01 Aug

Common Man From New Milford Running For State Office

We’re so used to the career politicians. Or even the mega-rich candidates who try to buy their way into public office. But once in a while, someone comes along who is a breath of fresh air. A common man, who just wants to better his community.Credit: Bill Buckbee via Facebook Video
Take New Milford’s Billy Buckbee. He doesn’t have a Harvard Law degree, he isn’t a career politician, nor does he have millions to buy your vote. Heck, he doesn’t even wear a suit. As a a 4th generation New Milford native, he’s a common man who has ideas on how to make his town a better place to live. You may see him working at Harrybrook Park, or helping out with the New Milford Homeless Shelter, and around the holidays, he’s the closest thing to Santa you’ll ever see, and the beard is real!
Now, Billy is seeking your vote in November as he sets his sights on Connecticut State Rep. for the 67th District in New Milford.

So, in these days of Washington establishment politicians, it’s nice to see a candidate who, like most of us, is down to earth and real.
This is not an endorsement, rather a refreshing look at a common candidate, and a common man. And if you so desire in November, “Let Buckbee Do It”.
Read More: Common Man From New Milford Running For State Office |

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28 Oct

Republican Led Accomplishments

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07 Jun

GE’s impact on state goes far beyond taxes

by Alexander Soule | | June 7, 2015
A decade back, attorneys from the town of Fairfield and General Electric met in court to determine the value of the company, at least as measured by the worth of its headquarters property at 3135 Easton Turnpike. A judge ruled that the town erred in calculating its formula for arriving at its figure.

With GE CEO Jeff Immelt announcing last week a search for a potential new headquarters outside of Connecticut, representatives from Fairfield to Hartford are now working out their own calculus on the value Connecticut reaps from the behemoth’s presence.

Employment, tax contributions, philanthropy, real estate, reputation — all are slotted key points on the slide rule of economic development, in differing order depending on a particular vantage point.

“The mere presence of a corporate entity with the stature, world markets penetration, success story and history such as GE says a great deal about the place in which such an entity is located,” said Paul Timpanelli, CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. “To have such a company even consider leaving Connecticut, because Connecticut is no longer a place that encourages and supports business, is a very bad sign for the future economic growth of our state.”

Over the decades, GE has successfully kept its toehold near the top of the Fortune 500 — this past week it was ranked eighth on the 2015 installment of the list — in part through its willingness to drop lesser-performing business units and put that cash into faster-growth areas.

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02 Apr

New Milford Mayor Stresses Transparency in First State of the Town Address

New Milford Mayor Pete Bass Photo: H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media / The News-TimesNEW MILFORD SPECTRUM — Mayor Pete Bass discussed economic development, improvement of the town’s infrastructure and the challenges presented by state budget cuts during what is believed to be the first State of the Town address.

“This State of the Town address fulfills a pledge that I made as a candidate for this office,” Bass told more than 50 people gathered at Town Hall Thursday night, “and it’s a significant one, because I feel so strongly about the importance of transparency and government’s obligation to keep our residents informed.” The speech was also livestreamed on the town website.

Bass outlined four areas he hopes to focus on while in office: strategic planning and development, assessing town properties, improving roads and revising the Town Charter. Most of these initiatives are being addressed by committees, which Bass said are only advisory, noting that any decisions would be made by residents in a referendum. A special town meeting is already scheduled for 6 p.m. April 9 to approve a $6 million bond issue to fix the roads. “When a municipality does not evaluate its infrastructure, it sets itself up for financial difficulties,” Bass said, referring to the coming review of town-owned land, buildings and athletic fields. He also stressed that the charter revision would enhance the town meeting style of government.

Bass started his address by highlighting his accomplishments during his first 100 days, including encouraging departments to use social media to engage the public and working with first responders and the public works department to expand the emergency plan for the flood zones along Route 7 and Grove Street. “This will save the business owners in the flood zone areas their precious capital as well as protecting the environment during potential floods,” Bass said.

He also said the town faces a historic cut in state funding, which will force a change in how it operates, leading to layoffs, and require it to work with neighboring towns and New Milford schools to find ways to save on expenses. The town is also reviewing day-to-day spending and working to ensure all major projects are environmentally and economically sound. Bass said the town is getting about $3 million less in state money than in previous years. “Simply put, this was money pledged to us, relied upon by us as it had been for decades and then unceremoniously taken away,” he said. “We are living in a new paradigm of less reliance on state revenues and more on New Milford ingenuity.”

Bass said the newly reformed New Milford Economic Development Corporation will help attract businesses and investments. “To those considering New Milford as a place to open a business, we want you,” Bass said. “We want your involvement. We want your investment. Here, you’ll find friends. Here, you’ll find support.”

Bass also used the address to thank many groups and individuals, including first responders, department heads and the department of public works for their efforts clearing the snow from the four nor’easters this month — all of which were applauded by the audience. He also thanked his family and the residents for letting him serve as mayor. “Being your mayor is the honor of my life and I am so grateful to all of you for letting me do a job that I love so much,” he said

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04 Jan

New Milford Mayor Apologizes on Behalf of Former Mayor

NEW MILFORD — Mayor Pete Bass this week apologized on behalf of former Mayor David Gronbach in a news release and letters to town families. Bass, in the release, said Gronbach disclosed residents’ personal information when he criticized a local nonprofit last summer. Bass said an apology was needed.

Gronbach, in August, wrote an open letter questioning why the Children’s Center, a nonprofit in town, provides state-subsidized day care to some families earning more than $100,000 a year. The information Gronbach posted, which did not identify families by name, was also shared under a public records request with Hearst Connecticut Media. Days later, the state Office of Early Childhood wrote that his post constituted “breach of contract” with the state by disclosing “family-level personal information that is considered confidential.”

The state “was very clear prior to my taking office that a letter of apology was required from the town,” Bass said in the release.

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02 Oct

Bass Speaks on Pettibone!

In the recent weeks of this year’s Mayoral campaign fear mongering is running rampant. There have been many posts and comments on social media claiming a dire future for the John Pettibone Building if I am elected. They range from “It will be immediately closed and the town offices thrown out in the street” to “there is a developer in the wings to whom it has been promised”. These are absolutely false! Let’s set the record straight so there will be no misunderstanding of my position.

I am NOT against the John Pettibone Community Center/Municipal building. I AM against the way it has been executed and funded.

In 2015 control of the property was turned over to the town from the Board of Education. The Town Council agreed the future of the building should be a unified and bi-partisan vision. On October 26, 2015 the Council voted unanimously, 9-0, to form the John Pettibone School Facilities Committee of 15 members. Democrat and Republican alike saw this was too important for politics. In addition, it was agreed to wait until the new mayor was sworn in to seat this committee.
Unfortunately, this is where the goodwill and bi partisanship ended.

Upon taking office Mayor Gronbach never appointed anyone and disbanded the committee. The unanimous agreement of both Democrats and Republicans that the future of Pettibone should be bi-partisan was cast aside. He stated emphatically that he didn’t believe in committees and said ”I am the committee”. Since this statement the building/ project has been shrouded in secrecy, the town charter and correct procedures have been usurped. It is this approach I am 100% against.

When elected Mayor I will reinstate the Pettibone committee. A Committee of not 15 members but of 25 members, a cross section of our town. All parties will be represented and have a voice. I will ask that the committee be given the charge to hold public hearings and LISTEN to the will of the people. The future of the Community Center/ Municipal Building is too large for one person. I believe that the best and brightest future for this project can only come from this approach. After all, who better to entrust the future of the Community Center/ building to but the community?

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23 Aug

Bass Would be Refreshing Change!

I am so happy to hear that Pete Bass is running for mayor of New Milford.

When former Mayor Pat Murphy asked me to volunteer several years ago, I had the pleasure of serving alongside Pete on the Economic Development Corporation and got to know him quite well.

Today we belong to the Greater New Milford Business Association together. It is a networking group that meets downtown every Friday.

If you don’t know Pete, he is kind, thoughtful and patient. I saw him weigh all sides of the issues we discussed, sort them quickly and voice his opinion without a hint of ego or personal agenda.

I am certainly ready for a change in this town’s leadership. When I listen to matters facing this town all I hear is lack of transparency and acrimony.

“Why?,” I ask myself.

Great leaders overcome this sort of thing, driving transparency, inclusion and debate to lead us out of the darkness, but I don’t see any effort in this regard at all.

Fortunately our voices are heard every two years and felt obligated to share my observations of Pete before November’s election.

He would be a refreshing change and I certainly will continue to vouch for his integrity as a man and as a leader to pull this town together again.

Tom Lindberg

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