requested additional money on the capital budget to replace the track. Many recall that the referendum was defeated in 2009 leaving about $150K in the capital budget to replace the track. 2 years ago, estimates came in around $375k-400K.

Now, estimates are coming in lower and because there's an item to be discussed in the capital budget plan for track...turf supporters are trying to fast-track the capital plan so both Turf/Track get done together.

Perhaps there will be cost savings in doing both at the same time. However, the real issue that's not being discussed is that the Track Project is yet another one of those ticket items that comes in under the referendum cap.

The issue is that many votes feel side-stepped by this. After all, they voted it down in 2009 and now, they have no chance on voting on the track but the TC/Turf are pushing it forward.

Sorry, but it is a problem and one that Tim White has tried to raise to voters many times.

I don't believe the TC is trying to stonewall the turf project but they have every right to question the addition of the track.

Based on my speculation, Andy is more than likely frustrated with the misinformation being put out about both projects.

I will start a new topic on Turf. I feel it's going out of control and certainly way beyond what the BOE voted on in December 2010.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? This is what the TC has done for years.... Tim White was famous for making noise and not offering solutions. If the answers are not there to a TC persons liking VOTE NO. If you want to seperate the track (that would need to be replaced later - probably at a higher cost *see penny wise pound foolish history of Cheshire)VOTE NO. Its relatively simple. The issue is the Councilman are pushing personal agendas on both sides of the argument. I am tired of listening to the drivel from TC persons who want to beat thier chests for the purpose of hearing themselves (examples: schrumm - revamp collective bargaining, Harris - In the I.T. world where I work we have deadlines, Tim White (thankfully gone) performance based blahblahblah.)
Stop grandstanding, accomplish something ANYTHING....
Only thing accomplished is Falvey calling it like he sees it.

Tim White said...

Many recall that the referendum was defeated in 2009

For the record, it was defeated in 2010... less than nine months ago.

It was $400,000 (or maybe $425k or 450k??). And now reports seem to say the number dropped to $338,000. The referendum thresshold is $350,000.

The Council can explain it however they want... even use the PBC or TA as their rationale. But if they wanted, they could increase the number to $350,000 and send it to referendum. They apparently don't want to do that, but we'll see what happens with the vote.

Looks to me as though the Council has a bunch of big spending politicians who refuse to take "no" for an answer... tack on a few dollars for another bubble and I really wouldn't be surprised to see incumbents of both parties lose this November.

And frankly, pushing the track isn't surprising to me. I recall getting scoffed at last August when I suggested it would fail at referendum. They wanted it then... and they still want it.

It's strikes me as very authoritarian and dismissive of the "little people."

And while I recognize that I'm not in the meetings... I'm probably getting about as much information (online) and comments (email) from residents as many voters do.

Tim White said...

Stop grandstanding, accomplish something ANYTHING....

This Council has a BIG accomplishment.

One word: concessions.

As for remembering me so fondly... thanks! I obviously made an impression on you. :)

Tim White said...

If I recall correctly, the $150k already appropriated for the track was included in the 2009 cap bgt. Then in 2010, the referendum was for an additional $250k (in addition to the already available $150k). In aggregate, the $400k exceeded the $350k thresshold... and it was substantially the same project, so it went to referendum. And at the time of the vote (early Sept??) the Council thought the $400k would pass without a problem.

Tim White said...

Besides concessions, the Council has an even bigger accomplishment (though less visible)... collectively-bargained pension reform. I thank the Personnel Chair, Tom Ruocco, for making that happen. The last Council stonewalled pension reform for years.

Tony Perugini said...

"This Council has a BIG accomplishment.

One word: concessions."

Hmm...Tim, I'd be careful with this "accomplishment" because many in town question if what was agreed upon were actually "concessions" clauses, retirement incentives and no decrease (i.e. givebacks) in salary are not considered "concessions" by many in town.

The fact that it was either this 'concession' package or massive layoffs we all took the lesser of the two evils, so to speak.

I wouldn't hang my hat on 'concessions' if I were running for TC this year. There's a silver lining in the agreement in that it preserves our current support of the school district and I believe that's very postive in light of what's going on financially across the state and the country.

Anonymous said...

Tony... you and Tim are drinking the same coolaid. This town is NOT in fiscal trouble. Typical of the TC to try to equate the national issue with local trouble. It was used in the negotiations against the employees of this town. Wait for the teachers to go back to binding arb (which statistically sides with the Towns), and they again prove the town has the ability to pay. You claim the town is in trouble, yet can you explain why and how many Ipads were purchased for town teachers at the end of the year to "help them prepare". Why didnt the town look at reducing any of the mulitiple vice principals at the schools, or the Personnel Director who is no more than a glorified secretary. This town is the master of the smoke and mirrors all talk and no substance. If we are in such a lull can you explain the new developments building 500k condos. How many early retirements were rehired or positions refilled that were supposed to offer savings.
Do yourself a favor, politically,move away from T White he was lucky he found the door before he was shown it.

Tony Perugini said...

7:15 why should we be looking at administration headcount at the schools? Didn't we beat this horse to death numerous time here? Clearly you have an issue with administration.

Do me a favor and list out which principal positions by school should be eliminated and the reasons why? Clearly I have missed something.

As for the Ipads we budgeted for them so what's the problem? Is it that you didn't get one or do you just have a problem with technology in general? Because I plan on overhauling our technology investment, or lack thereof, starting with the network infrastructure. If Ipads bother you, then what's coming may not make you happy either. Be warned.

Anonymous said...

Mr Preugini, you say YOU are going to overhaul??? You should realize you are part of an us "the Town of Cheshire" put aside your personal agendas. With regard to administration, I am all for efficient structure. I do have a problem with the need for three (according to website) assistants at the high school. If only one vice is necessary to handle two grades at the middle school level, how are three needed to balance four grades? Perhaps I am wrong but when I attended CHS we had more students and less staff, I still managed to graduate and go to college.
As far as technology infrastucture I am all for the overhall of what appears to be an overlooked and underfunded issue for years. Is this the area that really needed to be addressed now? Your statement of the necessary tech overhaul indicated that there may be other more pressing needs than IPADS. I purchased my own IPAD as does most people in private business. I would like to know how we justify IPADS, when tablets are used primarity for social/entertainment purposes. Can you identify how this will make our teachers more effiecient and what guage is being used to measure this improvement. Are their lessonplans allowed to be reviewed by a taxpayer? Further, the town asked for and received "concessions' and threatened cuts. Perrhaps if you would outline here on you blog (which by the way you post looking for feedback both positive and negative, I imagine) exactly what the parameters are for thier use, where and when, what blocks to social networking sites, multimedia, etc, not to mention what is the individual teachers accountablity to replace if lost or damaged. That might change my opinion as a taxpayer in this town.

Anonymous said...

Last request for clarification: IPADS were an actual line item in the BOE budget. Listing individual prices and how many were being purchased. Or was it included in a catchall for Technology Infrastructure without defining what the purchase was to be?

Tony Perugini said...

"Last request for clarification: IPADS were an actual line item in the BOE budget. Listing individual prices and how many were being purchased. Or was it included in a catchall for Technology Infrastructure without defining what the purchase was to be?"

You got me, yep, we buried the 10 ipads deep in the education budget this past year along with the other Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction. I'm caught.

Nope, we didn't define what the use of the Ipads would be certainly not for interactive classroom testing, lesson planning/sharing or the like.

We figured we'd just toss them out there and see what sticks. Will report back soon on what we find. I think they do make great footrests when not in use but that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Tony was that sarcasm or an actual response of what was/wasnt done. To clarify, you ran for public office and accepted being a receptor of possible critique. Perhaps we should all pat you on the head and tell you what a great job you are doing, becase that is the real world. Not even one post earlier you defined: accountability, transparency, responsiblity.
Accountablitiy - "The mechanisms will track what the turf field generates in revenue, what is being spent on the turf field arency, responsible." what mechanisms have you put inplace to ensure that these purchases have the desired effect (cost/benefit
responsibility - "If there ever was an opportunity to stick it to the BOE and hold the BOE accountable for the turf project"
What has been done to establish the parameters for use and if one gets lost who pays for it-the taxpayer.

Transparency "nobody can say for certainty if this committee reports into the TC or the BOE" - kind of like making a specific purchase from a large catchall in the budget.
I guarentee that if you had listed IPADS as the purchase it would have been cut. (you mention only 10), if they are so important why wasnt every teacher afforded one. 10 IPADS at 600 each is 6000 (simple math from a CHS grad) that would pay for an entire server that would benefit the entire school system.
In accepting a politial position you accept possible ire of the taxpayer. Im sorry people want accountability. I find it humorous that on this blog there are posts denouncing a TC member for calling people idiots, yet you are having a near tantrum beacuse someone dosent agree with your spending.
Its ok youre doing great kiddo. At least we agree ITS ALL ABOUT THE KIDS

Tony Perugini said...

4:47pm...I know who you are and I'm not wasting my time on this with you. We've been down this road many times.

If you don't like my responses, don't read them. It's pretty simple.

But I have wasted my time with you before especially since you carry a personal agenda that is not in the best interest of the kids.

Moving on.

Anonymous said...

As a taxpayer Im saddened that my public officials cant justify thier position in a rational and mature manner. You were appointed to represent the people. Ipads at a time when layoffs, school closings, reduction in sports and extracurricular are all threatened, is NOT responsible spending. Nowhere in this entire thread did you provide one spec of explanation how this purchase is going to better the educational process. They are luxury items. Point Blank. I bet the taxpayers in the inner cities who provide meal plans on the taxpayer dime would agree, as would many people in this town who are losing jobs.

Anonymous said...

6:46 do your homework. Tony has posted plenty of detail on his blog. I'm certain he's discussed and detailed technology purchases many, many times. Check out the archives if you're really serious about the children.

Why not answer his questions to you regarding why and which principals should be eliminated?

It must be election season, lol.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why he's worrying about Ipads when a few years back the budget included the purchase of several ping pong tables at $300 - $400 a piece. You didn't hear that mentioned at a Boe budget meeting did you. You can get a copy of the budget that gives all those details that are too many to mention - whether it's ping pong tables, $1000 office desks etc.

Anonymous said...

"You can get a copy of the budget that gives all those details that are too many to mention - whether it's ping pong tables, $1000 "

ok, let's see it.

Anonymous said...

@804 did my homework, attended the budget hearings. NOWHERE were IPADS mentioned.
IPADS for teachers = benefit to kids?
I dont see that. I did see in looking through older threads and links discussion of eliminating postions (including a technology teacher at the high school) as well as the gifted program. This is a luxury with no accountability. Basically we provided a FREE media viewer to select teachers. I realize presentations can be done on an apple, No more or less efficicently than one saved on a flash drive that costs 9.99. The fact is the current technology across the system is outdated and suffering. THe cost spent on IPADS could have been applied to a server that can benefit EVERY teacher and EVERY student.
Lastly, right off the top, I identified one of three vp positions at CHS which could be eliminated. I attended CHS, we had more kids and only one VP and one Principal. We also had less School councilors and less teachers. AMAZINGLY I graduated and can do cauculus and understand osmosis and the impact of the industrial revolution without my teacher showing it to me between FACEBOOK Posts.

Anonymous said...

Cauculus? I take it that back in your day at CHS they didn't have a proper English curriculum? Fortunately, times have changed for the rest of us.

Can you use cauculus to produce this budget that contains $1,000 desks?

Anonymous said...

so very sorry that I missssspellled a word on a blog, my error for not checking my typing. Im using the IPAD (that i bought myself) and this damn virtual keyboard is touchy....... My how times have changed.