To the editor,
It is somewhat confusing and disheartening to see where Naugatuck as a community seems to be headed. Our current mayor and Board of Burgesses feel it is more important to rebuild a high school that was built on a swamp and therefore sinking, versus keeping the Naugatuck Visiting Nurses department a viable service for the residents of Naugatuck.
Mayor Mezzo sealed the deal when he indicated that the Naugatuck VNA would be privatized on his blog last year. He hired Blum Shapiro (at what cost to the Naugatuck taxpayers) to bolster what he already had made public. He obviously had little knowledge of how a VNA works and he never contacted those people who would be able to enlighten him. He just made public a plan before it could be launched and this signed the death warrant for the Naugatuck VNA.
As a result of his overall ignorance people assumed the Naugatuck VNA has been closed. This has resulted in a cessation of referrals and what was a viable business has become non-descript. Thank you Mayor Mezzo and your uninformed boards. You would not hear of the Naugatuck VNA expanding its coverage to include Middlebury, Prospect and Beacon Falls when it was proposed by the director of the VNA. You were bent on destroying a borough institution and placing the entire staff out of work. Unlike your promise that if the street department were privatized those employees would not lose their jobs. Why have you always treated the Naugatuck VNA like a “redheaded step-child?” Have you ever asked the public at large what the Naugatuck VNA has done for them?
Ah no, but let’s spend $81 million to refurbish the high school when a new one could cost two-thirds that amount. It certainly speaks to job security for some teachers and administrators does it not? One wonders how many board members have family employed by the school system. Let us throw the sick and elderly under the bus in favor of the high school project.
And the most shameful part of this whole debacle is that the Mayor has yet to communicate to the employees of the Naugatuck VNA what is going to happen. No communication has taken place to let these people know who, what, where, when and how things are going to be resolved. Only that the Naugatuck VNA is going to be privatized. This is just plain criminal. These people need to find other employment in an otherwise dismal economy, and they have no end date to work from.
RPT retired from the Naugatuck VNA
(Editor’s note: Blum, Shapiro & Co. was hired in November 2012 by the Board of Mayor and Burgesses for $62,000. No final decision has been made yet on the future of the Naugatuck Visiting Nurses Association.)