Board of Selectmen November 26, 2012
Although the agenda was posted on the town bulletin board
for this meeting, the email distribution did not go out to the residents and
the town website did not have the agenda posted. However, the meeting met the
FOI guidelines but did not meet a transparent distribution of information by
the town staff.
I am very concerned that the public audience section of the
Board of Selectmen agenda has turned into a fiasco. First Selectman Mary
Glassman and this board have allowed public audience to become confrontational
with First Selectman Mary Glassman losing control of the meeting. The Board of
Selectmen were ordered by court order, November 14, 1990, Joan Coe v. Ted
Tansi, H-90-554, to maintain public
audience and set aside ½ hour for public audience giving each person 5 minutes
to address the board. It also states that this board serves at the pleasure of
the citizens, not the board. When the citizens observe the large timer on the
screen and the bells that ring after five minutes, they would realize that this
board is not interested in participatory government but embraces the lobbyists
who come forward and are willing to ask for our tax dollars to satisfy their
needs with no time restraints. First Selectman Mary Glassman, who has lost
control of public audience has stated that public audience should be held at 7
PM, then have the meeting recessed until 7:30 PM so the lobbyists would not be
burdened with public audience as this board is.
This is not government by the people for the people but government for a
few 1% ers. It is time that we the people urge the parties to select a First
Selectman and members to our Board of Selectmen who are interested and engaged
when the public participates in Public Audience. Shame on this Board!
Special attention is given to the bike lobby who has taken
hours of staff time to promote their cause. What are they charged for in kind
The golfers donated $5,000 for a gift if the town matched
their amount for their special interests. First Selectman Mary Glassman stated
in the minutes of their meeting that she would find the matching $5,000 in the
budget. Is this appropriate use of taxpayer money?
First Selectman Mary Glassman stated in the minutes of the
Housing Authority that she would have the Highway Department plow their private
road. In the November 8, 2012 minutes it
( Director LaMontagne) stated that the Town salted and plowed the
roadways here after the recent snowstorm.” Who gave the highway department the
order to salt and plow a private road? Did the Housing Authority pay in
The taxpayers paid $24,000 for a study to evaluate the
performing arts and we were told that if there was money in the performing arts
budget they would pay. Why have the taxpayers paid for a study that states that
the town should not be in the entertainment business and the facility in its
present state does not meet the needs
for a performing arts center. The undertaking appears to be a failure. There
have been many hours of town staff used to support this failed endeavor. Is the
town charging them for in kind services?
Now this board was presented with a deal from the Land Trust
to sell Pharos Farm. Pharos Farm was to
be used for athletic fields and many studies stated that it was appropriate
being contiguous with Curtis Park. The Center Zone Charrette highlighted the
use of the Meadows for housing development. Pharos Farm would be the likely
area for the athletic fields when the clubs need additional fields when the
Meadows are used for development. There should be an environmental impact study
on the Hall property before anyone purchases the property. This board should
not be in a business partnership with the Land Trust .
At the last meeting we heard from Ronald Janeczko, Landworks
Development who purchased land from Ensign Bickford Realty in Powder Forest.
Ensign Bickford would not have been allowed to develop the property for housing
without promising the Zoning Commission that they would set aside homes for
affordable housing and they would develop the community for 55 and over. Now
the Zoning Commission has eliminated the restriction on the property purchased
by Landworks and it is presently without restrictions on the age of the owners,
giving Landworks an open market and a larger profit margin. Overturning the age
restrictions will have younger people with school age children buying these
homes costing taxpayers for their education. Now we hear that Janeczko wants to
eliminate the affordable part of the original application. Janeczko purchased
this property from Ensign Bickford Realty
with this caveat in place. The people who purchased the affordable homes
were aware of the restrictions and purchased these homes anyway. The Board of
Selectman should not eliminate the restriction on the property for
affordability. This is a business decision between Enisgn Bickford and
Landworks. If Janesczko made a poor
business decision he should go back to the seller, Ensigh Bickford. It is not
the Board of Selectman to allow Janeczko to maximize his profits at the expense
of the Simsbury residents. Simsbury needs affordable housing. It is not the
responsibility of this board to bail out people who make poor business
decisions. I would urge this board to
reject the Janeczco proposal.
Eno Farms has not been sold due to ongoing litigation.
Recently there was a sign near the Eno Farms entry sign stating the property
was for lease. Is this deceptive advertising? All classified ads state rentals.
Why the change? If you notice in the picture, next to the sign is a lamp post
on the ground at the entry to the complex. When will the light post be
replaced? Has the town had any ongoing discussions with CHFA?
I recently took a picture of a garbage barrel at the
Simsbury Farms Paddle courts. This was left over from evening play. How can
anyone play paddle and consume all this alcohol? Do the paddle players have
designated drivers after play? Who receives the money from the recycling of the
bottles and cans? It is time this board review the policy on alcohol
consumption on town property. If the Board of Education has a no alcohol policy
on their fields, why can’t the town?
This year is going to be extremely challenging for the
budget process with many unknowns. The State is bleeding in red ink with
revenues diminished and expenditures out of control. The money that we have
become accustomed from the State will probably be diminished. Our investment
income has also diminished with unrealistic assumptions on returns. With
revaluation this year the assessor is projecting real estate to reduce 15%,
commercial real estate 20 % and vehicles and personal property remaining the
same. With The Hartford insurance Company selling off their assists their taxes
will be reduced greatly. With this outlook I would urge the Board of Selectmen
to have a “0” increase in the budget. The CNR and Capital Expenditure budget
must be reviewed and reduced. We cannot go off the fiscal cliff.