Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Opinion: A Look At Giuliano's Leadership By Those Who Know

Hope Kasper, in a letter to the Editor
published during the last Giuliano administration
Sebastian Giuliano has a record as mayor that is perhaps best evaluated by those who served in government with him, and who are now closest to him. Hope Kasper, Gerry Daley, and Phil Pessina are current or former members of the Common Council, they served while Giuliano was mayor. Kasper is a Democrat turned Republican, Daley is a life-long Democrat, and Pessina is a long-term Republican.  Each of them has been very open about Giuliano's performance as mayor.

After experiencing 6 years of Giuliano as mayor, Kasper wrote a number of letters to the editor in which she expressed deep misgivings not just about his decisions, but about his values.

In 2010, as the city was just beginning to think about the following year’s election, Kasper decried an effort by city workers to encourage residents to switch their voting registration to Republican, “Mayor Giuliano, why are you condoning such brazen abuses of city resources?”

The following summer, with the 2011 election season well under way, Kasper questioned Giuliano’s nepotism, …”he’s hired his own daughter and one of his sons to work for the City of Middletown in the Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments … hiring your own children is questionable …”.

Kasper excoriated Giuliano for abuse of his office, “Hiring his own children to work for the city at taxpayer expense is only one of Giuliano’s questionable personnel moves as mayor.”

Kasper went on, “Patronage is the gasoline that makes this [Giuliano] administration go. … It’s a question of control, power, and ultimately, money. It’s about who gets to hand out jobs and favors to friends.”

Phil Pessina, in a letter to the Editor about Giuliano
Kasper also questioned Giuliano’s role in spending city money to purchase a building from his own church, while services to seniors were cut, “… in each year I’ve been on the Council, Mayor Giuliano has cut and eliminated funding for programs at the existing senior center even while raising taxes. What is the purpose of renovating this property at high cost after cutting the programs designated to attract clientele?”

Gerry Daley is a Council member who has served under multiple mayors, he knows Giuliano well. While Giuliano was mayor, Daley expressed concerns about his role in giving away city property to a well connected friend. In his capacity as Chair of the Economic Development Commission, Daley wrote to Giuliano, “Questions were raised concerning your apparent action in giving City property (i.e. a brownstone wall) to an individual … your action may actually violate … City ordinances or State laws since the brownstone that you gave away had value.”

Daley has objected strenuously to Giuliano’s unwillingness to work collaboratively with other elected officials. During deliberations over the budget, which is the responsibility of the Council, Daley said that Giuliano was withholding information and blocking the Council from exercising its responsibility, "I don't know how we as a Council can work with a budget where that information is not readily available,"

Daley said that Giuliano was an autocrat in his dealings with the Council. "This is not a dictatorship," Daley said of one of Giuliano's rulings as chairman of the meeting. "This is a democracy."

During one of Giuliano’s many legal and personal disputes with the Board of Education, Daley
Gerry Daley and Hope Kasper, in a letter to the DTC
voiced fury over Giuliano's actions. "I feel it was a reckless action by the Mayor and Police Chief to station police at the Board of Ed building."

Phil Pessina has also served on the Council while Giuliano was mayor, and with him on the Council. Pessina echoed Daley’s concerns, writing in 2013, “Seb’s interest for Middletown is his own best interest, filled with Mediocrity and personal politics; NOT putting “Middletown First” but attacks a Senior Councilperson, Joe Bibisi.”

Pessina elaborated, “Our party is being led by Seb Guiliano, Ken McClellan, Bill Wilson in the wrong direction, … apparently they do Not want to put “Middletown First”!”

Kasper and Daley whole-heartedly agreed about Giuliano, writing, “If the Mayor wins a fourth term, he will surely have the opportunity to rule – and ruin – our City that will be unprecedented.”
The above quotes are the words of those who know, they are almost entirely from letters to the editor, or government documents written by Daley, Kasper, or Pessina. Read more in the sources below.
The author agrees with the opinions expressed by Kasper, Daley, and Pessina above. He is supporting Ben Florsheim.

1 comment:

Stephen Smith said...

Hoisted by their own petards. Seems like even Republicans, both newly-minted and inveterate, have made their opinions clear about the harm another Giuliano administration will bring to our city.