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Letter: 'Southbury Selectman Was Wrong'

Southbury DTC Chair says Republicans are a party of “just say no”, questions local Republicans.

Editor,

A recent letter to the Editor from Selectman Landmon drew my attention.  He contested that the bid given to the Town for cleanup was unacceptable and that there were reasonable, and I assume he means less costly, alternatives. We can debate the facts but in this instance I believe Chad was wrong.

More eloquent individuals than I noted at the two Town meetings that the expense in both direct costs and man hours to complete this burdensome task would far outstrip what it would entail to bring in well equipped experts to get the job done quickly and effectively.  Chad offered no well-thought out alternative nor is there any comments in his remarks that he tried to work with the First Selectman to develop an alternative.

The arguments to proceed with the experts made at the first Town meeting and then again at the next meeting were convincing. In both instances our neighbors who were there voted overwhelmingly to proceed. Now I don’t anticipate that the selectmen will always agree but given the evidence that this was the correct (and neighborly) thing to do I begin to suspect what else is at play.

We’re barely into this administration’s tenure and there seems to be the appearance of an effort to be divisive. On a national level the Republican Party, since Mr. Obama became our president, has been the party of “just say no”. Is it possible that what we are seeing in Southbury is a reflection of what’s happing more broadly? I may be wrong but my sixth sense about these things gives me pause.

Signed,

Drew Morten
Chair, Southbury DTC
drumort@aol.com       

Stop the madness February 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
And my sixth sense is telling me that Edelson's administration has an inherent arrogance that causes it to bristle when challenged in even the smallest way. A little too proud with the 'if you liked my campaign, you'll love the way we run town hall' perhaps? Why argue this point in this instance when your agenda went through both times without a hitch? Is everyone supposed to zip it and swoon with gratitude that this adminstration is gracing us with their supposed coolness and transparency? Of course, Ms. Hubert was so silent during the Davis administration that I am still convinced that she is a closet republican. How much damage is she responsible for due to her silence? I blame her for the circus as much as I do Davis (almost). The more checks and balances we have, the better. Challenge away Chad!
Suzy S February 20, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Like!
Long Time Resident February 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM
ARROGANCE: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions. Ed is using a website bought, owned and paid for by the taxpayers to defend his positions. Tree Cutting and Removal, Bid Process and Hiring. He is also using his position, title and authority to post his defense on Social Media, Southbury Patch and the Voices. Apparently like Washington politics, you forget the constitution allows for such debate and disagreement. The difference here is, we the taxpayer pays for Ed to spin and defend his positions and actions, Selectman Landmon did so on his own time at no cost to the taxpayer. Mr. Morten is right, we are only starting the new administration. The change we were looking for has yet to show its head, but what have we seen? 1. The spending of $500,000 to clean up storm debris after the Democrat selectmen sat silent in Sept and Oct. 2. 2 bidding issues where the department head is being given carte blanche to continue fleecing. Seriously, how hard is it to make 3 or 4 phone calls? 3. The unadvertised hiring of an unqualified member of the friends and family plan which should result in disciplinary action of involved employees. 4. Republicans removed from the Parks and Rec Commission. 5. Photos of everything for the next election. If Mrs. Gore were here for the mower vote: a 3-3 tie with the "no" vote of a democrat would have been a defeat...Lose the attitude and live up to the hype!
Gary February 20, 2012 at 10:54 PM
It always amazes me how a vendor bids low $200,000 and then doesn't complete the job, and then the taxpayers have to pay $500,000 instead. How does that work? Isn't the vendor accountable for his bid?
Long Time Resident February 21, 2012 at 01:56 AM
RUK, I think that's the point Selectman Landmon was making. The company agreed to do the job for specific amount and has now come back asking to double that amount. What did happen to the first amount and why couldn't the job be completed for the money originally agreed to? The other question is, who is the town employee responsible for the $250,000 screw up and why are they still working and being paid with our tax dollars? NBC30 is doing a story tonight at 11pm on the State needing to step in to stop price gouging by companies doing storm cleanup work in the state. That could never happen in Southbury. Could it?
carol renza February 21, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Surprise, surprise... it is the duty and obligation of ALL members of the Board of Selectmen to question and challenge expenditures on behalf of the taxpayer. I am perplexed why anyone would call Chad out for standing up for what he believes is right. I happened to not agree with him on this one matter, but I sure want to see him up there speaking his conscience on this and all expenditures as he has since a member of the BOS. Chad is doing his job just fine, thank you ...BUT: where were the Dems (and I made this point many times in the past as a member of that party) when Carol Hubert sat on her hands supporting most of Davis' expenditures and failures to bid, never raising question or voting objection (Chad, Gittines, and John Turk did on many occasions). This makes her part of the problem at town hall - which continues with the new administration's failure to recognize their duty in obtaining at least 3 price quotations - if bids not practical for all expenditures such as the $117,000 mower and Truck/Bucket well over $150,000 ... Instead of criticizing Landmon, perhaps what the party leadership should do is tell Ed to get off the dime and see that his department heads obtain appropriate quotations before Southbury continues to be the laughingstock among towns that it was under Davis' administration. Seems like we just can't get our act together.
Concerned citizen February 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM
IF the highway dept had the proper equipment and manpower there might not be the need for all this sparring amongst everyone. With all the monies in the general account that our treasurer wants to get rid of within three years, why is a new safe under warranty bought such as a bucket truck an new grader. These are needed for our crews to be able to do their jobs safely, hiring moe men would also help as more work can get dome year round and would eliminate the need for contractors ind the winter for plowing and sanding. Think of how much money the town will lose if any of our guys. get hurt on recycled or defective equipment.
carol renza February 21, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Concerned Citizen: No one here is arguing against purchases that are needed for Highway Dept. We knew last summer the bucket truck was needed. Plenty of time to get competitive prices for that and a mower-tractor. This is not difficullt: What we are saying is it unacceptable to go to the BOS asking approval for expenditures over $100,000 with only one bid and without comparative price quot What we Are arguing
carol renza February 21, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Correction to above: ...without competitive price quotes or bids... What we are arguing for is the change we thought we voted for, NOT excuses and defense of department heads who are conducting the business of spending hundreds of thousands of $, exactly as they did under Davis.
Justin Bette February 21, 2012 at 02:10 PM
FYI--The original bid was for $529,000. When considering the expenditure Selectman Landmon suggested the job be cut into 2 pieces. The Board approved that motion. Hence the two appropriations, one for $275k and one for $250k. The job will be finished for $4000 less than original estimate. Keep in mind the town is only on the hook for 25% of that, $131,250.
Questioning citizen February 21, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Chad Landman has the right to question anything he wishes but without offering other options he is just being a naysayer. If you don't like something that is going on, come up with a better solution - he's just a complainer. I have not seen him offer anything construction on any issue yet.
carol renza February 21, 2012 at 03:44 PM
TO: Concerned Citizens: Your criticism appears off base since Chad Landmon made it clear his vote had everything to do with whether this expenditure is a wise use of taxpayer funds, whether this process has been managed correctly and whether there are cheaper alternatives and expressed his concern estimates were off by a factor of 10. We expect our elected to raise questions - It's called a system of checks and balances something sorely lacking under Davis by the minority party!
carol renza February 21, 2012 at 03:52 PM
PS: Although I did not support Landmon's position when I voted for this expenditure, it is his duty as an elected member of the BOS to express his concerns!
Skip JAcobs February 22, 2012 at 12:04 AM
The bucket truck was solicited to one vendor and they wanted big dollars like 220,00 for one that could be purchased for a lot less. Thas idiot crowe comes up witht he idea to place a new lift on an old truck for more than what u can by a new one one for. As for the mower he was lazy and just wanted to take the easy out with the state bid as the money he is playing with is not his but ours.
Skip JAcobs February 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM
The orginal bid was for 529,00.00 but that poor excuse of a public works director when asked by the board of selectman if it could be done for 275,00 said yes. certanily he was clueless and had no for sight. However he had no problem throwing it back in everyones face that he was right and requested the rest of the money.
Skip JAcobs February 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Drew Morten if he had it his way along with Ed will spend the town into oblivion. The republicans for years built up the funds but when they are gone they are gone. I see two years of mis managment and spending. New boss like the old boss he has showed us nothing and he sides with his department heads. Ed thinks the world of Tom Crowe that moron the man is not fit to command his own mop, let alone run a public works department. He was fired from chesire and hired by southbury. What in the hell is going on with this town ????
Gary February 22, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Let me remind everyone that last year, if I recall right, "Mary Kate" quoted Crowe stating he was quitting this year, and he was only concerned with getting his pension. This is the same Crowe that claimed the sand sold by the state last winter was "old sand" missing an opportunity to save us a bunch of $$$
Skip JAcobs February 22, 2012 at 08:05 PM
U got it. For crowe to have his pension he needs to stay until 2014 for ten years he was hired in 2004 Gog helps with two more years of this.
Gary February 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM
10 years is too short a time to be worthy of a pension. If someone seeks employment in three different towns for only 10 years per job,they collect from 3 pensions. That is wrong and motivates the employee to "move on" as soon as he is tenured. Corporations require longer tenure. I think this issue should be addressed.
Skip JAcobs February 22, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Ru Kidding, I agree with u. The whole town is so scrwed up I don't think it will ever be fixed.

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