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Board of Selectmen October 10, 2012 Public Audience

Public Policy Issues

Board  of Selectmen
October 10, 2012

As we near the election, it is time for everyone to understand the Resolution to change the Town Charter. Both Deputy Selectman John Hampton and Lisa Heavner stated that the town residents should vote "no." The Charter before the voters will reduce the First Selectman position to a figurehead position with a pseudo Town Manager managing the town.

Why not have a Professional Town Manager with all the responsibilities manage the town? 

We the people are paying through our taxes a 6 figure salary for an elected First
Selectman will all responsibilities delegated to a hired hand increasing the
cost of government and our taxes. This is not government for the people.

The Design Review Board who consists of professional land use people will be
stripped of their responsibilities as an unbiased expert. We could drastically
change the Character of Simsbury under the guise of economic development with
the Charter changes. The Charter proposed for a vote is a failed Charter that
should be rejected. Vote "no!"

Recently the land use boards have changed the use of the Powder Forest property from a 55 and over community to an open community, increasing the school population and increasing taxes. There are continued discussions on eliminating some set aside property for affordable housing. This was a promise made by Ensign Bickford Realty as a precondition to accept the development. Now they are reneging on their promise to the town. Simsbury is presently 31 affordable units short in Town.

The Town should not allow a promise to be broken so a developer can make more money. There are many creative ways a developer can meet the affordable prerequisite. This board should not allow a developer change the promise of affordable set asides for monetary gain.

It appears that the sale price of Eno Farms Affordable Housing is being greatly reduced due to the continued court claims by the 5 renters who refuse to vacate the premises as described in the Hartford Courant Article , “Eno Farms Tenants Appeal Decision.”  Due to the lawsuit the purchase price will be reduced from $3 Million to $2 million and costs of $100,000 will be added. 

The buyers are not able to receive clear title until the litigation is over. This would be a good time for the Town to pressure the Simsbury Housing Authority to take over the management and ownership of Eno Farms. This property should not be purchased by a for profit entity. There have been several ads in the papers for rentals and as of this date there remain 4 empty units. Could it be that the rents are too high for very low and low income renters when they start at $1,185?

Has the Town reviewed the change in management at the Community Farm of Simsbury for compliance with the Eno Trust? Does the person living in the house at the farm have a contract with the Town  and is this person eligible under the Eno Trust covenant? Is anyone on this board concerned that neglect places the town at great risk?

It appears that Dave Richman owner of 730 Hopmeadow Street
is still not in compliance with a temporary ramp and no Handicapped Parking
spaces? This has been going on for 6 years. It appears this is a political
football with no resolve.

Tonight this board is reviewing the final report from the Performing Arts Board. It appears that there are many omissions.  Why at this date are the numbers not finalized? When will town staff time be included in the costs of managing the performing arts?  According to theminutes of the September 19 PAC Minutes state, “ Numbers are not finalized, Fidelco walk still needs to make their payment, need to verify that everything has been posted/paid, tent used by Verizon has yet to pay for its tent, leftover soda and water to be sold, Town of Simsbury has yet to pay for its  tent. Has the town collected all payment due from the Hartford Symphony?   How can the PAC board move forward with all these omissions and problems with collections from all the events and the consultant report that gave a failed report to the management?

At the last Finance Board meeting there were discussions on how to manage the Town’s CNR Account. At the last budget vote the line items for the CNR budget was omitted and the $367,810 was approved. Since the town must have a line item budget has the town defined the line items and the expenditures?

Recently there was a for sale sign on the property owned by
one of the executives at the Simsbury Hartford insurance Company. It appears
that many employees will be leaving Simsbury and many mega mansions will be for sale. How will the attrition of employees at The Hartford reflect on the revaluation and property values in Simsbury?

One of the agenda items tonight are the fees for the paddle courts at Simsbury Farms. It appears that the paddle courts fees have been increased and the ice rink fees remain the same although it is extremely labor and energy intensive. What justification is there for singling out the paddle players? In the past First Selectman Mary Glassman has stated that since the walk- on fees at the paddle courts are arbitrary and since it cannot be enforced there should not be a fee for walk-ons. The office is not open during early play and not open on holidays and weekends for collection. This fee is unable to enforce and should be eliminated. Nobody pays for walk-ons on the tennis courts and fields, why the paddle courts? There is no interaction with the town with walk-ons.   I would urge
this board not approve the increased fees for the Paddle Courts.

It is shameful that the Republican and Democratic candidates Hampton and Folk who volunteered for the position of State Rep. are our choices for both parties. One of John Hampton issues last year was to enforce the speeding limit on Riverside Road. Hampton brought it before the Public Safety meetings and had the highway department place logos on the road with the 25 mile speed limit. However, John Hampton was pulled over by the Simsbury Police for going 42 miles an hour. It appears that Hampton is no longer living in a room at 33 West Mountain Road.  Has his rent been paid in full? Is this the candidate we want to represent Simsbury? Charity Folk cannot be a promoter of family values with her track record. Folk is promoting businesses but she has twice failed to promote The Home Improvement Show during Septemberfest  by placing the tents in the far end of the field away from the foot traffic  of Septemberfest. Only after complaints from the businesses did she move the tents. This is not the person that should
represent herself as something she is not.  How can she promote small business with this failed leadership? If the leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties did some work promoting the position instead of having anyone volunteer for the
position to represent Simsbury at the State we would have worthy candidates.
Charity Folk had to change her Independent classification to Republican in
order to run for the position. John Hampton does not have viable employment and
has time to show up at all events making himself the candidate for State
Representative.  Hampton’s platform is helping people get jobs. Much of his time is spent at the Simsbury Library where it appears Hampton has his office, using the town computer as noted in this picture.  Simsbury has failed leadership and we have unqualified candidates with failed leadership to
represent Simsbury.

I would urge everyone to vote NO on the Charter Revision changes on the ballot, Nov. 6.

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.

Robert Kalechman October 11, 2012 at 05:28 AM
At the board of selectman meeting tonight October 10th 2012 the board of selectman refuse Ms Joan Coe her right to finish her public audience address such behavior by elected selectman I have never witness in all my years and for Ms Haase, Heavner,and Mr Askham. and the deputy selectman Hampton to walk out is very rudd and shows very poor manors why did they want and ask to be elected if they will not hear the citizen of Simsbury out were is the States Attorney who enforces the law when Federal Court Orders are broken by people who are well connected and tell and show us they can break any law or is the Chief States Attorney Kane waiting for the Boards of Selectman letter writers to bet her up to shut her up What is next for Simsbury's citizens to be arrested by the police for peaceably assembling and petitioning their government use your right to free speech Simsbury citizens or you will surely lose it .
Highway Worker October 11, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I have always enjoyed Joan's speeches at the BOS meetings. They are informative and humorous. Now, John Hampton's ticket for speeding on River Road is really old news. The horse is on the stamp. The other issue is, I never knew it was a "crime" to work on a computer at the library it is for public use...right? Charity Folk I agree with Joan. But, I will vote for John he really cares about his town and the Valley.
Jennifer October 11, 2012 at 05:42 PM
John is a clown in a business suit. He is running his campaign out of the public library. I don't want my tax dollars supporting this. If the library has rules prohibiting people from campaigning on it's premises they should hold fast to it...or don't the rules apply to everyone. Hampton is using the library as his own personal Staples. Get your head out of the clouds.
Highway Worker October 11, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I am pretty grounded there Jen. If there are rules, so be it. But if there are not, what is the issue? There does not seem to be a waiting line for computers.
Robert Kalechman October 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Dear Mister Highway worker You have once again with the so called democratic attack dogs slogan victory at any price and motto's off 1939 Germany's New Order . You have must the point at hand it may not be new news that John Hampton was stop for speeding the issue is was John Hampton giving special treatment by the Simsbury Police Department and why?. It is public record that democratic Selectman John Hampton is a member of the Simsbury Police Commission and as such is receiving special treatment not only from his commission but by order of the Board of Police commissioners in my opinion who want to run the simsbury Police Department and in most cases in my opinion do Mr Hampton as a member of the Board of Selectman votes on a library budget each year and one year he voted to cut the library budget he also is a member of the town of Simsbury personal Sub Committee need i say more Tax payer money is not to be used for a candidate's political campaign and not to be conducted on Town property (Letters ,Signs use of town property)Mister Highway it is your right to vote for any one you want to, but you do not have the right to call people names because they do not agree with you and hide behind a phony name that you use because you are a shamed to use your own name

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