I called First Selectman Tesei’s office today at noon and at 2;15 received a conference call from him and our tax collector, Tod Laudonia. It may be easy for mean people to do the nasty on someone who returns your call but I was embarrassed, a little, and felt compelled to explain that all my previous posts were merely attempts to flush them out from the shadows.
Anyway, here are, finally, some answers: tax bills were filed electronically July 1st with all banks holding tax escrow accounts for their clients, so those bills should be paid, on time, without penalty.
Paper bills sent to the rest of us should have arrived yesterday, today or, latest, tomorrow – no mention of a penalty amnesty, but there you have it.
Should the Tax Collector position be a staff job or elected position? Peter points out, accurately, that as an elected position, the TC is far more accountable to voters than if he were a union-protected staffer. Because I was being nice, I did not point out that I have two computer-literate college grad daughters who could do this job for $25,000 and bennies and that Katie, having spent the past year dealing with monkeys in Peru would fit right into Town Hall, but I do see Peter’s point.
As for Island Beach, Peter says he went out there and noticed that we have almost no signage informing new visitors of our traditional rules. He’s got a problem here, and one that I appreciate it, which is that legally, we can’t really ban non-residents. He’s hiring some retired cops to enforce the rules, and looking for volunteers. He did laugh when I suggested he recruit my old GHS classmate Tommy Keagan who retired at full pension from the force and now heads the union. I used to think Tommy was one of the dumber kids in my class back then, but when I saw him retire, collect his pension and move onto another paying job, I realized who was the dummy and who was the smart one.
But I don’t think Tommy will be volunteering to patrol Island Beach – as I said, he’s the smart one.
So did I get all my questions answered? The ones I asked, yes. The ones I pulled my punches on, no, but that’s my failing, not Peter Tesei’s. I’m very impressed that he called me back so quickly. I’m far less impressed that Greenwich Time didn’t do this weeks ago – they, after all, are supposed to have the reporters around here.