June 17, 2008

Let the petition festivities begin

A petition drive is getting underway aimed at making it possible for the public decide whether to create a chief operating officer at City Hall.
Following a City Council vote on Monday to reject the idea, two backers of the position, veteran Democratic city Councilor Craig Minor and rookie Republican Councilor Ken Cockayne, said they plan to lead a bipartisan drive to secure the needed petitions.
Among those joining the effort is former GOP mayoral contender Ken Johnson, who accused Mayor Art Ward and the four councilors who opposed the plan of displaying “the height of hypocrisy” in refusing to give people the chance to choose their form of government. “I congratulate Mr. Minor and Mr. Cockayne for having the courage to stick to their convictions and I am proud to join them in a bi-partisan effort to right this wrong,” Johnson said.
To overturn the 5-2 council decision, backers need to round up more than 3,000 signatures from registered voters within 45 days. If they can pull it off, the charter revision proposal will automatically make the November 4 ballot.
Organizers seeking to let voters decide whether to create a chief operating officer in Bristol have scheduled a kick-off rally from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Sovereign Bank parking lot on North Main Street.
“We’re going to generally have a festive atmosphere. There will be clipboards with lots of petitions,” Minor said Tuesday.
Backers say the post would bring more long-term planning and efficiency to municipal government, saving more money than the relatively small tab for a new office in city government.
Critics say the job isn’t needed and will cost taxpayers more at a time when Bristol is already struggling to hold down taxes and pare spending.
Two other proposals from the charter panel – to increase the terms of office for the registrars and assistant city clerk from two to four years – will be on the ballot following a unanimous thumbs-up from councilors.
Opposing the chief operating officer plan were Mayor Art Ward and Councilors Cliff Block, Mike Rimcoski, Kevin McCauley and Frank Nicastro. Rimcoski is a Republican. The rest are Democrats.

Update - Minor sent a press release out shortly before midnight Tuesday. Here it is:

One Republican and one Democrat City Councilman are conducting a petition signing event this Saturday, June 21 from 1 pm to 3 pm outside Sovereign Bank on the corner of North Main Street and North Street in downtown Bristol.

Ken Cockayne (R, Second Council District) and Craig Minor (D, Third Council District) are joining forces to give Bristol voters the chance to decide on the “Chief Operating Officer” position recommended by the Charter Revision Commission. The proposal was shot down by the City Council at a special meeting on Monday, June 16 on a 5-2 vote. State law gives the COO a second chance, but only if its supporters can collect enough signatures within 45 days.

"I feel very strongly that this is an issue that people should get to decide," Cockayne said.“Instead of the select few of us seven on the City Council, the choice should be made by city voters come November.”

Under Connecticut state law, the organizers have 45 days from June 16 to collect signatures from 10% of all registered voters in Bristol. They estimate that number to be just under 3,100. The wording of the petition was carefully developed by the committee to make sure it will pass muster with City Clerk Therese Pac and Corporation Counsel Dale Clift. “We don’t want a repeat of what happened several years ago, when a group of citizens wanted to amend the charter to require voter approval of certain “big ticket” items, but went about it wrongly” Councilmember Minor said. “We checked the state statutes to make sure the wording is right, and we’re going to make sure our signature-collectors know that the person signing the petition is a registered voter in Bristol.”

Registered voters who want to help collect signatures can contact Craig Minor (582-1061 or
craigmm@aol.com) or Ken Cockayne (584-5918).

*******
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clip board! Clip board! Clip board!

Anonymous said...

Orange Shirts!
Orange Shirts!
Orange Shirts!

Anonymous said...

?- ken johnson calling the actions of anyone "hypocrisy" would be humorous if it weren't for the fact that johnson actually believes that the public is truly naive to his scams.
Watch out for when we wake up ken, your dream will be over.

Anonymous said...

Ken Johnson for COO

Anonymous said...

Thank you Minor and Cockayne for working for the people and not being beholden to the unions!

Anonymous said...

When will McCauley start his campaign to block the people from having a say?

McCauley, working for the people, as long as they belong to the union!! Enjoy your finial year Kev, your all done!!

Anonymous said...

the public should decide but of course the council hates that idea they don't want the people who put them in city hall to have an opinion on anything.

Anonymous said...

"Thank you Minor and Cockayne for working for the people"

~ more like they're just working the people to further their own agenda.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Minor, Cockayne & Johnson (a.k.a. the 3 stooges) ~ Bristol can't afford to fund your little ego trip.

Anonymous said...

If these people are truly interested in the people they will explain just what the changes are BEFORE the petition is circulated.

The people should not be approving something that is not well and completely defined.

Anonymous said...

Posturing, Posturing, Posturing.

Minor, Cockayne, Johnson.

Anonymous said...

johnson calls ward a hypocrit but I respect ward because at least he said that he would sign the petition for the people to decide the question, even though he is personally against the COO idea - what's hypocritical about that?sounds pretty clear to me, must be just another political sound-bite from the johnson/minor/cockayne school of "how to distort info in order to disillusion the public."
I hope that this petition signing process is going to be upfront and not continue to be an affront to the intelligence of the taxpayers.
Tell the truth guys, while it might be rare,it might even feel refreshing.

Anonymous said...

Johnson is in no position to be calling ANYONE a hypocrite! There are just too many "unethical skeletons" in his closet ~ but I guess he can just get mad, storm out and slam the door on them...

my Johnson is bigger than yours said...

I hear "The Song of the North" playing loudly.

Go Johnson, Go Johnson, Go Johnson GO!

Anonymous said...

There go the Union "Hatemongers" again. Who woke them up ?Hate mongering time again. You poor unhappy souls ! Do something constructive (if you can)

Anonymous said...

Cockayne - Minor - Johnson on an EGO Trip? What about the five who voted againist giving the people a say?

Talk about holier than thou

Anonymous said...

June 18, 2008 3:07 PM:

That's right jerk. We hate being bent over a barrel by a bunch of over-paid bums like you!

Anonymous said...

3:17 - those five voted against supporting the COO reccomendation of the Charter Revision Commission, not on the right of the people to decide the issue at the voting booth.

Anonymous said...

I hope Cockayne is not planning on running for mayor!

Anonymous said...

"my Johnson is bigger than yours said...I hear "The Song of the North" playing loudly.

That's funny, I hear "Tears of a Clown" playing loudly.

Anonymous said...

I hear "For Whom the Bell Tolls" for Mayor Ward's tenure.

Anonymous said...

The theme song will be "Send in the Clowns".

Should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

? - how about a song that addresses the fact that "Not ALL POSTERS ON THIS SITE ARE A--HO---, just those who maintain negativity and suggest nothing positive - unfortunately, probably a majority - how 'bout you?

Anonymous said...

June 18 3:35 At least I earn my money not con people and use their money .And you got nerve talking about being over paid. How much do you earn (er) make? All you can do is call people that don't cowtow to a jerk like you! And call people that don't agree with you names. Anonymously that is cause you're too much of a coward to say it to any ones face. We call that a coward!

Anonymous said...

LOL I hear there ain't no bugs on me playing loudly.

Anonymous said...

Still distrubs me greatly that they can put this much effort behind gaining a vote for a COO but they couldn't be bothered answering the pleas of the overwhelming public that spoke over the K-8 schools.

Anonymous said...

"I hear "The Song of the North" playing loudly.

Go Johnson, Go Johnson, Go Johnson GO!"

Guess you have to keep the music playing loudly to cover the noise from Johnson's temper tantrums and the slamming of the door...go Johnson indeed!

Anonymous said...

where has johnson been since the election, where has he been during the budget process, where has he been to earn the $10,000.00 that he got for doing nada,where has he been, where has he been, where has he been? probably hoping that people will forget his past so he can spring up again for the next election - loser, loser, loser.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the UVA grad over Corporal Ward any day.

Anonymous said...

~ Looks like you're in the minority 1:08!

Anonymous said...

Let's get back on point, folks. This petition is not about Ken Johnson or Art Ward.

Anonymous said...

you are correct, the petition is about exploiting the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Will anyone explain the comment about Johnson slamming the door? That is news to me.

Anonymous said...

? - 7:59pm - kenny baby had a hissey-fit because he didn't get his own way - same way today, watch.

Anonymous said...

What didn't he get?
When?

Anonymous said...

Back in October, Kenny didn't like a certain appointment that was made so he threw a major temper tantrum, jumped out of his chair and stormed out of the meeting, slamming the door on his way out ~ not exactly the type of behavior we should expect from someone in position of leadership. :(

Anonymous said...

Why would he care about any appointment: he was running for office, wasn;t he?

Just who was he opposed to?

Anonymous said...

Not true. He lost his temper because Stortz, once again, blamed him at a City Council meeting for not making any progress on the CL&P overpayment job, when the real reason was because Stortz had ordered town staff to stonewall Johnson on giving him the technical information he needed. Kinda like telling the Corporation Counsel to defend the Planning Commission in a lawsuit, and then forbidding the City Planner from working with him to prepare the case.

Anonymous said...

No, he got upset because someone else was nominated to the Water Board, and approved.

Get your facts straight!

If , If, he was stonewalled before, what is his excuse now?
Is Johnson claiming Ward is stonewalling him too?

Anonymous said...

"He lost his temper because Stortz, once again, blamed him at a City Council meeting for not making any progress on the CL&P overpayment job"

Aww, poor Kenny! I guess when the going gets tough, Kenny gets mad, slams the door and goes home...Definitely not someone I'd be pinning my hopes on for strong and intelligent leadership.

Anonymous said...

kenny wants it all - appointments, $10,000 gift, being mayor - he won't stop until we all kiss his b---.

Anonymous said...

Johnsons big problem is that he listens to Schaffrick and Mocabee.


And after Visconti gets his clock cleaned in Nov., they will be back trying to run Bristol again.

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that no one on the city council is pursuing this any longer, especially the democrats.

Why do you think that is?

Could it be that Johnson actually made progress?

He has never hidden from anyone on this issue.

Why doesn't Ward and the rest of the council put this all to rest and pursue it? If Johnson truely has not done anything then they could knock it right out of the park and the GOP will be searching for a new mayoral candidate.

What's the hold up, call him in and request an update.

Steve, Can you call Johnson and find out what is happening? We woudl really like to know.

Anonymous said...

You're right, I stand corrected. Stortz dumped him from the Water Board without ever admitting that it was because he appointed the wrong Ken Johnson in the first place. He meant to appoint another guy whose name is Ken Johnson, and is also married to a woman named Liz. If he had just confessed that, maybe the Council would have let him do it.

Anonymous said...

How do you know Johnson has done "na Na?"

This CL&P issue is complicated and when he gets money back mroe that what Couture and company were going to settle for (Including Ward) than everyone will be wearing an orange shirt, including Stortz

Anonymous said...

7:09

You got it wrong again!

Another Johnson was suggested without being specific, but this was the Johnson that Stortz knew, from an earlier political campaign where Johnson ran and lost.

Johnson was dumped, not by Stortz, but because by City Charter which controls meeting attendance, Johnson had missed TOO MANY MEETINGS.

So, Johnson really dumped himself!

Anonymous said...

"everyone will be wearing an orange shirt"

Don't bet the farm honey!

Anonymous said...

why would the dems want another mayoral candidate when we all know that johnson is dead in the water?

Anonymous said...

Who is to say that some dems don't come up with another mayoral candidate of their own?

Anonymous said...

Will you jokers get off the Ken Johnson topic? It has nothing to do with the petition drive!

Anonymous said...

12:47

Ken thinks the petiton effort will be his springboard to the mayors office.

Anonymous said...

The article from Ken Johnson made ot appear that this is his project, his idea.

Are Craig and Cockayne involved at all?