Katie Blankley DeLuca, Village Idiot

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Under her thumb: $24 billion in residential property, $4 billion commercial. What a country

She is also our Town Planner, despite lacking the educational requirements for it (or at least, the minimum requirements the town demanded until it decided to promote the incompetent in our midst, and waived them).

Kate’s the one who announced at a public hearing on the new FEMA flood zone regulations that her – and thus the town’s – long term goal was to remove every existing building in Old Greenwich’s AE and higher zones. Now she’s praising her fellow Democrat, for joining in the chorus objecting to the Eversurce project to modernize our power grid by running an underground cable from Cos Cob to Greenwich. “Blumenthal: A Voice of Reason on Eversource Plan”.

The environmentalist on the Siting Council, presumably recognizing the associated environmental catastrophes that have resulted in the past from failures of this cable technology, requested that Eversource provide an overhead option through the park. The photo simulations produced by Eversource are unnerving. This option would also devastate our prized public space.

She says that, but does she actually have any facts backing up her claim that such catastrophes have occurred? I could find none.

Google the phrase “underground power cables environmental catastrophe” – you’ll find nothing whatsoever referring to the incidents Blankely claims. In fact, I challenge the lady to provide anything that backs up her statement of “fact”.

The closest thing I could find to an article discussing even an issue with such cables is this mild statement from a German environmental group “Renewable Grids Initiative, hardly a hotbed of evil libertarian environmental rapists:  

Environmental aspects of underground cabling

The decision between underground cables and overhead lines comes up at some point during the planning of every new power line. Both options are never without environmental impacts. However, the character and extend of ramifications differ extremely. The environmental composition of a project site should thus be considered in the decision making process.

The major environmental impacts of overhead lines occur when they are already in operation. They are mainly related to birds colliding with the lines as well as the visible effects on the landscape. The most harmful part of underground cables, in contrast, is their installation. During Installation: The civil works during this time can have considerable consequences for the environment. Trenches need to be excavated and access to the construction site has to be cleared for heavy machinery needed for cable transportation and trenching. Animals such as beetles, amphibians, reptiles and bats, as well as plants, such as ferns and seed plants, are particularly affected by the construction works. The construction may also cause soil compaction, which in turn can have considerable negative impacts on biodiversity. Sensitive areas: From an environmental point of view, wetlands, swamps and bogs should be avoided when planning underground cables as these habitats may suffer severe or even irreparable harm. Also, sensitive water flows and archaeological sites should factor into the route planning process.

Land use: After the installation is done there are only minor limitations regarding land use. Agriculture and farming are generally possible on top of the cable trench. However, deep-rooting plants and vineyards have to be avoided to prevent the cables from damage.

People living close to the construction site of a new power line often have concerns about the impacts electro- and magnetic fields (EMF) can have on their health. Both overhead lines and underground cables produce EMF. Underground cables have magnetic fields right above them, but the intensity decreases comparatively fast when moving away from the cable. If required, underground cables can be shielded to further reduce EMF at the surface.

RGI Cable Workshop: “Understanding Underground Cables”, February 2013 in Switzerland
RGI Learning Group: on “Underground Cables” dealing with questions regarding the choice between overhead lines and cables

Greenwich taxpayers hold billions of dollars in real estate investments, and have turned control of those assets to a woman with an educational degree in Pre-School Environmental Studies who is also a liar. This seems like a colossal mistake, and a foolish one.

67 Comments

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67 responses to “Katie Blankley DeLuca, Village Idiot

  1. Cos Cobber

    The case against the underground cable is so insipid….its beyond comprehension. They are building a redundant circuit and its all underground. We have some right to beat them up to make a nice substation on RailRoad Ave. For not a lot of $$ they could build a decent faux building with landscaping to be fair to all. Beyond that, its insane we would go to this degree of questioning over the need for the second substation. No wonder areas outside the north east are eating our lunch everyday over economic development.

    These are supposed to be the easy projects!

  2. Cos Cobber

    It’s time for Tesei to be an adult on this. And if the power goes out in 2020, can we be sure its only power for Democrats and morons on the P&Z?

  3. Anonymous

    And you said Greenwich has better looking woman than Westport. lol.

  4. Just the Facts!

    Right CC’er, Tesei be an adult….What a hoot! He’s the one who essentially held closed appointment hearings for the position citing she ultimately was the most qualified, knowledgeable planner(?) we could find. Feel free to look up the articles/blogs during the search(?) process. Like Police Chief Heavy and many others, Katie is on a long list of political patronage recipients that were promoted because Townies like Tesei can control them….not because they were the best candidates that would have the best, long term interest of the Town in mind. This is the ONLY reason why property values have stagnated since the market heights of ’07….smart money is leaving Greenwich/CT and new money is avoiding the area. Better wake up Greenwich, you are being lulled by third rate leadership in both the Selectman’s office and the BET (which is where Katie’s father is also damaging the Town’s interests). JTF!

  5. James

    Can someone explain to me how we live in a republican town and have democrats in these positions?

    • Anonymous

      She is John Blankely’s daughter. It was Tesei’s way to throw a bone to the loser First Selectman candidate.

      BTW, Tesei really is a Democrat in Republican veneer. He nominates himself Larry Simon, a Democrat, to untold power positions—e.g. Retirement Board and now Nathaniel Witherell.

      • James

        That’s disapointing but not shocking.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. Rubio reminds me of Tessei. Snot nosed little dweeb with no real-world experience. He is a free spending liberal who needs to be taken out at the knees.

        • Not an apt comparison. Tesei had a job at a bank while doing volunteer positions in Town government for many years before becoming First Selectman. Rubio spent a similar amount of time in state legislature, but his Senate time has been brief. Once upon a time, first-term senators were considered unqualified to run for President, but the wonderful job being done by Obama has convinced everybody that they’re the right person for the job. Rubio is probably qualified to run for governor and probably will get the chance.

      • FF

        Anon-

        Katie actually got the job despite her father, as it was widely believed to have been perceived as political should she have gotten the job. Katie was the first deputy to Diane Fox for many many years prior to her father’s even being known in political circles, much less active. So its perfectly fine to be opposed to her positions, but making fully incorrect statements inferring something illegal or immoral doesn’t help the case. Further, Katie was not hired by Tesei, he does not have that authority. She was hired by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Peter Tesei rhapsodizes about Greenwich’s “wonderful decentralized form of government”. Well there it is, Katie was hired by four Republicans and an Unaffiliated voter selected by Tesei and ratified by the RTM

  6. Anonymous

    All Greenwich town employees should have to post their resumes on the town website – so we could all understand why they are so incompetent and get a good laugh !

  7. Flash

    Can we get a Trump-a-Like to come to Greenwich and fire all the incompetents in town hall? Use the Apprentice model to vet applicants. This is, in reality, a crime.

    • Anonymous

      Great idea ! CF could be that guy – he does resemble The Donald ! Only kidding CF is so much better looking .

  8. Anonymous

    It is more picturesque if we string the cable above ground, quaint too.
    http://io9.gizmodo.com/photos-from-the-days-when-thousands-of-cables-crowded-t-1629961917

  9. Riverside Dog Walker

    The Gordian knot with government functions is that the people who you would like to have in government, doing these jobs, making rational decisions for the public good, etc., find it much more productive, profitable, and enjoyable to be doing other things. As such, by default, you have dweebs in governmental positions of power and with responsibilities beyond their capabilities. I mean seriously, you could not pay me enough to go to work at town hall every day.

    So the result is pretty much what you see, mediocrity at best, and a long, slow, steady slide. I hope to be cashed out and in Florida before the situation here goes critical.

    • Anonymous

      Another element is that the people who end up with the government jobs will fight tooth and nail for them because it’s a step up for them – a lot more at stake. The people who you would want to have the jobs have other options open to them so it’s one avenue they’re considering – maybe nice to have, def not need to have.

  10. Anon

    The way I read Katie’s op-ed, she was advocating against both the underground and overhead options through Bruce Park, and for an alternate plan to run the cables along the metro north railway right of way. This makes total sense to me.

    BTW, I have found Katie to be a very sensible and competent town official – and I say this having real issues with most whom I have encountered over the years in town hall.

    • The railroad right of way is not a viable option, and that Blankely claims it is is just further evidence of her duplicity. While we all wait for her to name even one of the “environmental catastrophes” she says were caused by buried power lines, here’s some reading material to while away the time, sent in last March by a reader from Byram when this issue was first discussed:
      http://www.transmission-nu.com/residential/projects/greenwich/default.asp#

      Answer to your specific question is here: http://www.transmission-nu.com/residential/Projects/Greenwich/pdf/E_Description_of_Project.pdf

      TheBox in ‘Byram’
      March 8, 2015 at 4:23 pm Edit
      “Overhead routes were eliminated from further consideration based on the results of the Company’s analyses,in particular the physical constraints posed by the combination of existing dense residential and commercial development, the MNRR corridor and the I-95 corridor, and associated community impacts.”

      TheBox in ‘Byram’
      March 8, 2015 at 4:23 pm Edit
      Full study docs here

      • Anonymous

        The environmental catastrophe is the biggest risk to this country – global change or climate warming. Think of all of the energy that will be used when you don’t have the electricity go out during storms. And maybe less union workers to maintain the system? This is major, get AlGoreithm on the horn.

  11. Walt

    Dude –

    I thought you were the lifelong Village Idiot? When did you get usurped? Was there a palace coop? You certainly didn’t lose based on qualifications.

    But why doesn’t the Town have an independent committee that needs to approve all key appointments? So Tesio can’t unanimously appoint people who are unqualified, or as political favors? And do we have a conflict of interests policy? I would think her family connections and her career as a dirt salesman should disqualify her. Actually, being a dirt salesman should pretty much disqualify you from any responsible position. Right?

    Anyhows. Off topic, but did you see this story? Very sad. Did you see there was a bus crash on I-95 today? 25 people were seriously hurt, 6 of them critically. I pray they all pull through.

    http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/I-95-North-in-Madison-Closed-After-Bus-Rollover-368053301.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

    It was a bus from NYC, on its way to the Mohegan Sun. Those Gooks love to gamble, you know. And they are very superstitious. They were celebrating Chinese New Year. Did you know it’s the Year of the Monkey? More on that later!!

    Anyhows, a lot of the bus was made up of Chinee doctors, but they couldn’t lend assistance. Do you know why? Fifty Percent….I SAID FIFTY PERCENT!!! of all Chinee doctors have Caderacks!! The other 50% own a Rexis.

    Your Pal,
    Walt

  12. Yos

    Lighten up on the gal, Chris. After all, the Greenwich Pee und Zee is infamous for it’s poorly educated, dishonest, fascistic buffoons. She’s just following tradition.

  13. Mickster

    CF, I think you really seem to have a hard-on for this girl – “village idiot”, really? Doesn’t seem like you. I know from others in our business that confirm what I already know, she is a pleasant and efficient Town official. Never heard anything negative about her. And I would.
    On the issue of qualifications, some of the dumbest people I know are awash in ‘qualifications’. This may be a political appointment but it’s not the worst I’ve seen.
    Think you’re off here.

    • James

      Since when is settling for “not the worst” any good? Is this what we’ve become?

      And for me, I happen to agree, since when should I have to live with the government telling me how high my house has to be etc (yes, I live in a flood zone). She is a typical naive and ignorant government official that wouldn’t know her ass from a hole in the wall.

    • Anonymous

      Not really, I have come across very few competent bureaucrats and elected officials in Greenwich town hall. Very few work hard and those that do are hopelessly overworked. If you visit town hall you will rarely, if ever, experience the hustle and bustle of our government in action, but rather the quietness and lack of urgency found in a monastery. Many of our town employees move at the speed of a sloth, except when it is quitting time.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, and those who want to work and do a good job are given a hard time and few tools to actually succeed. Tesi’s treatment of Ian M. is despicable. He needs to grow up act like the adult we pay him to perform as First Selectman.

    • After I heard her ask at that public hearing why anyone wouldn’t want the town to protect them by forcing them to move away from danger, I had no further use for the lady. Th blank look in her eyes when I suggested that individuals owned their homes, not a helpful government, said it all.

    • Stanwich

      Chill out with the highly inappropriate talk. It demeans her, you and this blog.

  14. Anonymous

    I think she has Masters in some kind of land use specialty area..surprised to hear if that’s not the case.

  15. Cos Cobber

    New topic within in town- the exploding retirement and health care costs. FF, you said obamacare would save us!?

    http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Greenwich-Budget-Committee-wrestles-with-employee-6816208.php

    And, am I understanding this right, the town operates a 202 bed nursing home which needs a $3,250,000 annual operating subsidy? That crunches to a whopping 16k per bed handout. Could this be true? Stamford just sold their nursing home after years of similar deficits. The town should not be in the nursing business. The town can offer the building and hire an operator – and thats it.

    • FF

      You have to separate Witherell from Obamacare, they have nothing in common. Witherell is essentially a Town owned and operated medical facility. People primarily in the Republican Party fought tooth and nail to maintain this, even though a bunch of Democrats over the years tried to keep the real estate and farm out the operation (and thus the profit and loss) to a qualified company – see the Kavounas plan of about 10-15 years ago. The Town and the Witherell Board battled against this so now you have a facility that survives on 11,000 per month costs (with an expectation that it is being paid by Medicare/Medicaid) along with short term private pay and direct subsidy from the Feds. This is exactly what most Republicans decry – socialzed medicine – but it is probably the number one concern of the Republicans in Town to maintain this arrangement. Again, I repeat, this was the strong position of the virtually all Republican Witherell Board, the Republican elected officials (except, I think, Jim Lash) and its been that for the last 20 years or more.

      So yes, its true, and from Hartford on down, its been Republicans leading the charge to make it stay the same. Why do you think that is?

      • Cos Cobber

        I’d love to see your campaign materials advocating privatization of Witherall to a 3rd party. Yeah, somehow I doubt that you have ever gone on record in the media to end our town subsidy to the nursing home. I’d be delighted to be proven wrong. Do you have a flyer or news paper article where you are on public record advocating the end of Witherall?

        As for republicans supporting this place, what a joke. We need to exit this business. The town can provide the land and a property tax deal and then hire an operator. Its disappointing that we would think providing health care to a narrow few is part of the town’s mission. The town cannot effectively operate such an business (as demonstrated) because it position as an entity with a bottomless subsidy well discourages smart decision making. This is a giant republican mistake…but one I am sure democrats are happy to live with (show me your public comments to the contrary)

        As for our town’s sky rocketing health care costs, what gives?

        • FF

          I actually got an endless amount of grief in 2007 for not “siding with Greenwich”, especially from Penny Monahan who really dug in hard – it was pretty much a done deal in 2015 and not much of an issue. I’ll look in the old clips and find one. The issue is that a lot of townie-folk find the amenity of being to go to a nursing home locally the one benefit they cling to ferociously and will actually vote on hence Peter’s support. While I am pleased that the staff is well paid, and stay for a long time (I’m a big believer in longevity in service businesses, it saves on training costs and a better return on investment from experience),it is a money pit for which either the Town or private residents will have to pay for ad infinitum. That’s a choice, though those opposed to outside management paint a dark picture of seniors being abused and abandoned while Town ownership conveys some kind of happy picture, apparently, one that will be paid by the 62,002 people not helped by the place and instead the ongoing 102 occupying the beds.

          I’m not a huge believer in outsourcing many basic municipal functions, but hauling trash, running a nursing home, those can be done better by those who do it for a living

        • Cos Cobber

          Major props to you FF if you have evidence of your position way back when. For once we agree on something.

    • Cos Cobber, you nailed it…..but the problem is twice as bad as you say.
      The subsidy to the Nathaniel Witherell this year is planned at $6,500,000 !
      Look at page 207 of this (General Fund, page 141):

      Click to access Selectmans-Operating-Budget-2016-2017.pdf

      The Witherell’s main revenue is state-determined Medicaid reimbursements, which are designed to NOT cover the full costs of a facility like the Witherell. With Connecticut’s budget problems, the future reimbursements will DECREASE, which will increase the Witherell’s future losses….. oops…. the taxpayers’ losses.

      Want to do something worthwhile? Email Tesio and your RTM/BET members to say that the pain is enough, there is no reason Greenwich taxpayers should continue to support a nursing home which will lose $5-6 million annually.

      Bloody outrageous.

  16. pulled up in OG

    http://www.lohud.com/story/news/traffic/2015/09/10/mile-square-road-yonkers-closed/72016862/?

    Eversource proposal: The underground transmission supply lines and supporting infrastructure have a service life of approximately 40 years.

    Public Service Commission of Wisconsin: Both HPFF and SCFF lines must have a spill control plan. The estimate for potential line leakage is about one leak every 25 years. Soil contaminated with leaking dielectric oil is classified as a hazardous waste. This means that contaminated soils and water would have to be remediated.

    • Cos Cobber

      Big deal. Are we banning buses tomorrow because of the accident in Madison CT on I95 today? We have tens of thousands of buried power lines in this country and so yes, some will leak and the deep pocketed power company will have to fix it. Just like some transformers on poles leak too. New flash, we already have many miles of buried power lines in this town including a primary line running underground from Cos Cob to a back country substation with a portion of this route underground.

      Using the metro north right away creates for a tight and dangerous work environment and may cramp very long term plans to widen I95. I know liberals love to tell us how we need to avoid being short sighted, so this is that opportunity to not be foolish.

      CF, perhaps you will enjoy this delicious hypocrisy VT has for green energy and windmills.
      http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-windmills-of-bernies-mind-1454880639

      • pulled up in OG

        Planned route is insane compared to running up the tracks.

        • Cos Cobber

          If it’s so insane why aren’t we rebuilding the sewer trunk line which is currently being rebuilt as we speak to follow the mta corridor? The sewer line project follows much of the same route as the proposed power line.

      • We also have a high-pressure natural gas line traversing the town, as well, of course, as all the lower pressure lines supplying our homes.

        • Cos Cobber

          CF, we’d all still be burning coal in little pot belly stoves if nat gas was discovered 20 years ago. There is no way our whacked out ‘modern’ perspective on safety and the environment would approve the miracle that is nat gas.

          • In fact, CC, I have come to believe that the modern population would have stopped the electrification of the nation had it been attempted 20 years ago. And I’m not joking.

        • FF

          The high pressure gas line is Federal law. Coundn’t do a damn thing about it. Think Keystone XL if you want to know why that is

          • I don’t get the reference. It was possible to stop Keystone – all it took was a determination to attack fossil fuel use whoever possible.

            And again: my attack on Miss Blankely is that she shows her ignorance every time she opens her mouth. If she wasn’t deliberately lying when she cited the “environmental catastrophes” caused by buried electrical lines, and I think she was, then she was just repeating hysterical nonsense she’s heard at gatherings of her like-minded, wooly-headed friends. I used the term “Village Idiot” with intent.

        • Cos Cobber

          FF, congratulations are proving our point.

          And you think that if you are in office that somehow things would get done? The only thing to get done under your administration is that environmental consultants would be grossly enriched by endless studies.

          And if the modern enviro movement came about in 1900, we’d still be burning whale oil and cow dung.

      • Anonymous

        Buses are banned? Oh no. Thanks for telling me.

        • FF

          And the rebuilt sewer line is there because all sewer has to be below the ground. Its called physics, do you think all that s#$% gets there by wind power?

        • Cos Cobber

          So can CLP really build an overhead or underground power line in the narrow MTA corridor without hampering our mass transit future? My opinion is that the MTA corridor needs to be left open so that capacity for more rail or a wider I95 is not hampered down the line. I swear to god, if they had proposed the MTA corridor first, the argument brought forth would be flipflopped.

          There is patently nothing unsafe or unusual about the power line buried in the street. We are fighting the wrong fight. Without a doubt.

        • pulled up in OG

          More rail, eh? Yeah, I can just picture that 6-track drawbridge over Cos Cob harbor.

          Btw, CL&P already runs in MN’s right-of-way.

        • Cos Cobber

          Could end up with siding someday (a passing line). Could end up resetting the four lines to be further apart which would allow for high speed rail (because the cars could then tilt w/o contact enabling higher speed). The narrowest of the four lines is an impediment to increased speed/capacity.

          Hard to say what rail or I95 will look like in 50 or 100 years.

        • FF

          OK, Cobber, proving what point.? It takes me back to the thing I always say about Republicans in Greenwich, which is you yammer on about what a tool Peter is, then the moment I say something remotely agreeable to you, you look for some reason to say that “it would have been worse with me”. Fine, great, but please do me a favor and do something about it instead? Why do you keep putting yourself in the position of having to vote for the man? There’s no Democrat you could stand so why do you let a decade pass, with all the things that you can’t stand taking place all over and nothing happens? I demand results, and it only takes about 50 people in Greenwich to do anything so just do it.

        • Cos Cobber

          FF, I am unable to have a public life in my current career for various reasons.

    • If you think the Westchester road closure for an hour constitutes an “environmental disaster”, then there’s job waiting for you in Town Hall.

  17. FF, if you think Witherell should be privatized, God bless you.
    Now can you convince the rest of the liberals who run the RTM and BET?