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July 20, 2007

Town Hall Bad for Police

By Ron Gambardella

The Council met in a special session July 18. One item on the agenda that I think you will find of interest was entitled “Bid Waiver in favor of Request for Proposal (RFP) Hamden Fire Station/Headquarters.” The purpose of this item was to start the process of finding a firm that will 1) survey 2) provide a preliminary engineering design and 3) provide a preliminary floor plan design for a new fire station/headquarters on the Dadio Farm on Putnam Avenue, in the southern part of town. Of the Council members present, I was the only one to vote no.

Here’s why.

Besides yet another bid waiver by this administration, I believe the Dadio Farm parcel presents the town with a unique opportunity to solve a problem that this and prior administrations have failed to rectify -- namely replacing the dilapidated Police Department facility.

The 2007-2008 budget includes revenue projections of $1.2M generated from the sale of subdivided parcels of land from the farm site. This, by the way, was and is a highly unrealistic revenue projection meant to balance overspending in other areas. But that’s a story for another time.

The mayor’s proposal calls for leaving just enough space for the fire headquarters. This shortsighted strategy will eliminate the possibility of preserving enough land to construct a new police facility that will clearly benefit the surrounding community. The cost to the town to purchase the Dadio Farm was approx $4M and was part of a deal to circumvent the construction of a 250-unit apartment complex.

During the Council session, I suggested that the town consider reserving some land for a new police department. I had earlier spoken with Police Chief Wydra who indicated he did not see a problem with building a police station on the farm. He felt that since the police are usually on patrol throughout town, dispatching from a centrally located facility did not present any strategic advantages.

I believe the station would be an excellent addition to the southern part of town benefiting the community and surrounding businesses. I envision a public safety center that is state-of-the-art based on advances in modern law enforcement procedures and practices. Co-located on the same property would be fire and emergency medical services. Both facilities would serve Hamden’s immediate and long-term needs for at least the next 50 years.

So let’s take a look the current administration’s answer to solving the problem. After presenting my ideas, Chief Administrative Officer Scott Jackson responded by saying that the mayor intends to convert the old Town Hall for the police. While I am sure some of you think this is a good idea, I assure you it is not. Retrofitting a building as old as the Town Hall for modern police work seems to be an exaggerated stretch of the imagination. Just take a look at the progress we have made on the old middle school. If you are wondering what progress, you now understand what I mean. I cannot see taking an historic building and turning it into a police station. Yet, this is what the mayor is proposing as a 50-year solution to Hamden’s police facility woes.

This entire episode is just another example of the different visions for Hamden’s future. The current administration offers you more of the same: high taxes, wasted opportunities, cronyism and a myopic vision of the future. While I, on the other hand, am seeking community involvement in educational reform, sound fiscal management and a stable tax environment with no surprises.

I believe a public safety center in the southern part of town is great for the community and local businesses that have long been neglected. Fortunately, in November the citizens of Hamden will be able to cast their votes for more of the same or choose a new direction of prosperity and vision for the future of Hamden. It is, of course, up to you.

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

July 9, 2007

D’Agostino Earns a Failing Grade

By Ron Gambardella

When Michael D’Agostino was elected chairman of the Board of Education nearly two years ago, I had great hopes that he would usher in a new era of fiscal responsibility and accountability. Sadly, he has let many down, including me.

I need only point to the most recent audit report for the period ending June 30, 2006, to support my position:

Currently, the financial records of the Department of Education’s are not supervised or maintained by the Town’s Department of Finance, as stated in the Town Charter. The Town’s purchasing agent depends on the Department of Education to deliver the required requisitions. We have found that this is not being done and has developed into weakness in internal controls and potential liability to the Town of Hamden … Capital projects were being performed without the reliance of proper procurement procedure and the legal protection of a construction agreement or contractors insurance.

Naturally, I was somewhat perplexed and dismayed at his response to my proposal. You would think he would want all the help he could get given the audit results, but then again, with an audit report like the one issued above, I could understand his reluctance to get with the program.

The status quo seems to be his preferred choice when it comes to addressing the many issues facing the BOE. Moreover, as Board of Education chairman, Mr. D’Agostino oversaw last-minute spending sprees -- including the purchase of a high-priced TV and other purchases that circumvented our bid processes. Given this, I am not surprised that he would be concerned about anyone looking at the spending habits of the Board and for the mismanagement that has occurred on his watch.

Republicans and Democrats on the Legislative Council have been outspoken about these spending habits, so I hardly see what is so controversial about forming a task force to improve the system. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue -- it is a taxpayer issue.

Mr. D’Agostino seemed to think that the $2 million cut the Council made this budget season and then restored was Draconian, and would have been devastating to the school system. He conveniently forgets to mention that the $2 million cut was originally proposed by a Democrat and passed with support form members of both parties.

In his printed response to my idea for a school task force, Mr. D’Agostino writes:

The only way to effect such a budget reduction, given unavoidable increases for contracts and utilities, would be to lay off teachers and aides, and cut programs.

This is precisely why we need a task force. In Mr. D’Agostino’s own words, he is unable to come up with any solutions other than throwing more money at the problem. He cannot see another way. After all, through his own admission he cannot find any other way to manage the budget without layoffs and program cuts. I am offering him an opportunity to find alternatives that he apparently cannot see for himself.

Unfortunately, his close-mindedness is creating a roadblock. It will be challenging enough to find alternatives, but now we also have to deal with a reluctant chairman -- talk about adding another straw to the proverbial overburdened camel. Mr. Chairman, we need as much help as we can get, but you are unwilling.

Doing nothing would be fine if the public had confidence that the mayor and Board of Education were spending our education money properly and efficiently. But, unfortunately, that clearly isn’t the case. We have given them the benefit of the doubt for far too long. As mayor, I will try to restore that confidence.

Let’s look at student performance for a moment. Mr. D’Agostino writes:

Mastery Test Results. The vast majority of our students meets or exceeds state and federal testing goals. Where we (and almost every other town) need improvement is in the performance of our minority students and those with learning disabilities.

Once again, Mr. D’Agostino admits we need improvement relative to the test results of minority students and those with learning disabilities. He offers no solutions, proposals or alternatives. Apparently, he is satisfied that the majority is properly cared for. This is absolutely and totally unacceptable. It is time to include minority community leaders into the process to help bring along those who have been far too long neglected, ignored and otherwise forgotten.

According to Mr. D’Agostino, since other towns have a similar problem, Hamden cannot be expected to solve this one. It is bigger than his ability to deal with. I say the bigger the problem the greater the probability for innovative solutions. I am in favor of fixing what is broken. For too long the minority population in Hamden has been disenfranchised. I mean to do something about it, and it begins with a mayoral taskforce. I fully expect to participate in the sessions as we work toward a brighter future for our children

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

July 6, 2007

Believe Me

By Ron Gambardella

(Editor’s note: The HDN has offered column space to both likely mayoral candidates. Mayor Craig Henrici has declined. But the offer is always on the table.)

I read with great interest the mayor's explanation as to why he chose the simple way out, and raised your taxes over 30 percent in the last two years rather than control spending and cut expenditures. Bottom line: during his two years in office, he proposed few meaningful or creative changes to the budget to save the town money. In reality, he increased the budget by about $10M from the previous year.

Instead, to find the money, he went after pocketbooks and wallets of hardworking taxpayers once again. To add insult to injury, he forgot to mention the substantial raise he proposed for himself -- signed and rubberstamped by his Council. He did not mention the huge raises he proposed for department heads in his administration. He also forgot to tell you that he demanded a $570 monthly travel allowance to boot.

I find myself in the position of having to decipher exactly what the mayor is saying so that you, the reader, can better appreciate the full content of his text. For example, the mayor said:

“As a taxpayer myself, I fully understand the concerns of residents who find themselves facing increased utility costs, increased costs for groceries, and now a modest tax increase.”

Ah, where to start with this statement. First of all, he fails to mention that last year’s budget produced a historically high tax increase. The truth is that along with last year’s tax increase, this year’s tax increase is simply unacceptable and damaging to the long-term prosperity of our town.

Secondly, if you are still struggling to pay last year’s tax bill, the mayor’s solution is to help you out by raising taxes to what he refers to as a modest increase. Look at how he handled taxes over the past two budgets, and just imagine what the next two budgets will look like.

The mayor asked the following question: “Where did the increase go?”

The town’s labor contracts, recently approved by the Council and negotiated by the administration, have been financially disastrous for us. Labor is the one area, which unless addressed in a reasonable and responsible manner, will more than likely continue to create a need for higher and higher taxes.

This is a serious matter that cannot be ignored, buried or exchanged for votes. The mayor points to the pension and benefits as the primary reasons for the tax increases. Councilman, Majority Leader and Mayor Henrici’s tax-increase architect Matt Fitch called the recently negotiated benefits “generous.” He similarly compared the contract negotiations with steering the Titanic Apparently he didn’t realize the Titanic sunk.

This is a matter of public policy and comes down to a clear choice for voters. This year you will have a choice. You can vote to continue with the status quo as offered up by the administration and Fitch. Or you can oppose these views by casting your vote for reform.

Here are some of my labor contract ideas that will put Hamden taxpayers first:

  1. Standardize the work week to 40 hours
  2. Limit vacation time and sick time carryover
  3. Implement flex hours so town services can be extended without incurring overtime cost
  4. Address co-pays for medical services.
  5. Address contributions to premium payments.
  6. Provide financial incentives for retirees to forgo benefits when they find employment with benefits elsewhere.
  7. Increase the migration from the town pension plan to the state-sponsored plan by eliminating or capping benefits.

I believe that Hamden needs a new direction as well as a new mayor that recognizes the financial hardships that all taxpayers daily face. When we have senior citizens on fixed incomes fighting to live, renters struggling to pay rent and young families trying to survive, change is needed now. In November, I hope you ask yourself: “Do I want to endure two more years of huge tax increases with no long-term solutions? Or do I want to elect a mayor who will start to put Hamden taxpayers first again?”

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

July 2, 2007

School Think Tank 4 Change

By Ron Gambardella

The other day I was visiting Shaw’s supermarket when a resident came up to me and grabbed my ear. She said that something needs to be done about Hamden's school system. She said that the town needs to change, otherwise she is moving. Her main concerns? Test scores and discipline. This is not the first time I have heard this comment.

Our local education system is simply not producing the desired results as measured by testing and dropout rates. Infusing the system with more and more money each year does not appear to be a workable or realistic solution.

The Board of Education budget -- now well over half our town's yearly budget -- continues to increase, but results, for all intents and purposes, remain the same. The people I greet around town are fed up with the way things are. They want change and they want it now.

I am listening, but no solutions seem to be coming from anyone about how we can improve our schools. There are folks who claim the town is simply wasting money. And parents who claim the system needs more money. Caught in the crossfire are students, teachers and administrators. In short, everyone has an opinion, but nothing seems to be working.

So what can be done?

Here is what I propose. Let’s set up a mayor's task force on education, charged with the responsibility of looking at our system as it currently is. Then answer the question, If we had to start from scratch, would our system look the way it does now, or is there a better way of educating our children?

While I respect the hardworking folks in the school department, I believe we need an independent, nonbiased task force of a good cross-section of citizens -- with no political agenda -- to look at what is going on in the schools. It would be a think tank of concerned citizens, professionals, administrators, paraprofessionals, students and parents. Let’s take an honest look at what we have and fix what is broken. When non-residency of students continues to be of concern, or when six out of eight elementary schools are failing the Connecticut Mastery Tests, something obviously MUST be done.

Let’s talk about it. However, talk alone accomplishes nothing. We need to identify the problem areas, gather solutions, develop a plan and then implement the plan. Nothing gets done without taking specific action.  

When Hamden selects its next superintendent, I think we all can agree that there are areas he or she should be able to improve, change or discard. Let’s help by building a consensus, implement solutions where appropriate and assess the outcome. We must be able to measure the results of any new initiatives. If it works, let’s build on it, if not, why not and let’s fix it.

We need to have a mayor who will work with the new superintendent and Board of Education in a cooperative fashion.  

The days of complaining without proposing a workable solution are over. We need action. Hamden’s future hangs in the balance. I cannot justify pouring more and more money into a system that is not meeting the needs of our town or the future of our students. By putting a reasonable plan in place, we will have least begun to address the issues. I am able, and willing, to try.

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

June 29, 2007

e-Vote for Mayor Now

By Ron Gambardella

Polling is an essential part of the election process. It provides much needed feedback to politicians by giving them some idea of what the voters are thinking. We will use the Internet, in my campaign for mayor, as a convenient source of conducting informal polls to gauge voter preferences relative to the candidates, public policy and other items of interest.

We are now conducting our first poll. It asks voters which mayoral candidate they prefer. Votes are immediately tallied so you will be able see the overall results up to and including your vote.

Since it is early in the campaign, results are anticipated to swing widely. The idea is that by repeated sampling over the next few months we will get some sense as to how close this race will be. I think you will find the results interesting. You will be able to see if a candidate is losing or gaining ground.

If interested, please click here to get to my campaign site. Once there, look for the “Online Poll” bar to the left of your screen. It is the last red bar on the left. Click on the bar and you will be taken to the poll. Simply cast your vote and read the results. I hope you will enjoy these polls as the campaign progresses.

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

June 19, 2007

Council Does a 180

By Ron Gambardella

An interesting order of business was on the June 18 agenda for the special session of the Legislative Council. At issue was the restoration of a Fire Department secretary’s position that the Council chose to eliminate during budget deliberations last month. Just a few weeks later, the Council voted to reinstate the position. So what happened in the interim?

Well, the mayor had every intention to eliminate the position when he submitted his budget to the Council. Apparently he was banking on a secretary retiring. The Council thought this was prudent and agreed with the mayor’s initial assessment. Subsequently to eliminating the position from the budget, it was determined that the pending retirement was not going to happen. The mayor then decided to restore the position. By doing so, not only were the meager savings the Council achieved during deliberations eradicated, but the reinstatement of the position actually added more money to the overall budget than was originally submitted by the mayor.

The discussion around the table last night revealed the shallow and ingenuous comments made by Council members. After initially supporting the elimination of the position they did a complete reversal and endorsed the necessity of the position. Councilman Westervelt’s rational was that the department had two secretaries for the past 30 years. Apparently, he sees no reason to abandon patronage now. It turns out I was the sole vote opposing the restoration of the position.

Here’s why:

I asked Chief Administrative Officer Scott Jackson to clarify why the mayor was restoring the position. His answer was to prevent a layoff. The mayor has not, does not and cannot see the need for the secretarial position.  As far as I can tell from Mr. Jackson’s response, the mayor still maintains that position.

So why reinstate the position? He believes it is better for the taxpayers of Hamden to continue to pay for needless positions in order to “avoid a layoff” -- Mr. Jackson’s words.

Folks, I’ve got to tell you this type of response shows me that the taxpayer is not at all considered. A few weeks ago the position was not needed. Yesterday the Council can’t see how the department can function without the position. By retaining this position in the budget simply to avoid a layoff shows nothing but complete and utter contempt for the taxpaying public. I simply cannot support funding a position that according to the chief administrative officer is not needed. Only in Hamden.

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

June 8, 2007

Don’t Be Fooled by Henrici

By Ron Gambardella

The mayor seems desperate to point to anything to show the residents of Hamden what a “fine” job he is doing as your mayor. He seems especially anxious to point out what he has been doing with your money. This week he made two announcements 1) sidewalks and 2) changes to the pension plan.

With respect to his sidewalk announcement, it is interesting to contrast what the mayor has pointed to as success against what another Council member thinks of the mayor’s sidewalk program. A few weeks ago, the Hamden Daily News published a chat with 5th District Councilman Willie Mewborn. Mr. Mewborn is known for his honesty, sincerity and brevity on the Council bench.

This is what he had to say in the “Chat”: Well, trees haven’t been cut. Sidewalks and streets haven’t been paved. I’ve been living in this neighborhood for 30 years and I never seen a tree cut, never seen a sidewalk done.”

Councilman Mewborn, I could not have stated the case any better if I tried. I can’t think of a single thing to add to his statement. Thank you again for your honesty, sincerity and brevity.

As far as the pension goes, Mayor Henrici believes we should fund the pension with a contribution of $12M plus bond an additional $55M. By bonding the pension, the town would be forced to make projected contributions that continue to increase beyond our ability to pay without additional tax revenue. Given the administration’s unwillingness to cut back on spending, this would mean the town will be a co-owner of your savings and checking accounts. Every time more money is needed to run the town, they would simply help themselves to your money.

The mayor’s plan would create tax increases that would be overwhelming to Hamden’s unsuspecting citizens. People would finally have to succumb to the uncontrolled spending and get out of town for whatever they can get for their homes. You can be sure housing prices will most certainly have to decrease commensurate to any increase in taxes that may occur now as well as into the future. It is for this reason I withdrew my support for the pension obligation bonds. Why squander good money after bad given the town’s propensity to recklessly spend your money. Then when the money runs short, you guessed it, taxes increase to pay for it all.

Don’t be distracted by postings of so-called news items that are designed to show that the administration has your best interest at heart. These announcements have been released to the press in an effort to salvage what little political capital this administration still has left. The citizens of Hamden won’t be fooled again!

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

June 4, 2007

Mayor Taxalot

By Ron Gambardella

One of the qualities the general public expects from its mayor is the ability to lead. According to Webster’s dictionary, “lead” is defined as a) to guide on a way especially by going in advance, or b) to direct on a course or in a direction. By applying this definition to the current administration we are left with the puzzling question: Just where exactly is the mayor leading the town?

Let’s examine the evidence.

With respect to the first use of the word lead, it seems the mayor has set his sights on being the first mayor to break the backs of the taxpayer. So far, his favorite solution to solving all the problems facing the town has been to increase taxes. The most recently approved budget by his Council continues to reinforce his policy. Essentially, there was no reduction to his proposed budget, only the addition of fictitious revenue ($1.3M) that I vehemently opposed.

Taxes are going higher and higher and we have nothing to show for it. His list of accomplishments looks like routine work or he took credit for projects he had little to do with. There haven’t been any meaningful improvements in education. Our infrastructure continues to deteriorate. Roads are in ill repair. He negotiates labor contracts that shift a heavy burden to the taxpayer. The only thing this mayor has been able to advance is his agenda and higher taxes.

As far as the second definition of the term lead, we need only look at his campaign promises. Of all the problems facing this town, he ran in ’05 on the premise that the town cannot do without wi-fi or an ambulance service. He hires a fire chief (after Mr. Badamo’s nomination failed to gain any traction) based on the experience he had with an ambulance service in Wallingford. Look around. There is no wi-fi or ambulance service. Oh, yes, we have promises that it’s coming, but honestly who cares? These are services that are low on the priority list.

We need a new police and fire station now. So far the Council has not seen a proposal and his term in office is nearly complete (this is something we can all look forward to). Not only that, who believes anything this administration promises? We have GPS installed in vehicles that are not being used. We have a Fuel Master system that is not being monitored. We have people in positions that are not qualified. In short, we have a mess.

So where is Mayor Henrici leading us? More taxes, more waste, more spending -- more, more, more! Where does it all end? Friends, keep your eye on the ball. What he says and what he does are two different things. Can you imagine your tax bill if he stays in office for another two years? Don’t be fooled, he is just getting started leading us nowhere.

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

May 30, 2007

My List is Quite Different

By Ron Gambardella

(Editor’s note: The HDN has offered both major party chairs column space for their 2007 Council, Board of Ed and mayoral candidates. We hope to draw a lively debate.)

The mayor’s laundry list of accomplishments appears to be routine maintenance and day-to-day work activity. I feel that the mayor has disappointed Hamden's residents with his huge tax increases, lack of significant accomplishments and broken campaign promises which include:

  • Wi-fi never implemented.  
Ambulance service never implemented and would cost the town money.
  • Help desk, a $50,000 political appointment that merely increased his staff.
  • Campaigned he would not use a town vehicle then asked for an SUV, which his Council gave him.

    The mayor further disappoints us by budgeting a salary increase for himself while raising our taxes.

    From what I hear, the people in town are disgusted. What the mayor sees as accomplishments voters see as betrayal. He now touts this list that quite frankly seems like a failed attempt to show some progress with his administration when there is none. With the millions spent on running the town you would think there would have been some major accomplishments to boast of. The reality is quite different. Where is your money going? It’s certainly not being spent to accomplish much of anything at all.

    I am gaining a better understanding of what ails this administration. The mayor actually believes his list of activities are worthy of recognition and notoriety. It is no wonder that he is willing to hand out raises and praises for routine work. He thinks it is a major accomplishment by simply showing up for work and doing your job.

    Here is what I would consider to be major accomplishments:

  • Hold the line on future tax increases and spending.
  • Build a new police facility and fire station.
  • Find alternatives to offset the ever-increasing cost of education.
  • Shore up our crumbling infrastructure.
  • Reorganize government for efficiencies and cost reduction.
  • Negotiate labor contracts with reasonable benefits and standardize the workweek to 40 hours.
  • Grow the grand list by attracting desirable enterprises.

Clearly there is a difference between what I believe to be a major accomplishment and routine work. The residents of Hamden expect and deserve better.

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)

May 29, 2007

I Chose to Cut

By Ron Gambardella

Last week I declared my candidacy for the office of mayor of Hamden. After discussions with HDN editor Sharon Bass, we agreed to change the name of my column from “Ron’s Rap” to “Ron’s Run” because the focus has changed. As an official candidate now, I will be highlighting differences between the current administration and what I propose to bring to the table.

After marching in yesterday’s Memorial Day parade as both a candidate and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I left with a deep feeling of gratitude for our veterans and for the tremendous groundswell of support for my bid for mayor. As you probably guessed, the key issue is taxes and again as you probably guessed, I am opposed to this administration’s insistence on solving all our problems with more money from the wallets of taxpayers. I aim to move the taxpayer from last in line to first in line when it comes to fiscally sound management of town finances.

I’d like to point out the mayor’s recent comments to my remark of making motion after motion during budget deliberations for expense reductions, which were consistently overruled by his Council. He was quoted in the New Haven Register as saying that the record does not support my claim. He referred to the meeting minutes, which can hardly be called transcripts of the budget deliberations. They are nothing more than a high-level summary of activity from the evening’s discussion. The facts simply do not support his accusation. He is either badly mistaken or ill informed. To set the record straight, I made the following motions that were all defeated by his Council:

Reduce the pension contribution by $4M
Reduce the BOE budget by $2M
Reduce salaries to accommodate seasonal fluctuations in work flows, $1.5M
Reduce a part-time position in the mayor’s office from 20 to 19 hours to eliminate about $12,000 in benefits

In addition to the above motions, I voted numerous times to eliminate spending and salary increases made by other councilmembers -- all of which were defeated. I estimated that the combined savings from votes and motions would have netted at least $8M. Essentially, this would have completely wiped out the need for yet another tax increase.

My philosophy is simple: if you can’t afford it you can’t buy it. There have been numerous opportunities to decrease spending. The administration and the Henrici Council choose to bolster their position by granting nearly every request made. They managed a combined reduction on an approximate $174M budget of about $28,000. They allocated $10M in spending more to the budget than last year. This is an affront to the taxpaying public and cannot possibly be rationalized, justified or spun into fiscally prudent public policy.

The folks on the parade route yesterday were right when they said they will remember in November. This administration and the Henrici Council have got to go. With your support, I firmly believe we can prevail.

Republican Councilman Ron Gambardella is running for mayor this November. He can be reached at r.gambardella@snet.net. (Note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Hamden Daily News.)


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