Thursday, September 24, 2015

Kasper Endorses Russo-Driska, Joins Democrats for Sandra

Submitted by Stephen LaRosa, Democrats for Sandra 2015

Democrats for Sandra 2015 spokesman, Steven LaRosa today announced that Democratic Councilwoman Hope Kasper has added her support and endorsement to Republican Mayoral Candidate Sandra Russo-Driska.  Kasper was purged from the Democratic ticket in July and forced an unsuccessful primary bid to remain on the Common Council.  Kasper indicated that she felt her positions taken against current Mayor Dan Drew led to her getting dumped from the ticket.
“I am very much supportive of Sandra Russo-Driska becoming the next Mayor of Middletown.” said Kasper.  “I have known Sandra for years and unlike the current incumbent of the Mayor’s Office, Sandra doesn’t require a loyalty oath from fellow elected officials as the price for continued participation.  She is inclusive versus abusive; she embraces new ideas and concepts regardless of party affiliation; she is collaborative rather than confrontational, and she is seeking a return of fiscal accountability to the day to day governance of our municipality.”  Kasper noted that the disrespect shown by Drew has not only targeted her, but also long time Council Majority Leader and former Democratic Mayor, Thomas J. Serra,   Kasper went on to observe that the current Administration is not watching out for the best interest of the taxpayers.  Specifically she cited:

·             Drew has promoted the elimination of retirement Ordinances that have worked well for City taxpayers and City retirees for the past 60 years that have had no cost to the taxpayer for at least the last 25 years for general government workers.  Drew acted against the advice of the City’s Actuary and used general government pension funds to offset the general operating budget while underfunding the police pension fund.

·             Drew acted irresponsibly in regards to the safety of police officers and city employees who utilize the municipal parking garage.  Recommendations made by the engineering report have been ignored.  A female employee was injured by falling concrete, and thousands of dollars have been paid to employees and others for damage to their cars parked in the lower level of the arcade. 

·             Drew failed to follow through on seeking quotes from the State’s insurance program now being offered to municipalities; he has failed to provide any information to the Insurance & Claims Commission regarding the 13 town coalition that includes Middletown, and no audit information been provided.  No questionnaires have gone to employees in an attempt to cut costs by soliciting their input regarding issues with the current mail order drug prescription program. 

·             Drew has done nothing to address citizens’ noise complaints, brought forward to the Public Safety Commission, living in the vicinity of the Higby Police Firing Range.

·             Drew permitted the hiring of an employee without approved funding in place an action brought forward to the Common Council, and also laid off an employee, a practice that has successfully been avoided for many years.  Meanwhile it was recently reported that he wants to create a new municipal position of “Waterfront Czar” at an undisclosed cost to taxpayers.

Kasper concluded, “Middletown cannot afford another four (4) years of a typical politician in the Mayor’s Office who regularly displays his arrogance and disdain for the opinions of others, is fiscally irresponsible and beholden to Dan Malloy and the Hartford political”good old boys” fraternity.   I have worked with Sandra and know her to be a person of good will and open-mindedness who understands the need to put people first, not politics. I am confident that Sandra will devote her considerable energy to making Middletown great  rather than be preoccupied with shameless self-promotion  I ask all of those voters who have graciously supported me through the years to cast their votes for Sandra.  Just this afternoon, a female supporter of mine showed up at my house with a bouquet of flowers.  She said how sorry she was for me and for the City and questioned what she could do.  I told her to support Sandra in November.”

Republican Mayoral Candidate, Sandra Russo-Driska, was honored and excited to have the endorsement of Councilwoman Kasper.  “I have known Hope throughout my career with the City.  We have always worked together in the best interests of Middletown, regardless of political affiliation, as City employees, labor representative, and now as members of the Common Council.  I am both humbled and gratified to receive Hope’s endorsement, as no one works harder or cares more deeply for this City than Hope.  Her knowledge of the municipal budget; insurance and claims and the City’s pension system is considerable, and I expect to call upon her as Mayor to continue to share her expertise. This endorsement embodies what my campaign is all about - embracing good ideas, regardless of party and bringing people together to work for the common good of our community.”

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