Schooling the Ignorant and Historically Challenged

For those Salisbury residents ignorant of the well-documented historical facts leading to the adoption of an official town Code of Ethics, allow me to explain and give credit where it is undoubtedly due. This may be a traumatic revelation for Barbara Maltby, Salisbury’s resident Ethicist, since she entered into the COE process halfway through it and then tried to pretend that she knew what was going on. Her lack of information and understanding was glaringly apparent in her recent Letter to the Editor in the Lakeville Journal.

During the 2011 election campaign, BOS candidate Mark Lauretano promised to bring the issue of a Code of Ethics to a town vote. He did not promise it would pass, but he promised to bring it to a vote.

At the December 2011 BOS meeting, newly elected selectman Mark Lauretano made a motion that the 2005 Val Bernadoni COE be the town COE, applicable to all. He even was open to some previously suggested revisions perhaps being incorporated into it. Curtis Rand and Jim Dresser refused to bring it forward to a town vote, saying it should only apply to the BOS. They did, however, agree to allow Mark Lauretano to explore and develop a COE proposal for the town.

Mark Lauretano devoted months to research and, working openly with the citizens and town employees to fashion a COE that included Mr. Dresser’s required enforcement arm. Mr. Rand and Mr. Dresser steadfastly refused to participate in the drafting process.

A year later, when it appeared that there was a finished product being brought to a town vote, Messrs. Vail and Morrill suddenly trotted out Val Bernadoni’s 2005 COE that Lauretano had originally suggested be used for the official town COE! For some reason, Rand and Dresser suddenly thought this was a brilliant new idea never heard of before.

Wanting as many citizens as possible to participate in the democratic process, Mark Lauretano obtained enough signatures on a petition to bring the COE issue to a town referendum vote instead of simply a town meeting vote. Both COE proposals and a separate Ethics Commission proposal were placed on the ballot. The Ethics Commission section had been separated from the original draft so the voters could decide separately whether or not they wanted to have any enforcement arm with a COE. Despite the concerted efforts of the Democratic Party leaders in town to defeat all the proposals with No votes, the people of Salisbury did pass the 2005 Bernadoni COE.

For anyone to claim that Mark Lauretano was not the driving force behind there finally being a vote for a town Code of Ethics, along with the passage of one, is laughable. It is irrelevant which COE was passed, but very ironic that the one we have today is the Bernadoni COE Lauretano originally proposed. What matters is that the issue was brought to a vote as he promised, and happily, the people of Salisbury voted in favor of one. It is a good thing for the town.

The whole eighteen month ordeal could have been avoided if Rand and Dresser had cooperated with Mark Lauretano and seen to it the original 2005 Bernadoni COE had been enacted in the first place. Their partisan obstructionism was the problem, not Selectman Mark Lauretano.

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A Purging of Posts and Prayers For All

I am pleased to point out to anyone interested that certain political posts, that caused distress to a local gentleman whose serious health condition was absolutely unknown to me at the time, have been removed from this blog in order to avoid causing him or his family any additional unhappiness.

Unfortunately, due to a legal action, it was not possible to remove them sooner, which I would have been more than willing to do if the gentleman’s condition had been brought to my attention and a request made through a simple phone call, letter or even an email. Unfortunate because the removal would have been made instantaneously last year if someone had simply asked. Instead, the court system was dragged into the matter, resulting in an unavoidably long delay in achieving the desired outcome.

The matter has now reached a sensible and predictable conclusion, and that being the case, I have voluntarily removed the posts immediately upon hearing the good news from my attorney this afternoon.

The gentleman and his family have my apologies for the embarrassment and anguish the posts caused at such a difficult time in all of their lives. Had I known of his condition and in spite of his very energetic, outspoken pubic political activities and position as a public official, the posts would never have been written.

I wish nothing but God’s blessings and comfort on him, his family and friends, and I pray for all their sakes that he is spared and healed.

Signs of a Post Election Feeding Frenzy

There has been a strange, sudden jump in my blog stats yesterday and today – most particularly today. I had not posted anything but apparently folks were in some sort of frenzy looking for something to read. Maybe they thought I cared about the election since I was on the ballot and they were looking for me to go on some sort of rant about losing. That, dear readers, was not going to happen. No, I just threw my name onto the ballot so that there would be some sort of GOP slate, albeit an abbreviated one. Not that most of the Republicans in town would care whether or not they actually had candidates, but for appearances sake.

Mr. Hammond, who had been our representative on the Board of Assessment Appeals, had informed the SRTC that he was not sure whether or not his health would preclude him from running again, and that if he did decide to campaign later he would do it as a petitioning candidate. That left a vacancy on the ballot. Mr. Lloyd, who in the past has approached the SRTC for their endorsement, failed to do so and Madame Rumor had indicated he was not going to run again. So we had another vacancy on the ballot.

Imagine my dismay when I later discovered that both gentlemen applied as petitioning candidates after all. Both of them have served on their boards satisfactorily in past years and there was no reason for the voters not to re-elect them. I had occasion to see and speak with Mr. Lloyd at the Transfer Station over the summer, at which time I told him that had the SRTC known he wanted to run we would have welcomed him on the ballot again. I wished him well.

So I made no particular effort to campaign against either of them and was perfectly content to have them both re-elected to their respective boards. My congratulations go out to them both. They will no doubt continue to serve Salisbury quite well. Had I won either of the offices it would have been my pleasure to do my best on behalf of the town for the next two years. Happily for all concerned, that was not the way things turned out.

To those so suddenly and avidly scrutinizing my blog for anything more exciting than this about the municipal election results, I am not sorry to have disappointed you. I have other things to devote my time and energy to.

Salisbury Gets Over On Mr. Rand

When Curtis Rand first took over as First Selectman, and Mark Lauretano was still Resident Trooper in Salisbury, they had a casual conversation about codes of ethics. Mr. Rand told then Tpr. Lauretano that as long as he is the First Selectman in Salisbury, there would never be a Code of Ethics for the town.

We have seen the complete lack of cooperation by Messrs. Rand and Dresser, and all the machinations and maneuverings of the SDTC and a not-too-subtle group of town employees and officials hysterically opposed to a Code of Ethics. The desperation even led to the offering of an alternative COE this spring in the hope of successfully dividing pro-COE voters while coaching a large block of people to vote No on all the ordinance questions at the referendum.

It was an impressive effort that included the martialing of a massive group of sheep to follow their voting orders. Unfortunately for Curtis Rand and company, it backfired. The townspeople managed to swing enough votes to the alternate Vail-Morrill code – meant only to be a diversion – and enacted it as the first COE in Salisbury history.

Reportedly after the Referendum, the First Selectman’s consternation was extreme and to some degree aimed at Messrs. Vail and Morrill for having talked Mr. Rand into allowing them to put forward an alternate COE. Goodness knows Mr. Rand is not about to accept his own responsibility for being silly enough to go along with the proposal. Mr. Rand does not like to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong under his watch, least of all any decisions on his part.

Coincidentally, when I first heard about the Vail-Morrill Code, it gave me every confidence that one way or another there was going to be a Code of Ethics in Salisbury, despite Mr. Rand’s best efforts to prevent it. And that conclusion has been proven correct.

So, congratulations to the people of Salisbury for getting over on their First Selectmen, who had sworn there would never be a Code of Ethics in Salisbury as long as he was in charge. Everyone in town should be very pleased about it. Except, of course, some town employees and many of our officials who have been turning themselves into pretzels in opposition to a Code of Ethics for eighteen months.

Need it be pointed out that I have spent the weekend chuckling over this triumph by Salisbury? No, I think the folks can figure that out for themselves, and will enjoy their own chuckles for days to come. Friday was a very good day in the Town of Salisbury, indeed.

A Job Well Done

Well, congratulations Salisbury! You have voted into effect the first Code of Ethics Ordinance in town history. It is a uniform standard of conduct not only applicable to town employees, but every official of the town. And although some undesirable loopholes have weakened certain provisions of Val Bernadoni’s original COE, the Revision still maintains many of the worthwhile characteristics of his original.

The townspeople who managed to wade through all the confusion and smokescreens stirred up over the past eighteen months, and who had the common sense to vote for the compromise between what can be characterized as the two extremes, did well for the town.

There is no denying that the revised Bernadoni COE was easier for people to understand than the Lauretano COE, no matter how much he tried to include everyone and incorporate suggestions. And the Commission was also too complicated and intimidating a step for the town to take, especially considering we have never had a COE for everyone before. That was, in fact, why it was turned into a separate ordinance, so that folks would have the choice of supporting the Lauretano COE but turning down the Commission if they wanted to do so.

On the other hand, the townspeople obviously recognized that the time had come for some sort of formalized Code of Ethics. Enough of them refused to play the nihilistic SDTC game of voting “No” on all the ballot questions and instead threw their support to the less intimidating Code of Ethics. The status quo was no longer acceptable to the people.

And best of all, so many people turned out to participate in this important decision. That was the purpose of the Referendum, to give more voters the time to fit it into their schedules and provide a more neutral, safe atmosphere for the balloting to take place. It worked.

This is a beginning for which the people of Salisbury are to be congratulated. Job well done.

A Case of the Vapors – Origins of Mass Murderers in Recent American History

On Wednesday at Salisbury Town Hall one of our local socialist operatives approached and asked Selectman Lauretano whether or not he is at all worried that some deranged person may be set off to do a dreadful deed as a result of what is posted on “the blogs,” meaning my blog and Mike Flint’s blog. Here we go folks with the left-wing whining, wailing, complaining and hand-wringing over Republicans getting their message out via either the blog-o-spere, tv or radio talk shows, books, etc.

Note that our friendly operative did not approach me directly on the subject but tried to interfere with my domestic relationship in order to bring pressure to bear. Anything to shut down outlets that provide the opposition a voice. The Left never seems to worry about how their own blogs, tv and radio talk shows, books, etc. might incite some mentally ill person to violence. They just worry about the Right.

Mr. Lauretano gave his inquisitor an earful, recognizing immediately the effort at intimidation. Mr. Hammond’s and Mr. Mayland’s attempt to intimidate Mike and me into silence by complaining to the CTGOP Central Committee backfired so the Democrats in Salisbury have changed to new tactics.

The Salisbury Socialists in residence appear not to have noticed some tidbits of reality, so I will try to provide them a little history and a few facts on the perpetrators of the five worst mass murders in the United States. This may be traumatic so if you are a Liberal Progressive, please make sure you are seated and have a box of tissues nearby along with your smelling salts

The source of information for this post was Roger Hedgecock’s 1/17/13 radio show.

Ft Hood: Registered Democrat/Muslim.
Columbine: Too young to vote; both families were registered Democrats and progressive liberals.
Virginia Tech: Wrote hate mail to President Bush and to his staff.
Colorado Theater: Registered Democrat; staff worker on the Obama campaign; Occupy Wall Street participant; progressive liberal.
Connecticut School Shooter: Registered Democrat; hated Christians.

There is a more comprehensive list of bombers floating around that I will have to track down (accidentally trashed all my downloads the other day), but if memory serves me, the only bomber on it that anyone could remotely try to pigeonhole to the right of center was Timothy McVeigh. All the rest of the perpetrators of bombings listed were Left of center. The other common threads with the perps were mental illness, use of psychotropic medications to “control their behavior,” and being of the male gender.

Frankly, no, we are not worried about exercising our 1st Amendment rights any more than folks writing newspaper Editorials or Letters to the Editor should fear exercising theirs. We are not prone to the vapors, hysteria, cowardice and timidity. We understand that if someone is mentally ill and wants to do harm, they will seize upon any excuse to carry through with their inclination. It is not the fault of the particular excuse – that was a random choice on the part of the perpetrator. There are no guarantees in this life and wrapping everyone in cotton batting with gags on is not going to prevent tragedy. Bad things will happen whether or not people are writing blogs, Letters to the Editor, authoring books, discussing politics on TV or the radio, at home sleeping, walking down the street minding their own business, watching a marathon, sunbathing, taking a cruise, whatever.

After you recover from the shock of all this, I hope you have a nice day. Be sure to take your smelling salts and tissues with you just in case of a flashback. Now run along and figure out the next intimidation strategy to shut down public political discourse in Salisbury, because so far you are 0 for 6.

What Do You Mean The Petition Is On The Wrong Form? Chicago Politics In Salisbury.

LauretanoCOECommissionTMPetitionVaiMorrillCOEPetition

Strange, but I seem to detect a difference between the two petition forms posted above. One is the official Salisbury Town Clerk’s petition form for requesting a Special Town Meeting. The other is Town Clerk’s general “Petition Question” form, which she developed recently and insisted we use for our referendum petitions. I am puzzled that she accepted the Vail COE petition on the “Petition Question” form since it is not the correct Special Town Meeting form.

For some reason I cannot help but think that had the petitioners on the Lauretano COE and Commission ordinances used the wrong form, their petitions would have been rejected out-of-hand. They would have had to go start all over collecting the signatures again on the correct form. Guess the Town Clerk (a politically appointed position now, courtesy of the Democrats) can’t have Curtis Rand’s henchmen doing that so she’ll just let the illegal form slide right on through the screening process because these people are very, very special and not subject to any law but their own.

Guess no one should be surprised. After all, when the SRTC originally wanted a usable form to petition for a referendum on how the BOS is elected, there were nine days available to collect signatures. The first five were wasted while the Town Clerk produced a usable Petition Question form, leaving us with only four days to collect 200 signatures, one day of which was Palm Sunday and therefore out of the question for our purposes.

I had reproduced the old form in larger font with more space for entries, but exactly the same original wording, in hopes that it would speed up the process so we could start the petition drive. But when I showed it to the Town Clerk, she refused to accept it for her purposes, insisting on developing her own new form. I had to wait another hour for some additional revisions to what they were drafting before she issued the new general “Petition Question” form. That is why in the three days left to collect signatures we managed to get 100 of the 200 required for a referendum. Too little time, too late.

So suddenly now it does not matter if the SDTC uses the wrong petition form to request a Special Town Meeting? And suddenly the democratic petitioning process for special town meetings and referenda are being high-jacked by Curtis Rand, Jim Dresser and the SDTC. A petition of more than two hundred (200+) signatures has been filed requesting that the Lauretano COE and Commission Ordinance proposals go to a Referendum vote, but all those townspeople’s signatures are completely worthless in the face of Curtis Rand and the SDTC’s arrogance and passion for total control over all town affairs. They are so frightened that Mark Lauretano’s COE and Ethics Commission might pass in a referendum that they have to pull a Rahm Emanuel, Cook County politics ploy to force both Vail’s and Lauretano’s COEs and the Lauretano Commission to be voted on at the same time.

Yes, there is a predictable little quirk in CGS 7-7 that they are hanging their hats on, but that does not make what they are doing right and ethical. It is simply a legal way to abuse the law. Nothing like confusing the voters with three items to vote on, one of which is a different subject than the other two. We could end up with Vail’s COE and the Commission, Lauretanos COE and Commission, a tie between the two COEs and no Commission or a tie between all three. How bizarre is that? And I very much doubt that the vote will be by Referendum, but rather their good old Town Meeting shenanigan instead, knowing full well that (despite Janet Manko’s recent delusional ode to the New England Town Meeting tradition) too many townspeople fear appearing at a town meeting for discussion or voting purposes and the intimidators-at-large will stack the crowd with their robots who have no clue what they are voting for (so clearly evidenced by the level of audience comment at our last Town Meeting) but follow orders exactly like the jack-booted National Socialists they so resemble intellectually.

But the dictator running the United Soviet Socialist Republic of Salisbury does not care. Never mind that the public has not been afforded even one open Workshop to discuss and make suggestions or criticisms of the Vail COE, much less four or five such Workshops to improve the document. Never mind that there has been no claim that the Vail COE has been reviewed by the Town Attorney as the Lauretano COE and Commission have been. We are just supposed to ramrod through a weak, unenforceable piece of pablum and poppycock not worth the paper it is written on that happily does not apply to the Board of Selectmen because there is no one to investigate any possible wrong-doing by them or hold them accountable between elections.

All they are concerned with is stacking the deck so that they hold onto their vise-grip power in Salisbury, and can continue their dishonorable, pocket-lining cronyism at the public expense with complete impunity. Welcome to Chicago politics and the joys of living under a Socialist dictatorship. Remember, Socialism is only for the people, never for the Socialists.

Curtis Rand and the SDTC are casting aside the democratic will of the people to have an open, timely vote over a period of eight hours, including absentee balloting, so as to empower the greatest number of townspeople to participate in the decision about a Code of Ethics and Ethics Commission for Salisbury. They are throwing the will of the people aside as if it were a piece of trash.

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