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Board of Selectmen To Hear Cooke Farm Tax Status Issues Tonight

Will years of litigation finally come to a resolution?

Tonight before the pubic, the will meet to discuss Branford resident Wayne Cooke's ongoing . The meeting takes place at the at 6 p.m.

During the Board of Selectman meeting in early March, Cooke presented a letter to the BOS, dated Feb. 7, 2012 stating his status for 616 E. Main Street and 573 East Main St., had not been accepted as farmland for 2011. 

Cooke's letter states:

"It has been over four months since the requirements of our tax settlement with the Board of Selectman have been fulfilled for 573 East Main Street and our farm status has not been restored. Despite having all the paperwork submitted well before the agreed upon June 1, 2011 deadline, the Assessor's Office waited until one working day before the October 31, 2011 CT 490 application deadline – five months – to express any concerns and even today, continues to disingenuously demand the exact same forms it has received multiple times and requires information that was not part of our agreement with your board." 

Branford Town attorney William H. Clendenen Jr. responded to Cooke's letter via Cooke's representing lawyer Nick Mingione on Feb. 14:

"We have attempted to cooperate with both you and your client throughout this process. When will your client cooperate and provide the Branford Assessor with the outstanding paperwork, which is required of every other farmer seeking a farmland classification in the town of Branford? This is a two-way street and not a dead-end road. Please cooperate."

The letter goes on to detail that Cooke is missing a map of 573 E. Main St., correct M-29 for 573 for 2011, M-28 farm exemption form for 2011 for 573 E. Main St., and Reg-8 for 573 and 616 for 2011. 

However, the did notify Cooke in forms mailed and dated Feb. 3, 2012, of a change in the grand list from 2010 to 2011 for both properties. 616 E. Main St., grand list amount went from $1,418,230 in 2010 to $543,000 in 2011; 573 E. Main St., went from $2,068,300 in 2010 to $7,400 in 2011. These forms were retuned to on Feb. 13, 2012 after being deemed undeliverable to the address: New Associates, 616 E. Main St., Branford CT 06405.

See full letters above attached to this story as a PDF.

Will tonight bring final closure to the farm tax status issue for Cooke?

Wayne Cooke April 04, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Nicole....It would be appreciated if, just once, you would present the facts of our situation fully and accurately. You don't know the issue, and never have. Again, readers are referred to the Branford Seven for the facts.
SolarPete April 04, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I can bet they will again prolong the issue in hand Deros will act out in front of everyone crying foul and this will be put back on the shelf for another year
Glenn Mallory April 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM
You do a great job Nicole. Don't be bullied. If Mr. Cooke wants the press to write the truth as he sees it, he should buy advertising. Remember me Wayne, just four times around the green. You promised the citizens of the petition.
Nicole Ball April 04, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Thank you for the support Glenn. Wayne is correct in the sense that this is a complicated issue. I hope that readers will take a look at the attached PDFs to also help them to understand what's on the floor at this point. I also always encourage readers to seek information from a variety of news outlets or opinion blogs.
Wayne Cooke April 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM
That's the point, Nicole. You can't present bits and pieces and do justice to the issue. And bits and pieces are exactly what the Town wants, since that's all THEY ever present. As for you, Glenn....I resent you saying I am "bullying" by simply stating an opinion. As Nicole will tell you, I've supported her efforts from the start and only ask that she tell the whole story. And, it's FIVE times around the Green.
Janis D'Andrea April 04, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Here we go again! Four or Five ? Really? Please.........
susan Barnes April 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Rules to speak before our legislative body. Rules to speak before our executive board. Rules as to how many times a taxpaying citizen can circle the town green on a town road. Really? Please..............
susan Barnes April 05, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Well, Richard, NOT THE LIONHEARTED, I AM a WOMAN and you have not a clue about that of which you speak. Cooke disagrees with the Patch. He disagrees with the Seven. NOT ALL THE TIME. They are "journalists". They GET IT. They even have issues. The Eagle, on the other hand, simply BANS the writer that DARES to take issue with the BIRD. And, the really interesting thing is, that while the Eagle will attack an individual, IT will not necessarily allow the attackee to respond ( kind of an interesting comparison to the actual raptor, given it's druthers). NOW THAT"S BULLYING, Richard - and NO ONE CARES who you are, BTW. Hey, BTW, again, ya' threatening Cooke: "Foolish enough to mess with me and I am no Woman"? YOU HAVE NOT EVEN THE GUTS TO USE YOUR NAME. I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING AT "RICHARD THE LION HEARTED " - TOWN HERO ! Nicole, maybe it is time to shut down the shameless that do not identify themselves, yet attack so stupidly.
Wayne Cooke April 05, 2012 at 09:20 AM
Get real, Richard (if that's even your name). Marcia Chambers is a venomous and dishonest DaRos propaganda agent and Nicole should simply stay away from topics that require more research. Spew whatever other nonsense you want--until you sign your name or come to a meeting you'll remain nothing more than a coward.
jeff April 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM
A bag of popcorn,a soft drink-cant wait for this show to be aired on the Branford t.v. channel! Hope all the folks that post are there.....Only 3 minutes to speak your piece,should keep an interesting and fast paced meeting-hope there's time for all those signs!
Steve from SAAC April 05, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Not to mention hand gestures!
SolarPete April 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Wayne please chill@ This will do no good potty mouthing it only raises your blood pressure. Fastest way to the ER in a litter. I hope u r around the next time I come for a visit. I say do 5x around the green everyother hour every day till the cows come home. advertise with a banner flying behind a plane over the beaches of the area to let everyone know what the leaders in the town are doing. Do it legally and do it smart Make sure the towns bosses in Hartford know what evil things they are playing and above all relax and breath
SolarPete April 05, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Richard u are attaking Wayne on here that is a no no I learned the hard way so I flags you for being out of line
SolarPete April 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM
If I were there I'd give Wayne my 3 minutes of fame so should everyone else

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