Can’t keep a bad idea down

Llod Hull (propped up by statuette, center) and Mark Pruner

Lloyd Hull (propped up by statuette, center) and Mark Pruner

RTM votes to keep going on the GHS Music Palace

“There’s one thing we can never compromise on and that’s education,” said Lloyd Hull, a member of District 10/Northwest of the RTM. “Economize in other areas, but not education.”

Octogenarian Hull, a back country resident who will likely not be sending voluntary donations to Greenwich from Jupiter Island, didn’t explain what “compromise” was involved: taxpayer representatives wanted to stop the palace completely, Hull wants to hand a blank check over to the very people who steered us into this quagmire in the first place. “A good, sincere-sounding sound bite’s too good to waste,” Hull (might have) said, “who cares about reality?”

Greenwich Time notes: “The project’s cost has soared by 30 percent to $44 million following the discovery of widespread soil contamination at the Hillside Road campus and higher-than-expected project bids.”

I share the sentiments of a colleague of mine:

“It works out to $55,000 a student at the present time,” said Mark Pruner, also a member of District 10. “I have yet to hear how spending the money for this auditorium will result in a better education.”

What are we getting for that $55,000 (and counting) cost per student?

It includes a $3.1 million earmark to make the auditorium’s orchestra pit water-tight because it is below grade, a change that was necessitated by the discovery of polychlorinated biphenyls when ground was broken on the project in 2011.

There is also a $3.8 million line item for the cleanup of contaminated soil outside the construction site in the vicinity of the school’s athletic fields, which the Board of Education is treating as a separate project that could ultimately cost between $15 million and $146 million. (so the once $30 million, now $44 million project will actually cost at least $59 million and possibly $186 million. Thank you, Lloyd Hull, for refusing to “compromise”).

Tesei and Selectman Drew Marzullo, both GHS graduates, spoke in support of the project.

“Marzullo said the project will pay dividends.

“It benefits our children and will increase property values,” Marzullo said.

Pruner has it right: there is no evidence that a tuba practice room will benefit “the children”, and to my certain knowledge, not a single prospective Greenwich home buyer has ever asked about the quality of the acoustics in the present auditorium. Test scores, graduation rates, yes, and most important, taxes. This project will raise those taxes, a matter of no concern to Lloyd Hull, and will decrease property values, a result exactly the opposite of what Third Selectman Marzullo expects. Between those two and 118 of our fellow citizens on the RTM, we’re in the best of hands.

69 Comments

Filed under MISA

69 responses to “Can’t keep a bad idea down

  1. Backcountry

    Lloyd is not an octogenerian – he is actually 90, which makes him a nonagenerian. And he is a wonderful, fiscally conservative patriot (see this month’s Greenwich Magazine which highlights and honors his war service) and devoted Greenwich citizen. He does not live nor “winter” in Florida. His opinion on suitable spending priorities may not line up with yours, but please don’t mock such a honorable person (the caption in the photo, for example).

    • What, no mocking? There’d be no blog. And his was a stupid comment.

      • Backcountry

        Well, I do enjoy the blog and your style, but I know you (generally) try to be fair, so I thought you should know that you’ve got the wrong man. Lloyd has always been a budget hawk and one of the strong voices for keeping taxes low. He is a conservative republican, but apparently believes in this particular project (btw, I disagree with him on this – I think the project is ill-advised). But he deserves respect so I wanted to add “my two cents”.

        • Chief Scrotum

          If all these ‘music lovers’ and those who claim property values and educational ‘needs’ will be met by this project and they feel so strongly, why don’t they pledge their personal assets to borrow some dough to pay for it? If it works out, they will be great people, if it doesn’t, its a tax write-off. Win-win, right?

      • demented folk

        stupid is as stupid does

  2. What are they drinking….

  3. hmmm

    can we get the 900 votes by friday? is anyone working on that? where do we begin?

    nothing was cut last night and any attempt to reduce any item failed…it’s over…taxes are going up and welcome to westchester.

  4. I think you might have felt a bit differently if you’d been there, Chris. The case made for the project was quite compelling, including the attendance and participation by a large number of students. The son of Isaac Stern, who has conducted orchestras all over the world, told us that the current GHS auditorium has by far the worst acoustics of any hall he’s ever performed in. The builders of the auditorium cut corners 40 years ago, and the students have been paying the price ever since. He and Mr. Hull got the loudest ovations of the evening. You could practically feel how people’s minds were changing as the evening progressed. For more on that, see my blog at http://greenwich-gossip.blogspot.com/

    • Anon

      My bother is a classical musician who plays for the New York philharmonic. We grew up dirt poor in a Midwest town that barely had a viable high school. Certainly no auditorium. Class plays or music events would take place wherever we could find space. My brother found his love of music without any multimillion dollar auditorium. Greenwich kids can too. I’m all for music and arts, understand their value in a child’s life but I see them as peripheral to the core education of the three R’s. if a parent sees a child has a particular artistic talent then I feel it’s incumbent on the PARENTS to provide and pay for extra lessons. My kids are tone deaf, not a musical bone in their bodies so why should my taxes pay for your singers and dancers?

    • Mickster

      It became a circus. If “Greenwich HS has the best music education program in the country, if not in the world(WTF)” Bill, don’t change anything – just bus them into the Palace Theater in Stamford or somewhere else. You still, after all this money spent, will only be able to accommodate 1300 people?

    • NewsJunkie

      Bill left out the part where Isaac Stern’s son (apparently he’s not important enough to Bill to get his first name mentioned) whipped out his checkbook and wrote a check for a cool million. Oh, that’s right that didn’t happen. Isaac Stern’s son doesn’t live here, has no children here, and doesn’t pay taxes here. But some how his support of MISA is supposed to change a few minds. The RTM is a bunch of cowards!

      • CatoRenasci

        Michael Stern lives in Old Greenwich. But, you’re right, he didn’t write a check. It was private money that saved Carnegie Hall.

    • it is a high school, not carnegie hall

      what is this crap about acoustics…if the performance is so good, they can bring the act to broadway…the kids running the show are learning…can they learn in a vw or do they need the Mercedes.

    • Son of Stern may claim the auditorium has “the worst acoustics he’s ever performed in” but my brother Anthony disagrees. I don’t know Mr. Stern, but I do know that Anthony has perfect pitch and knows more about music than anyone you or I are likely to encounter. here’s what he said a month ago about this issue:
      “The auditorium in the old high school had excellent acoustics as I recall; I remember as a kid being taken to a concert there by the Indianapolis Symphony (don’t laugh, it’s a fine band!) and the sound was terrific. Does that auditorium still exist or was it chopped up to make room for the bureaucrats’ offices?”:

  5. Mickster

    Going back to a previous post, I would just love to see a line-by-line comparison of Greenwich budget versus Fairfield budget where they spending, what was it, 30% less and get greater results?

    We’re doing something wrong here. When elected buffoons feel that music halls, built with borrowed money, increase our property values, we’re in deep do do.

    • cos cobber

      Read the story in todays paper on the gwich town hall labor union upset over a young contract employee whose father is on the BET. Its a little look into the lazy largesse that is the town central goverment. My reading between the lines – the town labor won’t tolerate non union labor. Shocker. And yes, her position should have been advertised, but is that what has the union upset – doubt it.

      • Agreed on all points, CC

      • Mickster

        “The human resources policy of the town stipulates that a temporary employee cannot work longer than six months without union representation”

        Are you F**KING KIDDING me? Are you F**KING KIDDING ME!!!

        This is HR Policy in the Town of Greenwich??? OMG OMG

        I gotta go…and I wondered why it took years to automate beach cards and why I feel like I’m in a Dickens novel when I go there. The answer is right here. The unions have everything locked up tight.

        That answers ALL of my questions. They must be laughing at all of us.

        • Cos Cobber

          And this is why I dont think our current form of government works in Gwich. I think a strong Mayor – who is paid full time and works full time – is the only way to put someone in position to have the time to evaluate the efficiency of our town labor force. We should be staffing based on a measurement index to other communities and we need to contract out more tasks in order to shine a light on waste and motive labor. Start with Tod’s point. Lets hire a contractor to remove the garbage, mow the lawns, etc.

  6. anonymous

    Hull’s brother in law is John Gutfreund, former head of Salomon Brothers, and the symbol of 80’s excess. Maybe he can get him to pay for it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gutfreund

  7. hmmm

    they say it’s 55k per student however it is more like 150k per student since only about 10% of the students are in the music program.

    we are spending 44 million on 300 students…

    and don’t tell me about the size of the auditorium yes more students will fit in the auditorium but that’s for assemblies (that is so they can be spectators at a cost of 55k per student)

  8. Mr. 85 Broad Street

    In my experience, water finds a way around everything. So $3.1mm for a “watertight” orchestra pit? How long until it fails and the whole place is off limits due to PCB contamination? What do we do then, build another one because it is so critical to education in this town?

    My wager – three years from now, no one in town hall will admit voting for this project.

  9. Um, NJ, I didn’t happen to catch Mr. Stern’s first name—my bad. But he told us that he indeed lives in Greenwich, is married to a GHS graduate, and has two young children in or about to enter the public school system. He spoke eloquently as a parent and as a professional musician, and only alluded to his famous parent in an offhand, almost throwaway, fashion. He wasn’t bragging, but merely stating his credentials. I wish you’d been there to hear him, NJ—you might have softened your remarks. Oh, yes—remember that you can catch his comments on Channel 79, the local GCTV station, which replays RTM meetings on a regular basis.

    • AJ

      I don’t think I’ve ever read anything where someone gushes over something to quite the extent that you do — just one effulgent gush short of barfing.

      “He and Mr. Hull got the loudest ovations of the evening. You could practically feel how people’s minds were changing as the evening progressed.” My, my: someone must have filled the room with claqueurs; you find a speech most eloquent, and everyone must reach deep into their pockets and cough up some big ones. If it’s so important to you and your cadre, why don’t you go out and raise the money yourselves, then you’ll really know whether minds were truly changing, or whether you were just basking in a little blowback from your own bloviating. Carnagie Hall wasn’t paid for by taxpayers: it was paid for true lovers of the arts not payers of lip service — you do the talking, someone else does the paying. If you think it’s such a good idea then you should pay for it; put your money where your mouth is, or do your most excellent persuading downwind of everyone else.

  10. Reap what you Sow

    That’s great that the Board of Ed and PTAs have dug in their heels and demanded that we build the $45m music space. I assume this means that they will completely understand when the $20m they require in 6 months for ‘digital learning’ is denied.
    Gee, I wonder why the applications to private schools are through the roof year after year – could it be that the priorities of the educrats in this town have little benefitted the average student? MISA, racial rebalancing, magnet schools which teach figure skating and Suzuki violin….the list goes on and on.
    So disappointed that Mike Mason couldn’t take a stand against this bloated project and call BS on the contractors who inflated their prices. Score another for the Board of Ed and Peter Tesei who just love to spend our money to keep everyone happy and themselves re-elected.

  11. Reap what you Sow

    And….Greenwich Gossip has to be the most vindictive, useless, pejorative blog in the webisphere. Surprised that Chris would allow you to ply your wares here.

  12. And Mickster, someone (possibly Mr. Stern) mentioned that earlier this month the GHS choruses were indeed bused to Stamford, where they performed with a professional orchestra in the excellent acoustics of the First Presbyterian (Fish) Church. Apparently it was a world-class (!) performance. GHS singers and instrumentalists routinely travel in this country and abroad, earning kudos and collecting awards wherever they go. Yeah, they’re right up there with the best young musicians in the world.

  13. NewsJunkie

    Since you didn’t name him, Bill, I did a google search and found a Michael Stern who is a son of Isaac. His wikipedia page says he lives in Kansas. My apologies to Mr. Stern if he does live in Greenwich and has skin in the game. He is entitled to his opinion.

  14. Thanks for the compliments, RWYS. People complain when I don’t write, and then they complain when I do. Guess you can’t please everyone, as I;m sure Chris would be quick to agree.

  15. NJ, thanks for the research. Yes, he conducts the Kansas City orchestra, and told us how their new auditorium has transformed both the musical and social life of the city. His reference to his father was in relation to the latter’s efforts to save Carnegie Hall when it was in danger of demolition.

    • NewsJunkie

      Not wanting to sound too cynical, Bill, but it seems to me that Isaac Stern’s son might be advocating for MISA for his own professional interests. He is still posted on Kansas City Orchestra website as the musical director, so I wonder how much time he actually spends in Greenwich. Perhaps his interest in the project is really about future conducting prospects in our wonderful town and less about its educational value.

  16. Walt

    Dude –
    If these snot nosed tuba playing tubbys want a new auditorium, let them raise the money themselves. Have the Cheerleaders do a car wash on the Post Road. I would let them bathe my Pinto. Sell cookies. Do a raffle.

    Hold a Fundraising Ball. Do it in a giant tent on the football field, and call it “Orchestra Pit at the Tar Pit”. The field probably glows in the dark, so they won’t need any lights. Two headed flute players will probably draw a big crowd, so we need to expand the auditorium seating. And dwarfs playing those giant marching drums!!

    And can Lee Mazzilli explain to me how a new auditorium will increase property values? Do politicians just make this shit up? Will all the parents of the aspiring little flutists now want to move to Greenwich, so they can show off their precious little crotch fruit blowing a reed in a new auditorium? They will flock here en mass driving property values through the roof!! Yea right.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I think that can find a better one than sinking $43 million – which will end up at $83 million – into this shit hole.

    Your Pal,
    Walt

  17. Anon58

    I’ve yet to see any mention about the potential for rental income from the facility, as it is currently proposed. Has there been any information on this front?

    • A58, I have no hard info, but one of the supporters last night spoke on behalf of the Greenwich Symphony. Since they charge admission, one would hope that the Board of Ed collects some kind of rental fee from them. If not, the BOE and BET are asleep at the switch.

      BTW, let’s not overlook the fact that the State of CT is providing several millions of the cost, nor that private sources have pledged upwards of a million to support the project. And remember that bonding costs are at historic lows. If/when inflation picks up again, the BET will look like financial wizards for their prescience.

      • When the butcher’s bill comes in for the toxic waste dump clean up, when the town finally admits that we have three middle schools in dire condition and when our crumbling infrastructure is acknowledged, the BET will look like the fools they are. As will the RTM members who voted for this. Fools or, in the case of at least one member, senile.

        • Anonymous

          You raise such an important point. The middle schools are a disaster. I can not understand why more parents (and tax payers) are not being vocal about the need for improvement.

      • CatoRenasci

        Greenwich Symphony pays for the use of the space. BTW, Greenwich Symphony is one of the very few symphony orchestras in the country that doesn’t operate completely in the red. The come pretty close to break even, and generous donors and board members often make up the relatively small differences. The primary reason has been the fact it remains all volunteer – the only paid employees are the conductors and the musicians. The cost of actually running the organization is almost trivial. Many people have had their differences with Mary Radcliffe over the years, but there is no question our Hungarian noblewoman has done an absolutely amazing job of keeping the symphony alive, solvent, and musically interesting.

        • Greenwich Symphony’s rental of the high school auditorium, new or old, is irrelevant; Walt’s idea for cheerleader mud wrestling would raise (much) more money. $80 million is a lot of money, even in Greenwich, and a few hall rentals three times a year isn’t going to cover it.

        • CatoRenasci

          Chris, no question the symphony’s rentals are trivial compared to the cost of the Waters-Anderson-Moriarty-Spector-Freund Palace Theater

  18. CatoRenasci

    Note that the vote to continue to fund MISA was something like 118-91-?. That means that had only 14 people changed their votes from “yes” to “no” the proposal would have failed.

    One of the reasons those votes didn’t change, I strongly suspect, is that many, many people who oppose this current funding request (whether or not they support MISA in some form or another once the environmental clean up plan has been approved and bids for it received) did not speak.

    The reason several with whom I spoke did not speak was plan and simple social pressure – everybody who is anybody in Greenwich is pushing MISA with a “damn the (cost) torpedos, full speed ahead” attitude.

    Anyone who thinks the environmental issues for the whole school must be dealt with before we sign off on more $$ for MISA is damned as either a hater of the arts or of the children.

    Stuff and nonsense. While DPW is claiming the rest of school clean-up will cost between $13-20 million, BET little birds who won’t be quoted in public think the number, even for the cheapie option Siebert says is supported, will be closer to $25-30 million.

    And, anyone who thinks that the additional almost $10 million approved last night will be the last word is profoundly naive.

    The question people should be asking is “who decided to make the MISA proposal without doing Phase II environmental testing?” Whoever that is should be publicly outed and, if a public employee, fired. If a public official or group of public officials, they should resign in disgrace.

    Does anyone think that if a proper Phase II had been done in 2008 or 2009 we would be where we are today? Hell no! Once the pollution was discovered, the BoE and parents would have insisted we clean up the property before we did anything else. And rightly so. MISA would not have been proposed until that was fully understood and funded.

    And, even if MISA had been proposed, does anyone think the RTM would have approved it as a (minimum on their own numbers, including the low number for clean up) $56 million project, let alone a $65+ project?

    There are many people who believe we need a better auditorium and better music classrooms, but who just think this is out of control.

    Get the 900 signatures. Stop the hemorrhaging now. Where do I signe?

    • Cos Cobber

      Maybe we should just stop and investigate building a new school all together over the current athletic fields using a cap (caps are used all the time to build over dirty soil) and then build the athletic fields over the current buildings. I think it would be worth looking and it would get much more of the community behind any investment.

      And what the hell are we doing spending 3MM to build a watertight orch pit? It must be lined by three extra concentric foundation wall systems shrouder in space age polymers and gold….

  19. Mr. 85 Broad Street

    PS – your statuette in the photo is Larry Larsen who sits on the PZAB.

  20. Lloyd Hull sounded like a blowhard – probably a good soldier in 1944, but now a blowhard. The lamest thing was Drew Marzullo’s puzzlement: “I can’t understand why cutting MISA would free up money for other needs…..”

    ? Huh ?

    • Lloyd Hull’s war record in WWII is admirable, but as relevant to this discussion as John McCain’s own captivity in Viet Nam: thank you for your service, sir, and now, please, go home.

    • CatoRenasci

      One can certainly honor Lloyd Hull’s service without regarding him as the last word on the public fisc.

      Drew Marzullo is simply stupid. Listening to him is almost always amusing because of how inane he is. H.L. Mencken would have had great fun with him.

  21. Publius

    This is just a local example of what happens when you elect/appoint people to represent your interests. They simply do not. I live in a non- Fairfield County town that has a Board of Selectman town government that requires the town and school budget to be passed by the majority of registered voters (Vote is today for the fiscal year beginning 7/1/2013). The town also allows those whom maintain taxable property of at least $1,000 to vote on town matters as well. So, second home owners can vote for these budgets. Having been a resident of this town close to 20 years I can attest to the some of the battles that have been waged over the budgets often times requiring additional cuts after being defeated at the polls.

    About 10 years ago the town needed to build a new high school to accommodate an expanding enrollment. The first plan was to purchase land near the current HS (now the middle school 7-8 grades) and build a “state of the art” school…. full auditorium, pool, hockey rink etc… I think it was originally proposed at $72mm. It got voted down partially due to a large turnout of second home owners and retirees and apathy on the part of the younger folk. I had a vested interest in having that school built because I had 3 school age children. I voted against it because much like Greenwich’s MISA, the budget of $72mm was going to go in my opinion much higher.
    Eventually, the town agreed to shoehorn the new HS next to the old one with an all in cost of $53mm. There were a lot of compromises, including a “cafetorium” (cafeteria and auditorium), using the gym at the old HS for both the middle school and the HS and a nice turf field with no permanent seating to speak of.

    And the results????? The town saved a lot of money. The school district is rated significantly higher than Greenwich’s at every level through high school. Plenty of state championships for many of the athletic teams. Numerous bands, including a stage band a concert band and an orchestra that are all very accomplished not because of acoustics but because of outrageously awesome music teachers who love what they do.

    Nuff said

  22. anonymous

    Misa soup?

  23. Anonymous

    MISA isn’t the only largesse last night at the RTM. I still can’t get over that $430 million in new spending was approved by the RTM without one nickel removed in ADDITION to the $10 milllion for MISA.

    higher COMPOUNDING taxes as a result of spending that far exceeds inflation, $50 million in new debt for this year alone…….history may have a way of repeating itself with Greenwich’s 1930’s fiscal nightmare.

    Why, because of weak Town leaders who can’t resist the public’s urge for more, more services (and Carnegie Hall building) than we can afford.

  24. Libertarian Advocate

    Boy am I glad I live in Waziristan

  25. Anonymous

    i simply cannot believe that this project is moving forward. it is unconscionable. i know 2 families that are moving to new canaan because the schools here are turning to crap, and they don’t want their kids to be at a disadvantage. 180+ million bucks so some entitled kid can play a tuba and feel special?

    how about getting good books, more & better computers, improving the existing physical plant, and funding after school tutoring so as to improve scores and kids’ learning, which in turn helps their well-being, yadda yadda?

    and maybe they’ll even take up tuba on their own. at no cost to taxpayers.

  26. Anonymous

    MISA hawney, me spend you money long time.

  27. Cos Cobber

    I think we should put MISA on the shelf, proceed with the enviro clean up and once that is completed evaluate a plan to renovate the entire high school. The MISA project benefits too few in the student body relative to the cost and thanks to the enviro clean up we no longer have spare change in our town pockets. Clean up first.

  28. “Economize in other areas, but not education.”

    To me, this is the truly stupid part of the statement. We have decades of results (or lack of results) to show that if there is any correlation between increased spending on education and the actual quality of education, it is a negative correlation. Economizing on education may be exactly what is needed to improve its quality.

    Of course, if the purpose of public schools is merely indoctrination and long-term day care, well… you don’t need to spend boatloads of cash to do that, either. Replace principals and teachers with wardens, guards, nannies and some general guidelines, and in most cases, the outcome would not be noticeably different. One problem is that public schools are kind of like Congress: most people agree that they’re crappy overall, but that the ones to which they’ve sentenced their own children are the “exceptions”. Sadly, a majority of private schools are not much better.

  29. AJ

    This is a perfect example of spending money you don’t have to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t know.

  30. AJ

    What difference does it make what music hall you’re playing in, when your violin is some two thousand dollar piece of crap? Ew, you’re hurting my ears!

    We must level the playing field, how can a child be expected to achieve the highest levels — I thought they would have abolished levels for an all’s good system by now — without knowing the feel and sound of a Stradivarius? To play on less could only be less; somebody ought do something about that.

    At this point it would be appropriate to strike up the band and sing:

    This little light of mine
    I’m gonna let it shine
    Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

    You know you’re feeling guilty now. The proper auditorium must enhance not diminish a performance. And to think, some of you would settle for less.

  31. Greenwich Taxpayer

    You would think that the Board of Ed would “get it” and scale back (or abandon) the project. But there are many egos here that will not back down. Lloyd Hull is Livy Floren’s shill – what she wants, he will ask for. Hull a conservative? Ha! As someone said (was it you Chris?) the Republicans spend and the Democrats want to spend even more. As for the Greenwich Symphony? The Board of Ed has built them in as one of the only not for profits that can utilize the space (so much for having it a community space and letting for profit bands play there to offset the price). Of course we can always sell the naming rights, like former BOE Chair Steve Anderson wants to do (thank goodness he is leaving) – hmm, maybe Issac Stern’s son will donate the extra $10 million so we can name it the Issac Stern Auditorium?

  32. Martha

    So, what can we do to stop this insanity? I’m fairly new to town, so I don’t know who to contact. Tell me where, and when, and if humanly possible, I will come sign or give voice to this issue.

    • If you’d bought the Swede a chainsaw like I told you to, you could just start it up, place it in his huge paws and steer him down the street to the Board of Ed building. As it is, you’re out of luck – pay up.

    • Storm the Barricades

      Martha, there is nothing you can do to stop the insanity. Greenwich has no democratic institutions. We have sham elections where nobody can lose, we have unaccountable boards deciding that we have to raise our homes twenty feet into the air, we have a “citizen legislature” who doesn’t even exercise the limited powers they have because of their fear of upsetting the apple cart. We have political parties that select our finance board by virtue of who is available because of retirement or boredom, who toe the line because it is easier to go along than it is to take a stand (see: Ponns Cohen). We have a First Selectman who would rather be liked than govern, and we have a faceless bureaucracy of unions, lifelong town residents, old retired people and lawyers bilking the taxpayers of every dime without so much as a scintilla of oversight or accountabiity. You want to stop the insanity? Move to New Canaan

      • CatoRenasci

        You hit the nail on the head. The largest (by a bit) and the smallest (by quite a bit) groups of voters have equal representation in the sense their Party Town Committees select 1/2 the candidates. Voters who are independent of the Republican and Democratic parties have no voice at all.
        The people have no choice given the Charter.
        Actually, there is a choice, but it’s only be done once. In 1993, a new party was formed and ran a slate of candidates for the BET. One of the, Peter Crumbine, was elected. He later returned to the Republican fold, but he did demonstrate that, with attractive candidates and real issues, it is possible to break the monopoly.
        Of course, it will be social suicide, and possibly mean club blackballing or being sent to Coventry, but it can be done if there are courageous independents who are tired of the crap sandwich the two parties keep serving up.
        Form an Independent Citizens Party. Run a full slate for the BoE and the BET, perhaps even a candidate for selectman. Take a seat or two away from the entrenched parties and hold the balance power.

      • pe NUTS nsions

        a retired cop getting 250k a yr pension- now that’s crazy

  33. FRF

    Happens every year