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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Town explores tougher zoning rules

I am interested in what people's thoughts are on this subject - let's discuss. Is the town going too far to suggest limiting what someone can hang for a sign INSIDE their business space (e.g. inside the windows)?

Town explores tougher zoning rules is the Record Journal article.

The discussion is ongoing at the Jason Zandri for Mayor of Wallingford group over on Facebook (if you have an account there). Otherwise feel free to post your thoughts to me here or privately via email. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wooding Caplan Lot work needs OK from PZC (permit for the work was never approved)

Special meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission Monday to be held in Town Hall at 7PM; the commission will discuss the Incentive Housing Zone as well as the work going on with respect to the Wooding Caplan Lot work as a needed permit for the work was apparently never pulled.

Here is the story as published in the Record Journal regarding the same.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Standing still – Letter to the editor of the Record Journal Sunday August 4, 2013

This letter was written by Vincent Avallone of Wallingford and published in the Record Journal on Sunday August 4, 2013 in the Readers’ Opinions section of the paper.


Editor: In response to Jim Seichter’s letter (R-J, 7-26), I’m sure Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman would have enjoyed meeting with the mayor if she had only been invited.

It amazes me how the thinking of the local Republican Party is so in sync with the state and national Party in that they’re great at pointing out problems, with no solutions of course, but fail to acknowledge those most responsible for causing the problems in the first place.

Do the names John Rowland, Jodi Rell and George Bush ring a bell? When Mr. Dickinson became mayor in the 80’s, he wasn’t burdened with a financial and economic crisis, electric rates were already low, much lower than they are today, and the bond rating was just fine.

Not quite the same scenario when Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman took office. It’s unfortunate that Seichter didn’t attend Jason Zandri’s fundraiser and listen to the Democratic Party’s endorsed mayoral candidate’s address to the crowd. He was excited, energetic and full of ideas you’ll learn about as the campaign progresses and he delivered a message of moving Wallingford forward and making it a better place to live, unlike the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy of the mayor.

The Republicans feel that Wallingford is an oasis and they’ll continue “doing things how they always have been done.” The mayor is so complacent that instead of addressing issues that face the town, he decided to sing a song when he was recently endorsed by his Party. Jason Zandri understands that if Wallingford isn’t moving forward, it’s moving backwards as other towns streak by us utilizing modern methods of achieving greater efficiency at a reduced cost. There’s much work to be done, as Seichter states, but it won’t get done standing still.

Vincent Avallone, Wallingford


There is really little need for me to include much additional narrative into the facts below (but I do offer some); Wallingford needs to review our current offering and then consider some changes in this program to make it a better benefit for Wallingford’s elderly and disabled.

There is no reason we cannot do more. I am good with anyone that wants to move to another state to be closer to family or to spend more time in warmer weather, but to have someone say “I have to move away from family and the town that I grew up in or have called home since [DATE] because I can no longer afford the taxes in Wallingford and Connecticut” is unfathomable.

We all know that the impact is dual (local and state); we need to address what we can locally and then lobby the state on behalf of our citizens as much as we can.

Here is the data for Wallingford:

Wallingford’s median household income in 2009: $71,117 (it was $57,308 in 2000)

Wallingford’s per capita income in 2009: $32,679 (this means “each individual person”)

Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $295,349 (it was $157,700 in 2000)

Wallingford’s property tax deferral income guidelines for 2010 – Married $49,500 – Single $42,300; in order to reach Wallingford’s household income, this benefit would need to increase 43.5% as it otherwise falls short.


Here is the data for Guilford:

Guilford’s median household income in 2009: $95,359 (it was $76,843 in 2000)

Guilford’s per capita income in 2009: $46,803 (this means “each individual person”)

Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $431,692 (it was $230,500 in 2000)

Guilford’s property tax deferral income guidelines (based on total years of residency) 20+ years – Married $95,000 – Single $79,000; “married” matches their town’s median household income.


Here is the data for Durham:

Durham’s median household income in 2009: $93,287 (it was $57,308 in 2000)

Durham’s per capita income in 2009: $40,442 (this means “each individual person”)

Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $316,714 (it was $157,700 in 2000)

Durham’s property tax deferral income guidelines for 2010 (based on total years of residency) 20+years “Income not to exceed 2.0 times the maximum income levels set annually for single or married status, as applicable, by the Office of Policy and Management for State elderly/disabled tax relief programs” – those numbers (doubled, as outlined for the 2011 program year) are Married $79,000 – Single $64,600. While it does not reach their town’s median household income, it does better than Wallingford.


We can do better than this Wallingford for our seniors who have lived here a lot longer than “just” 20 years.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The most impactful voters are the ones that show up.

Different ages of people ask me why it seems (to them) that “the government” (and this could be federal, state or local depending on the conversation at the time) always seems to favor [THAT AGE GROUP] over theirs and the [GROUP] always seems to be an older age group.

The bottom line is – the squeaky wheels get the grease.

When you look at total number of registered voters, the older the bracket, the more they tend to be registered. At the same time too, when you look at the percentages of who turns out from those brackets, the older brackets turn out with a larger percentage as well.

The following is the information lifted from the last municipal election (2011) of a total of about 25,000 registered voters:

18-24 year olds – total registered 1,869 and of that 193 (10.5%) showed up to vote. You expect this bracket to be less in total number of voters as it contains only seven years of voters and all the others are ten but the 10.5 percentage across just those registered is very low.

25-34 year olds – total registered 3,051 and of that 456 (14.9%) showed up to vote. Nearly 50% more percentage wise on the turnout, nearly twice as many total registered and more than double the number in turnout which is all better than their counterparts in the 18 to 24 bracket but still low overall as you compare the older demographics.

35-44 year olds – total registered 3,433 and of that 913 (26.6%) showed up to vote. With nearly 3,500 registered voters, this block comes in with less than 1,000 total voters showing up to vote locally. When you consider this group (along with a portion of the prior demographic and the next) to be the main segment of the population that uses the largest portion of the municipal budget (education budget for those with children) you would hope to see higher turnout numbers.

45-54 year olds – total registered 5,167 and of that 1,995 (38.6%) showed up to vote. This group is the second largest in total number on the registration side but at just 38.6% in turnout (while better than their younger counterparts) they impact about the same as the 65 to 74 demographic but less so than the 55 to 64 group. With its sheer numbers matching, they could have more presence if they could move their turnout numbers higher.

55-64 year olds – total registered 5,211 and of that 2,350 (45.1%) showed up to vote. This group is the largest in total number on both the registration side and the turnout number. On the percentage side at 45.1% they turnout at the third highest percentage as well but because of their total numbers of registered, this group’s turnout numbers have the highest impact regarding total vote tally.

65-74 year olds – total registered 3,329 and of that 1,876 (56.3%) showed up to vote. This group is the third largest group with 3,329 registered. Their turnout percentages are very good locally at 56.3% which generated 1,876 voters at the polls. They are the second highest impacting group because of this.

75-84 year olds – total registered 1,958 and of that 1,146 (58.5%) showed up to vote. As people age onward and pass away it impacts the demographic. This group has the highest percentage of local voter turnout at 58.5% but as their total numbers dwindle their voter impact lessens. Despite the handicap, they are still a very impactful group.

85 and older – total registered 1,292 and of that 547 (42.3%) showed up to vote. At just a hair shy of 1,300 registered voters and 547 turning out, this group nearly singlehandedly outstrips the impact of the 5,000 registered voters in both the 18 to 24 and the 25 to 34 demographics combined as in both those groups only 649 people voted locally.  

It’s your town – get informed, get involved and VOTE