Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Favors and High Paying Jobs?

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Political Operative Gets New MDC Post

DiBella's Pick Glides Into $110,000-A-Year Job, Despite Criticism

January 11, 2005 By JON LENDER, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

The Metropolitan District Commission's governing board voted Monday to hire a 33-year-old Democratic political operative for a new $110,000-a-year position, disregarding harsh criticism that he was the only candidate considered and the handpicked choice of the board's chairman.

One board member relayed a criticism he heard earlier in the day - that the hiring of David J. Papandrea of Meriden was a political "bag job."

But nevertheless, Papandrea, a top aide on the Democratic majority staff in the state Senate until last Friday, won appointment to the new job of administrative and community affairs officer at the regional water and sewer agency by a vote of 20 to 7.

One member abstained.

"I'm going to vote against [appointing Papandrea] because of the process," Republican board member Jeffrey A. Wright of Newington said before the vote.

"There wasn't a process."

He was referring to MDC board chairman William A. DiBella's single-handed recruitment of Papandrea - the son of a Meriden Democrat long active in state party affairs, Patsy Papandrea.

DiBella, a former Democratic state Senate leader, considered no other candidate and not all MDC board members had seen a resume by the start of Monday night's MDC meeting in Hartford.

Despite Wright's observation about the process, others who objected to the hiring process said they were impressed with Papandrea's political and communication skills. That included Republican Richard F. Wareing, of Hartford, who relayed the "bag job" comment he said was part of significant "harsh" criticism he heard during the day

Papandrea will serve in a newly created job that will involve supervision of the agency's legislative lobbying activities and relations with local, state and federal government officials. He will report directly to DiBella and the MDC board, not the agency's chief executive officer.

"We have not done well" by the method of hiring, Wareing said, but added, "He's a qualified guy. ... There's no doubt about it."

Wareing and eight other Republicans joined 11 Democrats to approve Papandrea's hiring.

Democratic board member Paul Ritter said the same thing a different way: "I refuse to kill the racehorse because I don't like the jockey."

Papandrea stood outside the meeting room early in the proceedings, but had disappeared by the time the vote came about two hours later.

"We don't get to meet him?"

Republican Joseph Kronen of East Hartford asked before the vote.

No, DiBella told him with a smile. DiBella had introduced Papandrea to enough MDC members, such as Wareing, to easily gain enough votes.

Republican member Allen Hoffman of West Hartford and other Republicans tried to keep the hiring from coming to a vote Monday night by seeking to refer it back to the agency's personnel committee for a real candidate search process. That effort was outvoted 17-11. Hoffman abstained in the final vote.

Ironically, Papandrea's hiring is intended to improve the MDC's public image and its relations with its eight member towns at a time it is increasing its rates.

The MDC faces costly improvements to solve environmental problems.The hiring took criticism from Susan Kniep, former mayor of East Hartford and now president of the Federation of Connecticut Taxpayer Organizations. She told board members that the Papandrea hiring was further evidence that the state's "quasi-public agencies" - such as the MDC and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority - "have become fiefdoms for the politically connected."

Papandrea's duties represent an expansion of the traditional job of MDC district clerk, a position left vacant by the Jan. 1 retirement of Robert Hagan, who was paid just about what Papandrea will receive. However, the board also approved an assistant's position to Papandrea's post Monday night with a salary of $72,000. It referred the assistant's job to the personnel committee for a selection process that some members said they hoped would be better than Papandrea's.

The above came from the Hartford Courant website.

Fair use of copyrighted material

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My email to incoming Gov. Rell of Connecticut regarding Rowland and corruption

How can there not still be sleaze in the Connecticut Governor’s Office, if former Rowland aids are answering Rell’s phones? (post)

Telling your Attorney to go fuck himself- PRICELESS

A Justice System really has to be corrupt and out of hand for something to actually change

The Death of Shame in America
(O'Reilly of the O'Reilly Factor, Fox News, asks Gov. John G. Rowland to resign Dec. 2003)

* * * *

Can cops rape, rob, beat, and murder with immunity?
(post contains pictures of young adults brutalized by police, and picture of a 1978 Chevrolet Corvette and one of the houses I fixed up from a boarded up condition)

Are their unnamed factions in the US, similar to the KKK?

With rogue judges and their minions, police officers, do we really live in a Democracy? (post)

This blogger's email: stevengerickson@yahoo.com

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