Letters to the Editor
Published 1:42 pm, Thursday, October 7, 2010
District V takes the bullet for town moratorium
To the Editor:
While the town is in a frenzy to achieve a town moratorium, everyone points to Allen O'Neill to save the town from 830g "predators." Unfortunately, AON is the victim of a reverse 830g threat.
There is a memo on record of how the DHA achieved its proposed density for AON and it's not through a best use of site study. This memo clearly calculates the exact density needed to achieve a town moratorium, 116. After a few units were knocked off the proposed density is now 106. The P&Z Affordable Housing Subcommittee report recommends six units per acre for affordable housing which would put AON at 63. Privatizing the road will increase their acreage which in turn would increase appropriate units to 72. The proposed plan of 106 units is way over the mark. In fact the DHA cannot accommodate parking which is why they are requesting the Town abandon AON Drive so they can utilize street parking. With 40 street parking spaces, their plan is 20 units over capacity at minimum.
AON can still achieve points toward a moratorium, but one neighborhood should not be expected to provide an entire moratorium. If you are opposed to 830g "predators" invading our neighborhoods, then you must oppose the AON redevelopment. Please ask your RTM representative to vote no to the road abandonment on October 25, 2010.
Little League Board `should apologize'
To the Editor:
The Board of Directors of Darien Little League stated emphatically two weeks ago that it was "not a new policy" for fall baseball to place all third- and fourth-graders together in a middle division. As a result of this supposedly long-standing policy, my fourth-grade son, who had already played 44 games for three Minors teams after a formal try-out in the spring, was forced to play down in the middle division of fall baseball where every other child had played on teams in AAA or AA, which are one and two divisions lower than Minors.
Since the policy is "not new," the DLL Board must have adhered to that policy last fall. However, they did not. The policy did not apply to a long-time DLL Board member's fourth-grade son, who did not play in the middle division where "all third- and fourth-graders are assigned," but played instead in the highest division of fall baseball with kids who had played on teams in Minors or Majors. More surprisingly, he had only played on a team in AAA, and never on a Minors team.
The DLL Board pretends to be equitable, but a Board member's kid was promoted, and the Stefanoni kid was demoted.
The DLL Board cites the rules when it is convenient, but skirts them when it is not. For example, the regulations of Little League require that less than half of the members of the Board of Directors can be coaches or managers. The regulation exists to reduce the abuse of power, but it is perennially violated by the DLL Board. This year, 20 out of 22 Board members were coaches or managers, and last year, 18 out of 21 Board members were coaches or managers. It is not possible that all those men can be bad at math.
My son was singled out and demoted, but the DLL Board would never do that to one of their own. The DLL Board is trying to hide behind a beautiful motto: "Character, Courage, and Loyalty." However, in this instance, they are not showing good "character," and also have the wrong kind of "loyalty." Maybe now the DLL Board will have the "courage" to apologize to my son and make necessary changes.
Taking a in-depth
look at shuffle's cost
To the Editor:
I believe we must consider all costs associated with the shuffle, not just a few.
Let's say a holding company with two subsidiaries buys a building to use for some revenue generating purpose. Then they change their minds and move subsidiary A into the new building and subsidiary B into that empty building. The ultimate transfer costs money, but how much? Does the company consider the building originally purchased a sunk cost because in the small amount of time it took to move from one decision to the next, the asset ostensibly served no potential purpose? Can we change reasons for a purchase and declare an asset recently purchased dead, or sunk, so that when we allocate costs we consider it free?
This seemed to be the logic behind cost estimates of the Leroy shuffle approved by our Board of Selectmen. The only costs put on the table were the costs of closing down of the senior center, renovation and moving costs. Even if you only consider incremental costs in this shuffle of assets, you have to take into account opportunity costs associated with the Leroy building -- the present value of potential property taxes or lease income, or proceeds from the sale of asset, which even at a loss could be used to pay down debt. I urge the Board of Finance to consider this in its upcoming decision.
There are other societal costs that the BOF are not required to consider but we as citizens should. One is the loss of our Darien Arts Center which occupied space in the 40,000-square-foot building that will be taken over by the senior center. The arts center cannot move to Leroy because of provisions in the tax exempt bonding. And finding another affordable space is problematic. How tragic for our town.
We also lost an opportunity to control our affordable housing development. Since the possibility of a moratorium now looks slim, we will be left once again at the mercy of developers who could choose another location that would be less appropriate and hard on our town.
Debbie Ann Ice
Little League Board was unfair
To the Editor:
I'm staying out of the debate, but the Little League Board called the wrong lady a crazy liar.
The issue is simple: The demotion of my son was asinine and unprecedented, and all of the several Board members my wife spoke to were surprised it happened. An apology would have solved the problem, but now the lies keep getting bigger.
You can bet my wife will take the issue to court, and then the lies will end. Three guys have to leave the Board, the rest can stay, and added will be women and people of color. Diversity improves governance.
This mess never had to happen, and I'm glad to be staying out of it. All I know is that power will stop being abused, and Little League will be better off than ever.
Re-elect Wood, Darien advocate
To the Editor:
State Rep. Terrie Wood joined the Appropriations Committee in Hartford to ensure that the hard-earned money of Darien taxpayers is well spent. She is the advocate of our children on the Education Committee. And to protect our important natural resources, she has volunteered for the Environmental Committee.
When it comes to items of particular interest to our towns, she takes the knowledge of being a long-time resident, having lived in Rowayton and Darien. She then goes to Hartford to try to get our issues addressed. As our state representative the past two years, she has co-sponsored 60 bills, including legislation of particular importance to us in ambulance safety and affordable housing.
As chairman of the Board of Finance, I particularly am pleased that she regularly meets with the First Selectman, chairman of our Board of Education, chairman of Planning and Zoning, moderator of the RTM and other elected officials in Darien. Terrie learns about the important issues with which we are dealing and then returns to Hartford as our advocate. The contrast with our state senators is striking.
I am impressed with the enthusiasm, dedication and long hours that Terrie puts into her job. We are lucky to have Terrie Wood as our Representative. I urge you to re-elect her this November.
Support Mike Murray
To the Editor:
We are writing to express our support of Mike Murray in the upcoming election for probate judge, and encourage others to do the same.
We have known Mike for the past eight years that we have lived here in town, and believe that he has not only the legal training, but the moral, intellectual and compassionate character traits that make him the ideal candidate for the job.
Mike is an outstanding member of both the Darien and New Canaan communities, where he lives and works respectively, and is involved in every aspect of community life. He is calm, thoughtful and has wonderful insight across the boards.
We are proud to support a friend with such great integrity, and hope you will do the same in November.
Kate and Michael O'Brien
Time running out for charity auction
To the Editor:
The sixth annual Charity Online Auction closes Oct. 11. We are still supporting local charities, but the auction has changed. Due to space limitations, instead of having all the Auction items at the event, only 10 items will be there that night. The rest of the items, 95 percent, will only be online. So register and bid now, because the online auction closes Oct. 11.
Many people will show up at the event and ask "Where are all the auction items?" Please tell your friends and neighbors to support the charities now and visit www.BiddingForGood.com/DarienChamberAuction. There are great spa packages, Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week, Cancun with airfare, Boston trip, Jets tickets and more.
We need community support to make this event helpful for the benefitting charities.
Thank you in advance for helping.
President/CEO Darien Chamber
To the Editor:
For many years, we had a Congressman, Chris Shays, who provided an independent voice for the people of this district. He was fearless in his willingness to defy the GOP leadership when he thought they were wrong and active in crafting solutions to problems without regard to party.
When Jim Himes defeated Chris in the last election, we lost an independent voice for our district, and instead, we got a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi. Himes has voted with Pelosi approximately 94 percent of the time.
Meanwhile, he has actively solicited special interest PACs, netting almost $1 million in contributions for his campaign (as of June) according to the Federal Election Commission website. Most of this was from PACs with an interest in the subject matter of committees he serves on.
Fortunately, the winner of the Republican nomination, Dan Debicella, is an exceptionally able person who can restore the tradition of independent representation focusing on the needs of our district. Following his graduation from Harvard with an MBA, he joined McKinsey and Company, and now is on leave from The Hartford.
Dan will be a doer who will come up with real solutions to help lead us out of the current economic difficulties.
I urge everyone to support him.
Paul E. Knag