Daily Archives: September 13, 2013

Just sayin’

For those readers who complain that it’s no one’s business how Peter Tesei might be paying his mortgage, another reader sends along this from the Town of Greenwich Code of Ethics:

  1. Gifts and Favors: Town Officers and members of their immediate family, including spouses, children, parents, grandparents, siblings and in-laws, are prohibited from accepting any valuable gift, favor, loan, promise or other thing which might tend to influence the performance of their official duties.
  2. Improper Influence: Town Officers are also prohibited from voting on or attempting to influence any Town transaction or action in which he or she has a substantial interest.
  3. Annual Disclosure: Each Town Officer is responsible to make an annual filing disclosing any interest that they have had during the preceding year in any transaction with the Town.
 

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Peter Tesei and creative financing

Your Countrywide banker: he understands!

Your Countrywide banker: he understands!

Dear Peter:

Way back on April, 24, 2012, I questioned how you could afford to buy a new house on 11 Indian Pass Road (in a private sale) for $1.245 million and take on a $998,000 mortgage from Luxury Mortgage, while still owing $500,000 on your unsold condominium at 78 River Road. You never answered.

Since then, your River Road condo, which you purchased for $800,000 in 2005, was sold (July 13, 2012), for $805,000. This presumably paid off the $507,785 mortgage on the place, but still left you with that million-dollar mortgage on the new one. I’m puzzled.

Your salary is $126,400, or $10,500 per month. Assuming a combined state and federal tax rate of 30%, that nets out to $7,350 per month, out of which you must pay the mortgage ($4,481, at 3.5%) and taxes ($706.50), which in turn leaves $2,162.50 to pay the insurance, utilities, maintenance on the house, and feed and clothe your family. What a financial wizard you must be, to accomplish all that – if only you would do the same thing for our town!

That salary of $126,400 means, according to this calculator, that you can afford no more than a $464,000 home*. Who at Luxury Mortgage approved you for a $1 million loan at all, let alone a mortgage in that amount when you  still owed $500,000 on the condominium? Name, please?

Was there a guarantor on your note? Do you have other assets to secure what is, in effect, a no-doc loan? Did your friends in town pitch in to help out? Which friends?

Inquiring minds want to know.

(Signed)

Christopher C. Fountain

UPDATE: Someone who’s seen the terms of the loan says it’s a conventional mortgage, not interest-only, mthly payment around $5,000. Plus, of course, taxes and insurance etc.

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Is Peter Tesei actually speaking about this blog?

Peter Tesi: Village Idiot demoted to First Selectman

Peter Tesei: Village Idiot demoted to First Selectman

Apparently so. Here’s Little Lord Milquetoast speaking at last night’s BOE meeting about causes for the suicide of 15-year-old Bryan Paloscz:

“I think our media locally has been irresponsible…when you provide a platform for adults to make anonymous comments…you fuel a behavior that is deemed acceptable. In a sick sort of way people get off on it because they get, ‘Well, I can say what I want but I don’t have to say who I am.’ They say things that are inflammatory, inaccurate, and they are allowed to get away with it...I’m all for freedom of speech, but I think freedom of speech means you have to know who is saying what. Anonymity is cowardice and I think bullies are cowards...I would call upon the local media outlets, Hearst and all the others…to cease that practice.”

So far as I know, Greenwich Time doesn’t print anonymous letters, so that rules them out, and if there are other blogs in town saying mean things about Peter, I’m unaware of them so gosh, I guess that leaves me. I’m honored and pleased that Peter finds me annoying, but I’m not following the connection between anonymous adults speaking harshly about our local incompetent politicians and a poor tortured teen putting a shotgun muzzle in his mouth. As Walt points out, teens aren’t big readers of this blog, and even then, would anyone, teen or adult, kill himself because he learned what a silly, helpless moron Peter Tesei is? I think not.

Peter Tesei is as much a logician as he is a constitutional scholar: “all anonymous commenters are cowards, bullies are cowards, therefore all anonymous commenters are bullies ? That doesn’t  pass muster, not even at Peter’s alma mater, Eagle Hill. And no, Peter, the rights of individuals recognized by our First Amendment are not contingent upon a speaker identifying himself to the authorities, just as our Second Amendment rights don’t depend on permission from you or Drew Marzullo. Our constitution recognizes and protects rights we are born with as free individuals – it is not a schedule of privileges bestowed upon us by the likes of pond scum like you.

“Allowed to get away with it” – you silly, stupid man. This should be a  fun election.

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Sales activity

Sale and a price cut

9 Dingletown Rd

9 Dingletown Rd

9 Dingletown Road sold for $4.625 million. I suspect the sellers were disappointed with the price they got because they paid $4.3 million for it new in 2004 and put more money in, including a pool, landscaping and various interior improvements. They relisted it for $6.250 million in 2009 and if that was anywhere close to what they hoped to get, then $4.625 was quite a comedown.

1 Reynwood Manor

1 Reynwood Manor

One Reynwood Manor has taken another price cut and is now down to $3.9 million from its starting price of $4.5. Four acres and a 1981 house that, if someone still shares the taste of these owners, will be an asset. Otherwise, it’s four good acres of lawn. And a pool.

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Two contracts, one price cut

Havemeyer’s low end is still smoking; Round Hill land, not so much.

36 Old Wagon

36 Old Wagon

36 Old Wagon, $849,000, nine days on market.

10 Edward Place

10 Edward Place

10 Edward Place, $799,000, 18 DOM

434 Round Hill Rd

434 Round Hill Rd

434 Round hill Road, 7.8 acres of gorgeous land, with tear-down, just dropped from $7 million to $5.795. Call me crazy, but I’m having difficulty seeing all that much difference between this land and the land at 558 Round Hill Road, also 8 acres, also a $2.2 assessment, also swooping meadows, which sold last month for $3.5 million. Let’s see if the market can.

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And speaking of Barry’s new friend

605 North Streert

605 North Streert

605 North Street is back up on the listings, still looking for a buyer and now priced at $8.995 million. This spec house reported a contract for $12 million back when it was new in 2004 but the story I heard was that the would-be buyer, a Russian, went back to Moscow to check on his holdings and Vladimir still holds him in Siberia. True or not, he never came back and the house never sold.

I showed it to a client back when it was priced in the mid-nines but, while he loved the house, he wouldn’t bite: “No way would I spend this much money to live next to the highway”, he said and, so far at least, neither will anyone else.

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The triumph of diplomacy

It's just another day at the beach for Barry and John

It’s just another day at the beach for Barry and John

Elite unit scattering chemical weapons in Syria

A secretive Syrian military unit at the center of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons program has been moving stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 sites to make them harder for the U.S. to track, according to American and Middle Eastern officials.

“OOOH, does that make me angwy”, Mr. Smart Diplomacy said this morning, “and if I hadn’t already declared this issue solved and shifted my laser-like focus back to economy, I’d probably be drawing more red lines right now!

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From the Last Lion to the cowardly one – the decline continues

Ooooh, don't make them angy!

Ooooh, don’t make them angy!

Greenwich school board to ask Hartford if we really, really have to shift our school kids around to achieve a more balanced color palette. 

Board of Education members moved resoundingly Thursday night to draft a letter to state Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor asking whether the school district’s two racially unbalanced schools might qualify for an exemption from having to submit a plan to address that disparity.

A state racial-balance mandate requires action from the district to address unbalanced student populations at Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon schools. Those two schools are designated by the stateDepartment of Education as unbalanced because their minority student populations top the district’s minority average by more than 25 percentage points. Developing a plan to close that disparity has dominated the board’s agenda in the last few months.

In recent weeks, however, board members Peter Sherr and Peter von Braun and a number of parents have argued that Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon meet the Department of Education’s “unique” school definition, which is outlined in the regulations of the racial balance mandate. They assert that those regulations exempt unique schools from having to comply with the racial-balance mandate.

Board member Steven Anderson made a motion Thursday for the board to submit a letter to Pryor informing him that the district believes New Lebanon and Hamilton Avenue to be unique and asking him to “verify” that they meet that designation and are therefore not required to submit a racial-balance plan.

“It is an answer that we need to get, rather than to keep tossing it around as a possible solution,” Anderson said. “It’s time to call the question.”

Sherr agreed with the intent of the letter, but advocated for a different strategy.

“I believe we are in compliance because we have magnet schools, and I believe we should put the onus on the state in terms of our compliance,” he said.

Leslie Moriarty, the board’s chairman, argued against Sherr’s preferred approach.

“We’re going to ask the state for a view — I think it should be a question, not an assertion,” she said. “I don’t believe we should go forward and assert this, because then we’re basically throwing down the gauntlet saying, `This is how we’re going forward.’ “

While acknowledging that he did not think New Lebanon and Hamilton Avenue were unique schools, Anderson continued to push for support of his motion.

“I think we need an answer to this question,” he added. “It’s way past time to get a `yes’ or `no’ and then figure out our next step.”

Profile in Courage

In one apparent compromise, Anderson agreed to modify his motion to ask Moriarty to “promptly” submit a letter to Pryor to “clarify” that, per state regulations, Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon are unique schools. The letter would also ask the commissioner to “promptly” submit his opinion.

Tar, feathers.

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Funny enough, I just posted a reply to a commenter in which I mentioned Mr. Chamberlin

Bill Whittle’s back with another great essay. He’s been reading William Manchester’s three-part biography of Churchill, “The Last Lion”, I’m currently reading Churchill’s own “The Gathering Storm”. We’re on the same page.

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I hope that I shall never see, Muslim toe jam in a tree; In fact, unless the towers fall, I’ll never see a tree at all

An Ode to Allah, by Henry Gibson

An Ode to Allah, by Henry Gibson

Different sentiments, of course, if the stuff  landed there with the assistance of a little C-4.

Concord, Massachusetts: principal eschews reading Pledge of Allegiance at 9/11 memorial assembly, does find time for Muslim toe-tapper. Although its students wouldn’t know this, Concord Massachusetts played an important role in the opening battle of the American War against negroes colored people blacks African-Americans people of color and redskins, Indians, Native Americans, circa 1775.

A Concord-Carlisle School Committee member is defending a high school principal who read a Muslim poem on Wednesday’s 9/11 anniversary — but failed to line up anyone to recite the pledge of allegiance that morning.

The poem, “My Grandmother Washes Her Feet in the Sink of the Bathroom at Sears” by Syrian poet Mohja Kahfe

“I’m disappointed at the reaction that some of my community,” said School Committee member Philip Benincasa. “I think what the principal was doing was an attempt to offer young people a glimpse of what binds us together as people. This was an attack carried out by extremists, not by a religious group that is as peace loving and valued member of our community, our culture, and our world as any other.”

The poem reads in part:

“Respectable Sears matrons shake their heads and frown

as they notice what my grandmother is doing,

an affront to American porcelain, a contamination of American Standards

by something foreign and unhygienic…

They fluster about and flutter and I can see

a clash of civlizations brewing in the Sears bathroom.”

“‘You can’t do that,’ one of the women protests,

turning to me, ‘Tell her she can’t do that.’

‘We wash our feet five times a day,’

my grandmother declares hotly in Arabic.

‘My feet are cleaner than their sink.

Worried about their sink, are they? I

should worry about my feet!’

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