Board of Selectmen Meeting - September 24, 2012 Public Audience

Public Policy Issues

Board of Selectmen September 24, 2012

Once again I would like to urge all residents of Simsbury to
vote NO on the Charter Revision question on the ballot, November 6. Both John
Hampton and Lisa Heavner voted No on the revised Charter and so should the
residents. Why forward a Charter that is bad public policy?  The Charter has structural flaws that reduces
the elected First Selectman responsibility, and increases the responsibility of
the pseudo First Selectman without the final authority to perform his or her
duties. The tasks for the Design Review committee has its responsibilities
reduced or eliminated. With all the required rules and regulations required by
State and Federal Laws, the Chief Operating Officer of Simsbury should have
knowledge of public policy and long term planning. The Charter does not give
the public the opportunity to choose a professional Town Manager. First
Selectman Mary Glassman stated that the town is evolving toward a Town Manager
but we are not there yet. If this is so, why has Mary Glassman ducked from the
issue when her campaign literature states she is in favor of a Town Manager?
Until Simsbury has a choice of Town Manager, the present Charter will suffice.
Vote NO for changes to the Charter.

Presently there are 4 vacancies at Eno Farms and CHFA cannot
sell the property since the title to the property cannot be certified. The Eno
Farms complex under the Eno Trust was for the “poor of Simsbury” and it also
stipulates that the Town must oversee the property. Since there has been
continued litigation, I feel it is time for the Town to continue discussions
with the Simsbury Housing Authority to purchase and manage the rental units
since there is no final sale of the property. Time is of the essence.  Eno Farms should not be sold to a for profit
organization. This sale appears to be inconsistent with the Trust.

Since the contract for the restaurant at the Simsbury Golf
Course has expired and the present owner is not renewing the contract, it is
the perfect time for the Golf Course to be sold or contracted to a private
company. The golf course has drained town’s resources for years and the
taxpayers have been asked to pay for all Capital Improvements although we
constantly hear it is self sufficient. The time is right to consider
contracting out the golf course and the restaurant. The August 26, 2012 minutes
of the Parks and Recreation Committee state that they would like to fund a
Master Plan for the Simsbury Golf Course. It is noted that the Men’s Club
donated $5,000 towards this effort. The minutes state, “ Mr. Wetjen recently
received a verbal commitment from Mary Glassman, First Selectman, that $5,000
of the town budget would be set aside to match the grant from the Men’s Club.”
Who gave Mary Glassman permission to spend tax dollars without any
authorization? Why more tax dollars to the Golf Course? The taxpayers should be
concerned that their tax money is diverted to the Simsbury Farms Men’s Club.
How many other clubs are getting tax money through Mary Glassman’s verbal
commitments? We need to know!

The Town recently paid $24,500 for a consultant to review
all the expenditures, revenues and management of the Performing Arts Concerts. When
is the town going to make this report available to the public and discuss the
failures that were noted? It appears that the town should not be in the
Performing Arts business. Since the present operation is a failure what is this
board’s thoughts on the appropriate use of the facility?

I would like to report that the 730 Hopmeadow Street
business owned by David Richman continues to have a temporary handicapped ramp
and there are no Handicapped Parking places for people to use. This is in
violation with State law. When is the town going to impose fines on David
Richman until he conforms to State and Town regulations?

Has the town received the final report from Septemberfest
and the Home Improvement participation? The Performing Arts minutes of August
22, state,” Mr. Hensley reported that Mary Glassman( First Selectman) had
authorized the funding of a large tent for the use of the town’s many 501c3
organizations.” Where did this money come from? 
Why are the taxpayers constantly paying for alleged self sufficient projects?
Has the Hartford Symphony paid the $1106 owed the Town?

At the last meeting I questioned the expenditures paid to
Imagineers , the town’s rental agent. Has anyone reviewed these large
expenditures paid to them for services?

Recently Westminster school has given the town $99,000 in
lieu of taxes since they are exempt from paying taxes. Throughout the years
they have contributed to the general fund since they receive services from the
town. This is not the case from the elite Ethel Walker School who also benefits
from a tax exemption and has not donated any money to the town in lieu of
taxes. The town has also provided services to the elite Ethel Walker School and
enhanced their general fund through the purchase of their land.  The elite Ethel Walker School has oversight
over our Community Farm which is part of the Eno Trust, for the poor of
Simsbury.” It appears with the appointment of Mark Nolan , retired Principal of
the Avon School system that the farm is evolving into a Charter or Magnet
School, in violation of the Eno Trust. When is the elite Ethel Walker School
going to donate money to Simsbury’s General Fund? When is this board going to
review management of the community Farm for compliance with the Eno Trust? Is
the Town at risk when management changes without the approval of this board?

Recently there was a storage trailer with East Coast
Greenway painted on the trailer parked overnight on the town’s parking lot off
Iron Horse Boulevard. It appears that the town does not have a policy or a
process for permission to park vehicles or trailers overnight.  Lack of a policy on overnight parking, can
people park their RV vehicles in the 
parking lot for extended period of times? Presently this area could become
a RV park.

In recent conversations it became evident that people, who
call the police department with a 911 cell phone without a SIM card, have a
false sense of security.  If the person
calling on these phones cannot speak to the dispatch and give information to
them, they will not be serviced. Just saying HELP will not bring police
services to the victim since there isn’t any phone number to cross reference.
People should be aware of the 911 cell phone shortcomings.

In a recent article in the Hartford Courant, The Hartford’s
retirement Business Sale: Bad News for Region? The article from the Haar Report
states, When The Hartford sells its retirement plans business to MassMutual for
$400 million, the news for employees could be grim.”  What is the Town’s position on this volatile
issue? The sale of The Hartford could have devastating affects to our Grand
List and property values.  I would urge
First Selectman Mary Glassman to provide updates as part of her First
Selectman’s Report on the Board of Selectmen agenda at each meeting.

I am very disappointed with our choice for Simsbury’s State
Representative.  Both candidates have
serious character flaws. I would not vote for Charity Folk if I were concerned
about family values. Her campaign literature talks about family and has a
picture with her stepchildren. If Charily Folk embraces her stepchildren and
uses them as props for her campaign, why is it alleged that her stepson was not
able to pay the $300 fee for football camp and others had to foot the bill?  It appears to me that Charity begins at home.
Why should the football team pay for Mike Girard’s son to participate in
football camp? The Home Improvement Show that Charity managed was a failure,
placing the tents away from all the foot traffic a second year in a row.   Now
Charity has recognized her failure in managing events and has hired an event
planner for the Simsbury Chamber.  The
Septemberfest that was managed by Charity Folk, and was turned over to the
performing arts. It is one failure after another.

John Hampton has spent most of his adult life in one room
rentals. His property taxes have been under $100 when he remembers to pay them.
Hampton has not been able to maintain employment and the questions voters
should ask is why?  How can John Hampton
state in his campaign literature that he will increase jobs when he hasn’t had
a permanent job in years? His office has been in the Simsbury library, rent
free. Most of his adult life he has been involved in politics promising
everything and delivering next to nothing. 

These candidates are the choices of the Republican and
Democratic Parties. I cannot endorse either candidate for State
Representative.  This shows failed
leadership in both parties to find worthy candidates to represent Simsbury.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeff Brush October 01, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Hi Folks, I have deleted several comments from this post. While it's our policy to allow fair, open dialogue about the issues, we strongly discourage the posting of comments under false names and creating accounts in the name of another reader. Please refer to our terms of use if you have any further questions http://simsbury.patch.com/terms.
Avery Newton October 01, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Mr. Brush: Why is it OK for Ms. Coe to post nasty personal comments in the guise of public policy statements?


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