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Freedom requires a declaration

Freedom requires a declaration

Nations are created by civil strife, military rebellion, acts of heroism, acts of treachery. The origin of the United States included them all. This was unique, not only in its imp ...

What Zoning Tells Us About Our Town

What Zoning Tells Us About Our Town

By Charlene LaVoie Land use and zoning regulations govern the use and development of real estate and are used by municipalities to guide the development of property.  New York City ...

Hands off NCCC

Hands off NCCC

By Charlene LaVoie In 2011, Governor Dannel Malloy announced a sweeping plan to overhaul higher education to provide more resources for classroom teaching to help increase the numb ...

A Year (or so) in Review- A Cautionary Tale

A Year (or so) in Review- A Cautionary Tale

In September 2012, convicted felon Henry Centrella’s scheme was uncovered. In November 2012, he was put on leave. In January 2013, he was fired. In August 2013, he was arrested. In ...

Vote No on Charter Revison

Vote No on Charter Revison

Vote No on Charter Revision By Charlene LaVoie 10/31/14 ...

Mayor Sterling and the infrastructure deceit

Mayor Sterling and the infrastructure deceit

Mayor Sterling and the infrastructure deceit Fri, 07/18/2014 - 10:28am Civic Beat Opinion/Viewpoint By Charlene LaVoie More trickery from appointed Mayor Marsha Sterling that piggy ...

Town does not need micro-managing

Town does not need micro-managing

Town does not need micro-managing- Civic Beat column, by Charlene Lavoie ...

Half-truths do not promote transparency

Fri, 06/13/2014 - By Charlene LaVoie Mayor Marsha Sterling has assured us that she is trying to be “clear and transparent.” But actions speak louder than words. Her actions at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, June 2, reveal her willingness to trick the public and tell only those parts of the story that support her intentions. In her best micromanaging style, Sterling presented the finance report an ...

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Money moved around in mayor’s budget

Money moved around in mayor’s budget Fri, 05/30/2014 By Charlene LaVoie The annual budget is the most significant policy statement from the Board of Selectmen. How money is allocated tells voters what selectmen deem important. That’s policy making and transparency in government. The newly appointed mayor, Marsha Sterling, proposed a budget that contains a selectmen’s slush fund of $500,000 that she moved fr ...

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Plenty of responsibility to go around

4-18-14 Plenty of responsibility to go around Stephen Kosinski asserts in his April 11 letter that selectmen are doing what they were elected to do. He states that “line item cuts are made in all Connecticut municipalities.” Perhaps. But it is important to understand who is supposed to do this. Under the town manager form of government, the professional manager crafts the budget because it is the manager wh ...

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Postal Crisis Solution?

Postal crisis solution? Fri, 02/28/2014 By Charlene LaVoie The United State Postal Service Office of Inspector General released a report in January on “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved.” About 68 million Americans have no checking or savings account. They use costly services like payday loans and check cashing exchanges that, in 2012 alone, cost them about $89 billion in interest an ...

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Supplemental tax unanswered questions

Supplemental tax unanswered questions Wed, 11/27/2013 - 9:22am By Charlene LaVoie The Winsted Journal Civic Beat At the Nov. 18 Board of Selectmen meeting, on the job for just 13 days, the new Republican supermajority used the most significant power they have and imposed a 3-mill supplemental tax, bypassing the town meeting. The supplemental tax is troublesome for two reasons: the amount of the tax was not ...

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Majority rules? Winsted’s 2013 election results by the numbers

November 15, 2011 By Charlene LaVoie The 2013 local election results are final and the numbers are revealing. The turnout was 36 percent, or 2,512 voters, out of 6,853 — 5 percent higher than 2011. Fifteen people took advantage of the new law allowing registration on voting day. The five Republican selectmen candidates were elected with 39 percent of the votes. For comparison, in 2011 the five Democrats rec ...

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Vote yes on water and sewer issue

10-25-13 Vote yes on water and sewer issue The town financial crisis continues. A large part of the crisis is the $3.2 million owed to the town by the Water and Sewer Commission. Members of the commission trusted the former finance director who used the Water and Sewer account to cover his tricky accounting of the town books.   It is alleged that Henry Centrella was able to use Water and Sewer to cover ...

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Differences between the local parties

10-11-13 Differences between the local parties   It’s a wild election season. The Republican ticket is headed by a former selectman who voted with the Republicans to underfund education but now says she supports education. This same former selectman also voted with the Republicans on a measure that helped undermine the town’s fund balance. Both actions made the town more vulnerable and less financially ...

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