Student Loan

I am looking at a complaint filed in Superior Court, Judicial District of Stamford-Norwalk dated 5//27/14. The plaintiff is the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. The defendants are Jennifer D. Sommer and Gordon M. Sommer III of 6 Point O Woods Rd S., Darien CT. Jennifer Sommer is Jayme Stevenson’s choice to replace Jerry Nielsen as her running mate. Sommer is trying to become a Darien Selectman.

The complaint alleges that the Sommers defaulted on a Note dated 7/15/09 in the principal amount of $49,559.56 and seeks that amount plus interest of $3,828.43. This liability involved a student loan.

I do not know the outcome of this legal action. The Sommer family appears to have serious financial problems. I simply cannot understand how Jayme Stevenson could pick someone like Sommer as a running mate and subject her to the public scrutiny that comes with running for high office. While you have to feel sorry for Sommer, you also have to question her judgement in running. However, you can feel nothing but contempt for Stevenson for putting someone like Sommer through this.

I have read that Sommer is the head of religious education at St. Thomas More. If picking Sommer was an attempt by Stevenson to appeal to younger voters, it has backfired badly. It remains to be seen how the RTC and Danny, the Duke of Darien, Dolcetti will react to Stevenson’s candidacy.

Walter Casey

Old Man Mortgage

The records at Town Hall contain a mortgage loan modification dated as received by the Town Clerk on 12/2/14. The borrowers are Gordon and Jennifer Sommer. Jennifer Sommer is Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson’s choice to replace Jerry Nielsen as her running mate.

The Sommers represented to the lender Capital One that “I am experiencing a financial hardship, and as a result I am in default under the Loan Documents and I do not have sufficient income or access to sufficient liquid assets to make the monthly payments now or in the near future.”

The new loan’s maturity date is 11/1//2054. This is a 40 year loan. If Jennifer Sommer is 40 years old today, she will be 80 when it comes time to burn the mortgage. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say that mortgage is structured to have increasing payments over time. The mortgage total is $2,778,437.06 versus the assessor’s estimate of the Sommer home’s market value of $2,709,780.00.

These data are available in Town Hall. Jayme Stevenson sits on the top floor of Town Hall and is its boss. How could she not have done the proper due diligence before selecting Jennifer Sommer to run for Selectman? Someone with Sommer’s financial problems should not be a Darien Selectman. Someone who chose her as a running mate should not be Darien’s First Selectman.

If the RTC nominates either Stevenson or Sommer, it will be a disgrace. We will also have to look to Danny, the Duke of Darien, Dolcetti for an explanation.

Walter Casey

Art Deco

My wife and I just returned from a visit to London. We went over via a Trans-Atlantic voyage on the Queen Mary 2. It was so much more civilized than going through JFK and Heathrow but we did have to fly back.

The QM2 is a huge ship. The interior has an Art Deco design especially the dining room and the ballroom. For one of the formal evenings, the ballroom orchestra featured music from the Swing Era. Watching couples dance to the sounds of Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers and Glen Miller in the Art Deco ballroom took me back to my parents years during the war. It was like being in a movie.

Even though I was away for two weeks and commented infrequently, this blog received over 1500 visits. Thank you.

Walter Casey

Lien Forward

Republican First Selectman Jayme Stevenson is running with current Republican Selectman Susan Marks. Jerry Nielsen decided not to run again for Selectman and has been replaced by Jennifer Sommer. Soon after Sommer was announced as Stevenson’s new running mate, rumors began circulating about Sommer’s financial affairs. I went to Town Hall to investigate these rumors. I won’t mention Sommer’s address but it was easy to find using the land records system. What I found was eye opening.

Sommer and her husband have had tax liens filed against them by the town of Darien in 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. There was a tax lien filed against them by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services in 2012. In recent years, there have been various judgement liens filed against them by what look to be vendors. There were what appeared to be legal issues involving mortgages including what appeared to be a serious one as recently as 2015.

I made a strategic decision not to investigate these financial matters in detail because I thought it might take my remaing golden years. Rather, I believe it is incumbent on the RTC to question Sommer in depth on her financial issues. The RTC should make sure that Sommer knows that the Selectman position is not a paid position. Frankly, a paid position may be what Sommer should be searching for. Someone on the RTC might be able to recommend a financial advisor, say from Morgan Stanley, to advise the Sommer’s family.

It is remarkable that Stevenson with all her political and personal baggage chose someone with such apparent financial baggage as a running mate. These revelations raise serious issues about whether Sommer has the judgement to serve as a Selectman and whether Stevenson has the judgement to be First Selectman. Perhaps Stevenson hopes to appeal to the deadbeat voting bloc in Darien.

Walter Casey

Say It Ain’t So Vin

Say it ain’t so Vin. I am talking about Vin Burke, co-chair of the RTC and pawn of Danny, the Duke of Darien, Dolcetti. If we look at Darien Republican politics as a chess game, there is no room for a Duke but Vin is definitely a pawn. Vin has been arguing for Darien based paramedics for years but he may now be willing to vote for the renomination of Jayme Stevenson as the Republican candidate for First Selectman. Stevenson has adamantly opposed Darien based paramedics. How could Vin do this?

I believe the answer is the Duke. The Duke is a downtown developer who has his own priorities. In a chess game context, the Duke is trying to save an incompetent Queen, Jayme Stevenson, and the Duke is certainly not a King. He can’t just order things done. He must work behind the scenes. The Duke also doesn’t fit the mold of a Knight or Bishop so we are left with the rook or tower. The rook or tower fits the Duke’s downtown edifice plans and related complex.

There is still time for the rook and his pawn to transform into a a Bishop and a Knight. I remain hopeful.

Walter Casey

Silent Auction

Darien Republican First Selectman Jayme Stevenson has decided to seek a third term with a new running mate. Here are my impressions.

Stevenson probably needs the job financially and to keep her in play for bigger things statewide. She also needs to get out of town due to her terrible performance as Darien First Selectman. Her work with a COG (Council of Government) that Darien belongs to will be sufficiently amorphous that no one will be able to tell what, if anything, she is really doing. Stevenson is also now on a state Republican committee that she bounced Laurie Williamson from. She can rant and rave against the Democrats’ control of the state. Her objective is to keep her part time job in Darien and divert attention elsewhere. She may have her eye on running for Lt. Governor in the next statewide election. Lt. Governor might be ideal for her and everyone else in the state because I don’t think the Lt. Governor does anything. The job would save her from having to do anything and the rest of us from the consequences of her actually doing something. We would all just have to pray for the health of the governor.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the state reacts to her keeping Darien from having paramedics when the rest of the state either has them or wishes they could afford them.

Susan Marks remains on the ticket and continues to resemble a deer caught in the headlights.

Jerry Nielsen is leaving the ticket. I believe Jerry woke up at a Kentucky Derby party after being in a multi-year coma only to find that his horse had lost badly and that he was a Selectman. He immediately said “What am I doing there.” You may recall the classic song about General Custer (“Listen Mr. Custer, I don’t wanna go. Forward Ho.” Jerry isn’t going.

Jerry will be replaced by a woman I don’t know and whose name I have already forgotten. I read that she is involved in religious education at St. Thomas More. I can only imagine how she might have come to be on the ticket. Imagine that she was at a St. Thomas More benefit and came upon the silent auction. The first item was a trip to Vegas and she passed. The second item was Alex Rodriguez’s Yankee uniform autographed by Brian Cashman. Not being a real baseball fan, she passed. Then she came to the item that captured her imagination. It was a chance to run with Jayme and Susan. The suggested bid was a MINUS ONE DOLLAR. She went all in and bid a MINUS TWO DOLLARS. It was getting late. The bidding ended and she was on the ticket and promptly received TWO DOLLARS. In all seriousness, I’m sure this woman feels that Jayme will be a great role model for her religous education students.

Such is the state of Darien Republican politics.

Walter Casey

Parking

You would think that after RTC member Laurie Williamson was bounced from a state Republican committee by Darien Republican First Selectman Jayme Stevenson (with Stevenson replacing Williamson) that the RTC would not look favorably on renominating Stevenson. Think again.

You would think that after “arranging” for Stevenson supporter Jim Palen to step down as Chairman that the RTC would not look favorably on renominating Stevenson. Think again.

You would think that after a female RTC member filed a police incident report against Stevenson supporter John Boulton for his conduct at an RTC meeting (leading to Boulton’s resignation) that the RTC would not look favorably on renominating Stevenson. Think again.

I believe that it is generally acknowledged by Republican insiders that Stevenson is a disaster as First Selectman. However, this does not mean that the RTC will not renominate Stevenson. Why? The reason is parking, downtown parking.

It seems that Danny “The Duke of Darien” Dolcetti is exercising his considerable influence with the RTC through co-chair Vin Burke to renominate Stevenson. The Duke is a downtown developer who views parking as important to downtown development. He believes that Stevenson will be amenable to developers’ views on downtown parking. This sounds like back room dealing. Whether it is or it isn’t, the problem with this potential back room deal is that a lot of people know about it. Back room deals work best if the door to the back room is closed. In this case, the door is wide open.

Don’t get me wrong, the Duke is a great guy. I have known him for years. For all those years, the Duke has been obsessed with the RTC and playing a role as a behind the scenes power broker. The Duke’s problem has been execution. I recall the time when the Duke got together a slate for the RTC only to be “surprised” by an opposing slate which won the day. After that fiasco, I vowed to never again get my hopes up for the RTC or a Duke led effort.

You have to understand how ineffective the RTC has been. At one time the leaders of the RTC were known as the “Crazies.” Here we go again. The Duke sees the burly guy with chalk at the end of a stick putting chalk marks on the tires of cars parked downtown and he craves that kind of raw power. The Duke sees Stevenson has the answer to his parking prayers. Frankly, I don’t think that Stevenson could figure out how to put a coin in a parking meter.

The result may just be that we have to put up with two more years of Stevenson. The RTC may once again eschew its proper role of bringing Republicans leaders forward to govern the town in a competent and honest fashion.

On the positive side, all of this only serves to make Joe Miceli an even more attractive candidate.

Walter Casey

10,000 and Counting

I have been seeing to some very happy family matters. Therefore, I have not been commenting. My comments will be limited for a little while longer.

I wanted to thank all of you. This blog now has had over 10,000 visits and over 33,000 page views.

Falcone will be suspended for one month. He didn’t lose his job as did three others. I wonder if his short tenure in the Stamford school system saved his job.

Jayme Stevenson is replacing Laurie Williamson as Darien representative on the Republican state committee. This will seriously lower the IQ of this committee. Maybe Stevenson will get a full time job in Hartford and we will be rid of her.

35 Leroy is getting more money for repairs. I keep hearing more stories about mold and people getting sick.

The Miceli movement continues to advance.

Walter Casey

To Kilduff

To Kilduff is defined in Darien’s dictionary as an employer preventing one of her employees from getting another job by calling the employee’s potential employer and demanding that he not hire her employee. Darien’s rumor mill has it that the derivation comes from Darien Town Administrator Karl Kilduff being Kilduffed by Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson when Kilduff applied to be Town Administrator of Greenwich. Now there is a rumor that the Darien Chief of Police was Kilduffed in his attempt to seek another Chief’s job. All of this may explain why so many Town Hall employees wear life preservers when on duty. I hope the RTC will ask Stevenson about all of this if and when she comes in to be renominated.

Walter Casey

Making It Inevitable

Now that Joe Miceli has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for First Selectman, it is interesting to speculate about potential paths to the November election.

I believe the most interesting action that Miceli could take is to also run as an independent. This would mean that if the RTC nominates him he would be on two lines. He obviously would garner a huge Republican vote but would also attract Independents and Democrats. In fact, I doubt the Democrats will even bother to run a candidate. The Republican Party would be responsible for bringing the town together. Republicans would be allied with the growing number of independent voters in town.

If the RTC nominates someone else, say Stevenson, Miceli would still be in a position to run as an independent. He would not have to primary against the Republican nominee. In the general election, Miceli would still get huge Republican support but would also get the Independent and Democratic vote. The RTC would be in the position of having rejected the elected First Selectman of Darien who had wanted to run as a Republican.

Miceli should also run as an independent. This would help the Republican Party in its outreach to non-Republican voters. It would also mean that the RTC will have to nominate Miceli or commit political suicide.

Walter Casey