Archive for November 1st, 2009

November 1, 2009

Doctors To Give Flu Talk

Doctors from Bristol Hospital will be at the Senior Center on Monday at 12:30 to talk about the flu virus. All inteersted residents who would like to hear the presentation are invited. For more information, call Darlene Tynan at 879-8100.

November 1, 2009

Political Signs Defaced

Mayoral candidate George Babcock’s signs were defaced Friday night by vandals. The camping removed the signs along rt. 69 and 322 early Saturday morning as soon as they became aware of the vandalism. Profanity was sprayed on them, apparently carrying an obscenity, according to the Waterbury Republican-American. If anyone sees any more damaged signs, please call Mr. Babcock’s campaign or the Wolcott Police Department. Police are investigating.

It is sad that while parts of this year’s campaign have become tense, that it has stooped to this level. No candidate would tolerate this behavior regardless of affiliation. Ideas and proposals should be weighed on their own merit by individuals, but to degrade their right to present them in the public arena is disrespectful to all those running because the same could occur to them in the future. Mr. Babcock has served the town and its youth as a softball coach, concerned citizen and a Town Council member and Chairman for many years. If you have any information, please contact the police department or campaign.

November 1, 2009

Campaign Motorcades, Rallies Today

Row C petitioning candidates are, as of this writing, are holding a motorcade throughout town. That started at 1 pm. They will hold a wrap-up rally at Diamond Kings, 1188 Wolcott Rd. at 3 pm.

Democrats are holding a campaign wrap-up party today at the East St. Eatery, 141 East St. next to the Golf Course. Several state dignitaries will be attending including State Treasurer Denise Nappier, State Comptroller Nancy Wyman, and Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz. Free food and drinks will be available and all are welcome to attend. The event runs from 4 pm – 6 pm.

Tom Dunn will hold his campaign wrap-up rally at 4 pm at the VFW on Wolcott Rd. He too, will have free food for anyone who attends.

Republicans cancelled their motorcade, opting instead to reach voters one-on-one in more personable compaigning yesterday and today. They were at Pat’s IGA yesterday with a street waving rally along Wolcott Rd., and then at Walsh’s IGA this morning.

These wrap-up rallies predate the celebration parties each of the four campaigns will be having Tuesday night. And its also a sunny day – you could pretend its still summer.

November 1, 2009

What’s a Town Charter? Q & A and Proposals

What’s a Town Charter?

A Town Charter is a document similar to the US Constitution which dictates the parameters of how a Town Government can operate. It explains how offices can be voted on, the powers of the mayor, Town Council, and various other offices.

What does “Open The Charter” mean?
This is a term used interchangeably with a Charter revision. Just as there can be a Constitutional Convention held to propose amendments to the US Constitution, a Charter Revision Committee can be formed to propose changes to the Wolcott Town Charter. Every five years the Town Council must

    consider

whether or not changes should be made to the Charter. The Town Council did this on January 20th, 2009.

How Can a Charter Revision Commission be formed?

First, the Town Council must vote to open a Charter Revision Commission. The present Charter requires that a supermajority of 6 Council members vote to form a Charter Revision Commission. On January 20th, 2009 only 5 Councilmen voted in favor of forming such a Commission.

When was the last Charter Commission held?
In 2004, a Charter Revision Commission was formed after an unnaffiliated mayor was elected. No state law or provision in the old Charter had any provision in case an unnaffiliated mayor left office in the middle of their term. This was fixed in that year.

Can a Revision Commission change anything in the Charter?
Yes.
While a Commission might be established for a specific purpose, as in 2004, its possible that such a Commission could decide to revise other sections of the Charter as well. This is the same reason why there has yet to ever be a Constitutional Convention on the federal level.

What kinds of Changes are candidates proposing?

Below is a list of candidates and any proposals they have publicly suggested. Some of the candidates have simply suggested the idea be brought up, but in the opinion of the Whisper, the Charter would need to be revised in order to incorporate the ideas: (coming soon!)

George Babcock (Mayoral candidate) – Allow annual budget to go to referendum
Tom Dunn (Mayoral Candidate) – Look at ways to save more money
Mike Perrone (Town Council Candidate) – Have staggard terms for elected officials

(more to come. This article is incomplete)

November 1, 2009

School Board Approves Administrators’ Contract

Update: The Wolcott Whisper regretfully apologizes that key information in this article appears to be incorrect. The present administrators are currently at Step 4 in the pay scale. Thus, because there are only 4 step levels, they will only recieve the 0%-3.5%-3.5% salary schedule. If a new administrator were to come into the school system they would typically begin at step 1 (unless the BOE offers a higher step to entice a particularly desireable candidate). That candidate could then be eligible to move up each year (but eligibilty may not always translate into that move).

The Board of Education approved a three year contract with school administrators at their October 13th meeting. The contract was approved on a 7-0 vote. Mrs. Najarian and Mr. Mango were absent. The contract begins at the start of the next fiscal year on July 1, 2010 and runs through 2013. It awards school Principals, Vice Principals and the directors of special education and athletics a pay freeze in the first year, followed by 3.5% pay increases the following two years. This translates to raises of $6603 – $7661 over the course of the contract, depending upon the position.

In addition to 3.5% raises in the second and third year of the contract, if a new administrator were hired, they could receive pay grade increases. New administrators will be eligible to recieve step increases in each of the three years, including the first. Step increass are 3.2-5.0% depending upon the position and step grade. If a new administrator were hired, they could eventually earn a 19-23.6% by year 3 of their base pay depending upon the position.

For instance, according to the contract’s wage table, a starting Elementary School Principals could earn $101,359 base pay in the current fiscal year. All new employees under the contract are eligible for a step increase each year, including the first year when the salary increase is frozen. Thus, because an administrator moves from step one to step two, they will make $106,359 in the first year of the contract. The second year they can move to step three with a 3.5% increase in the previous year’s step three salary. As a result, they would earn $115,192. The third year would earn a 3.5% increase plus a step increase, and ultimately ean $125,292.

The net increase for a hypothetically new elementary school principals would be 23.6% or $23,612 over the three year contract. But keep in mind that our present elementary school principals will not be doing that. Because they are already at Step 4, their three year pay increase will be $8331.

In additon to this pay scale, administrators may also earn merit pay at the recomendation of the superintendant and approval of the Board of Education if these administrators meet certain goals. A few years ago only one administrator met these goals, yet most years most of them do. Longevity and educational degrees also earn extra bonuses.

The total cost of the contract- assuming all present personnel keep their same positions in three years and attain the fourth step in the contract, will be $268,273 $89770 more than today. That is an increase of about 22% 6.5% spread over three years.

For additional information, statistics from the National Bureau of Labor statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/2008/may/oes119032.htm#st

Wolcott Public Schools