Where I Stand Why can’t someone lower city’s flags to half-staff on weekends?
As a lifelong resident of Danbury, I find it necessary to vent regarding the lack of effective management in this city on a variety of issues. Were these episodes random occurrences, I would not be motivated to take the time to write; after all I’ve waited six decades and never wrote a Letter to the Editor before.
Back on March 29th of this year, Connecticut State Trooper Kevin Miller, a 19-year veteran, was killed in the line of duty. Hours thereafter Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a directive to have all state flags lowered to half mast. In Danbury though, City of Danbury flags (Rogers Park, Elmwood Park, the corner of Main and West streets, and City Hall) continued to fly full staff through the weekend.
Back then I made at least two calls to the 311 center and one to the Police Department to no avail. It was painstaking to make the complaint because our newly farmed out duties of 311-call handling did not want to take the complaint, in fact, they never issued me a “tracking ticket” number nor did the problem get rectified through the entire weekend.
That doesn’t generally surprise me knowing there are several hundred unresolved ticket numbers anyhow. This is disheartening to know, isn’t it?
Well, here it is Sunday, Aug. 26, late afternoon and our treasured maverick Senator, John McCain, passed last evening. Again, passing by city-owned flagpoles at Elmwood Park, City Hall and Main and West streets — all flying proudly at full staff. Déjà vu all over again! A call to 311 that afternoon elicited a non-welcoming, non-named, gentleman who did not want to take the call — until I insisted. He went on to explain that City Hall was closed etc….nonsense! In years past, the police department used to handle this matter when the flag status changed during off-hours. Now that our mayor is not encumbered with a gubernatorial campaign, why can’t he lower the flags if no one else is assigned to do so?
Getting back to the lack of good management at the top, no matter whose responsibility it used to be — management should have a plan. Seeing our City Hall services are four out of seven days and holidays run into those long weekends, with the current set of “rules” it’s theoretical that flags could fly in improper status for over four out of seven days!
Again, where is management? Roads are not maintained and little or no action is being taken for years now on the dangerous disrepair of our railroad crossings. Bone-jarring journey over Wildman Street and Balmforth Avenue and not a word on pressure from our city to have the railroad track owner and state of Connecticut repair the rail crossing roadways.
By the way, isn’t that flag at Main and West streets too large for the pole? There are guidelines, and I doubt that a pole of that height should be that size.
Charles J. Setaro is a resident of Danbury.