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..
Mike Passero jumped into re-election mode early with a surprise announcement
seeking a second term during a meeting with The Day editorial board. Brimming
with enthusiasm and optimism, he predicts New London market conditions
are about to take off and change the face of downtown. Short on specifics
and lacking any city commitments on how to make those changes happen,
he downplayed recent criticisms of the vacant dilapidated condition of
the city center district.
While his enthusiasm is appreciated and his optimism even infectious at
times, some could argue he doesn't see the failing health of downtown
that others see or simply chooses to ignore it. People and businesses
stay away from downtown because they don't feel safe, which in turn means
less people resulting in failed businesses creating a downward spiral
that feeds on itself. Downtown conditions are not an indictment of the
police officers who patrol the city, we do miracles with the resources
we have but we need help which has been slow in coming.
readers of this column are familiar with NLPD descriptions of our decrepit
undersized facility issues. Short term fixes have been the norm for the
last 15 plus years and all have been met by new failures. Due to poor
construction when built complicated by decades of deferred maintenance
has resulted in the deplorable condition of the our building: leaking
water every time it rains, intermittent heat and air conditioning, a filthy
building with many functional deficiencies, dirty air ducts and
rodent infestation to name a few.
most recent publicized episode highlighting a ceiling failure from chronic
water incursion resulted in an OSHA inspection. Their findings were no
surprise to us highlighting: poor housekeeping standards (filthy),
confirmation of mold, bacteria and fungi found in sampled areas of the
building and visible rodent droppings on personnel desks. Noted
the City had not taken care of as required from a 2016 OSHA compliance
inspection. The City is drawing up remediation and compliance
plan which are great intentions but if local history has taught us anything
when dealing with the City that is to follow President Regan's advise
with Russian arms control- "Trust but Verify".
With money bleeding out for constant fixes on what can best be described
as a marginal building to begin with, maybe now is the time to establish
a public safety building committee to determine current and future facility
needs. They could explore options to upgrade the current site, retrofit
an existing building or possibly brand new public safety complex.
A new complex proposal could potentially reduce costs by incorporating
regionalization ideas with increased police capacity in specialized areas.
Examples could include centralized prisoner processing/holding facility,
establish state of the art police/fire regional dispatch/911 center, incorporate
regional unified command/control center and include community rooms for
in-service training classes and conferences to name a few.
This committee could prepare a comprehensive study for a 5 year plan with
cost benefit analysis to determine building size, equipment and technology
requirements with associated estimates and what state/federal grants are
available as a prelude to a serious fact based discussion on best options.
We estimate a new 55,000 square foot building would cost in the $13-15
million range. While certainly a lot of money it is only 9.5% of the $150
million city intends to spend on new schools. Failure to plan is
planning to fail.
other news, thank you the Mayor and City Council for proposing and approving
$2.1 million bond funding for desperately needed police IT upgrades and
new Computer Aided Dispatch system from Tri-Tech Software Systems
which will piggyback on the Waterford police department's system and link
with it to allow the sharing of information. These upgrades would
be phase two of a three phase plan to regionalize dispatch with Waterford,
that started back in 2013 with radio system interoperability upgrade
of money a discussion is in order to review the monies being thrown
at the New London Board of Education - at the expense of the city government
budgets- with nothing to show for it. A newly released report indicates
a large majority of public schools and school districts in the state earned
worse grades this year than last on the state’s annual assessment
of school performance. Here in New London Nathan Hale, Bennie Dover Middle
School and NL High School had lower scores than last year's report,
averaging just 52.8 out of a possible 100.
Even more troubling the study indicated the high school has 24% of students
with chronic absenteeism rate. Given such poor results shouldn't BOE
be held accountable to taxpayers and explain where does all this money
go and why should they get a dime more since spending their way
out of these problems aren't working while all city services suffer.
Chief Pete Richard intends to submit a budget plan in upcoming workshops
to hire more police officers in the next fiscal year. He wants to boost
our numbers to 76 sworn personnel. We believe that is a good number.
We can think of about four million reasons to believe there are tools
available right now in the city tool box to make this a reality. For that
reason we urge Councilors and the Mayor to come together, work out the
details to educate the voters to our dilemma and make this happen.
Lame duck Gov. Dan Malloy now seeking legacy status on his progressive
agenda will ask us to dig even deeper into our empty pockets to fund his
Connecticut fairness concept of more giveaways, or as Democrats call it
investments in people. Some of his fairness includes affordable health
care, free community college tuition for all and a final push to raise
the age of juvenile offenders to 20 years old to once again keep them
from being held responsible for their crimes in adult courts.
US Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) produced a study from 2000
showing 18-20 years olds nationwide accounted for 23% of all murders and
14 % of all reported violent crimes while 74% of those murders were by
firearms. With those numbers in mind can some wizard of smart please explain
to us how raising the age of criminal responsibility is going to
stop these violent crimes in this targeted age group? But we digress….
No mention in the governor's speech was made of the economy or taxes just
his wish and desire to make the state a "better fairer place"
in a state drowning in debt with bonding maxed out. Nutmeggers fed up
with tax and spend Connecticut have voted with their feet leaving he state
with 154 of 169 towns reporting a decline in their populations.
Over at the Legislative Office Building our representatives will
tackle establishing electronic tolling on Connecticut highways by mid-2022
and to phase in a seven-cent gasoline tax hike to avert insolvency
in the transportation program and fund a 30-year rebuilding
initiative. The plan would boost the state’s 25-cents-per-gallon,
retail gasoline tax seven cents in four stages, starting with a two-cent
hike in July. Connecticut would add another penny in July 2019, two cents
more in mid-2020, and the final two cents in July 2021. What remains to
be seen is where these revenues will go.
while unpopular on its face would fairly impact all of the state's drivers
rather than the old toll system which targeted almost exclusively shoreline
residents along I-95 and in particular New Haven and Fairfield counties.
New proposed toll locations include 78 throughout the state
with 12 on I-95 between Greenwich and New Haven. Studies suggest
vehicle toll diversion is estimated at less than 3 percent. 70% of toll
revenues are expected to come from in state residents since they use the
roads more frequently. Anti toll groups argue tolls will hurt our residents
the most but if tolls are user fees doesn't it make since the users pay
While almost every Connecticut resident agrees our roads and bridges are
horrible and warily agree to tolls if dedicated exclusively to the special
transportation fund. But many in the General Assembly not only insist
revenues go directly to the general fund, they already talk of new spending
plans with this new anticipated revenue for budget deficits and new social
investment programs meaning most this new money will never make
it to desperately needed road projects. And to voters that is the rub
making this toll idea an even tougher pill to swallow.
the new General Assembly starts the new session Connecticut Conference
of Municipalities (CCM), Council on Small Towns (COST) and Connecticut
Business and Industry Association (CBIA) and Yankee Institute are all
special interest groups trying to lobby legislators to reduce union worker
rights and reduce public pensions, remove pensions from an area of collective
bargaining, eliminate binding arbitration and push for right to work status
claiming all these issues are the root of economic evil to Connecticut
business and municipal spending.
AFSCME, AFL-CIO and other Unions will once again prepare for a fight to
defend and protect our hard won rights and benefits for all of our hard
working families. Eliminating these provisions and protections will only
punish middle class families in a race to the bottom of the economic ladder
while CEO's will benefit on our misfortunes. The study contends that the
state's current compensation model is unsustainable. "Connecticut
faces a substantial budgetary challenge due to high debt and large unfunded
liabilities for pensions and retiree health plans,'' the study states.
What it failed to mention was since 1978 executive pay at American ?rms
has grown 127 times faster that worker pay. In fact, the ratio of
CEO-to worker pay has increased 1,000 percent since 1950, according to
hopeful Susan Bysiewicz has paired up with Joe Trippi a political
consultant who worked on political campaigns for many prominent members
of the Democratic Party. He is best known for his work on the campaign
of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean 2003–04, which
was an early successful example of online grassroots political activism.
Having a national figure aligned with her because of her prior government
experience, having statewide name recognition suggests Democrat
leadership believes she has the best chance of winning the primary and
the office in November while some political insiders claim Ned Lamont
is the best candidate the Dems have.
The nation's business in Washington was once again distracted in
early February by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), with
another budget shut down looming. The core issue revolved around
how many dreamers get to stay in return for a border wall and immigration
policy revisions for enhanced security.
Assume some type of full or partial amnesty will eventually be granted
as part of DACA deal to those already here, but nobody is talking about
those in transit to be the next illegal arrivals intent on sneaking in
to be counted before amnesty is granted, or future illegal immigrants
hoping to be in line for the next wave of amnesty after DACA is granted.
Democrats have recited for years the need for "comprehensive
immigration plans" but have always failed to include a definitive
plan or funding for a wall and other significant mechanisms to control
border access other than a promise to offer a future comprehensive study
of the issue. Republicans and the President insist any deal must include
a secure border with significant policy reforms to effectively deal
with illegal immigration for the safety a sovereign nation.
that in mind here is a glaring example of liberal hypocrisy by our own
Democratic diva Senator Richard Blumenthal who pontificates about
the ethical standards of others and a passionate no holds barred supporter
of any and all illegal immigrants. Blumenthal has previously stated "a
wall is more an ego trip for the president than an effective use of resources".
Yet his rural Greenwich home sits on 2 acres completely surrounded by
a fence and this large driveway gate.
In 2004 when a Hartford Courant reporter asked to do a story about Blumenthal
and his family at his home Blumenthal replied ``Well, that would
be a problem", explaining he and his wife, Cynthia, do not
allow reporters in their home for both security and privacy reasons.
So Mr. Blumenthal the 7th richest member of Congress worth $81 million
only believe walls work when it comes to him for his own family's
personal security and privacy but not for you or the security of
the nation. When it comes to future border security without a wall [fence]
we say "well that would be a problem Mr. Blumenthal". Your
hypocrisy is Just another example of progressive elitism with do as I
say not as I do and clearly out of touch with our hard working middle
class families in Connecticut.
A recent January article in
The Day on our police staffing issues certainly did not sit well with
police rank and file officers. Unfortunately some politicians like our
mayor suffer from very selective memories when it suits them so let us
remind our readers of his prior positions using his own words.
In 2014 then Council President Passero stated the city [Mayor Finizio]
had a responsibility to make public safety a top priority in the budget."
Then in 2015 Democratic mayoral candidate Michael Passero called for a
"return of respect for public safety employees with plans to restore…staffing
levels at the police department, calling a well-functioning police department
a key to quality of life in the community".
Fast forward to 2018 Mayor Michael Passero now washes his hands of our
shortage claiming "the issue comes back to the City Council. It’s
the council that approved only enough money for 70 officers". When
it comes to standing by his own immortalized words requiring minimum staffing
ordinance of 80 officers his explanation is "the number 80 was a
compromise… it was more important to get something into writing
than to bicker over the precise number".
Well forget the guessing Mr. Mayor had you even bothered to look no further
than the expert report requested and paid for by the city 10 years ago
recognized law enforcement experts recommended 118 officers for NLPD.
READ OSS REPORT )
The number of 69 officers is a misleading number. Once you take away command
staff, supervisors, investigators and support services the actual number
of patrol officers is 37. Now subtract injuries, training, days off, sick
and vacation leave are added in that number drops off precipitously to
cover the entire city 24/7.
To the doubters, many from outside the city who provide comments without
slightest understanding of facts suggest more police officers don't solve
more crimes. Remember famous words from former Senator Daniel Patrick
Moynihan, Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts
and political society wants things simple but what is not discussed, will
not be advanced.
We say more police means timely responses to calls for service. more pro-activity
allowing us to focus on quality of life issues which has been proven to
reduce other crimes, in particular street crimes of opportunity like-
car breaks, daytime burglaries, robberies street corner drug dealing and
pan handling to name a few.
recent example is our Vice and Narcotics Unit added another investigator
to the unit a few months back with a dramatic uptick in unit activity.
Not only increased on site street level drug dealing arrests but significant
activity with larger complex investigations utilizing search and seizure
warrants resulting in impressive seizures of drugs, money and guns and
Properly staffed police agencies can and do provide a full range of police
services which allows us to be responsive to more community policing concerns.
For those non believers we suggest you drive around the city with your
eyes wide open and tell us how clean, inviting and attractive the city
is right now and explain to us why any new business, developers or residents
would want to move here. A sentiment echoed in a recent David Collins
article on the state of downtown.
Borrowing a quote "The greatest success stories were created by people
who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity." Maybe
we have arrived at that moment, after a several recent and brutally honest
discussions with police administration and City Hall involving very early
stages of coordinating a plan to increase staffing in the next fiscal
year to add patrol officers another detective and Deputy Chief.
will be contingent on collaboration with Councilors for their approvals
in upcoming budget workshops, but we came away believing this may, might,
could be, the start of a new opportunity for the police department. One
of the plans calls for certifying a new batch of promotional lists for
Detective, Sergeant and Lieutenant in place by early spring which is not
only welcomed but timely if we are to increase staffing.
Connecticut remains in a polarizing quagmire of high unemployment, huge
debt, crumbling infrastructure and a population fleeing the state our
lame duck Governor Malloy tries to remain relevant joining our Sesame
Street twins, Bert (Richard Blumenthal) and Ernie (Chris Murphy) as always
reliable with their Democrat National Committee puppeteers to parrot the
latest Never Trump rants while Congress and our own General Assembly proves
inept to solve any problems in front of them except to kick it down the
We hope all Connecticut voters remember how our self absorbed Senatorial
twins and darlings of the progressive left turned their back on every
American citizen and our military not once but twice in a week's time
by not only voting to shut down the government choosing instead to support
illegal immigrants but a second time when they voted no to end the government
shutdown. Elections have consequences especially Murphy who faces 2018
Meanwhile the list of hopeful candidates for governor is growing by the
day, each believing they have what it takes to fix this mess but none
to date offering any meaningful solutions. Currently none of the Republican
hopefuls have statewide voter name recognition and face a tremendous uphill
There is one exception though, 30-year-old New Britain Mayor Erin Stuart
in her third term, who appears ready to jump into the race. A self-described
fiscal conservative who is moderate-to-liberal on social issues, she wins
consistently in a city where Democrats dominate the voter registration
rolls, and for the past two election cycles, she has won endorsement from
municipal unions could pose a serious challenge to the status quo.
for the Democrats there are three names that stand out: former Secretary
of State Susan Bycewicz, current Hartford mayor Luke Bronin and Greenwich
businessman Ned Lamont each capable of raising big campaign money and
each offer their own version of reshuffled deck of progressive politics
that differs little from Dan Malloy in substance.
Recall if you will Malloy stated in 2010 and again in 2014 he and he alone
would turn the Connecticut economy around. Well he was right , he single
handedly tanked it. He asked for and got a $2.6 billion tax increase in
2011 only to burn threw it like am inept lottery winner. Then in April
2017 with the state economy and especially struggling cities on life support
- except for his hometown of Stamford - he was bold enough to echo this
myopic claim, "I know that Connecticut must continue to change and
grow and strive for a more perfect tomorrow".
Malloy's record of failures (killed off Route 11, emptied the transportation
fund, soaring energy costs, 95 and mass transit a mess while state infrastructure
crumbles) all broken promises resulting in a high disapproval and failed
policies – all the while raising taxes, increasing regulations,
misleading voters not to mention driving away business and jobs represents
the worst of our governors. Hey Dan how about do no more harm and quietly
To be clear this is not personal but business, Dan Malloy is a personable
guy that we whole heartedly supported and endorsed twice because he supported
unions, hard working middle class families and upheld collective bargaining
rights. While challenger Tom Foley made clear his first order of business
was to blame all the state's problems on union employees and go after
our public sector jobs and hard fought contracts. But that was then, this
is now and new blood is needed.
Oh then there is one Independent candidate, Oz Griebel the former Executive
Director of the Hartford Alliance (greater Hartford region chamber of
commerce). A personable businessman with plenty of optimism but short
on cash who at best plays a spoils position in voter tallies. I'm sure
if he can survive to Election Day and sway some votes he will be rewarded
by the victor with a plumb job. But a day in politics can be a lifetime
allowing plenty of time for twists and turns along the way.
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