August 18, 2014
August 16, 2014
Proposed changes in West End, looking west from School Street.
A preliminary plan for the reconstruction of the West End’s jagged junctions calls for the demolition of two commercial buildings and a handful of residential homes.
The state Department of Transportation plan, kept under wraps for a couple of months, would close off the eastern end of Divinity Street, change the access to Landry Street and shift Route 72 closer to the Pequabuck River.
The two commercial buildings, each more than a century old, are on the northwest corner of the junction, with the recently-reopened Wah Lung restaurant the best known establishment housed in them.
“This really dresses up the West End,” said Mayor Ken Cockayne. Click here to read the story.
August 14, 2014
Hull said that Jim Albert, the president of the Bristol-based Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, is largely responsible for making it possible for the museum to stay in its hometown.
I'll have much more about this in the days and weeks ahead.
It's a relief to all of us who know what treasures Cortlandt has to see a resolution that saves the museum for Bristol while simultaneously lending a hand to the historical society and its underappreciated assets.
August 13, 2014
August 12, 2014
"I am certainly happy with Judge Schuman's ruling but it is a shame that the cafeteria workers have to continue to be ping pong balls in this mess."
Calvin Brown, Democratic city councilor:
School board members "Fitzgerald, Amara, Dolan, Morgan, and Dube have continued to morbidly abuse these 53 cafeteria workers for well over a year now. The Commissioners lost the Labor Ruling, now they've lost their misguided request for a stay on that ruling, and they'll lose again if they continue to fight this vindictive legal battle in the courts. It's time for the Board of Education to admit they illegally bargained in bad faith and stop wasting taxpayer time and money."
Karen Vibert, Democratic Board of Education member:
"On the record, all responses to media are supposed to go through the BOE chair; however, the BOE chair, contrary to Robert's Rules, did not allow me to speak at the last meeting, basically cutting me off and ending the meeting because I disagreed with him, so I will speak here.
"I have been a supporter of the cafeteria workers because last year the BOE negotiating committee and the Union reached a tentative agreement and the Union gave back more at the table in terms of wages and benefits than I ever imagined they would. It was more than fair. It was unfortunate that the full Board then voted against the agreement and the issue then went into the costly world of egos and legal battles. These legal battles may take months, if not years, before final decisions are rendered. The Republican majority voting to sign a contract with the Whitson company put the Board into more legal and financial jeopardy. To quote the judge's order, 'The Plaintiff; -- the Board of Education -- 'must accept the consequences of its own choice.'"
Chris Wilson, Democratic Board of Education member and former chairman:
"First of all please be aware my response is my own and not that of the Bristol BOE, However the minority position has not been articulated because it has been in opposition to the majority.
"I believe the Tentative agreement negotiated between Bargaining unit 2267 and the Bristol BOE was fair. Both sides gave concessions to reach a settlement.
"Unfortunately, the Republican Majority (none of which had been involved in negotiations as a BOE member) decided not to support the agreement. The arbitration ruling allowed that the BOE could privatize. But one still is compelled to negotiate in 'good faith.' The Labor Relations Board determined that had not happened and their remedy was to put in place the Tentative Agreement.
"At this point, the majority, has decided to appeal and requested a stay of the Labor Relations ruling. Now that stay request has been dissolved.
"It is clear the board acted prematurely in executing a contract with Whitson’s prior to all of the legal remedies being exhausted. This case is now in the hands of the courts to determine if MR. Amara did not negotiate in 'Good Faith.'
"Since , that ruling, and any appeal thereof could go either way, I believe it is time to put this matter to rest and not spend any more money on this matter. From the beginning, this case has been framed by the majority as saving considerable amounts of money. It is clear any savings will be eaten up in legal fees.
"I see no reason to spend bad money after good. The cafeteria workers have been put through the mill, it is time for it to stop. If, through the tentative agreement the shortfall cannot be reduced then the administration will need to reengineer how it delivers food service. Labor can and should be a part of that discussion.
"It is time for all parties to begin working together instead of in opposition to each other. Enough is enough!"
Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, Democratic city councilor:
"I believe the cost savings that implementing the Tentative Agreement would have achieved last winter would have far outweighed whatever alleged savings and beyond that is now being spent by the Republican leadership on legal fees to justify their shaky position. The fact that, after yet another setback, they are still trying to insist they are right, is sad and is a distraction from what they should be doing as elected leaders. Three wrongs don't make a right."
Jill Fitzgerald, Republican Board of Education member:
"No comments on the ruling. Need to hear from legal counsel."
Tom Foley -- 477
Mike Fedele -- 543
Oz Griebel -- 303
Mark Boughton -- 564
Lisa Wilson-Foley -- 681
Linda McMahon -- 679
Peter Schiff -- 337
Rob Simmons -- 330
Ann Brickley -- 632
Mark Zydanowicz -- 649
Martha Dean -- 777
Ross Garber -- 510
Dan Malloy -- 1,808
Ned Lamont -- 1,369
Nancy Wyman -- 1,984
Mary Glassman -- 1,154
Secretary of the State:
Denise Merrill -- 1,975
Gerry Garcia -- 1,137
Kevin Lembo -- 2,130
Michael Jarjura -- 905
|Bristol Elks Club this morning|
|Registrars office this morning|
August 11, 2014
Here's what state Rep. Whit Betts, a Bristol Republican, predicts for Tuesday's GOP primary:
"Turnout for the primarywill be low. A lot of folks are on vacation this
week, and they will not be here to cast a vote (although they could with an absentee ballot).
"My guess is a low turnout helps [John] McKinney while a large one will likely be good news for [Tom] Foley.
"Whichever campaign gets out their targeted supporters to vote will win. Based on what I have hear and been told there is more support for Foley because a lot of folks are upset with McKinney over his support for the new gun law. Further, I believe Foley beat [Dannel] Malloy in Bristol in the last gubernatorial race in 2010. So I expect Foley will win in this area.
"Personally, I think both Foley and McKinney will support Bristol because of the good working relationships they have with many of the Republicans leaders in Bristol and Plymouth.
"With respect to Lt. Governor's race my guess is [Penny] Bacchiocci will win in a tight contest. Of the 3 candidates my sense is she has the experience and organization for getting out her base of supporters to vote. However, if the voter turnout in Fairfield County is heavy than [Dave] Walker may end up winning. I don't see [Heather] Somers winning based on the aggressive ad she just put out against Walker. This type of negative ad suggests she had to do something dramatic to counter low ratings that she internally may have discovered from a poll survey."
August 10, 2014
August 6, 2014
The city quietly hired a consultant his summer to duplicate much of the job assigned to the nonprofit Bristol Downtown Development Corp. overseeing the revitalization of the former mall site.
The city agreed to pay $18,500 to Goman + York Property Advisors, a high-powered East Hartford firm, to provide “specific and actionable” recommendations to the City Council about how to handle proposals from Renaissance Downtowns for the Depot Square project.
Mayor Ken Cockayne said he hired the firm because he “thought we needed an outside, independent review” to go over all the material from Renaissance and offer the council guidance on what to do next.
“I’m doing my due diligence,” the mayor said.
He said he kept the move quiet “to fend off any undue influence” on the consultant that might sway its recommendations. Click here for the full story.