In the Oct 18 issue of the Citizens News, mayor-since-Jimmy Carter’s-1977-inaugaration Bob Chatfield shamelessly takes credit for everything good about Prospect, except perhaps our gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Well, as Paul Harvey would say when opening his daily radio program, here’s the rest of the Chatfield story.
Mayor Bob boasts that he knows our problems before we come through the door. I wonder where “Bob the Magnificent” stores his turban and crystal ball. He claims to know how to deal with severe weather, apparently forgetting that our dedicated public works employees actually get it done with or without Bob’s prying eyes from the comfort of his warm taxpayer-funded truck. I’m surprised Bob didn’t promise us Prospect residents that he’d single-handedly control climate change.
Another whopper from our mayor-for-life’s mouth was his claim that he “crafts the best budgets he can…” Over the past 20 years, Prospect’s grand list has grown considerably which you’d think would eliminate the need for higher tax rates to fund the non-education side of our budget. But you’d be wrong. Mayor Bob has many friends to cater to. When Bob says he’s watching every penny, I think of a casino where the elderly and families feed their nickels and pennies into a slot machine named Bob.
“Endless-Mayor Bob” mentioned his own 30-year-old plow truck, maintained by us taxpayers, to show how he squeezes the buffalo on every one of our nickels. He forgets to mention the quarter-of-a-million-dollar-plus plow truck he bought with our money which is useless on Prospect’s narrow, winding roads and now acts as a giant coffee table in the town garage. As for outsourcing repair work on town vehicles, Mayor Bob would rather reward friendly contractors than keep the work in-house which would do nothing to support Bob’s no-bid contractor friends.
“Eternal-Mayor Bob” assures us that economic development in Prospect is robust with only two empty storefronts. But oops, there he goes again, forgetting to tell voter-taxpayers about that 40-acre tract that Louis Nicole offered free to Prospect for a new school. Instead, Mayor Bob and Co. forced us taxpayers to pay $1.5 million for another piece of land directly across the street from Louis Nicole’s land. One has to wonder which S.O.Bs., supporters of Bob, profited from this land deal. Further, there’s that lawsuit against us filed by Louis Nicole over that unauthorized easement through his property. Are other suits pending?
Prospect’s Economic Development Board never meets nor decides anything about town growth mainly because Bob and friends control who benefit from real estate development deals. For example, Bob waives or discounts building permit fees for favored applicants. Just ask Toll Brothers, or better still, ask Regency residents about their arguably inflated property valuations which offset the low permit fees.
No true review of Mayor Bob’s record would be complete without mentioning his political-weather-vane stance on the windmill issue. He originally backed the idea, which forced concerned residents to spend upwards of $125,000 in legal fees to stop the project. Naturally, with wet index finger in the air, Bob flipped with the prevailing wind and opposed the idea.
Dominick Mirabelle Jr.