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Friday, March 7, 2008

Politics at play?

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
MILFORD — Republicans led by Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. are questioning whether politics is the reason aldermanic Chairman Ben Blake, D-5, has “disbanded” the Education Funding Committee.
“It’s funny the old board voted to continue the Education Funding Committee, and Ben Blake voted for it,” Richetelli said. “If Ben was in favor of it in November, why is he not in favor of it now? It’s odd.”
According to minutes of the November Board of Aldermen meeting, the board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution to extend the Education Funding Committee into this year.
Richetelli and other Republicans contend that Blake “disbanded” the committee, but Blake said it’s all a misunderstanding. Blake said “as soon as possible” he will appoint a new committee that will have a broader focus than the Education Funding Committee. He said its sole purpose was state Education Cost Sharing funds, and he’d like to see the new committee focus on an array of legislative issues affecting Milford.
“I’m looking to appoint a committee with similar goals,” Blake said.
Former aldermanic Chairman Thomas Beirne, R-5, appointed the Education Funding Committee last year after former Alderwoman Joan Politi, R-1, sought the task force’s creation, urging the state to undertake tax and revenue redistricting to provide relief for Milford taxpayers. At the time the panel was created, members said the current ECS grant formula has resulted in grossly inadequate funding for Milford.
Richetelli said he is convinced that “politics” has played a role in Blake’s disbanding of the committee because it was initiated by Republicans. He said it’s a foolish move because the “whole purpose of the group was to serve as an advocacy group to bring more money back to Milford from Hartford.
“The goal was to bring more tax dollars. This is very befuddling,” Richetelli said.
BBlake again asserted he did not disband the committee instead he called it a group that “sunsets” once the new board took over.eirne said Thursday that he had hoped the committee in its current form would have continued, but that decision is clearly up to the new chairman.
Beirne said while the former board adopted the resolution at its last meeting, it still is not a binding act, and Blake was under no obligation to keep the committee intact. But he said it’s still interesting that Blake voted for the resolution.
“Ben may have had his fingers crossed when he voted,” Beirne said. “I didn’t sit that close to him.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Politics were definitely at play when this committee was originally formed by the City Republicans. It appeared only to be a forum to hit the majority Democratic State legislature over the head. Pam Staneski and Tome Beirne repeatedly referred laws to provide a decent education to all children in the State as "unfunded mandates". The truth is the Milford Board of Ed has more control over spending than they want to admit.

Republicans, do your job and stop blaming others for your shortcommings.

March 17, 2008 at 3:35 PM 
Anonymous The Scarlet Pimpernel said...

Dear Brown, Where have you been living for the past 5 years? Milford continually gets less and less from Hartford in the form of Education dollars, yet we keep electing the same folks to represent us to "bring home the bacon" and all they come back with is a piece of stale bread. We NEED to get our fair share. Why do you think taxes keep going up, one reason is getting less back from the capitol. As for unfunded mandates,the truth is it is TRUE. Harford gives us less and then demands more, with the net result being Milford goes close to being in the Red, which is what Hartford wants, then they can control us by making us dance for the money needed to fund the crap they demand we offer. Big Gov. is at play here boys & girls and don't you think otherwise. So MVBrown, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

March 25, 2008 at 8:04 AM 

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