Saturday, October 3, 2015

Too Much Time Off?


Opinion by John Milardo

Let me preface this article by saying I was a teen of the 60’s, when local and national newspapers and news organizations were respected because they were the watch dogs of our country. Today, if a news organization is backing a politician, they will slant and ignore stories to benefit their candidate.

Quite a few people over the past year have mentioned to me that Mayor Daniel T. Drew, the mayor of Middletown, is seldom at work at Town Hall. As a former town employee, I know there are many meetings in and out of the building a mayor attends to conduct the taxpayers’ business. The complaints didn’t cease, so I spoke to a newspaper reporter about it. I was told they would look into it, but never heard back from them.

The same complaints persisted. So I decided to look into the matter. I requested copies of Mayor Daniel Drew’s daily meeting/work/appointment schedule or calendar through the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), beginning from September 1, 2014 to the time of request, which was August 10, 2015. I paid the $172 fee for copies, and began to study them. What I found out about Mayor Daniel Drew’s work ethic was that in the 10- 1/2 month period of records I reviewed, Dan had a total of 35.8 days off from work. Mind you now, this is according to the Mayor’s official appointment/work calendar.

There are no other documents regarding what and where the mayor spends his time – that is according to City Attorney Brig Smith. That Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer is a LOT OF TIME OFF FROM WORK! Who gets six (6) weeks of paid time-off after being on the job for three (3) years? No wonder Mayor Dan misses so many Middletown events! He’s never around! Too busy rubbing elbows with Governor Malloy’s people and being introduced to the power players. According to Dan’s own calendar, he has had forty-nine (49) out of town meeting/opportunities, which have more to do with political exposure and donations, than anything to do with Middletown business. I’m sure if asked by the “real” press, Dan will tell them I don’t know what I’m talking about!

 Speaking of players – the Mayor regularly has meetings with his paid political consultant Geoff Luxenburg and cohorts, of The Vinci Group from Wethersfield CT. The meetings occur between 8:00am and 5:00pm; Monday through Friday. I didn’t know it was ethical or legal to conduct campaign business with taxpayer money? After all, the Mayor is supposed to be working. Mayor Drew even attends meetings which Mr. Luxenburg directs him to go to. Good exposure opportunities.

Who is Dan working for? It’s not the people of Middletown! Not when you’re giving your paid political consultant 84.5 hours (two plus full-time weeks) of taxpayers time in 10-1/2 months! According to the Mayor’s first batch of campaign disclosure paperwork filed with the State of Connecticut, since Mayor Drew has declared his candidacy, The Vinci Group has so far been paid $10,325.66, from his campaign contribution funds. With all the time-off Mayor Daniel Drew took, not once did he request the Deputy Mayor to assume his responsibilities. Not once! Ssshh! It’s a secret that the Mayor is missing! This year, the Mayor earned a Masters Degree from Columbia University. He stated in the Middletown Press he took courses remotely.

Maybe that is why his work calendar only averages 3-1/2 to 4 hours of work per day over this same 10-1/2 month period. By the way, he doesn’t like to work on Fridays! Stay tuned for additional stories on how Mayor Drew spends his time, which is your taxpayer money!


Anonymous said...

Are the "copies of Mayor Daniel Drew’s daily meeting/work/appointment schedule or calendar through the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA)" being made available to the public?

drewniany/glass family said...

I find this mayor very accessible, and responsive to my questions and needs. Maybe he is not "checked in" his office 9 to 5 every day, but he seems to be ON almost all the time.

Susan Glass

Anonymous said...

What I notice about Dan Drew is that he is consistently and frequently on Facebook, alerting and announcing city preparations for weather events and emergencies, as well as answering citizens questions and concerns. He responds personally to pot hole complaints and all sorts of city issues. The notion that his physical presence is required to prove his engagement is outdated in the social media age. His email, phone, and social media accounts document that he works much more than the amount of time he is physically at Town Hall. - Amy Albert

drewniany/glass family said...

Sounds like you know the answer here.

Anonymous said...

Amy Albert his calendar, email and telephone accounts are covered under the freedom of information act. No one here said he wasn't on the phone, or social media or texting. The calendar is his official record of appointments, events, meetings and all other types of duties one expects to find on the calendar of a CEO. I believe the crux is that the calendar is rather empty and or void of data In terms of his calendar being made available to the public it is, at a cost of .50cents per page. Any person can get it but you have to pay for it. As for "checking in" to the office Middletown's form of government is that of a strong Mayor. The Mayor is a CEO and has multiple duties and responsibilities that require an extraordinary amount of time. If a Mayor is not in the office for half a work day; doing whatever, he or she is not managing the duties as set forth in the Charter. At this point, Middletown probably needs a Town Manager.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....Mr. Drew sounds reflective of city employees....paid alot and frequently not at their desks or job sites. Socializing and on social media. He's just like city employees!!!

Mabelline Eyes said...

Anon 4:26 Are you also including retired city employees running for office?