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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The rights of the Wallingford voters and the general public are trampled and your Republican Councilors could care less and are the direct cause of it

As the political cartoon depicts below, as published in the Record Journal on Sunday January 27, 2013, the Republican majority here in Wallingford has found a way to reach new lows.

In years gone by, they would at least shown the pretense of listening to their fellow Councilors and the public regarding an agenda item before voting along party lines as they would have at 6:30PM.

Now they have gotten so arrogant that they cannot even be bothered to listen.

Cases in point of this occur when the “Call the Question” option is made and it’s happened twice now in critical fashion (and I’ll get to that in a moment) and there are times when the Chair isn’t even following the rules and stretching / breaking his right to use “chairman’s discretion”.

So I’ll start with the motion on the floor at the past meeting (and if you want more back ground please see my prior post
on my other blog - Generator Plan and Microgrids: there is more to the story).

I will also state that the procedure is allowed, however, what is allowed and permitted and what is the right thing to do are often two very different things.

When Councilor Laffin made the motion and called the question and it was seconded by Councilor Fishbein, Chairman Parisi indicated “I have a motion on the floor and we have to vote on it” (paraphrased) as if he was hamstrung by the action on the floor.

A year ago when discussing the use of the Wallingford Showmobile by the Wallingford Veterans, a motion was made by Councilor Fishbein and seconded by Councilor Letourneau (if I am remembering correctly, but it was two republican Councilors). The vote never occurred because Chairman Parisi never called the vote. Forget the obvious reasons why not, the simple fact remains – the Chairman either didn’t follow Parliamentary procedure and Robert’s Rules or there is enough wiggle room in the procedure to actually permit the action (as any lawyer will tell you – there are generally multiple ways to interpret things).

So back to the current action.

If Chairman Parisi genuinely felt hamstrung he could have taken the same action and allowed further Council discussion. He did not.

Additionally, Chairman Parisi votes last and all six votes are required to call the question. He voted to call it as well.

Calling the question stops the debate at the Council table but Chairman Parisi could still allow for public comment. He didn’t bother to allow it.

Calling the question also occurred a few weeks ago, stopping the debate regarding the decorative period lighting being replaced downtown.

At that meeting a resident asked during public question and answer period about the lights as was told by Chairman Parisi “we are discussing that topic later and you’ll be able to comment on it then; during Question and Answer we don’t comment on current agenda items” (paraphrased).

The public and Councilor Sullivan never got the chance in that situation because the question was called as well.

So as a public service reminder to all the Wallingford voters out there – these are the representatives you voted into office; I hope that if you voted for these Republicans you feel properly served.

It seems more important to them to get things over with and go out to dinner, which is where the majority of them went after they abruptly ended the meeting.

This wasn’t about the “lateness of the hour” either as it was barely 9PM when this occurred and speaking as the person who has to be up the earliest the next day (4:30AM) to go to work in the city – we can debate into the wee hours of the morning for all I care so long as the public is represented, heard and served.

But that is the difference between us and them and that is all this is coming down to right now.

What has been going on in Wallingford for some time is nothing short of a dictatorship and they aren’t even being bashful about it anymore.


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