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[UPDATE] Flatto: Metro Center Report 'Strange'

First Selectman Michael Tetreau responds to readers' questions about his status as a Fairfield homeowner.

Update: 4 p.m., Oct. 13, 2011

Editor's Note: Many readers have been speculating First Selectman Michael Tetreau's status as a property owner in town; Tetreau responds. See the comments thread.

Original Story, Oct. 3, 2011

Editor's Note: Former First Selectman Kenneth Flatto spoke to Patch late last evening; see the comments section for more on his reaction to the report.

First Selectman office announced earlier today an that former First Selectman overstepped his role regarding the contract.

Flatto told the Fairfield Citizen he felt the report to be "strange" and said his actions saved the town between $30 and $40 million.

Tetreau commissioned the firm McCarter and English to undertake the investigation, according to information released by the First Selectman's office. The counsel found that the Town Charter did not give Flatto the authority to enter into building agreeements with the state and BlackRock Realty for the new train station.

Tetreau also accepted Town Attorney Richard Saxl's resignation today after asking him to step down in light of the report.

Blubby October 12, 2011 at 12:15 PM
It may still be operational, however, Fairfield has nothing to do with it any more. It is not owned, maintained, flown, or funded by Fairfield. As it states in the link you provided Captain Wilcoxson of the Stratford Police Department is the contact person for the helicopter, it's their project. Fairfield has not had a pilot for several years now. Also in the same link, the last article referring Eagle One as Fairfield's is dated 2009.
Fairfield Resident October 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM
"The Fairfield Police Department has operational control of Eagle One. " http://www.fpdct.com/eagle_one.htm
Blubby October 12, 2011 at 04:39 PM
Stand By
R. Ludlowe October 12, 2011 at 05:03 PM
plus, the helicopter keeps dropping donuts on residents' porches.
Anthony Buglino October 13, 2011 at 12:43 AM
I would suspect that if property tax records were researched, Tetreau would be exposed as a non-tax paying, non property holder in Fairfield. But then again he was handpicked by Flatto, so will Fairfielders simply accept a non tax payer who will continue the same old government with the same old Independence Hall players? Fairfield need to take action to rein in the cronyism and incompetence that runs rampant in Town Hall.
kylie October 13, 2011 at 01:50 AM
How can this not matter to people? This is a real issue. I would never vote for a Selectman who didn't own property in town. Unbelievable...
S. Frank October 13, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Kylie writes that she would never vote for someone who was not a Fairfield property owner. Makes sense and I would agree. On the other hand, can we vote for someone w/ no business experience and a silver spoon product of his father's firm? The problem, my fellow Fairfield taxpayers, is that we have two unacceptable choices. The result will, unfortunately, be more of the same abuse, waste and favoritism as has been the case for quite some time.
Creeky October 13, 2011 at 03:04 PM
Thanks Kylie for your efforts to let us all know that Tetreau doesn't share our tax burden, and to you, or whomever researched it. S. Frank makes a very good point. Tetreau doesn't share the burden, and by inaction, is complicit to the revaluation scam and theft. Hugh Dolan wants to move towards a dictatorship. Belitto lacks experience. Vahey wants to dry everyone's tears with dollar bills from your wallet, James Walsh doesn't seem to have a building consensus approach. I don't care if Belitto comes from opportunity, President Roosevelt was born with a silver spoon and agree with his policies or not, it's hard to call him corrupt, or not a leader. It's easy to tear things down. It's hard to build them up. I want to be a builder but, these choices make that hard. I'm unsure whether to vote for Belitto in blind hope, as a lesser of evils, or register a protest vote and write in Bozo the Clown. At least with Bozo, I'd be distracted with a tweaked nose and flower squirting me in the eye while money is stolen from my wallet. It breaks my heart that legitimate governance no longer is an option at the town, state or national level.
S. Frank October 13, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Bozo would be the best choice. At least, he wouldn't take on unnecessary and costly projects, bloat the town's payroll, raise taxes and waste the revenue or do much else other than try to get people to lighten up and smile.
Creeky October 13, 2011 at 03:09 PM
If anyone wants to generate a petition for referendum to change the charter to require an annual referendum on the town budget, rather than leave it in the what has been proven to be the irresponsible hands of government, I'll sign. Monroe employs this approach and it appears that they enjoy grand success in controlling government spending.
S. Frank October 13, 2011 at 03:21 PM
I'd sign it. It should also allow for line item votes on anything over $X dollars.
steve sheppard October 13, 2011 at 03:26 PM
I would sign it.....would also like to see part of it relate to taking on new costs like the anti-terror police boat that we should not be responsible for
Eleanor Bruce October 13, 2011 at 04:03 PM
I will vote for anybody that has the guts to reduce the taxes. reduce expenses. Please this is my INTERNET WALL STREET PROTESTING. I am not the only one, my friends, people that I meet in supermarkets, anywhere in Fairfield. we are the 99 % .
Creeky October 13, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Caitlin, It's too late to generate the momentum to add this to the ballot for 2011 but, 2012 creates a new opportunity. Would you be willing to consider adding a poll on this if we can phrase a good question? S.Frank, steve sheppard and others, any thoughts on the question for the poll that would include the line item part as well as the new cost part? Steve, I think that new costs part is extra challenging. The police department doesn't appear to answer to anyone, and I suspect they keep ticket revenue, allowing them to tax the citizens to extend their budget as they see fit.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) October 13, 2011 at 05:03 PM
@Creeky: Certainly. Toss some ideas around with me re: phrasing and framing the question - caitlin.mazzola@patch.com.
kylie October 13, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Bellitto has plenty of experience running a law firm, home ownership, public service, both candidates are well educated and both products of Fairfield. The silver spoon would be same we feed our children from, irrelevant really. I prefer to look at it as a blessed opportunity we've been fortunate enough to give our children. Someone willing to serve and go back to his career is exactly what I want from every politians. Career politians have no moral base, IMO. They have owe their next paycheck to everyone but the taxpayer. Bellitto would be a breath of fresh air.
kylie October 13, 2011 at 06:14 PM
(auto corrects/edits: polititian, the same silver spoon we feed our children from, they owe...)
OneFairfield October 13, 2011 at 06:21 PM
No corporation wwith a 275 million dollar budget would hire Belitto. His only experience is working at his daddy's law firm. No business experience at all! Atleast Tereau has been a successful businman. Nobody is perfect but Tetreau far and away is much smarter (Princeton) and tougher (a great negotiator) and has real world experince!
kylie October 13, 2011 at 07:05 PM
I respectfully disagree.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) October 13, 2011 at 07:58 PM
In response to many readers – who have been asking about this throughout this site, but most of the conversation has taken place in this comments thread – Patch asked First Selectman Michael Tetreau to respond regarding his status as a taxpayer/homeowner. A trip to the town clerk and tax assessor's office today confirmed Tetreau currently does not own property in Fairfield. He owned a condo in the '80s and a home on Congress Street in the '90s. Here's what he had to say: "In the years I have lived in town, I have owned a condo, owned a home and have rented. I have covered all the bases. Right now, I am choosing to rent. As a former realtor, I am very aware of the tax burden on our residents. I have worked with buyers that feel the impact of taxes on the affordability of homes they are buying. In addition, I see the impact of the “invisible tax” or Conveyance Tax that catches many homeowners unaware when they are selling their home. As First Selectman, you are in a position with almost 35,000 bosses who don't always agree. However, the one thing that they do agree on is the desire for reasonable taxes and high quality town services."
Creeky October 13, 2011 at 07:58 PM
OneFairfield, we are still waiting for your response on why Tetreau remains complicit to taxpayer theft in the valuation scam, and how he justifies using taxpayer dollars to pay an attorney whose resignation he has supposedly requested and accepted to fight the taxpayer valuation suits.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) October 13, 2011 at 08:00 PM
In response to many readers – who have been asking about this throughout this site, but most of the conversation has taken place in this comments thread – Patch asked First Selectman Michael Tetreau to respond regarding his status as a taxpayer/homeowner. A trip to the town clerk and tax assessor's office today confirmed Tetreau currently does not own property in Fairfield. He owned a condo in the '80s and a home on Congress in the '90s. Here's what he had to say: "In the years I have lived in town, I have owned a condo, owned a home and have rented. I have covered all the bases. Right now, I am choosing to rent. As a former realtor, I am very aware of the tax burden on our residents. I have worked with buyers that feel the impact of taxes on the affordability of homes they are buying. In addition, I see the impact of the “invisible tax” or Conveyance Tax that catches many homeowners unaware when they are selling their home. As First Selectman, you are in a position with almost 35,000 bosses who don't always agree. However, the one thing that they do agree on is the desire for reasonable taxes and high quality town services."
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) October 13, 2011 at 08:06 PM
*a home on Congress Street.
Creeky October 13, 2011 at 08:36 PM
And by the way, I'm not a party to any lawsuit against the town. I am a victim of the theft though, which is why I'm so serious about this issue. At least if the assessor had actually done his job, and returned calls so we could get comps, as required of him by law, this whole thing wouldn't smell as corrupt as it does.
Eleanor Bruce October 13, 2011 at 08:56 PM
This is a small working - class town and what I am asking is to stop spending the tax payers money like before. Officials should disclose their salaries, compensations online. Everything in a new budget should be of priority only and not for the local official’s personal needs or wishes. Spend our tax dollars just as if it were coming out of their pockets and not ours.
S. Frank October 13, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Creeky, I think the line item part is pretty simple. Each department would have its budget on the ballot and it would be voted on. If the increases or, let us hope decreases, are approved that amount would be added to the others and the total would then be used to determine what the tax rate will be to pay for it. A voter could also check a box reducing a department's budget by a specified % i.e. 5%. There would also be a line w/ the total of all the proposed budgets so anyone can vote for it in total without having to approve it by department.
Creeky October 13, 2011 at 10:08 PM
S.Frank, That's brilliant. We gave Caitlin very short notice on the poll request but, let's see if she can get it going. My thinking right now is a more general question to test interest. If we get it, perhaps we can all put some effort into a campaign in the coming year, as well as a draft. This can only function as a grassroots effort as no politician will support diminishing their authority.
kylie October 14, 2011 at 12:39 AM
Wish I missed that quote. He gets our burden but won't share it. Unbelievable!
Fairfield Resident October 14, 2011 at 04:44 AM
"This is a small working - class town......" Bwhahahahahahahaha!! Uh.......no it isn't Eleanor.
Chuck E. Arla October 14, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Uh, Mikey . . . that real estate conveyance charge is a STATE tax. What the hell does that have to do with you NOT having to pay the very Town taxes that Flatto and now you, as his heir transparent, champion.

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