724 Political News
Keep it right here for
you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..
was a famous Athenian statesman and orator in the later 5th century who
is quoted "just because you do not take an interest in politics does
not mean politics won't take an interest in you".
Local 724 has said many times organized labor must have a seat at the
politicians table or your probably on their menu. In April 2013 Vice President
Joe Biden confirmed those thoughts in a speech to Michigan Democrats was
quoted " Labor must have a seat at the table". We believe all
politics is local and politics decides who gets what when. Local 724 continues
to ensure our members not only have a seat but that we are heard.
early September Comptroller Kevin Lembo abruptly ended his exploratory
campaign for governor removing the best-known Democrat from the field
for 2018. The announcement eliminates one of the better known Democrats
from a crowded field of candidates mulling a run for the nomination to
succeed Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy who is not seeking re-election
in 2018. Lembo simultaneously announced his candidacy for re-election
as comptroller. His announcement does not signify an entrance into the
race by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, a former mentor whom Lembo has said he would
support for governor. Nancy Wyman continues to consider her options and
won't make any decision until the state passes a budget.
Meanwhile persistent rumors from all over Hartford political insiders
that Malloy will step down before his term ends in January 2019 and allow
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman to become governor. Malloy, under the scenario, would
then take a high-ranking position at UCONN or another college. Malloy
calls the rumors crazy insisting he's not going anywhere. But he is known
to spin things as in August 2014 when running for a second term told a
reporter , “We really don’t have a deficit,” he said.
“I know that’s hard to believe.” Yes governor, it's
hard to believe that you didn't see what everyone else saw.
no gubernatorial candidate with statewide name recognition in the race
former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz is considering entering the
field as a potential candidate for governor. Bysiewicz served three terms
as secretary of state from 1998 to 2010. This wouldn't be the first time
that she sought higher statewide office. However, her prior runs for governor,
attorney general, and Senate all ended in spectacular failure. Bysiewicz
dropped out of the 2006 gubernatorial race against GOP Gov. Jodi Rell
to seek re-election. She ran for governor again in 2010 when Rell retired,
but also dropped out of that race before the Democratic primary after
spending a year on the campaign trail. Bysiewicz then tried to run for
attorney general in 2010, but the state Supreme Court found she lacked
the legal qualifications to run because she hadn't actively practiced
law for the necessary 10 years.
the fall season settles in we have endured over 90 days without a state
budget caused by our feckless representatives in the Legislature unable
to accomplish anything. This stalemate has compounded the usual fiscal
crisis in New London already paralyzed by many years of severe belt tightening
due to frail city budgets. While tax payers rightfully bicker over their
tax rate and its impact on them, the city can't or won't raise enough
revenue to properly fund their obligations for the cost of doing business.
Their perpetual mantra of deferred maintenance and procurement until catastrophic
failure is a disturbing reality. Not even squeaky wheels get the attention
around here anymore. There comes a time and place where it's simply is
no longer safe to continue as usual and by all accounts - we're there.
London like many distressed cities is on the brink of collapse given the
sky-high unemployment, crime issues and array of social woes that afflict
us , many people have given us up for dead. Just look at the number of
houses for sale south of the hospital. What's more, traditional city services
have been overwhelmed. In fact just this past week
the public learned what we have been saying for quite some time. While
crime rate in surrounding areas has declined New
London has increased. Violent crime up 26% and property crimes up
17%. It's time for a municipal turn around before New London is the new
Detroit and there is not much time left on the clock.
New London can watch things happen, make things happen or wonder what
happened. The City needs to make things happen with a definitive five
and ten year plan to attract developers and business that bring in real
jobs. Develop our deep water port, develop Ft. Trumbull, attract bio-medical
fields that compliment the hospital, go after defense industries that
can synergize efforts from EB projects, sell Ocean Beach to the right
developer that can make it the sparkling gem it once was. Take for example
where was New London's bid to attract Amazon wishing to expand with a
New jobs will bring in a workforce that wants to move close to their employer,
provides city new tax revenues and people with disposable income that
will support city small businesses. Decide what downtown wants to look
like and find ways to redevelop it. Or… continue to wonder what
happened wishing New London realizes it's untapped potential all by itself
as it sinks into insolvency.
friends Sherman and Mr. Peabody fired up the Way Back Machine again, this
time we set the dial to our October 2016 update where news articles regarding
an OSHA inspection on our mold infested and dilapidated police headquarters
conditions made news. At the time risk manager Paul Gills was quoted then
that issues inside the police department as "this is a top priority
from a liability and safety standpoint". We reminded Paul then he
would have a chance to see if his words actually translate into deeds.
So how's he doing?
Well, first the good news: the building is moderately
cleaner with a more focused daily maintenance schedule, the lunch room
and men's locker room bathroom were remodeled, some wooden booking area
doors were replaced with metal ones and some new basement florescent lighting
Then there's bad news:: building still leaks during rain
storms, cell blocks require significant safety upgrades, rodent/bug infestation,
radio system still not been upgraded, no emergency alarm in processing
area, report room not remodeled, broken furniture still exists or cheap
replacements being utilized, outdated and obsolete IT system/hardware
with almost daily failures, and police parking lot too small. Paul you
may need to refocus your efforts or explain to us what just your meaning
of top priority is.
While we're on the topic of our daily challenges, police fleet management
best practices recommends city police patrol car replacement every 4 years.
Reasons include significant wear and tear of these emergency vehicles
which makes it cost prohibitive to keep them safe and reliable for the
officers or the public should a catastrophic part failure occur. Similarly
managers recommend a 7 year life span for detective and support staff
vehicles while police motorcycles average 3-4 years of service.
as we take a peek behind the curtain here in the Whaling City we see our
Patrol fleet numbers 25 vehicles, the average age is 5.3 years. However
19 patrol vehicles are 6 years or older with the oldest (2006) being 11
years old. Support Services has 12 vehicles average age is 8.3 years,
11 are over 7 years or older with the oldest (2001) being 16 years old.
Our two motorcycles average age is 15.5 years with the oldest (2001).
Another words 31 of our 39 vehicle fleet or 80% of the police fleet are
being utilized beyond their recommended life span.
Recent examples last weekend of August three cruisers downed for overheated
engines, second week of September two cruisers downed for blown transmissions,
while two others slip badly waiting for transmission repairs.
Another example is our "new" radio system. In May 2013 with
much fanfare New London announced it was on the "verge of a new era
in radio communication" as part of a $2.38 million system overhaul.
This joint venture with Waterford allowed police and fire to utilize the
more advanced 800 megahertz digital network with promised better interoperability
and coverage and "flawless between our two towns". So here we
are 4 1/2 years later no closer to joining Waterford that we were in 2013.
any New London story is ruined by the facts, City Office of Economic Development
oversaw the project and went cheap on the actual required costs taking
the risk it was to be a quick 12-24 months to regionalize dispatch with
Waterford so they never installed enough antennas creating dead spots
for city wide coverage and failing to keep up with required periodic system
upgrades. Digital radio is black and white -it only works when it has
a deliberate signal-or it doesn't work at all. Unlike analog radios like
your car radio where you could pick up weaker signals. There are very
real dead spots throughout the city where police portable radios don't
When the USS Cole visited the City last month the Norwich Police Marine
Unit provided harbor security because we sold our boat years ago. To witness
other agencies doing our work in our own city because once again we lack
the manpower/equipment/resources. Subcontracting out our jobs is demoralizing
but our reality nonetheless. That’s what happening behind the big
curtain no one wants you to see.
The City is very aware of these and other police agency issues but doesn't
hasn’t' found the will and/or ability to secure the money and address
it in the last five budget years or the new FY17-18 budget. Frankly we
don't expect it addressed in the next five years either. However ignoring
the problem or feigning ignorance a problem even exists won't make it
better by itself. There are very real consequences due to this continued
and deliberate failure to act creating liabilities which could very well
bite the city in the ass from future civil litigation.
As advocates for our membership we believe it is important for you the
taxpayer to know just how your money is and is not being spent on city
public safety issues and to hold your elected officials accountable, especially
in 2017- when all City Councilors are up for re-election.
Despite these daily hardships our men and women continue to do excellent
work the past few weeks where they have interrupted several burglaries
in progress with suspects caught in the act, arrested several suspects
for assaults, carjacking, robberies and significant drug violators which
just scratches the surface of our members continued commitment to protect
are excited to announce our K9 Unit fundraising campaign goal of $28,000
to obtain two German shepherd patrol dogs started in mid September and
in a just few short weeks have raised almost $14,125 with very generous
donations of $3,000 from the Buscetto Family, $5,000 each from Tantor
Media of Old Saybrook and Curtin Livery of Waterford. To enhance the campaign
and simplify community contributions we started a Go Fund Me page. The
link is on the top of Local 724 web site.
Join our team helping our K9 Unit take a bite out of crime by making your
contribution on our go fund me link or by check payable to: New London
Police K9 Fund, PO Box 135 New London, CT. 06320. Be the real hero and
As an added incentive if your business donates to the K9 Fund we'll post
your company logo and web site link on our New London Police Union web
page as our way of saying thanks!
recent story from CT Mirror revealed the state of Connecticut economy
for each city and town thru graphs and charts. New London is ranked 164
out of 169 as poorest in state. Local tax revenue amounts to 53% of the
$82.5 million budget with 41% coming from state and federal subsidies.
New London municipal spending increased 18% since 2002 while education
spending rose a whopping 42% since 2006 yet city spending increased by
only 1.5% from 2011-2015. That number representing flat line budgeting
was significantly lower than all other cities and towns. Tax exempt property
account for 40.5% of all city property while New haven and Hartford are
at 49% and 51% respectively. The current 40.5 mill rate is slightly higher
than median 38.5 mills for the state's poorest communities. The current
rate means a $200k house would realize a tax bill of $5,222 in New London.
That same house would be taxed in New Britain at $6,680, Hartford $7,372,
Bridgeport $7,504 and Waterbury $8,142.
question for municipal spending in not necessarily how much is being spent
but how efficient was the expense, another words was there a good return
on the money spent. While New London limped along these past six years
with curtailed city side spending did the BOE realize a 42% improvement
in education results to match the increase in spending. Unfortunately
academic results don’t match the spending. So how much money do
you throw at a problem before you realize it is not achieving the required
results. This is not meant to pit the BOE against City government, rather
seek a more holistic approach to improve all facets of essential government
services instead of education exclusively.
As municipalities brace for a massive hit in state assistance this fall,
absent a new budget, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz announced in between
his many rounds of golf that a mid September vote on a fiscal plan is
a last chance to avert budget disaster for towns and cities. We ask why
did they waste the month of August by waiting - call them back now sit
down figure it out and pass a budget.
This budget mess was caused by this Legislature and they act like somebody
dumped this hot mess in their lap to fix. The newest wrinkle in raising
revenue versus cutting spending is over what form that added revenue should
take. Both wants to see $800-900 million from revenue and spending cuts.
The governor insists $400 million for the teachers retirement must come
from municipalities which he wants to consider a revenue stream with less
emphasis on generating new taxes. The Legislature wants to raise sales
tax by 1/2 percent to fund the gap and not further burden the towns with
more mandated spending.
Each and every House and Senate member owns this and if they fail to do
what they were elected to do - represent their districts- who are all
struggling without a state budget in place, then vote each and every one
of them out this next election. Hey, Chris Soto you've been pretty quiet-
what's your solution?
Senator Chris Murphy with his 2018 re-election in sight took another long
walk this August from Killingly to Danbury to see firsthand what his constituent
concerns are. He reported their concerns were about health care, deportation
cases of illegal immigrants and all that’s wrong with Trump and
Republicans. We would have hoped he had found plans to help fix the state
economy with a big jobs program, significant boost for infrastructure
improvements, federal income tax relief, ideas to combat terrorism home
and abroad, peace in the middle east or what the United States should
do with Iran or North Korean nuclear programs. Instead it's all Trump's
fault. Meanwhile Democratic party "Cheerleader in Chief" Howard
Dean tweeted Murphy could be our next President to which Mr. Murphy humbly
professes is way too early for consideration with his own senate race
just over the horizon.
While we don’t agree with 24/7 presidential tweeting especially
all the vitriolic attacks, however one story did catch our attention.
President Donald Trump has disparaged other U.S. senators, but no one
has been targeted more than our own Dick, Senator Richard Blumenthal who
has gotten under the president’s skin. Blumenthal is one of the
most liberal senators in Congress and much too often appears on television
to just criticize Trump’s policies, which led to Trump recently
tweeting “I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation
in Vietnam, where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he
Blumenthal had in 2008 implied that he’d served in Vietnam, even
though he had not actually been deployed abroad as a member of the Marine
Reserve. Blumenthal says he doesn’t know what is prompting Trump’s
attacks. Really Senator?!
Stop the Resistance crap and political posturing for Democrats in 2018
elections and tackle the many issues facing your constituents at home
instead of your latest consumer crisis demanding a media frenzy like calling
for the banning menthol cigarettes. We believe compromise is needed by
both sides to find solutions on the country's many pressing issues. Regrettably
compromise is one word not often used by many in Washington anymore, because
to break ranks with your party mantra and compromise means your vote is
no longer reliable with party bosses.
of Washington hypocrisy, the liberals hate Trump at all costs campaign
surfaced when former Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes
had a phony furious hissy fit slamming President Trump for issuing his
first presidential pardon to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio with 65
years of public service to his country for a misdemeanor. Rhodes wrote
on twitter, "Obama used his pardon and commutation power to give
a second chance to people who deserved empathy, not racists who showed
Mr. Rhodes your selective moral outrage is questionable on what is clearly
a double standard. You may recall Ben, Mr. Obama pardoned or commuted
1,912 prisoners during his term, compared to 163 for G.W. Bush. Many Obama
commuted sentences were highly criticized for freeing serious drug dealers.
But they also Included treasonous [Bradley] Chelsea Manning who leaked
highly classified NSA files to Wiki Leaks and dangerous Oscar Lopez Rivera
the FALN terrorist responsible for over 100 bombings who refused to renounce
violence as condition of pardon and was released anyway. The progressive
agenda will stop at nothing to undo this election.
It's been a almost three weeks since citizens demanded more police officers
from our elected leaders who were seemingly caught off guard that such
a problem even existed. Some local headlines since then have included:
Woman Dragged as Suspect [homeless shelter client] Steals Truck in New
London, Resident says man exposed himself to young girls, Man in serious
condition after New London stabbing, Friday quiet after 14 K2 overdoses
in 48 hours, Officers seize gun from New London felon home, Suspect charged
in New London robbery, Man to serve 7 years for bank robbery, 100 grams
of heroin found in New London woods and New London man charged with possession
of heroin, Police arrest 2 after gun fired on Block Island ferry. These
were just the incidents that made the paper certainly just the tip of
the iceberg. All of which have kept our haggard cops very busy despite
the indifference from many in the public. In the words of the infamous
Police Squad character
Lt. Frank Drebin "Alright, move along… nothing to see here,
Unions built the middle class, made this country great, protect your right
to speak, and still have a job the next day. We pride ourselves on carrying
on the traditions of protecting all our members to the best of our abilities.
This November is our next election cycle for Local 724 Officers and Executive
Board members with nominations scheduled for our October meeting. We encourage
all, especially our younger members, to become the next generation and
get involved in their Union representing their members.
Local 724 Union leaders are pleased to report the last of lingering contract
grievances and municipal prohibited practice complaints from the prior
police administration are almost concluded with what we hope to be an
after many months of negotiations the Union is pleased to announce a three
year tentative agreement has been reached with City administration. As
in any contract talks you don't get what you deserve; you get what you
negotiate that requires many details and compromises. The City faces serious
fiscal challenges but they also realized our members work very hard and
deserved hard fought raises. We did our due diligence to bring back the
best outcome possible within the boundaries of what the city could reasonably
afford. Members will then be asked to ratify the agreement in mid September
followed up with City Council vote of approval in early October. We want
to thank CAO Steve Fields, HR Director Tina Collins, Finance Director
Don Gray and Chief Pete Richard for their patience and sometimes painfully
frank discussions during negotiations.
good news to report, Officers Chris Bunkley and Joe Kondash were named
the newest K9 handlers as the City prepares to restart the canine program
with two new dog handler teams this year. The two dogs will be German
shepherds, cross trained for patrol and narcotics detection. These dogs
will be a great asset to the agency trained in evidence recovery, building
searches, tracking & trailing for not only wanted suspects but also
lost children or elderly. We hope to have both teams should be operational
by early 2018.
The dogs will be purchased fully trained from the breeder to significantly
cut down on training times. To purchase both dogs will cost $28,000. The
Union has agreed to assist the City seeking donations from the public
to help fund the purchase.
Any of our readers interested in donating can make a check in any amount
payable to: New London Police Union -K9 Fund- , PO Box 135 New London,
CT 06320 . Every dollar collected by the Union for the K9 Fund will be
turned over to the City to purchase these new dogs.
Why Political Action
THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board,
city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect
AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.
Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits,
working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern
to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues
of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers'
compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected
officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.
The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide
vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to
look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a
critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when
membership is informed, educated and active.
Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big
business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers,
so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members
pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates
have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the
ever-more important media ad wars.
Through the political process we can be involved in setting important
public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect
representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services
and committed to dealing with workers fairly.
Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with
the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement
to produce a just and rewarding workplace.
724 gets recognized on the national level!
On January 28, 2011 at
the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO
thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the
Labor 2010 campaign.
Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's
Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local
724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and
commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections".
To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our
Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can
achieve when committed to a goal.
Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership
which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want
to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how
big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of
our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
724 helps East Lyme fight the cause
Why Political Action
Shooting from the lip
Political Director C Flynn
Crippling Leadership Mistakes