November 4, 2014
October 29, 2014
And in black and white:
October 28, 2014
October 16, 2014
DEMOCRATS RESPOND TO REPUBLICAN LEADERS
There they go again – the Republican Town Committee leaders are on the blog with negative attacks on our Democratic elected officials and candidates. What would be more beneficial to the readers and to the voters are actual ideas and plans. Answers that include: what would you do, and how would you accomplish your goals.
Voters on all levels, local, state and federal are tired of partisan politics. Stop the bickering and the negative campaigning and put a plan into action.
If the Republican leaders are not able to put forth their plans for the City, then, at the very least, they have an obligation to write with some semblance of a factual basis.
First, as to Rob Michalik – let’s look at the facts:
From 1999 to 2009, Plainville had the 11th lowest annualized effective tax increase in the state (out of 169 towns). Rob was on the council for six of those years. Also, while on the town council, Rob spearheaded various efforts to save the town money. For instance, Rob pushed the town to purchase its streetlights from CL&P, thereby saving the town approximately $50,000 per year in maintenance costs. He advocated that an Ebay-like auction procedure be implemented for the sale of bonds, which saved thousands of dollars in interest costs. In addition, Rob championed an aggressive delinquent tax program, which has led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes being collected and reduced the tax burden on those who pay their taxes on time. At DEDC, Rob worked primarily on efforts to help small businesses. He worked on the Small Business Express program, which assisted more than 1,000 small businesses in Connecticut (including several in Bristol) and created or retained thousands of jobs across the state. Rob proudly worked extensively in helping to establish a new Manufacturing Innovation Fund in the state, which will assist small manufacturers in making the investments in equipment, technology and job training to remain competitive, win new businesses and grow jobs.
Rather than focus on the upcoming election of our state candidates, the Republican leaders attack our three Democratic Council members who all have taken a stand on some very difficult issues; slinging mud and calling them hypocrites. In particular, they politicize the downtown/
Ellen Zoppo-Sassu has offered a compromise agreement that does not involve handing over city money to a private entity, but still gives the City a stakeholder position in the development. Council member Zoppo-Sassu has moved a substantial amount of business forward for the City in her eleven months back on the City Council.
They twist Mary Fortier’s statement about Renaissance being the preferred developer and point out that there is now new proposals at Ten Main Street and other sites. These proposals are not on the seventeen acres and Renaissance is not the preferred developer of those new projects, yet it proves Council member Fortier’s point that private development may stimulate what is being proposed on the seventeen acres.
Lastly they criticize Calvin Brown for describing this as an emotional issue for the City and characterize his stance as absurd. Calvin is 22 years old. He was the highest vote getter in Council District 1 and city-wide. Voters identified with his idealism. It is Calvin’s generation that we need to retain and attract in order to maintain our middle class with young families choosing to live here, buy homes here, and put their children in our schools.
The Republican leaders conclude by stating that we cannot afford more of this “leadership.” That is the key word – leadership. Our elected officials and candidates take a stand on the issues. They make their positions known. We welcome and encourage public participation and input. We are willing to engage in meaningful debate. There is too much at stake for negative politics and sitting idle. It’s time to put words into action!
October 13, 2014
October 10, 2014
October 6, 2014
Monday, October 6: The Republican majority on the City Council said this week it won’t take a stand on Depot Square until the Bristol Downtown Development Corp. makes a recommendation.
Mayor Ken Cockayne and the three GOP councilors – Henri Martin, Eric Carlson and Rich Miecznikowski – said that “in the interest of good faith negotiations and contractual agreements” they have to follow the agreed-on process for a decision on the project. LINK
Jennifer Arasimowicz wrote in an Aug. 25 email to the nonprofit’s lawyer that she had “basically laid out how I think the city stupidly set us up for a lawsuit” with its hiring of East Hartford’s Goman + York Property Advisors.
Arasimowicz said in the email that she had laid out the case “in a momentary lapse of all common sense” in a secret email exchange she had in August with Frank Johnson, a BDDC board member and former chairman.
She wrote the email obtained by The Bristol Press to plead with attorney David DeBassio to find a way to keep details of her exchange with Johnson confidential. LINK
Martin Kenny, a Hartford apartment developer, has signed a purchase deal for 10 Main St. that will likely be complete by year’s end. Construction could begin as soon as next spring, he said Thursday
“It’s a great old historical building with great bones, in tremendous condition,” Kenny said.
Kenny and a Bristol firm, D’Amato Construction, pulled out of the Depot Square project in recent weeks to focus on the prospect of creating housing in the five-story building that would not require a city or state subsidy.
“We stepped aside,” Kenny said, calling it “a political football there with the project” planned for the former mall site.
“I want to do something” rather than “going to town meetings and having everybody mad at each other,” he said. LINK
“Renaissance has made a commitment to Bristol and Renaissance deserves renewed commitment from us,” said city Councilor Mary Fortier. “Renaissance has taken risks in Bristol and Bristol needs to move beyond the risk.”
After all, she pointed out, “no one is banging down the doors of city hall for a chance to develop this parcel.”
The three Democratic councilors – Fortier, Ellen Zoppo-Sassu and Calvin Brown – each issued long statements detailing their positions on Renaissance and its Depot Square proposal to revitalize the 15-acre city center site where the mall once stood. LINK (Note: The full statement of each of the councilors is on this blog below.)
October 2, 2014
Press release from Mayor Ken Cockayne and the three Republican city councilors:
Bristol, CT: On October 2, 2014, GOP Council Caucus Official Statement on Depot Square Project
The Depot Square project is currently in the hands of the BDDC, as it has been over the last several years. A project decision schedule has been outlined and adhered to, and that process will continue to be followed.
While we appreciate our Democratic council colleagues offering their opinions on the project in public, we are refraining from issuing a public position on the project until the BDDC makes their final recommendation to the City Council, thereby placing the authority in the City Council's hands to render a decision. In the interest of good faith negotiations and contractual agreements, this is the process that must be followed, has been followed, and will continue to be followed.
The beliefs we can share with the public regarding the project are the following:
- We believe that redeveloping downtown is a crucial part of the City's long-term financial viability, economic growth, and image.
- We believe in fiscal conservatism and ensuring that current and future generations are not being saddled with unaffordable tax liabilities.
- We believe that the public should have input in the final decision, particularly if government or taxpayer dollars are to be used.
This is where we currently stand, and as we've said, once every option is explored and the BDDC offers its final recommendations, the public will be informed of the details and options, public feedback will be requested through a variety of means, and our opinions will be detailed for our constituents.
Ken Cockayne, Mayor of Bristol
Eric Carlson, City Council - District 1
Henri Martin, City Council - District 2
Richard Miecznikowski, City Council - District 2