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Changes are needed in fire marshal’s office

Several years ago, I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Fire Marshal’s Office to determine if his department was inspecting schools as required by state regulations.

The answer was no; each school in the city had not been fully inspected every year, as required. No actions were taken by the city administration when this was made public. After the fire at the high school we found out that there were a number of fire code violations missed by the fire marshal during his “inspections.” Again, nothing happened.

For what I believe is the third time a formal complaint has been filed by an employee of the fire marshal’s office claiming a hostile work environment. How does the city administration handle the complaint? They put the complainant on administrative leave without pay. They punish the complainer while rewarding the subject of the complaint. It is clear that changes are needed in the Fire Marshal’s Office, but it is unlikely the administration will take any action.

It is good to see that some action is finally being taken to correct the fire code violations at the high school but one must wonder why it takes so long. The mayor set up a committee just after the fire, to look into the problems and after three years they are finally acting. The chair of that committee should be ashamed of himself for such poor leadership. A proposal was submitted in October of 2011 to design and bid the corrective actions needed, still no actions.

We now read that the city is going to ask voters to approve $11 million of bonds to be spent on city improvements. Money is cheap, so borrowing it makes sense — or does it? Roads will be improved; one would hope that the city is forthright in telling us what roads will be improved. I believe that the citizens will support road improvements even if it does not include their own road. Canal Street needs a lot of work especially with more apartments going in which will increase traffic to say the least. What about including all the corrective actions needed at the high school?

One comment on a national issue, the Affordable Care Act: For the 33rd time the House of Representative voted to repeal the Act, but offered no alternative. It costs $30 million dollars to operate the Congress for one day. Thus those 33 votes cost the taxpayers just under a billion dollars. Now that is the way to spend our money?

Finally, I got my property tax bill more than a week after it was due. Will I get a week’s grace period if I don’t get it in by Aug. 1?

David Gioiello is the chair of Shelton’s Democratic Town Committee.

 

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