Traitor and Spies

Once upon a time, there were two armies, the North and the South, engaged in a very long war. As they were preparing for a big battle, a soldier from the North sold the North’s battle plans to soldiers from the South. Even though the South had the North’s battle plans, the South lost the battle. The story was never made public. The North was ashamed that it had a traitor in its midst. The South was embarrassed that, despite having the North’s battle plans, it still lost the battle. Just a quick story before another very big bowl game. Walter Casey

To Hear

I think the BOF has forgotten that audit comes from the Latin audire, to hear. The BOF has not been listening. We are still waiting for the final audit report. I don’t think people understand why the final report can be so different from the report given by Jon Zagrodzky in public session. If it is not different, what is taking so long? The BOF has also not heard the concerns about potential conflicts of interest. I believe these concerns and others have already made the final report irrelevant. There is a concern that significant taxpayer support for a child of Jon Zagrodzky, the BOF member responsible for the audit, presents, at least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. The concern is that a quid pro quo existed: a less damaging audit report in exchange for special education services. This could be completely false but the failure to address this issue may have passed the point of no return. I believe that if the Zagrodzky family did receive substantial special education services at taxpayers’ expense, then Mr. Zagrodzky should have recused himself from leading the audit. It may be too late for the BOF to start listening. Walter Casey

Unit 202 Where Are You?

I obtained the paramedic response time data for June 2015 from the First Selectman’s Office at Town Hall using Connecticut’s foi law. In my previous comments, I showed how slow paramedic response times are into Darien from Stamford and Norwalk. What is also very troubling is where these paramedic units come from. It goes a long way in explaining the slow response times. The unit that is supposedly “dedicated” to Darien is unit 202 in Glenbrook, Stamford. However, at a BOS meeting we learned that unit 202 is only available during daytime hours. Unit 202 also answers calls in Stamford and responds to Darien on an as available basis. Unit 202 answered only 49% of calls for paramedics in June 2014. Unit 202 is clearly not “dedicated” to Darien. Unit 202’s average response time was 12.21 minutes or 50% more than the national standard of 8 minutes. SEMS (Stamford EMS) unit 292 is a paramedic fly car that covers Darien at night. It responded to 31% of calls in June with an average response time of 11.40 minutes. This is better but still well above the national standard. When 202 and 292 were not available, units from elsewhere responded. Units from the West side, Tully Center, Vine and High Ridge and Long Ridge Road in Stamford responded 16% of the time with an completely unacceptable average response time of 16.38 minutes. Why bother? Finally, Norwalk units responded twice with response times of 15 and 17 minutes. Why bother? This kind of emergency medical response is totally unacceptable. I blame our political leaders who are afraid of the self serving Post 53 fan club. I also blame the Darien Times for remaing silent. Walter Casey

Snowbound Paramedics

I wonder if Post 53 will think to have paramedics stationed in Darien during the blizzard. If they do, I wonder if any neighboring town will have any available given their own needs. If someone does think to have paramedics based in Darien and they are available, it will be ironic that paramedic response time may be faster during a blizzard than during a sunny day in July. Walter Casey

Peter Truebner

The news of Peter’s passing is very sad. I knew Peter in a number of his capacities. However, I have one enduring memory of Peter. Whenever we spoke, irrespective of the central topic, Peter would always ask me about BC football. Although an alum of Yale and Michigan, Peter had a keen interest in BC football. Peter was a connoisseur. He will be missed. Walter Casey

A Long Wait

As I previously stated in an earlier comment, the average elapsed paramedic response time in Darien was 12.8 minutes in June 2014. This is from the time CMED receives the call to the time paramedics arrive on scene. The 12.8 minutes is 60% longer than the 8 minute national standard. Things are much worse than that. One third of the response times exceed 15 minutes and 3 were greater than 20 minutes. The longest paramedic response time in June 2014 was 28 minutes. Why bother? Walter Casey

Habemus Mixup

Apparently, the mixup is over. The BOE will vote on the new superintendent,from Long Island, next week. This is after he announced, on the Internet, that he was coming to Darien. However this screw up happened, it should now be over. I blame Darien’s BOE for this mess. I hope we are getting a game changer because that is what we need. The most important characteristic we need in a new superintendent is integrity. Darien’s current government, not just the education part, is devoid of integrity. Walter Casey

The Self Appointed One

Now that the Superintendent of Schools from Roslyn, NY has appointed himself Darien’s Superintendent via LinkedIn, I can hardly wait until he announces, via Facebook, the salary and benefit package he has selected for himself. Hopefully, he will tell us where to find his annuity. Maybe it will be hidden in insurance expense. Walter Casey


The Republican Town Committee (RTC) is in turmoil. It appears that Pallen and Boulton are not well liked by a majority of the members. However, there is not a super majority to get rid of them. The question is what effect will this turmoil have on nominations to the major boards. There needs to be a clean sweep but I have my doubts about what will happen. On the BOF, Mao and Zagrodzky need to go. The audit debacle was the last straw. I cannot conceive of BOE chairman Haggerty Ross continuing on the BOE. She has been a disaster. I am not sure that anyone will be willing to challenge Stevenson for First Selelctman. Stevenson is in a downward spiral on a number of fronts and Jayme jokes are now popular. People say that she needs the money, needs to vest, needs retiree health care and so on. It is hard to believe all of this but that is what is going around. The RTC has been a source of controversy since I moved to Darien 31 years ago. For years the RTC was made up of liberal Democrats who flocked to the Republican Party because it was the only political game in town. We also had the crazies who lived up to their name. Now we have the current dysfunctional group. I have said that the current government is the most corrupt and incompetent since I moved to Darien. I am not hopeful. Walter Casey

June Response Times

I have recently completed a thorough analysis of paramedic response times for June, 2014. This process is quite time consuming. I think it important that Darien residents understand the risks they assume by living in Darien. From the time paramedics receive a dispatch from CMED to the time they arrive on scene took, on average, 9.29 minutes. I will call this the drive time. However, if you add the time it takes for CMED to contact the paramedics, the average response time was 12.8 minutes. I will call this the elapsed time. While both times exceed the national standard of 8 minutes, in future comments I will be referring to elapsed times. This is because elapsed time is the time the patient is at risk. In summary, Darien’s paramedic response times are inadequate, at best. Walter Casey