Harkins meets with governor as snowed-in residents grow impatient

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy discusses snow removal efforts with Stratford Mayor John A. Harkins in a photo from the mayor’s official Facebook page.

Stratford town facilities and schools will remain closed Tuesday, Feb. 12.

“Public Works crews are continuing around the clock efforts to open every roadway in town,” according to a statement around 2:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11. “Every resource in our fleet is on the road and we have outside contractors and mutual aid from other towns assisting. Since the snow stopped falling, crews have cleaned more than 500 roads and our crews will not stop until every road is completed.”

Mayor John A. Harkins met Monday, Feb. 11, with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“We are working in partnership to bring additional state resources to assist recovery efforts,” according to a statement from Chief of Staff Marc Dillon.

Comments on Facebook have been critical of Harkins, claiming a lack of communication from the Republican mayor.

“Stratford is so frustrating with their lack of sharing info during storms,” Donna Rae Henault Caporaso posted at the Stratford Star Facebook page Feb. 7, as the town prepared for the storm. “I know more about Shelton and Milford’s emergency storm plans than I do the town I’ve lived in 53 years! I don’t see any info re alternate side of street parking on Town FB page or their website … .”

“The Mayor has been out around the clock assessing the cleanup efforts and working with contractors and other resources to bring additional assistance to Stratford,” Dillon said. “Mayor Harkins has been on television, radio, social media, and has been sending daily updates via the emergency notification system. The EOC has been manned since the storm began for storm inquiries. The Mayor’s sole focus is opening up every road in Stratford.”

The Mayor John Harkins (Official Page) on Facebook included pleas from residents for plows to clear their roads.

“Help the folk up north,” former Councilman David Fuller posted. “Many up there have been trapped for days. Any heavy trucks from DOT would help.”

Trash and recycling pickup is suspended for the remainder of the week and will resume Monday Feb. 18.

Harkins asked residents to stay home.

“Please remain off of the roads if at all possible as additional traffic will only hinder recovery efforts,” according to a statement. “I would like to remind residents that we still under a state of emergency. I ask that you remain safe and I thank you for your continued patience.”

In a comment posted on the Stratford Star Facebook page, Kathy Chrisky praised Highway Department workers and blamed any problems on the switch from a town manager to mayoral form of government

“You voted for the Change and its is not Working,” she wrote. “Years ago you heard trucks all night long before the storm during the storm and after the storm.. Remember SOME of YOU Called to complain of the Noise and their lights Flashing and blinking of the trucks late at night or early morning going down your street 3-5 times during a storm. You couldnt sleep and keeping your family up. Hmmmm I remember all those complains and the Mayor took your advice. But the Town Manager didnt back then. He would have Those trucks still be out there with all your complaints of noise and still have his crew doing the roads and getting the job done for the safety and passage ways open for the other important people the EMTS, POLICE and FIRE DEPT!!!.So here you are still waiting to hear that lovely sound once again. Time to make some Noise and Get back a Town Manager and not a Mayor.”

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