July 2023 Newsletter

Important News in Greenwich

Independence Day remains a potent symbol of American patriotism and of unique American qualities. Now more than ever, we need to appreciate our hard won freedoms. How do you celebrate our freedom? 

  

The Declaration of Independence is still relevant in today's America because it embodies the founding principles of the United States, including equality, self-government, and limited government. These principles are still important today, and they continue to guide our country's laws and policies.

Though written in 1776 The Declaration of Independence is a living document that continues to shape our world. It is a reminder of the ideals that we hold dear, and it inspires us to strive for a better future.

The Declaration of Independence is also a powerful symbol of hope and inspiration. It reminds us that we have the right to challenge unjust authority and to strive for a better future. This is especially important in today's world, where there are many challenges to democracy and freedom.

The message of the Fourth of July is that we are a nation of free people who are united by our common values. We are a nation that is founded on the principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all. We are a nation that is committed to the rule of law and to the protection of our individual rights.

The Fourth of July is a special day for all Americans. It is a day to celebrate our freedom, our unity, and our hope for the future. Let us all take this opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the principles that make our country great. 

Get involved, come to an RTC meeting, speak up at dinners with your neighbors... we can all do a little more. The time for sitting on the sidelines has long since passed!

Go to the Greenwich Republicans website to get involved!

 

 

Thank you to our guests and wonderful volunteers. We are thrilled to announce that the Greenwich Republicans’ revival of the Grand Old Party was an overwhelming success, exceeding all expectations. From eager young adults to respected seniors, the event drew a diverse crowd united in their enthusiasm to hear Vivek Ramaswamy, a millennial Presidential candidate’s powerful message of reclaiming our American identity together.

The evening was a testament to the vitality and energy of our Republican party in Greenwich, as attendees were treated to an unforgettable experience. Contagious enthusiasm permeated fostering an electric atmosphere that sparked engaging and thought-provoking conversations among all who were present.

 

 

 

🚨 "Fair Share" Bill 🚨 

Local control of housing regulations is becoming a greater concern to Greenwich citizens, regardless of political affiliation. 

Phase 1 of the "Fair Share" Bill (SB998) was snuck through by the CT Democrats at 2AM on a Saturday morning in June. This same Fair Share language and methodology failed to pass in the prior two legislative sessions, when the extreme fair share numbers were disclosed for every municipality. This session, the Democrat leadership & housing advocates DID NOT DISCLOSE NUMBERS! Pay attention to this situation!

CT169Strong, a non-political group supporting local control and oversight and protecting the unique qualities of Connecticut's 169 towns is a great source of information. 

What's in Fair Share "Phase 1" SB998? (A MUST READ)

The Passage of Fair Share Phase 1 and What it Means for CT Residents (CT Examiner)

CT Democrats Pass Fair Share Zoning Override While CT Sleeps (CT GOP)

Hartford Update - Kimberly Fiorello

"The Greenwich delegation had always been a clear and strong voice for common sense in Hartford.  Right now, with three Democrat state reps, Greenwich is helping to pass laws that most of us are unaware of and that will degrade the quality of life in our town and our state.... bills that Democrats advanced, many of which Lamont signed this year, leave no doubt the direction Democrats are taking Connecticut – hard Left."  

Keep Reading for five specific examples from Kimberly, that you will not want to miss. 

 

Submitted by Karen Fassuliotis: Our Town has learned by long and real experience that the best way to plan major capital projects like renovating schools is three steps – a project feasibility with preliminary budget, then a complete architecture and engineering plan with comprehensive budgets, and finally construction with contingency plans and contingency budgets. Every time we have tried to “shortcut” these steps, projects have been delayed, over-budget and improperly built frequently tied up after the fact in litigation. Yet, now we have some politically ambitious people trying to score points by bypassing this tried and true process and vilifying anyone saying “wait a minute, let’s do what has always worked”.

Read Op-Ed in its entirety: Old Greenwich School Needs More Than Money, It Needs Real Leadership 

 

Submitted by Harry Fisher: "As stated by various Republican members of the BET, the Board of Education (BOE) and the OGS Building Committee (OGSBC) were trying to short circuit the budget approval process in violation of our Town Charter in order to make a June 30th deadline to apply for state funding that might return up to 10% of the $ 42 million total proposed budget to the town. The BOE and OGSBC were trying to fill a void created by the Central Middle School Building Committee (CMSBC) that has failed to progress sufficiently to meet the same deadline." ... "BET members have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of the town to spend their scarce tax dollars carefully."

Read Op-Ed in its entirety: Why I Voted No on Old Greenwich School Renovations

 

"We need to come together as a unified community, take the path that achieves the best results, and stop the partisan divisiveness."

Read Op-Ed in its entirety: Averting Partisan Divisiveness on Old Greenwich School Renovation

 

Announcement: Third Community Engagement forum with Central Middle School Building Committee

 

The June RTM meeting considered a new Fire Marshall Inspection Ordinance to establish a building inspection fee. Many CT towns charge a fee for their building inspections. Collected fees would be deposited into the General Fund which is the usual practice for such revenue sources.

Some RTM members tried to amend the ordinance with a development fee to divert half the collected revenue into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF). When the AHTF was established we were told it would only be funded from grants or private donations with no town funds involved. Diverting funds from the ordinance fees into the AHTF would set a bad precedent, cost taxpayers and discourage town departments from finding ways to offset costs. After lengthy debate the amended ordinance was defeated with a vote of 75 in favor, 117 opposed and 7 abstentions. The RTM then voted on the ordinance as originally written, which passed by a vote of 175 in favor, 13 opposed and 5 abstentions.

Several interim appropriations were approved to cover department cost overruns for the current fiscal year ending June 30th. Law Dept - $275k for increased litigation costs,

GFD - $110k for increased costs of personal protection equipment, due to inflation and supply chain issues. Nathaniel Witherell - $920k for increased personnel costs in its food service operations.

A Board of Ed (LIUNA) contract representing approximately 170 professional assistants and 10 security employees, was approved for a 1 year extension and 2.3% wage increase.

The RTM also approved the Community Development Block Grant Program for FY 2023-2024. Approval allows the town to apply for and accept grant funds for this annual program. The grant funds are allocated each year to various community organizations that can apply for the grants.

The RTM does not meet during the summer months of July and August unless there is urgent town business that needs to be addressed. A special meeting may be called by the Moderator if such a need arises. 

 

Through various community events we have the opportunity to meet young Greenwich citizens and always appreciate the desire to share their stories with us. Daniel Martinez is a Greenwich Public School student that has connected with the Greenwich Republicans, and attended the Vivek Ramaswamy event with his family members in June. It is not always easy to speak out as a young Republican and we admire Daniel for his courage.

From Daniel Martinez: "I've been a Greenwich resident my whole life. My parents are both Mexican immigrants, and Greenwich seemed like an excellent place to live and raise a family. I was born at Greenwich Hospital, and I attended Hamilton Avenue, Western Middle School, and Greenwich High School.

Ever since Elementary school, I have been a part of the orchestra program. I remember starting with a makeshift violin made of a cardboard box and a paper towel roll to learn proper care and handling of an instrument. Western Middle School has a smaller auditorium similar to that of Greenwich High School, but it is nothing compared with the way sound travels, and the capacity of guests it can hold. While playing on stage with the high school’s orchestra, there was a tone and pitch difference that was only achievable in that room. The way the sound projected out to the audience, and traveled through to the point where we can hear our neighboring music sections was incredible. Not to mention the Greenwich Symphony also uses the Performing Art Center for their concerts.

Greenwich High School has an amazing variety of clubs and programs. Two of those that I participated in were the Greenwich Police Explorers and the Greenwich EMS Explorer Post. Those clubs make leaders, and it was an absolute pleasure to be a part of their programs. My future plans will include majoring in Forensic Science at the University of New Haven this fall, and hopefully a position with the FBI, the Greenwich Police Department, or State Police. 

I have known and met some members from the Greenwich Republican group, and they have been absolutely wonderful in community outreach and hosting events. Thank you for inviting my family to some of your events." 

 

Greenwich Schools Internal Investigation... for Boland, Finds School Did Nothing Wrong (Connecticut Centinel)

Greenwich Public Schools Release October Report Clearing Boland of Discrimination (CT Examiner)

 

Greenwich Republicans are men and women who work together for the greater good, and are worldly and dedicated to wholesome, common-sense beliefs. We pay attention and give respect to ALL who make up our Greenwich community.  Intolerance has no place in our group.

Those that publicly accuse the Greenwich Republicans of participating in a "hateful" stunt are highly inaccurate and irresponsible.

Read Op-Ed in its entirety: Montanaro - There is No Hate Among Greenwich Republicans

 

What is the 8-30g Housing Bill?

The 8-30g housing bill is a state statute that requires towns to allow the construction of affordable housing if they have not met their state mandated percentage of affordable housing requirements. It takes zoning enforcement away from the town and gives it to the state! It allows developers to bypass local zoning laws if they are proposing to build affordable housing. Some concerns about the negative effects it will have in town:

  • Increased traffic: The construction of affordable housing will increase traffic in the town, as more people would be moving in. This will lead to congestion and longer commute times.
  • Decreased property values: People are concerned that the construction of affordable housing will lower property values in the area. This is partially due to a history of  housing projects being unsightly.
  • Change in character: The construction of affordable housing could change the character of the town. More affordable housing projects will bring in a different type of resident and restaurants and change the overall feel of the town. 
  • Impact on schools: The construction of affordable housing will put a strain on the town's schools. More students would be attending the schools, and the schools will not have the capacity to accommodate them.

Here are a few of the proposed developments. There are others !

  • 51 Dearfield Drive and 69 Dearfield Drive: A five-story, 105-unit building is being proposed at this site, which is located just north of the Greenwich Public Library. Two historic Tudor-style homes would be torn down to make way for the new building. A parking deck of two levels, accommodating 135 spaces, is also part of the plan.
  • 200 Pemberwick Road: A 220-unit assisted housing development is being proposed at this site, which is located in the Pemberwick section of Greenwich. 
  • Upper King Street: A 309-unit housing development is being proposed at this site, which is located in the north end of Greenwich. 
  • Glenville Street: A 16-unit residential building is being proposed at this site, which is located near the Mill Complex in Glenville. 
  • North Greenwich Road: A 180-unit residential building is being proposed at this site, which is located near the Greenwich Country Club. The development would include a mix of market-rate and affordable housing units.
  • Cos Cob Road: A 40-unit residential building is being proposed at this site, which is located near the Cos Cob train station. 

CT169 Strong is a non-partisan group dedicated to local zoning control to ensure thoughtful and appropriate development of our communities through prudent land use decision making.

Click here to learn more.  https://ct169strong.org


Stay Tuned In 

There are several ways in which you can continue to learn and be informed of what is happening in Greenwich. 

Greenwich TV (GCTV), which is operated mostly by volunteers, provides live broadcast coverage of various Town government meetings (such as First Selectman, RTM, Planning & Zoning, and BET meetings).

1. They are broadcast on Channel 79 (Cablevision/Altice) and Channel 24 (Verizon). 

2. Greenwich Community TV on YouTube

3. Greenwichtv.org - the GCTV website streams as well as rebroadcasts programming throughout the week and keeps extensive archives for easy viewing accessibility.

Connect & Learn

We will be hosting local coffees where we can gather, learn & discuss together. If you would like more information on upcoming coffees please sign up here:  

 

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Thank you

Greenwich Republicans
http://www.greenwichrepublicans.com/


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