So now it's official. Joe Maturo has announced that he will run for Mayor this November. But before we get all giddy about the prospects of a return of Joe lets look at how and why we got here.
After 1997 when former Mayor Hank Luzzi's policies caused his downfall Joe Maturo swept into office and took East Haven by storm. Back then Joe Maturo was an honest, young and determined indivdual who I believe had the best interests of the people of East Haven. I so much believed in him that I actaully approached him to serve and in 2000 I was appointed to the East Haven Town Council.
TOWN COUNCIL MATTERS
While on the East Haven Town Council (serving 7 years) I became a thorn in the side of Joe Maturo not because I wanted to be a pain but because of what I witnessed and heard. The very first issue that caused a divide between myself and Joe Maturo was his request of a additional retirement pack for holding the seat of Mayor. The terms of that request was an $11,000 pension for every year served matched at 100%. I balked at this because while I had no problem with Joe Maturo putting HIS money away for his retirement I didn't think is was right nor fair for the taxpayers of the Town to give him something that many of them don't get themselves. When I voted against Joe he became angry and vindictive towards me and demanded that his Republican council vote 15-0 for him. The vote came to 13-2 with Councilman Sand voting with me.
Do you see similarities with the current East Haven Town Council under Capone? Yes you do. There are Council members balking and not returning and even some that have switched parties to show their frustration to the political mess that April Capone has brought to East Haven. Is this change you voted for? Is this what the people of East Haven need?
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
After ten years in office you gain a reputation and a record that can not be disputed. Joe Maturo served as Mayor of the Town of East Haven during good economic times when building new homes and renovations on existing homes in East Haven was at the height of the boom. In many cases Joe Maturo and his Administration used his appointed Boards and Commission as weapons to push through his agenda and even strong armed Town Council appointed boards. In one case Joe Maturo and his Administration used his this weapon against one of our own commissioners on the Zoning Board of Appeals. This commissioner who will remain nameless, had an application before the Zoning Board of Appeals to build an addition to his home but was told it would be denied unless he voted yes to every application that came through the Mayor's office. Eventually, the strong arm prevailed and this ZBA member became compromised and eventually resigned his position.
Under April Capone it didn't take long for her to gain a reputation. Ever the glory hound, you can always find this Mayor in front a micrphone and podium. From the onset of her appointment she repaid the election contributions of several of her now appointed officials and made good on promises to repay with nepotisim. She brought back Officer Robert Nappi from retirement in a controversal decision caused by Mayor Maturo. Nappi was also was a financial contributor to her election campaign. Her Inland Wetlands Board is now causing grief in the Riverside neighborhood by circumventing procedure by allowing expired applications to be approved.
I don't make this up I just put it all together!
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
In Joe Maturo's 10 years in office he went to war with our East Haven Police Department on several occassions. Using his Police Commissioners to do most of the dirty work. First it was promotions which led a Sargent to file a CHRO's complaint and eventually settle for over $200K years later. Then it was the use of the media to drag that Sargent's personal life and his family through the mud in a deplorable public display. It was also votes of no confidence from the police union which eventually led to the Police Union publically endorsing a candidate (April Capone Almon). So in essence Joe war with the Police Department caused the election of April Capone.
Currently, we have a second war ongoing with the East Haven Police Department. April Capone's self appointed board of Police Comissioners have led the way to deny due process, actively participate in the suspension of Chief Gallo, appoint a Deputy Chief while reducing man power in the field. Her Administration has violated the collective bargaining agreement and create unnecessary grievances by suspending police officers without due cause. Instead of working with our Police Department we now have the last two Mayors the past 14 years involved in a long protracted war with the men and women in blue.
The embarrasment Mayor Joe had caused and the current Mayor has done is not what this Town needs. We need a Mayor that will stand by the men and women of the East Haven Police Department. We need a person to calm down the rhetoric and send a clear message to that all the nonsense will stop.
Joe didn't leave the elected officals out either. Frustrated with the Board of Finance he went to war with them over several financial issues. Then Joe Maturo called for the Board of Finance to be dissolved and then pubilcally berated them in the East Haven Courier. In the meanwhile as the Head of the Board of Finance he rarely ever attended a meeting, stating that it was unnecessary for him to be there. Could it be that Joe Maturo didn't want to be there because he left the Town on auto-pilot? Could it be that Joe Maturo prefered to be in Florida or at a game of golf than keeping the eye on the ball?
To her credit April Capone is at every meeting but is completely clueless to the financial situation of this Town! At first denying there was a deficit she then began to blame everyone under the sun except her Administration for the current fiscal deficits we have. Her economic development plan has left East Haven with over 78 vacant store fronts as reported by the East Haven Vine. She has no plan, she has no answers except to raise you taxes over 17% in 2010 and then come back in 2011 and insult you by saying she cut your taxes by .25%.
It's called the shell game and both Joe Maturo and April Capone are experts at playing the game.
People of East Haven you have seen the Past and the Present and to me there really is no difference. In the past under Joe Maturo you had to deal with vendictive policy, threats and shakedowns. If you didn't comply with his demands you were yelled at, treated like a fool and cast out. While I have no inner knowledge of the April Capone Administration is doesn't seem very different. Certainly one would have to ask this very simple question, "Why would anyone want to go back to the days of old when they are no different from the present day?"
We need real and effective change. We need new blood with new vision not some old retread that promises to bring back the days of old and we certainly need to fire April Capone this November. We need honest and transparent government. Just look at the people behind the scenes in both administrations.
The only way East Haven is going to rid itself of all the current drama is to elect John Finkle. Here is what John Finkle is going to do http://www.johnfinkleformayor.com/issues.html
Take a look, a very hard look and realize that we need REAL change.
Stay tuned for more on this November's election!