To the Editor:
As host/co-host of three live public access television programs, I find it amazing that year after year, voters complain about high taxes but vote for the same folks on a regular basis due to party loyalty.
British author George Orwell, political novelist of such classics as "Animal Farm" and "1984," warned others of such abuse of power when he said: “Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
Although Orwell’s comments are most likely aimed to those that live in countries that live under a dictatorship like Cuba or the former Iraq, the quote is also valid to local American governments that refuse to change due to party loyalty; in a sense, this new form of government has become a hybrid of democracy and lunacy due to people’s misunderstanding of how a local government/municipality works.
The Middletown Democrats have been in power on the common council since 1993, a 19-year tenure in which they were/are allowed to become lazy and complacent due to party loyalty and voter’s habits. During their tenure, taxes have been increased on a constant level and spending has been at an all time high.
When blamed for their indiscretions or attitude toward spending, the answer is a variation on "blame the mayor," or as one wife of a Democrat councilman said on television: “He’s the CEO of the town so he should be able to reduce the budget.”
The quote is indicative of Orwell’s "Animal Farm" with the pigs gaining power and constantly changing the rules and messages in order to maintain what they have. Don’t educate the voters, use them and abuse them. It is the Democratic controlled Common Council and not Mayor Giuliano who has the final word on a budget as per the charter of Middletown.
One needs to understand that Mayor Giuliano, or any mayor for that matter, Democrat or Republican, can only vote in order to break a tie. In Middletown, the Dems hold eight Council seats while the Republicans hold four seats; whose budget is it?
It is the Democratic controlled Board of Education that controls approximately 70 percent of Middletown’s money and does not hesitate to ask for more. As a pubic school teacher since 1998, I fully support the Board of Education and its support of the schools, but it is also very important to point out that BOE will ask for money and not give the town an explanation as to what it will be used for.
It was the Democratic controlled Common Council that refused to take a $1 million in union concessions. These are the same Democrats that allocate monies into their budget before it is even approved. (for example, Remington Rand or Cucia Park). Imagine giving all that money back during today’s economy; the local Democrats feel that the taxpayer should feel the burn and ignore the union’s generous package.
I urge everybody in town from all parities to ask themselves one basic question before they vote in November: Am I really happy with a party that has been in power since 1993?
Jon Pulino is a Republican candidate for Middletown city treasurer