Opinions expressed by the authors of letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Litchfield.bz staff. We reserve the right to reject or edit submissions. There is a 300 word limit. We encourage letters which foster constructive dialogue.

Political letters endorsing or supporting candidates within the 300 word limit will be posted on the Opinion page. Political letters over 300 words will be posted on the Political Scene page. We strongly encourage letters of positive support for candidates. The deadline for political letters is Monday, November 1, 2010 at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Dear Editor,

Let's return Craig Miner to the Legislature in November as he's one of the rare conservative voices that we have in Hartford. Craig is not only a solid voice for his district, but he is also an upstanding member of his community as well. He maintains a long-standing connection to the Litchfield Volunteer Fire Department and continues to be involved with frequent town and local projects throughout the year.

Craig is somewhat unique in that he has managed to strike a good balance between his Legislative responsibilities and his ongoing civic and town ties. He has earned my vote as well as others on all fronts.

Peter J. Gay



To the Editor:

The Democrat spending machine has ruled long enough in Hartford. I believe strongly we need congressmen like Craig Miner to speak up against the continuing tsunami of reckless, mindless spending taking place in our state legislature. Craig Miner has worked hard to provide a conservative voice in the wilderness of liberal representation we have endured for years in Hartford. Craig's record of sensible fiscal policy plus his bi-partisan connections make him a candidate we can believe in.

Please give Craig Miner your vote for 66th district representative on November 2nd.

L.J. Skeie


To the Editor:

The Litchfield Community Greenway group is grateful to the Litchfield Board of Selectmen for its interest in and support for our plans for a public recreational trail between Litchfield and Bantam and beyond on the old Shepaug Railroad bed. We currently operate under the umbrella of the Litchfield Community Center, and have begun the process of incorporating as a non-profit, Friends of the Litchfield Community Greenway. We will be securing rights-of-way and liability insurance, which will allow us to make improvements and put up permanent markers on the first section of the trail.

None of our funding will come from the Town. We will be applying for grants to meet our goals. We welcome donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.

Donations to the Litchfield Community Greenway are tax deductible, and can be mailed to the Litchfield Community Greenway c/o the Litchfield Community Center, 421 Bantam Road, Litchfield, CT 06759. Our web site is www.litchfieldcommunitygreenway.com .

Sincerely yours,
Clifford A. Cooper, Berta Andrulis Mette, Chuck Conn, Barbara Putnam, Jeff Pratt, John Clock and David Weik, board of directors of the Friends of the Litchfield Community Greenway.



To the Editor:

I am writing this letter to comment on the integrity, intelligence, and fiscally responsible principles espoused by 66th District State Representative, Craig Miner. I have known and observed Craig as a business owner, First Selectman in Litchfield, and as our State Representative during the past 20 years. I have always known him to be a true representative of the people.

With the state senate and house so out of touch with fiscal reality, we need a majority of representatives like Craig Miner in Hartford. We only get to vote for one though. My vote will go to Craig.

Paul Sapiro



To the Editor:

Judge of Probate Diane Blick is a Litchfield County gem. When we elect her on November 2, she will bring to eight added towns the professional and compassionate assistance that she currently is bringing to Litchfield, Morris, Warren and my town of Kent.

You want Judge Blick’s 30 years of experience with individuals and families when a probate issue arises in your life. You want her caring attentiveness when dealing with a sorrowful event like the death of a parent. Kent people have been delighted to find that Judge Blick maintains a local office here and that she will, without hesitation, make a house call when needed.

Diane Blick is the person who has proven she can maintain the small town atmosphere and convenience in the expanded Litchfield Hills Probate District. Our job is an easy one -- to get out and vote on November 2 for Judge of Probate Diane Blick.

William Bachrach



Dear Editor:

Diane Blick is the best and most qualified candidate to be elected Judge of Probate for the Litchfield Hills Probate District. Diane has strong family values and an honest caring about people which are very important attributes to a Judge of Probate.

Probate can be a time of stress and sadness for people, whether it be an estate, conservatorship or child matter. You need a Judge who is compassionate yet knowledgeable of the law and impartial at all times. Diane fits that bill.

Diane Blick organized consolidation before when Kent joined the Litchfield Probate Court so she knows what needs to be done for the new consolidation.

I know firsthand of her vast knowledge of the law, unequaled experience in probate matters and total dedication to the people she serves.

I urge the voters to elect Diane Blick on November 2nd.

Linda Chocholka


To the Editor:
Salary & benefit contracts for school personnel are underway.
Problem: Historically (or hysterically) lengthy, and sometimes contentious, contract negotiations are held to develop percentage increases for cost of living salary adjustments on a looking forward basis. How these future numbers are calculated is a mystery to me, primarily because the best economists and financial minds in
the Nation haven't demonstrated any kind of accuracy in accomplishing this very complex task. The result is typically a set of percentages that exceed the actual cost of living which in turn result in local property taxes increasing faster than the incomes of those paying the taxes, especially so for those on fixed incomes.
Solution: Instead of negotiating smoke and mirrors salary increases on a forward guessing basis, do simple backwards looking calculation as is done for Social Security recipients. The results: (1) very simple non-acrimonious time and cost effective negotiations using Federal Reserve (or similar) cost of living historical data, (b) fair and realistic but non-inflationary salary increases which can be justifiably input to adjust local property tax rates, and (c) control of spiraling education costs by putting on the spending brakes in a fair and equitable manner.

Gerald Gault




To the Editor:

Attention Litchfield taxpayers! Our local teachers' contract negotiations are set to begin in the next month. The outcome of these labor negotiations will set the base for Board of Education budgets for the next 2-3 years, and the local Board of Ed budget represents almost two-thirds of the total town budget annually.

In the past several years, administrators and the Board of Education have hardly put any increased spending into curriculum improvements or student activities, but still have salary and benefit increases for unionized employees, so now almost 80% of the Board of Ed budget is for salaries and benefits.

Nationally, the crisis in education is finally getting our government's attention. This country has lost its leadership in education and is way down on the list of countries doing a good job in educating children. Locally, our Board of Ed has begun working on a new Strategic Plan, rather than just continue the same old education plan year after year. Let's support them.

Our current President of the United States thinks a longer school year is the remedy for our education shortcomings. But the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent millions of private dollars to confirm that innovative and motivated teachers are the key to a great education. We should change our system and use any increased funding to support innovation, not just pass out general wage increases to everyone.

I hope our teachers' union supports such efforts, but we need taxpayers to come out to meetings and show some support for change. The Board of Ed can move ahead on these issues, but the public must show some interest and get involved. Come to a Board of Education meeting. Their meeting dates, agendas and minutes are available on the school system's website www.litchfieldschools.org, under the Board of Education section.

Kelly Garden



To the Editor:

Plumb Hill Playing Fields, Inc. would like to thank the Litchfield High School officials and all the volunteers who made last week’s “Nights Under the Lights” sporting events a tremendous success. Special thanks go out to this year’s lead sponsor Litchfield Bancorp and O&G Industries, Inc who donated the lights for the evening games. Many thanks also go out to all the fans who made individual donations to help defray costs. The Litchfield High School girls and boys soccer teams and the girls field hockey teams played some thrilling games and gave the fans plenty to cheer about.

Ed Fabbri



To the Editor:
For those of you that are fortunate enough to know Diane Blick, I needn’t say more. For those of you who don’t know Diane, please allow me to say that Diane Blick a hard-working, kind, caring, and honest individual. She is also the most organized person I know. In times of need, Diane is the first person to offer her help. We, in the northwest corner, are privileged to have Diane serve as our Judge of Probate. Let’s not take this for granted. Elect Diane Blick as Judge of Probate on November 2nd. You will not regret it. When you need her, Diane will be there.

Louise Czar





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