Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 11-2-17

Choose Row B in Winsted

I would like to clarify a few statements that were made at the debate this year. 

The Democrats have been very proud in what they say “they” have accomplished while in office, most of which is debatable and contrary to minutes and agendas of the past.  

The Democrats said that they aren’t about the “D” in Democrat. They aren’t political. If this is true, why didn’t they all run as unaffiliated? They said they have worked bipartisan; however, I know for a fact while they may have listened to Republican ideas, they weren’t incorporated. 

The only board to ever appoint an opposing party member as a deputy mayor was in 2013, Republican super majority. Truth! 

That’s real bipartisan behavior. 

While taking credit, the Dems seemed to leave out a few items. 

There are two lawsuits that cost the taxpayers money: Capitol Products and IGA.

Mayor Candy Perez and the Democrats voted against the STEAP grant that put Lambert Kay in the position it is in today. 

They also gave one of their fellow sitting selectmen a building in town that was promised to be cleaned up and functional by 2013. Still dilapidated buildings, unpaved roads, empty store fronts, fund balance shrinking and lowest voter turn out for a budget in years. 

Bob Geiger is a great town manager. He was hired by both Republican and Democratic selectmen. 

They say they support the superintendent, we support the superintendent. The fact that the Republican slate of candidates has 22 children between them is a true vested interest in our schools and their success.  

We all agreed the children need consistency in their schools and that the BOS have no governance over certain decisions the BOE makes.  

Steady Leadership: This group of Republicans is new to the political arena, and has given no favors nor owes no favors to anyone. Career politicians become stagnant and too comfortable with the status quo.  

Look, the Democrats can say all day long that what’s good in town is because of their leadership, but the facts tell a different story. The Republican slate is ready to jump in and continue what they started years ago. 

We have all shown bipartisan behavior,  and we are all politicians whether you are going to admit it or not.  

If you are an elected official, you are a politician.   

The choice is yours on Nov. 7. I choose Row B.  

Steady,  honest,  transparent leadership.

Lisa Smith


Republican Town Committee



Continue steady Winsted leadership

Winsted since that financial nightmare of years passed seems to be back on its feet. That light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and the reflection around it appears to grow. A good turnaround, one would have to say.

Our community has come a long way since the “Great Train Robbery.” Our Town Manager has been a self-motivated individual. What a God-sent manager he has been. Looking about the community, we see vast improvements, a wonderful rebirth. The elements of integrity, such as respectability and spiritual and mental satisfaction, are all around us. We must keep the ball rolling so the light continues to get brighter.

Our present board of selectmen members have joined together and have created an unified body. Gone are the days of constant harassment and intimidation. We work together, a key to success.

The slate of candidates running under the Democratic Party aim to achieve and to make Winsted a prosperous community. Vote for Perez, Sedlack, Bird, Bourque and Groppo for selectmen. 

Sheila Sedlack has been and will always be a viable Town Clerk. Aubrey English with his outstanding background will make a good constable. Our board of education candidates, consisting of Propfe, Nintz, Royer and Hefferman, will also provide outstanding leadership. Steady leadership and continued progress!

Election Day is fast approaching. Vote on Nov. 7, Row A. I endorse this Democratic slate.

Re-elect them to another term. Keep the light glowing! They are sure to provide trust, integrity, loyalty and community revitalization, not necessarily in that order.

James D. DiVita



Voters of North Canaan: elect Perotti, Whiting 

I have known Charlie Perotti all my life and have had the privilege of serving with Charlie on the Board of Selectmen and working with him when he was Canaan’s Fire Chief. He has a great deal of knowledge about the town and has managed the restoration of Canaan Union Station through the bureaucratic jungle to bring the Station back. His running mate, Craig Whiting, has done an outstanding job on the Board of Finance and is also someone I have known all his life. Each of these individuals have great management skills to bring to the table, Charlie as a retired successful business man and Craig has shown his management skills by an extensive resume of jobs in the private and business sector.

 I strongly support and have all my trust that they will continue to lead and support North Canaan in the future. I ask that when you vote, please vote the Perotti/Whiting team.

Douglas E. Humes Jr. 

North Canaan


Keep track of Sharon Hospital

A few months ago, the sale of Sharon Hospital to Health Quest was approved by Connecticut’s Office of Healthcare Access (OHCA) — returning the hospital to a non-profit status. For those who are not familiar with CASSH — The Community Association to Save Sharon Hospital — it was organized in 2002 as a community group to protest the sale of the hospital to Essent, a for-profit start-up in Nashville. CASSH includes community members who are experienced in healthcare management and finance. We raised substantial private funds, hired an attorney, fought the takeover, and testified as an intervenor before then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Although the sale was approved by the state, it was approved with several financial protections/conditions that we suggested and that were later adopted. 

Through the intervening years, we monitored the sale of Sharon Hospital to two subsequent for-profit private equity groups who purchased the hospital and basically ran it even less effectively. 

We went on record as supporting the sale to Health Quest as our best and last chance to save our local hospital. However, we felt that Health Quest was not offering enough detailed service and ongoing financial commitments to Sharon Hospital to ensure its continued viability and that the Foundation for Community Health was providing too much of the purchase price and financial support. 

This we felt was unfair and could imperil its continued mission. We were granted intervenor status again and during the Certificate of Need process, communicated our detailed views and recommended specific conditions that OHCA should adopt, should they approve the sale. We also met with the Attorney General to discuss our specific objections. OHCA did approve the sale in their order of July 18, 2017, subject to 15 binding conditions, some of which we suggested in our written and oral submissions to OHCA. 

Now, I would urge everyone interested in Sharon Hospital’s continued existence to read these seven pages of binding conditions and the final order on the OHCA website (http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/ohca/conapplications/2016/16_32132_con.pdf). Some of these conditions impacting Sharon Hospital are that Health Quest: 

• Hold twice yearly public meetings so that the general public can ask questions 

• Use its best efforts to get at least 21 fulltime equivalent additional physicians

• Maintain charity/indigent care at current levels 

• Provide detailed staffing and financial reporting on the capital investments they are required to make 

• Provide detailed operating results and cost savings that they may generate

• Provide written reports on physician recruitment and retention as well as reports on improving healthcare in our communities.

CASSH has consistently advocated for a high-quality local community hospital. We also believe that our expertise and analytical insights can be utilized by being included by the Foundation as one of their 12 community representatives nominated as voting members of the hospital’s new local Board of Trustees. In this way, the Board’s inclusiveness would enable us to share our input, insight and knowledge going forward.

Victor Germack

Vice president, CASSH



Vote for Cuneo in Salisbury

As a selectman, I am consistently challenged with trying to find candidates to fill our local boards and commissions. Finding someone who will commit to campaigning for an office involves a lot of phone calls and meetings, along with out-and-out begging of qualified and competent residents to step up and serve. Our area’s declining demographics have recently made recruitment only harder.  

I admit to a bit of candidate “envy” when I saw that Don Cuneo was running for Salisbury’s Zoning Board of Appeals.  I know Don well after working with him for the past two years on the board of NorthwestConneCT, and I find myself at least once a month  extremely thankful that we have him. Don is our secretary and chair of NorthwestConneCT’s Legal Committee.  He provides thoughtful, well articulated and balanced feedback and opinion on our work. As chair, if I have a question or need guidance, Don has helped me every step of the way. NorthwestConneCT is the recipient of his solid institutional and legal experience.  Don practiced law for 22 years at Shearman & Sterling and served as the president & CEO of International House, a nonprofit that serves over 700 graduate students and trainees from over 100 countries and works to promote cross cultural understanding and communication.   

Recently Don retired from International House, and at one of the many galas to celebrate and acknowledge his contributions, he stated, “There is no higher calling than working alongside your fellow resident members, figuratively and literally, to serve a higher purpose, to serve your fellow human beings and improve everyone’s opportunities and happiness.” Don Cuneo cares deeply about the Northwest Corner and Salisbury, and understands the value of working together and serving the community.  

The Town of Salisbury is lucky to have Don as a candidate for Zoning Board of Appeals.  Make a good choice on Nov. 7 and put Don back on. And when you’re done, please figure out a way to clone him and send him my way! 

Jessica Fowler



Vote for Mechare

This is to support Pat Machare for election to the Region One School District Board of Education as a member from Canaan (Falls Village).

For the position she seeks, she has the required experience that will benefit our community immediately. This includes a full career as an educator, long service as a member and chair of the Kellogg School Board of Education as well as commendable service as selectman and first selectman. In her selectman’s capacity, she has been well familiar with the fine balance necessary in paying for all the town’s needs with the required economy needed to avoid over-burdening the taxpayer.

Pat Mechare has the experience, the work ethic and the persistence in the discharge of her duties to best represent and defend the interests to our town in the councils of the Region One Board of Education. She certainly has my vote.

Louis G. Timolat

Canaan (Falls Village)


How to avoid stress from the news

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are reporting an unprecedented rise in emergency visits to physicians, clinics and hospitals in the U.S. due to psychological stress over media reports of violence and actions taken by the current U.S. administration to weaken beneficial social programs and human rights in America. Furthermore, a number of recent polls suggest that over 60 percent of the U.S. population is suffering from a combination of disgust for and fear of what is being done to the future of our country.

An incisive summary of what’s being done to our country is provided in an editorial titled, “What the G.O.P. Gets for its Silence,” in The New York Times, Oct. 26, 2017. The piece points to the sabotage of affordable health care, the harm being done to environmental protection, the attack on workers’ rights and jobs, the packing of the executive branch with corporate investor special interests and the false populism of tax “reform” which actually provides huge tax cuts for the very wealthy at the expense of ordinary working Americans. The economic and democratic future of America is looking bleak, and some 60 percent of Americans sense it.

What is striking here is that, while an out-of-control and outrageously behaving executive head compounds the current disasters, only a minority of Republicans in Congress have the nerve and integrity to speak out about it, while the majority silently accepts the outrages and the counter-productive policies, for fear of being “primaried” out of office. Meanwhile, the Democrats in Congress have been gerrymandered into minority status, thus unable to stem the tide down a slippery slope.  The sole solution lies in the voter booth in 2018.

Meanwhile, the statistical rate of media-induced traumatic stress will only get worse and worse. To avoid PTSD, reduce your media viewing and take a walk in our beautiful country. 

Tony Piel




Thanks for supporting Habitat

Sometimes, it takes a region  — not just a village. Northwest Connecticut is blessed with individuals and institutions that believe in the mission of Habitat — that all families deserve a decent and affordable home to live in. 

The Wine Tasting on Saturday, Oct. 28, in the Green Barn at the home of Thao and Scott Matlock was a demonstration of the capacity of generosity in our area. The Steven and Sheila Aresty Foundation, Ascendant Compliance Management, The Hotchkiss School and Kent School provided invaluable financial support, as did so many other generous businesses and individuals.

We are extremely grateful to Kiki and Peter Barron for all their hard work to decorate the Barn. Also, we’re grateful to Richard Bramley of Cornwall Package Store and his crew for providing the wonderful wines, Barrington Brewery for the local beers and Harney Tea for the lighter refreshments. There is a huge list of local businesses and individuals that donated items for the auction, advertising, food and most all of the items needed to make an event of this size successful. 

Then, there’s the efforts of the people who worked so hard to prepare for the event, and we’d have to fill a page with the names of everyone involved.  You know who you are and we thank you.

The Board of Habitat will make sure the community is aware of the next projects that these efforts will support as we look ahead to 2018.

Wilhelmina Eaken

Bill Spalding

Event co-chairs




Winsted, steady and forward

As a result of much determination and hard work from those at the helm of our town government, we all are experiencing the steady positive momentum forward. With everything that has been, and continues to be accomplished, this is not the time to turn it all over to novices, to “give them a chance” as they request.

This is not a game. This is serious, dedicated, experience-based work and we’re at the turning point.

As a sailor in the U.S. Navy, “Steady and Forward” was the command from our competent and respected captain when departing for assignment in the Mediterranean Sea, along with a trusted staff of experienced staffers and a contingent of 5,000 sailors and Marines on board who had total confidence that the mission would be accomplished. 

I doubt we would have felt the same with a bunch of “trainees” in charge.

I’m hearing that same command today in Winsted from the competent and respected Winsted town manager, our captain and CEO, along with the experienced and knowledgeable Board of Selectmen who are seeking reelection with a dedication, desire and enthusiasm to move our town forward.

The opponents? No service on even town committees or commissions, no experience with municipal finance or policies. I’ve not seen much in the way of volunteering either. One candidate, new to town, spoke on local TV about how he “wanted to repurpose the old mill buildings, and why hadn’t anyone thought to do that?” He was gently made aware by his running mate about “Brownfields.”

Like none of us had thought of that brilliant idea over the previous decades. Let’s not go back to square one!

This is a clear picture we face on Nov. 7th. Steady and forward. 

Here’s just a sampling of what is being accomplished: Blight is being aggressively attacked, with a list of over 60 properties getting attention; infrastructure being addressed; fund balance strong, and growing; a police chief making our police department one that is respected and admired by other departments in the entire state; Whiting Mills full, with a waiting list of potential tenants; American Mural Project, steadily moving forward; new Community College Vet Tech building completed, at the gateway to Winsted; Capitol Products building, blighted since before we moved here 15 years ago, aggressively being cleaned up; Mad River Lofts has one building completed with tenants applying — another soon to begin. Winsted Edge Works (Lambert Kay) being repurposed by a successful Unionville developer with letters of intent for space, and a growing list of inquiries; American Tort Museum; Robotics Company relocated from New Jersey; new restaurants with more coming, including a brewery; much more on the table or in negotiations; people near and far, looking at Winsted in glowing terms.

Let’s keep this momentum going steady and forward, assured that we are in good hands. 

Vote row A on Nov. 7.

Beau Black




Thanks for concert series supportSharon Parks and Recreation would like to thank all who helped to make the Music on the Green Series possible this past summer. Although we did have to cancel two concerts due to inclement weather, we had four lively, well-received shows. Thank you to the Sharon Center School eighth-graders for selling refreshments and thank you to all who came out to attend the concerts.

Also, a big thank you to the following sponsors: Salisbury Bank and Trust; Mr. Raymond Learsy; Sharon Country Inn; J. William Co.; GK Electric; Jam Foods; Sharon Pharmacy; Shear Illusions and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. We would also like to thank Robin Hood Radio for taping and broadcasting the shows on TV.

See you in 2018!

Donna Christensen

Sharon Parks and Recreation



Vote for Clayton in North Canaan

Ah, what can I say? I have had the privilege to know Susan Jayne Fracaro Clayton my entire life, literally. Susie is one of the best people I know.

She is a survivor, dedicated, hard working and intelligent. Susie has always given back.

Her commitment to the town, where all five of us were born and raised by our widowed mother, Peggy, knows no bounds.

The belief in a strong community, town and country is what Susie’s always held to the highest standards.

With a great set of values and morality, I know that the people of North Canaan will thrive with her leadership.

Kim Fracaro Hamilton


Rising Sun, Md.