Friday, September 16, 2011


The following letter to the editor was sent to the Eye by Dan Penney. His cover letter is appended at the end of this piece.


To the Editor:

To say the least, the most recent public comments and physical actions by City officials relative to Water Department operations are not only yet another embarrassment to our City ,but nothing less than disgusting.

My experience and knowledge of water/sewer department operations is we have one of the most customer focused and cost-efficient operations within our City. One only needs to visit water department headquarters to experience friendly staff that always goes the extra mile from the Director level down to be available, answer any questions or provide information requested in a timely manner.

Such professional driven leadership starts with Mr. Guy Russo, Water Department Director, who is a long proven and accomplished water/sanitary system professional. Mr. Russo is not only recognized for his knowledge and skills within our City but by colleagues throughout the State of Connecticut.

The Water Department operations under Mr. Russo’s leadership is further supported with excellent equipment ,training and records/as-built documentation which results in superior working relationships with other City departments as well as critical and seamless coordination with City contractors and engineering firms.

The unsurpassed annual water quality reports and ongoing infrastructure enhancements speak for themselves. The City of Middletown is fortunate to have Mr. Russo, especially when he is working tirelessly with the WPCA / Mattabassett District to develop a win-win for our downtown business district.

Daniel J. Penney

1101 Chamberlain Hill

Middletown, CT 06457



To whom it may concern:

Please allow me to first introduce myself and express my goals and objectives as a taxpayer. Hopefully, while maintaining my objectivity and without sounding like a local gadfly.

Some two years past I retired after some thirty five years as a facilities manager in health-care services , the last thirty two in public service/university medical center/hospital engineering environment.

For the past five years I have focused my commitment to giving back ,,,,,by becoming involved in the business of our local South Fire District (SFD) , as a concerned taxpayer. To say the least , the initial welcome as frequently being the only member of the public to show up and ask challenging questions at the SFD Board of Fire Commissioners monthly meetings has been interesting.

On occasion , I will offer my opinion relative to other City matters but the SFD seems to provide enough opportunity to stay busy.

You may or may not have read my editorials positions relative to the SFD operations and expenses/operations over the past few years in the Middletown Press.

I have appended a sample of my most recent efforts.

At present there is a most significant issue ongoing relative to the SFD and services at CVH. In short , the CVH StatE firefighters union is concerned that the SFD firefighters union, different local, is interfering with staffing at the CVH campus by the SFD positioning a truck and SFD employees at the CVH campus. Additional questions concern the legal authority of the SFD Board of Fire Commissioners to support such a practice given the charter of the SFD and the lack of an approved public budget that did not note or include such. Taxpayers of the SFD are concerned that their SFD taxes , which increased this year, are being spent on a State facility.,,,,etc. etc.

Not sure if the appended is of interest .... but I am sharing some of my most recent correspondence.

Looking out for the taxpayers at the monthly meetings of the South Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners:

Dan Penney
1101 Chamberlain Hill Road
Middletown, CT 06457 860-347-3987 home 860-418-9214 cell


Anonymous said...

Mr. Penney was facilities manager at UCONN Health Center.The UCONN Health Center was so poorly run and bled so much money that Gov. Rell was contemplating shutting it down. Thank God Mr. Penney was able to escape with his $90,000+ pension.
His entire paragraph regarding the unions is totally false.
The SFD has been providing fire service to CVH for years because, other than the two Chiefs and lieutenant who get paid overtime (a lot of it, as was discovered),they have a poor response to their fire calls.
It is the fiduciary responsibility of the SFD, by Charter,to provide fire protection for the ENTIRE district, not just the taxpaying residents.It is the fiduciary responsibility of the SFD, per State OEMS,to provide (as a first responder)emergency medical services within the ENTIRE district-not just to tax payers.
How much taxpayer money is being wasted gathering frivolous facts and figures to support Mr. Penney's hobby? Nobody reads your editorials because nobody really cares.

Anonymous said...

What difference should it make to a taxpayer where Water Department offices are located? Management, in this case the Mayor, has every right to relocate personnel or departments at his discretion. As a manager, I've done that several times for reasons that I don't always share with subordinates. Let Mayor Giuliano manage the City and everyone stop squibbling over these minor management decisions. While you're busy worrying someone's desk is being moved, BOE is violating DOL ruling and threatening to sue City of Middletown.

Anonymous said...

does everyone forget that the water department was so badly managed that they had to deal with giant budget deficits, many years worth of unpaid water and sewer bills and drastic measures to fix it. that department has been a mess for a while. kudos to the mayor for trying to bring it under control. it should be in city hall where the other departments are.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Mr. Penney has hit home with someone at SFD. A fiduciary responsibility to provide coverage? Honestly, you best look up the word before you use it. You have no fiduciary responsibilty to provide EMS coverage. It is something the District decided to provide to keep call numbers up. If it is so important to cover CVH and not the remainder of your district, why cant you do it from your current station instead of moving up there. For 54 calls a year it seems very ridiculous to place existing staff there at the expense of the rest of your taxpayers. Interesting philosiphy your commission has.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fiduciary,

It will interesting to see how the IAFF (International Association of Firefighters) looks at one union wronging another union. Just remember what goes around comes around. "No Pride in the Southside"
Skippy must have his hands in this!

Anonymous said...

To "Mr. Fiduciary"-It was a State of Connecticut decision- not a union decision. The CVH department was gone--a done deal. So, I suppose you think it would be better to have no fire protection?
The "Men in Black" would have a truck there in a heartbeat if SFD didn,t cover. You harp on my misuse of "fiduciary"-but that's all you have.( By the way--it's PHILOSOPHY)
Bottom line-somebody has to provide fire protection to CVH and the State made the choice.

Anonymous said...


The State did not make the choice, SFD did to backdoor union brothers. You can have your CVH runs, just remember to pony up some $ to pay the "men in black". Let's see how easy it will be to pass your budget this year! The State is laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

The Men in Black don't care about number boosting like the other departments do. We would never in a million years wrong another union and take away all their benefits, nor would we put an Engine at a skilled nursing facility just get boost our numbers. We stay available to respond to real emergencies to our taxpayers. They deserve nothing but the highest quality of service and we would never lower our manpower to play doctor. I think it’s funny if you take away all your calls to skilled nursing facilities which is about 1,000. Westfield a VOL department does more runs than you.