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Squeezed Enough



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Squeezed Enough

To the Editor:

The time is near again when all of us have to pay our real estate taxes. Neither the town nor the state has really shown serious compassion to those of us who have to apply an ever-increasing portion of our income to supply the funds to keep the wheels of our town turning. The implication seems to be, “If you cannot afford these taxes here, get out.”

This burden is particularly harsh on the elderly and retired members of our society whose income is fixed while the taxes keep increasing. But the main irritation many of us feel is that certain groups, through their actions, have brought this about. And even with these high taxes, where is the money to repave the roads, the promised senior citizens center, an extension of the sewer systems, and progress with Fairfield Hills. I am sure I have only scratched the surface.

The paltry 20 percent left over after the education budget is the real malaise. In the long term, this 20 percent is not enough to run a town. Have you wondered how at one time the cities have been able to build an infrastructure and now we have a problem even to provide for maintenance? Stop looking. The answer is right in front of you. Excessive pay and fringe benefits in public contracts.

Danbury is buried in its pension obligations. Unsustainable in Mayor Boughton’s words. These costs have not come overnight. They are the result of years of political dealings in granting contracts which the ruling parties knew could not be sustained, but pushed the reckoning to the next administration.

There is, however, a set of laws which can be brought to bear to right the wrong. These are the laws of unjust enrichment and they do apply if either undue influence or coercion has been used in obtaining a contract. I believe both apply since political considerations and coercions were pandered to in granting these contracts. The law allows for restitution in such cases and makes the loss to the plaintiff the deciding factor. I urge our leaders to take this step and send a message to Hartford that we the little people have been squeezed enough and we are not going to take it anymore.

Oscar Berendsohn

34 Appleblossom Lane, Newtown                                  June 23, 2011

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