Official Brings Back Longtime Town Attorney -- Courant.com
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#1 Jul 12, 2007
Things are starting to look up again for Westbrook.
Save Westbrook is out of business and we killed the Council of Beaches plan to give their members an unfair tax break.The Beachies didn't even oppose the budget. Maybe our nightmare is over.
#2 Jul 13, 2007
I get the picture. In your view of the world, dissenting opinions are a bad thing.
You know that the only reason 'Save Westbrook' disbanded is that its leader moved out of town. Whether you liked him or not, he had the guts to stand up to the Westbrook political machine and demand accountability.
Just because 'Save Westbrook' disbanded, does not mean that the principles that it fought for are dead. Just the opposite. In fact, in speaking with people around town they seem to be more disenchanted with taxes and the reevaluation process than ever.
Also, it would be unwise to think that everything is fine and dandy since the last budget passed on the first vote. Instead, the last referendum was merely the latest installment of the 'Westbrook Shuffle'- do the bear minimum as required by state law to inform taxpayers about the budget vote while making sure that anyone conneted with the school system or employed by the town votes.
I think that most people do not view Westbrook town life as an us versus them dynamic. Instead, everyone needs to be happy and engaged in the process. Perceived short term 'victories' as you wrote in your post view are just that short term. Consider this, if each taxpayer who disputed his/her assessment vote 'No' at the last referendum, we would be still working on the budget.
#3 Jul 13, 2007
SAVE WESTBROOK was a lost cause.... They got Raffa elected and then they griped about who they elected. If they did this, then this would happen... if who did what? They sure can mumble but can they rally the troops? Do 365 people work for the town and the school board? It seems that is all we could muster to vote. Keep riding that horse to the Save Westbrook promise land and when you get there realize that you are alone. How does that glass of humblicious taste? Are you really upset because they didnt get the dissenting voters to vote? There job is to pass budgets and run towns. They only need to get the majority of the voters who vote. Anger towards the ones in charge is easy but it seems the ones your angry at are the 1600 people who didnt vote. Not only didnt they vote but it also was mid year a time where generally people strongly vote and not right after all the summer people left. It seems those people around town with the dissenting votes either dont vote which is probably the case or they vote for the budgets and just say the opposite..... either way 1600 people say a whole lot but dont show up for the party..... let them keep talking and we can keep trying to be active in the community. Save Westbrrok was a lost cause but man could that man lead. I wonder if it was because he scared people or because he spent so much money trying to get thier attention? A great leader can rally the troops and bring home the gold. It seems the score is westbrook 20 and Save Westbrook 0!
#4 Jul 13, 2007
The score may be 20 to 0, but the game is not over yet!
In all seriousness, my response was in part due to what I perceived as a smug and intolerate post.
I believe that the lack of voter turnout this year for the referendum was in part due to the real estate appraisal appeal process and to a lesser extent a late spring. I believe that if we had a normal spring, seasonal residents would have come to Westbrook earlier and would have been more aware of the budget referendum.
Instead, what they got in July was sticker shock due to the sharp increase in taxes. As such, I suspect that many will pay more attention to the Referendum process next spring.
#5 Jul 14, 2007
Maybe our nightmare isn't over but I'm optimistic. Even though the leader of Save Westbrook left town, I know there are people who voted with him still living here.
What I'm angry about is Save Westbrook made such a fuss about bad school scores that some families moved out of town and new families were afraid to move in . That's why school enrollment keeps falling and then they complained about our new school.
I just hope the beachies learned a lesson. They should keep their noses and their mouths out of Town government. If they pay their taxes and keep quiet in a few years everyone will forget about Save Westbrook and their houses will be worth more. They can afford a few extra dollars of taxes.
If they don't like the way things are run in Westbrook they should follow their leader. Shoreliner, the rest of us want the nightmare to end.
#6 Jul 14, 2007
I can only wonder if you graduated from college let alone high school as you are completely ignoring one of the most important tenets of the American Revolution:
'No taxation without representation'.
I can only surmise that in your view of the world, a certain group of people should just pay their taxes without any input as to how the money is spent. Sorry, but that is not how America is governed.
Your reference to 'beachies' suggests that you live north of Rt. 1. As such, I bet your property taxes declined as a result of the most recent property reassessment. If they did congratulations. But don't expect others to subsidize town services for you and not have a say on how they are delivered. Shame on you!
However, I am still trying to understand your statement about families leaving town due to the school system while other families, that were considering moving to Westbrook, being scared away due to the budget issues. It makes zero sense particularly when there has not been a surge of 'For Sale' sales around town.
As for high school enrollment, I can only surmise that you are a relative newcomer to Westbrook. Go back 25 or 30 years and you will see that Westbrook's high school graduating class size was generally in the high 30s to low 40s. 64 students? That is about a 60% from 25 years ago.
#7 Oct 13, 2008
Save Westbrook gave Westbrook voters a real chance for the first time and the Holbrook and the Ferraras on the republican town committee wasted it, setting on a recovering psychopathic alcoholic, whom everyone was delighted to vote for over Palermo, Cyr, Marino - Sullivan got the message and ran on his own. It was as if the republicans made a deal with the demos to make the previous wasteful administration look good - The only reason we now have less kids than when Cyr, Sullivan and company conspired falsely to get westbrook to spend another 25 million on uneeded shools was that Cry and Sullivan and the state promoted false population increases knowing westbrook residents are amongst the dumbest in Ct.
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