I agree with those who think this blog has turned too much into a feud between Mr. Freda and myself about the past. So I'm running Mario's comment again, including the comments made to it, and let's focus on these and other issues. Of course, anyone else who wants to keep up the conversation with Mr. Freda is welcome to in comments to the blog entries dealing with his candidacy and comments.
Many of us are willing to read about and debate your unique vision and novel plans for the future. However, so far there hasn't been much to debate. Since nobody stands for bad schools, taking a position in favor of schools simply isn't a distinguishing issue.
By contrast, we already have some interesting and probably controversial visions on the table. Is it time to revisit the town charter (as required by law)? In the process, should we move to a more modern form of government (as Mr. W has suggested)? Has the political process served us well or might we benefit from professional management?
While pondering some large issues, such as this one, there is no shortage of smaller and easier ones to tackle. Should high-ranking town employees get medical benefits for themselves and family for life? Should they receive a huge retirement pension?
Should the audit be continued? What should be its scope?
Regarding the school budget, is there a better way to vote and decide? Specifically, can changes be made to prevent politicians from pitting education against other interests?
How can we make officials more responsive? One good change is Janet M will be holding meetings at times when more people can attend. I suggest that all elected officials have an email that is available to the citizens. I know that Janet M and Steve F have done so for some time and they are always quick to respond. I am not aware that Mr. Freda ever made available his email. For those officials who have office phones, those too should be available. We need to minimize the secrecy tendencies of future politicians.
Then there's the matter that an independent raised. Roughly, the point was that independents can/do determine the outcomes of the elections and yet they are ultimately given no voice in the government. Should we try to change that? Any ideas on how to do it? This issue could be pressing if Janet M chooses not to accept Mr. Freda.
For those interested in the issue of independent participation in North Haven's government, here's a North Haven Post column on the subject, which I wrote several months ago. Independents interested in being appointed to a board and commission should let First Selectwoman-elect Janet McCarty know: 239-1913, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell your Independent friends.
Mario,Yes, I agree that there are too many important and potentially transforming issues to allow Mr. Freda to set the debate agenda on this blog. Thus far, he has taken no novel stands, offered no novel solutions, and offered no novel perspectives. Let's debate progressive issues, not tired republican positions.
Big Al said...
Open question to anyone who might be able to answer.Is there a specific reason why an unaffiliated voter cannot serve on one of the more important boards such as P&Z,ZBA,BOE, and so on?I would be very interested in doing just that but always thought that there was something in the town charter that prohibited it.
Jim Leahy said...
Nobody sets the agenda on this blog. Mr. Freda is entitled to his opinion and you can debate with him at any time. I happen to think a lot of what he says makes a great deal of sense. You may not agree with him, but he raises soem interesting points.Let's forget about the mudslinging which occurred during the election and move forward, helping North Haven grow and prosper. Keep in mind that Mr. Freda is the only person from the previous administartion to have the guts to discuss issues openly on this blog.
Robert Wechsler said...
In response to Big Al's question: Connecticut's election laws make it hard for independents or minor party members (e.g., Greens or Libertarians) to run for office. Of course, either major party may nominate an independent, but they tend to ask the independent to join the party.Across the country, most towns our size are nonpartisan. That is, no one can run as a member of a party. This makes it easy for anyone to run.
To help independents interested in running, earlier this year I put up on the North Haven Info website a link to the state guide to campaign finance laws, so people can see what has to be done in order to run (the link is at the end of the first section on the page).
Think about it for the next time, and you might even be able to swing an endorsement from a party. Go to meetings of the board, ask good questions, write letters to the editor, build your candidacy.