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April 17, 2008


Well, tonight was our 3rd night sitting in on the budget hearing with the town council members, town manager and our finance director.  The setting in the room.  Nice dinner, snacks, bottled water, lots of M&M’s.  Michael  also a town resident and also of Geena & Company  were the only regular attendees out of a total of THREE.  Pretty sad to say the least.

The town manager asked for a 5.9% increase in our budget and tonight I am happy to say they ended up with a vote to only increase 2.8% with a new mill rate of 35.29.  I think they could have been more aggressive which I’ll explain why.

I was very happy to see the Republicans and the Democrats almost saying the same thing.  Tough times are here for another year and half and after that we don’t know what will happen.  Keep spending down because it is not going to get better. 

Key issues were Board of Ed has a lot of waste in their budget.  We have a member of our town council who is a retired school teacher and stated that there are too many secretaries in our Board of Ed.  Our Town Planner has two secretaries and they run an entire town whereas the BOE has several including one girl that her job is to go and get coffees and food for staff.  Another point she made which really was disturbing.  She noted that when she went to a conference it was her expense.  The BOE would allow her to take off from school and get a substitute teacher.  She learned that a teacher is going to China for two weeks on Bloomfield’s bill.  That absolutely should not be allowed. Now I am seeing why we are spending $17,000 per student and we are the worst ranked school in the state.  Bloomfield Board of Ed is out of control.  They are spending our money carelessly and they are not held accountable. to anyone.

Fill in Filley Pond!  That was the real consensus about the pond in the room. We say put in a Starbucks! It’s great land and a great location and we are hearing that it is going to cost ONE MILLION $ to dredge the pond and beautify with a new bridge. One council member was fighting for the pond because 50% of the people he runs into ask him to take care of the pond.  50%?  If he ran into 4 people that means only 2 people said something.  Soooooooo!   It was agreed to get the funds thru fund-raising events by a separate volunteer group and not have the town pay for it.  YES!

Our beautiful new golf course Wintonbury Hills is still being breast fed by the town of Bloomfield. Yes, it was agreed to have the golf course start paying for itself.  Next year the lease payments for equipment stop to a tune of $400,000 but the golf course is going to ask us for $1.5MM for capital improvements which means they want to increase the restaurant.   Another issue about the golf course is that the non resident fees were increased 5% and 66% of the players are non resident.  I think that is fine but they need to look at the General Manager that is being paid a lot to run the golf course and the restaurant and he is not qualified.  The restaurant is disgusting as far as atmosphere and food.  The GM is a golf pro running the food division and being paid a lot of money to do a bad job.  The second problem is they have a retired police officer as the Pro for the golf course.  He also is not qualified and overpaid.  The problem lies within the club.  The club is packed wtih players 7 days a week so it is glaring that it is not being run right.  Council needs to dig a little deeper into that issue. They need a restaurant guy running the restaurant and a golf pro that can break 100 running the golf division.

Now our police department. Deep breath…. Our town manager who I think is a very qualified person and we are lucky to have him.  He is living in total fear about something.  We have 33 patrolman included in public safety staff of 54 for a town of 20,000 people.   Our manager said tonight that we need more policeman.   It was brought up several times that they do not need an 8% increase in pay.  It was mentioned 6% would be plenty.  We the townspeople say… how about no pay raise and let’s get rid of a few.  Our town manager will not let that happen. Hmmmmmm…..

It was also stated that not one person in the town of Bloomfield makes less than $50,000 a year.  Then we found out two people make less than $50K a year and that is our Registrar of Voters department.  These two are asking for a pay raise of $2500 each and they do not work more than 20 hours per week.  That did not go over well with the Council. 

They also announced that our P & Z dept is asking (Town Planning and Zoning)for an enforcer of the building codes.  That is all his job would be.  Hmmmm.  I know there is not going to be a lot of building permits being taken out for the next few years.  Not too worry.  They also are increasing our building permit license by $1.00 and demolition license.  Okay well, nothing times whatever is nothing.  That department won’t be too busy for a long while.

So, by Thursday I am going to provide the Council with some real etate data about Bloomfield that will shock them all since they are planning for $700K in revenues on taxes from transfer of property.  They will see that they will not be able to count on that figure being that high based on our declining market.

Ah yes… and GET RID OF THE MINI BUS!   And, we were happy to here the Masonic building is being torn down so we can wipe out the $25,000 a year in maintenance of a building we are getting rid of. 

One councilman is very worried about buildings being torn down in bad times.  How it looks to people.  Well, it is a sign of better things to come – could mean a sign of growth.

Quote of the night… $250,000 is like candy bars – it’s nothing…

Whewwwwww.  Tough to sit without make comments.






April 17, 2008


                                                                     Red Hot Poker


This morning as I am zipping through my emails and sipping on my coffee I read the following quote from a teacher that is discussing immigration and the education system in our country.  Here is this teachers confession…

“My principal ‘encouraged’ me to promote students to the next grade level even when they failed to demonstrate competence at their grade level. Those kids faltered in the classroom because their parents failed them as to homework and educational attitude”. 

It gets better…

“Teachers called it “affirmative action grading.” Students learned they could goof off, never turn in homework and still be advanced to the next grade. By the time they reached their senior year, they enjoyed full-fledged avoidance of academic work for passing grades. They graduated, essentially illiterate, to move on to “affirmative action jobs.” In other words, they got something for nothing! Then, they took jobs where they ‘showed up’ for a paycheck”.

Okay, now how do you feel after reading this quote? 

I’m not done…

“In California, students speak over 100 languages. Connecticut features 140 languages. Every state suffers multiple languages that wreak havoc in American schools”.

Now I understand why Bloomfield’s school system score ratings are the lowest in the state.  We the taxpayers on a local and national level are paying for teachers to conform with the Governments and local school requirements which in this case are proving not to work by our scoring system. 

In Bloomfield we do know we have too many secretaries in the Board of Education in Bloomfield.  To compare scores go to and compare Bloomfield scores with other towns.  One secretary at the Board of Edcuation hasa  job  to go fetch food for the other secretaries.   One teacher is going to China for two weeks to a conference and the taxpayers are paying for it. 

This explains why are scores are at rock bottom in Bloomfield and the USA in major cities.  We are spending over 35 million in the town of Bloomfield for bad educations and  billions of dollars in the US  on educating children from foreign countries that live illegally in the United States.  Who knows how many kids are illegal in  Bloomfield? 

Micromanagers – where are you when we need you????




April 15, 2008

Everyone must know that if we want to not pass this budget we need to get 900 signaures from registered voters in this town.  Who’s game?

Second, there was a Budget Hearing on the calendar for Tuesday the 15th on and it was canceled without any notice anywhere.  The Town council pulled a fast one on us for sure.  Thank goodness Roy Duncan was in communication with one of the council members and gave us the heads up.

Okay, if everyone is so concerned about their tax bill then they have to actually show up at the committee meetings and the town council meetings and say what is on their mind or just sit and show some interest.  There were less than 10 people in the room last night at the council meeting.  I can see that maybe it is because we realize that the council doesn’t listen.  I saw a chink in the armour last night.

Now, here is a list of the meetings that are coming up if you don’t want to check on

If you are unhappy about our finances in town then attend the finance meeting next Monday night @ 7:00.  Discussions about building a new school to consolidate 3 buildings will be on the table. 

If you are unhappy about how many police we have in town then attend the meeting on April 28th@ 6:00 p.m. Then at 7:30 there is a Town Council meeting.

If you are unhappy with where Bloomfield is heading or have ideas on the vision of where Bloomfield should be going then attend the Economic Development meeting this Thursday night @ 7:00 p.m.

If you are furious that we paid for Wintonbury Golf Course from soup to nuts and think it is being mismanaged since we all know it is a cash cow and we the residents are still paying for the course then please attend the May 12th Golf meeting at 6:00 p.m.

Last night’s meeting was televised.  Town Council allowed comments.  Mr. Roy Duncan once again stood up for the citizens of Bloomfield and wanted answers to a lot of great questions.  His opening line which is on the minds of all is that it was too darn warm in the building.  Truthfully it had to be 70 plus degrees as it always is when we have gone to these meetings.    Yes, we all conserve in our homes to save money and it was suggested that the Town Hall building do the same.   We have all of the money and we have all of the staff to perform all things in our town but nothing is being managed properly.  Leaking roofs, burnt out lights in parking lots, etc.

The second slap in the face for us was as we walked into the Town Hall there was a sign in the middle of the hallway saying “Now Hiring Police – starting pay $56,+++”….. Does Hartford pay their policeman that much?  Again, we ask what is the average income for the entire town of Bloomfield?  How many policeman live in Bloomfield?  

How many town employees live in Bloomfield?  If we find the average income for Bloomfield is $35,000 – pretty sad that our town employees are making more then $50,000 except for two people.

Next was the line we all know…show us the money!  Roy mentioned that there were funds given to Bloomfield for drainage ditch repairs in the Foothills area of Bloomfield.  Money has been given to Bloomfield to ramp up Filley Pond – we are hearing to the tune of $1 million.  Where are these funds and why aren’t they being used?  People are extremely unhappy about both  areas not being repaired or replaced and they are making it known to all of the powers that be and still no progress.

We the tax payers simply can’t justify these costs in Public Safety, Board of Education, Economic Development Commission, Wintonbury Golf course and other areas until we know we need the service.

The Town Council did not come up with answers to Roy Duncan’s list of questions that were all spot on and all stated in the blogs.  I’m not clear if they are going to come up with the answers.  My take on this is it’s in our lap to get the stat’s ourselves.

We did get an accurate Per Student cost in Bloomfield which is approx. $13,000 plus not $17,000 or $19,000 that has been floating around.  Roy did mention scores are the lowest in the state and in our popluation rank of 30 towns we rank 29th.  Scores have to improve in this town. 

Board of Ed – there is fat that needs to be trimmed. Too many secretaries and a paid trip for a teacher to China for two weeks is not acceptable.  Who knows what else lurks.  Testing scores for the kids are not acceptable and we should not allow any increases in their budget until the scores go up.  It is that simple.  

Question still unanswered is how many children in town in total and how many do NOT attend the public school system vs how many attend our schools in this town that do not live in this town.   I guess I will have to call the superintendents office to find that out.

Crime statistics – where is the crime and how much do we have?  Police department should have those statistics.

Finance Committee meeting is next Monday as I mentioned earlier – one of the topics will be to consolidate the elementary schools in town into one and build a New larger school.  Compare that to keeping 3 older buildings that all 3 need major renovations.  If we have a new larger school with designs to have the small classrooms for Preschool to Grade 3 – the State of CT would be involved with funding that project at a larger level I gathered.  A new central school building would be more efficient to maintain.  

Good news time:  Our theater is having a Grand Opening next Thursday the 24th @ 5:00 p.m.!  Whoohooo!  Great news.  Keep in mind this would be a great place for us to get our “referendum” started since we need 900 votes to squash the budget.

If anyone watched 60 minutes this Sunday and saw those kids in Venezuela perform on stage – well, we have that same talent right in Bloomfield.  Bloomfield’s child musicians, instrumentalists and singers were on stage performing at the Bushnell last Friday night with the theme of “Visions”.  Some of the Council members attended and noted that the audience was so moved by the performance they were in tears during their performance. Scot Haney and Brad Davis were the MC’s.  Brad’s quote was “seven years ago there were just a handful of musicians at Bloomfield High…”

 Bravo Bloomfield!







Good morning Bloomfield Town Council ….It is our money!

April 12, 2008

The main problem that is not being “felt” with the most of the Council members is that it is our money they are spending.  Watching them toss our dollars around I feel like a parent that has given a 16 year old my credit card and off they go with no one watching over them as they run through the mall spending foolishly.  They cut last week from 5.9% increase to 2.8% and they can go lower for sure – 2.0% would be a great goal or even 0%.

I ask you… when someone looses their job in a household and income drops what does one do?  They start getting rid of expenses they don’t NEED.  What do we need?  Ask that realistically.  What do we really need in this town of Bloomfield?

We have 4 major expenses in town that we have control to lower the bill and/or make more effective.  Public Safety, Wintonbury Golf Course, Board of ED and the Economic Development Commission. 

Things we don’t have control over is our huge MDC bill and the bond expense for the new school.  The MDC bill that is quite large – in the millions – The State of CT is to blame for that bill.  Are we surprised? 

Okay,  we are gearing up for the week of April 14thmeetings and interesting questions and comments have come to me from my very concerned neighbors and people I do business in town and my associate who attends the meetings with me who is Michael Voutsas.

First question is what is the average income of the town of Bloomfield? Confirmed by the Council last week… not one employee makes less than $50,000 that works for the town except for two and they are in the Registrars office and they only work 20 hours a week.  God bless them.  This could be very upsetting if our average income in town is $35,000.  So, we need to get that figure.

How many employees for the town are actually residents of the town of Bloomfield?

The police!  This is absolutely out of control in that our town manager is hiring and desiring more coppers without firm data that we even need them.  We are spending $6 million for a staff of 54 and 33 being coppers for a small town like us of 20,000.  Our town manager is increasing to almost $7 million which is 8%  increase.  Question is, what the actual crime statistics and real numbers to justify these new coppers.  As Michael wrote to Councilman Merritt noting that the Town managers comments when asked why do we need the increase in Public Safety…”do you want another Hartford” does not justify an 8% increase and a bill of $7MM.  What are the stats?  This is an information society now.  We do not operate anymore with off the cuff answers to huge questions.  In my business I have to back up everything I say and I expect that same treatment from our town manager that I would give him.

How many policemen live in Bloomfield?

Another question is since we spend $17,000 per student in town – we are the lowest ranked in education. How many children are actually in town and how many do “not” attend the public schools in Bloomfield?

We all know that Gillette Ridge and Wintonbury have put Bloomfield on the map.  The only way that Bloomfield could get to front row is to increase the scores of our school system and brag about it.  Scream and shout because when buyers are moving into town they look at schools for resale value of their home. 

I have one businessman in town that said to me yesterday “is Bloomfield trying to force me out of town” becuase of taxes?  Why am I staying here  when I could go to Simsbury or Avon and pay the same in taxes and get better appreciation on my house.  Of course I said the same thing last year.  Since I am in the biz of selling property I have looked at moving to Avon or Simsbury because of that same reason even though I do not have children.  We obviously spend enough and it is obvious the $ is not going to the children.  We have too many “secretaries” at the BOE and we should NOT be paying for a teacher to go to China for two weeks that you and I are paying for.  That is absolute thievery!

Next question: Why don’t we have someone in town that we already employee gather data from all over the country on different tax plans that each town that benefits the townspeople?  There are loads of progressive tax plans to help the people in town without basing it on income of the townspeople.  Tax caps, tax freezes, there are loads of programs that are very fair that we are not even studying.  Let’s go – get to work – get the data and let’s get pro-active.  Hmmmmmm – maybe people would want to move to Bloomfield if we were state of the art with our tax plan.  Wow, there’s an idea!!!!!!!

Wintonbury Golf course – it is a disaster in that – if you observe that the course is packed 7 days a week from sun up to sundown wouldn’t you think that it should be paying for itself?  Well, it’s not.  We the town are still paying for Wintonbury GC.  Okay, so where would you look first?  How is it being run?  Managment perhaps?  I do know from extremely knowedgeable sources that Managment is not qualified for their jobs.  We are not sure who hired these people but that is the most obvious place to look.  The GM and the Pro need to be moved out and we need qualified people running the show.  Until that happens things will not change even when we get rid of the $400,000 annual lease payments next year.  Im smellin a rat!

Economic Development Commission.  The person is our town managers pick and the pick has got to either pick up or pack up.  That department is asking for this year $139,737 I believe an 8.66 increase.  I have done research on the department and the person never shows up to meetings and when the person does attend any EDC meetings for other towns they are late.  The person is very ineffective was the general consensus.  Now one of our council members brought up to put another $50K into the pot.  We need to get what we have out and reassign the salary for this job.  We need someone effective in that department and we don’t want our Town Manager to have the say on who it will be this time.

I still think it is pretty lousy that the Talcott Mountain Science Center doesn’t use a Bloomfield address since it is in our town.   

Any questions or comments you want heard or answered please comment from this blog or shoot me an email at

I am starting to dream about these issues now – not good for my sleep.  Gotta go and make some money today to stay current with my taxes.






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April 2, 2008

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