No Money For Paramedics???????

I am afraid that having Paramedics based in Darien will be killed by using the excuse that we have no money.

I have been traveling, visiting family and friends, but I am back home in Darien now. I have read with interest how our governor has cut state funds to Darien. In turn, Jon Zagrodzky (JZ) has frozen increases in spending in Darien. JZ is the Chairman of the Board of Corruption (BOC), aka the BOF.

I refer to the BOF as the BOC because I believe this Board was the primary impetus driving the special education school scandal. The BOC did not try and install systems to monitor special education. Rather, this Board demanded Draconian cuts which led to the scandal.

JZ presided over the audit, non-audit review of special education excess billing which turned out to be a cover up. If JZ was so worried about spending, he should resign because he and his fellow BOC members are responsible for significant wasted dollars because of their involvement with the special education scandal.

JZ also has never answered questions about potential conflicts of interest because of his children. Is it true that his children are enrolled at an expensive private school for children with special needs? If so, is the town paying or is he paying? Either way, he should not have been in charge of the audit, non-audit review.

The BOC, among others, should also be held accountable for the embarrassing financial overruns at 35 Leroy. This project was out of control for years and the BOC did nothing.

JZ and the BOC have no credibility in telling Darien how to control costs.

I can see JZ using this tight fiscal crunch to prevent Paramedics based in Darien. Human life will mean nothing.

Walter Casey

Chuck E Cheese

Apparently, the battle of the Shake Shack Sign is heating up again. We will have to hold our breath while we await the verdict of ZBA. We might still be dealing with another Starbucks or Chick Fil A. However, I have to think that Shake Shack has the edge. We are talking about a Danny Meyer destination eatery in Darien. A reservation at Shake Shack could be a local version of a ticket to Hamilton. This would provide a second destination, in addition to Whole Foods, for Darien’s Tesla owners. No matter what the decision, I hope there will be a memorial Chuck’s Steak House salad bar complete with health violations in memory of that venerable institution.

Having said all that, let me offer an out of the box, way out of the box, idea. Why not go Full Frontal Berlin Turnpike? I am talking about a Chuck E Cheese (Chuck) franchise instead of Shake Shack.

I first encountered Chuck in the early 1980s when we were living in Southern California. This franchise concept was new and a hot destination for children’s birthday parties. We took our older daughter to Chuck for Ryan Cheung’s birthday party. The place had all sorts of games for the kids to play. Incredibly, it also had pitchers of beer for the parents to drink. We watched as kids played games as their parents got drunk out of their mind.

I thought the mix of kids, their parents and beer was a bad combination. This was confirmed when I read a Wall Street Journal article which mentioned a Chuck restaurant that was the source of numerous police 911 calls. It seems that as parents got drunker they became more aggressive toward their kids’ perceived rivals and their parents. Fights then bruoke out.

This seems an ideal setting for Darien’s hyper aggressive, sports obsessed parents and their aspiring to be the same offspring. I can see Darienites saying in the future: “The Turkey Bowl was won playing the games at Chuck E Cheese.”

As long as we are at it, let us double down. The cemetery on the other side of the Post Road has to go. It is so Plague Years. Let’s think in terms of a Dave and Buster’s.

I hope my suggestions will be taken seriously in the upcoming momentous debate over the Shake Shack Sign.

Walter Casey

A Not Very Funny Cartoon

There was a not very funny cartoon in last week’s Darien Times. It made fun of the attempt by the neighbors of DHS and Democrat Selectman Rob Richards to begin the process of resolving the lights issue. This attempt of beginning a dialogue was met by contempt as embodied in this cartoon.

I have not really been involved in this issue and I plan to stay uninvolved. However, this issue has been on the agenda of a large number of people for years. I am sick of hearing about it. Why is it a bad thing to start working toward a solution?

The Darien Times is the Ministry of Information for the administration of Republican First Selectman Jayme “Gone Girl” Stevenson. The truth is that “Gone Girl” is miffed because she is a bystander in this attempt at dialogue. “Gone Girl” is simply not a proactive, positive leader. It is not surprising that her political organ, the Darien Times, is carrying her message.

Let the discussions begin and continue and let there be a solution.

Walter Casey

“Personal Concerns”

I received an invitation from the Parks & Rec (P&R) Department to attend a public hearing on 4/20/16. The hearing deals with the Weed Beach expansion which includes an outdoor pool. Due to a prior commitment, I will not be able to attend. If I was able to attend the public hearing, I would have many questions. These questions increased when I read an article in the Darien Times on Thursday 4/14/16.

The article mentioned the Weed Beach Expansion Committee (WBEC) and its 4-3 vote against this project. It failed to mention the blatant law breaking that attempted to change the vote to 4-4 by counting the vote of someone who didn’t attend the meeting. I wonder if the minutes have been corrected? This oversight had to have been deliberate.

The article stated that the accurate 4-3 vote was non-binding. Then why have this committee in the first place.

The article states that P&R Chairman “Mary Flynn said some of the members may have voted based on their personal concerns with the project.” If members aren’t expected to exercise their personal judgements, then why have a committee in the first place.

The article goes on to say that those who voted in favor of the project did so because they were following the results of an unscientific survey of residents. I guess blindly following an unscientific survey is what we should have expected from all committee members.

The fact is that Mary Flynn, Chairman of the P&R Commission, and Pam Gery of the P&R Department are trying to ram this pool down everyone’s throat. We might as well appoint Amy Poehler to head the building committee that is coming.

Walter Casey

Fiddling Up On The Roof

The BOS meeting on Monday 4/4/16 was eventful. Not only did the EMS consultant recommend Paramedics be based in Darien but the Selectmen reviewed the costs associated with 35 Leroy. The review was top to bottom. Let me explain.

The cost review was difficult to follow because you didn’t have the analysis that the Selectmen had in front of you. At one point, a Selectman said that $170,000 had been spent on the roof. He also noted that there was an additional, not included in this analysis, $500,000 included in the BOE capital budget. You may recall that in my analysis of the minutes of the Shuffle Building Committee (SBC) there were constant references to problems with the roof. Problems still exist and I don’t think any of these characters has a clue as to the true condition of this roof.

All I can say is that when this whole world starts getting you down, just go up on the roof at 35 Leroy and the world down below will seem BEAUTIFUL.

Amazingly, First Selectman Jayme “Gone Girl” Stevenson said that, at some point, the basement at 35 Leroy would be cleaned up. Once again, I believe the SBC minutes indicated that the basement at 35 Leroy was the source of odors. My suggestion is to have Seal Team Six and a Haz Mat crew go down there and find out what is in the basement. A true estimate of the cost to complete awaits the discovery of what kind of creatures live in the basement.

More amazingly, “Gone Girl” said that she knew 35 Leroy provided our education employees with a home within the Darien community. Basically, 35 Leroy provided a ….hole in which employees froze their asses off in an unhealthy work environment. I would like to see “Gone Girl” move her office to 35 Leroy. That will not be happening.

Walter Casey

Darien’s Madoff: The Unwind Begins

This past Saturday the Stamford Advocate ran a story about the upcoming unwind of the assets involved in the Darien Madoff Scandal. Darien’s Madoff is none other than Darien resident John DiMenna. The last report had him off to Florida, probably to protect his house under Florida law, with the FBI in hot pursuit. DiMenna’s Darien home went on the market but I don’t know if it sold. I would think it has liens against it.

DiMenna was CEO of Seaboard Properties which filed for bankruptcy in December 2015. The chief restructuring officer is seeking court approval to sell eight Connecticut properties including the Stamford Courtyard Marriot and other prize Stamford properties. The Marriott Residence Inn which is under construction is not for sale.

With so many properties for sale, primarily in Stamford, one has to wonder about the effect of these distressed sales on the prices to be realized. These distressed sales will be of particular interest to the victims of Darien’s Madoff, aka DiMenna, many of whom are Darien residents and some who are Weeer Burn (more Wee, less Burn) members.

These distressed sales bring up the untidy subject of clawbacks where those who have received dividends from the fraudulent and now failed enterprise must give back to those those who weren’t so lucky. It also brings up the messy subject of how far does culpability reach. Will the DiMenna family and extended family members, some of whom may have worked for Seaboard, be involved?

This example of Darien Dumb has a long way to go.

Walter Casey

FOI

Eight Webster Valley Road

Darien, CT 06820

April 9, 2016
Ms. Jayme Stevenson
First Selectman
Town of Darien
Two Renshaw Road
Darien, CT 06820

Dear Ms. Stevenson:
Pursuant to Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), I am requesting a copy of the “An Excel Spreadsheet” dealing with the priority order of recommendations and “Draft Input Response” mentioned on page 6 of the McGrath Consulting Group report dealing with Darien’s EMS system including Post 53.

These are an integral part of the report and should have already been released. I would hope that they will be posted on the Town’s website so that the FOI process can be avoided. The withholding of these portions of the report does not look good.
Sincerely,

Walter J. Casey

Not Present But Accounted For

I went to the Town of Darien web site and printed the draft minutes of the 3/8/16 meeting of the Weed Beach Committee of Parks and Recreation Commission (Weed) and the draft minutes of the 3/16/16 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission (PR).

At the 3/8/16 meeting of Weed, there were seven members listed as present: Bora, Conologue, Domitter, Flynn, Gray, Ioli and Conetta. I am not clear that Flynn should be a member of this subcommittee since she is Chair of the PR Commission. There was a motion to approve the park plan, including a pool, but the motion was defeated 4 opposed(Conetta, Ioli, Gray and Conologue) and 3 in favor (Domittner, Bora and Flynn). Once again, I am not sure of the propriety of Flynn voting. Pamela Gery, Director of Darien’s Park and Recreation Department signed the minutes. I have to question the appropriateness of Gery being responsible for the minutes and not the Secretary.

In the 3/16/16 minutes of PR, Flynn said that the vote in the 3/8/16 meeting was actually 4-4 meaning that the tie negated the defeat of the park plan and there was no recommendation from the subcommittee.

The problem is that there were only 7 voters at the 3/8/16 meeting and not the 8 per the revised 4-4 vote. Apparently, Doering had previously indicated she was in favor of the plan so her vote was assumed to be a yes even though she didn’t attend the meeting.

I have never heard of anything like this. This Commission, under Mary Flynn, is corrupt. My take is that First Selectman Jayme, “Gone Girl,” Stevenson recruited Flynn to push this plan and the rules be damned. Essentially, Flynn is one of “Gone Girl’s” “Mean Girls.”

I am a member of the DCA. Flynn was the former head of the DCA. Since Flynn left the DCA (was she fired?) the operation of the DCA has improved markedly. My guess is that “Gone Girl”, always on the lookout for someone really incompetent for her inept and corrupt administration, recruited Flynn.

It looks like the Weed Beach plan is turning into the next 35 Leroy.

Walter Casey

4000

This morning this blog had its 4000th unique visitor since I installed new monitoring software on 11/15/15. This is beyond anything I expected. I wanted to thank you for your readership. I am doing my best to bring you the news that no one else will bring you. Clearly, you are responding.

My main purpose in starting this blog was to be able to tell Darienites why we needed Paramedics. Tonight, the BOS will hear a report by an EMS consultant recommending that Darien have Paramedics based in town. I hope the BOS will move forward with Darien based Paramedics with a true sense of urgency.

Tragically, the story that has been most read since 11/15/15 was a story of a young mother of three who lived on the Norwalk side of Darien and had to wait for Paramedics to rush from Stamford. She died and I don’t believe Darien’s EMS system gave
her a chance at life. Darien has been getting away with murder and I hope this blog will help to bring Paramedics to Darien and end this slaughter of the innocents.

Once again, thank you for your readership. This blog is attracting about 28 new visitors each day. Keep them coming.

Walter Casey

PUT THE PATIENT FIRST

You can sum up Dr. McGrath’s report in four words: PUT THE PATIENT FIRST. Dr. McGrath is the EMS consultant hired by the BOS to tell us what we should have known long ago: PUT THE PATIENT FIRST.

Dr. McGrath was very diplomatic in writing this report. However, if you read the report, it is impossible to not understand the importance of response times. When you read the report, you will clearly understand the superior training Paramedics receive vis a vis EMTs. The report details how singular Darien is by not having Paramedics based in town. All nearby towns have Paramedics. You will learn how dire the consequences for Darien due to the increased training requirements for AEMTs.

While these and other aspects of Dr. McGrath’s report are compelling, the key point in his report is: PUT THE PATIENT FIRST.

The EMS report is available on the Town of Darien’s home page.

Walter Casey