September 30, 2008

City Republicans endorse chief operating officer

The Republican Town Committee voted unanimously last night to throw its support behind a proposed charter change to create a chief operating officer at City Hall.
Former GOP mayoral contender Ken Johnson, a strong backer of the plan, called the move "a bold statement."
City Councilor Ken Cockayne, a first-term Republican, said that endorsing the controversial measure sends "a strong signal" to the community that the GOP is leading the way for reform of city government.
"Let's get a professional in there who is watchdogging the spending of your money and mine," Johnson said.
Voters will get the last word when they head to polls on November 4.
Both sides of the debate are gearing up for the campaign with signs, mailings, advertisements, websites and more aimed at convincing the public to back, or thwart, the proposal.
The Charter Revision Commission, a bipartisan panel, unanimously endorsed the chief operating officer last spring as a compromise when it appeared that a full-blown city manager wouldn't pass.
But city councilors voted 5-2 to kill the idea, which would normally have been the end of the matter.
Supporters, however, went out and collected more than 3,600 signatures from voters to force the city to put the plan on the ballot.
There's going to be much, much more on this issue in the days and weeks ahead. Those of you who are involved in the effort, please forward me any fact sheets, mailers, website links and the like. I'll post them all on this blog.

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

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

As long as the COO works at the will of the Mayor and the Mayor has the power to NOT do what the COO recommends, it's a pointless position to create. And we are being asked to vote for it without being told what the salary range is.

I'm not voting in favor of it.

Anonymous said...

Me either!

former GOP activist said...

September 30, 2008 11:36 AM:

I agree, unless the long range plan is to degrade the position of mayor both in salary and power. In that instance it might be a viable plan.

However, we have a Governor and a President albeit the system isn't perfect, it's still the best. I'm against the city manager. The zoning mess that is Southington is a good example.

I'm glad I'm not on the Republican Town Committee where I would have been pressured to vote "yes" on this. I believe I will vote NO.

Anonymous said...

Have to try something to get more representation in city government - god knows that the public is smart enough not to vote republican or that the republicans aren't smart enough to know how to go about getting elected - be honest....

Anonymous said...

it is more like the gop is trying to de-form city government - could you ever picture johnson or cockayne listening to anyone, let alone a COO - their theory is why listen when we know it all. God save Bristol.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Republicans for letting the people have their say!!!

We need more politicians that think this way. I am voting for the COO and I am voting for every Republican on the ballot this year....from McCain to Fitzgerald. Too bad they don't have a senate person.

Anonymous said...

Too many chiefs, not enough indians...VOTE NO COO!

Anonymous said...

1:15p.m - with a little luck, some of your other gop candidates will drop out and save you the embarassment of a wasted vote....

Anonymous said...

I support the COO. My hope is that when he/she recommends something the public will see that it is an unbiased professional opinion and is for our best interest. Right now decisions are made that are in the best interest of the candidates, or elected officials. They repeatedly make decisions that endear them to their supporters, instead of doing what is best for the city. At least with a COO if they go against recommendations they will have to offer a concrete reason why. It offers a level of accountability we don't currently have.

Anonymous said...

"City Republicans endorse chief operating officer"

Of course they do! It's the only possible chance they have at getting into office! What a waste of the taxpayers' money. No thanks!

Anonymous said...

Way too many chiefs...financed by the indians (union workers)...wake indians...your chiefs are putting it to you from the backside. The COO is your best hope for keeping your job.

Anonymous said...

gee ken, maybe you will be able to apply to be the coo then you can give up your interest in municipal energy, or at least lead the people to believe that you did, like the last time, until you decide that you don't like it.

Anonymous said...

How does a COO get Republicans elected to the COuncil?

Idiot

Anonymous said...

I'm Republican and I'm not in favor of the COO. If the aim is to have some one who is non-partisan, it won't work. The COO will be perceived as being in cahoots with whoever hires him/her. The mayor is in charge of the town; we don't need to pay an extra person.

Anonymous said...

I'm in favor of having a COO.

This person would be a trained professional hired by the city and have all the department heads reporting to him/her. This person would work at the will of the city and not the mayor. He/she would be held accountable for making the city more efficient and for holding department heads accountable for their areas. There is no accountability today. Just look at the BDA. Failure to do so would mean having to find a new job.

This position would require a proven background in running cities. Having a professional chief operating officer working with an elected mayor would move our city forward. What we have now is not working and it is time to change. The charter revision committee's recommendation was to have a COO and now the voters will get to decide.

Anonymous said...

Johnson is described as former mayoral contender.

I thought he announced that he was running again.

?????

Anonymous said...

Why would you make a comment like that? Hamzy, Burns, Cockayne, and Rimcowski, and in the recent past Stortz.

This is really not a partisan issue. With the amount of registered Democrats in this town, for this to pass it will need their support too. Their support was ont the petitions also. Minor was not the only Democrat who supported this.

Instead of bashing the supporters of this, be like the other posters on here and offer something to the dialog. This is a critical issue and is not totally black and white or a partisan issue.

No matter if it passes or not, at the very least we should learn from it that there are many disenfranchised voters in this town from all parties. Taxes go up every year, yet very little seems to change. We took on the Center Mall property which has turned into a dibacle, which if you remember correctly was initiated by Dems. Stortz did nothing to help it, so the Republicans get blame here too. The Southeast Industrial Park took for ever and was riddled with miscues all along the process. This was also initiated by Dems (Nicastro) and managed primarily by a buffoon - Rosenthal, who is a recognized Nicastro supporter and fundraiser. All of his screw-ups were ignored by Stortz, who again keeps Republicans on the hook too.

There are so many examples from both sides that it would take too much space to write them all. The point is there is an appearance of inpropriety and inethical behavior, as well as mismanagement from our administration. All you hear is people crying about the "good ole boys" taking care of each other all over the place. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to put some of that to rest with a professional offering unbiased educated management and suggestions for our future? (That is if they will actually be unbiased and ethical themselves - but that is for another post.)

Anonymous said...

I thought that Stortz did not reappoint Rosenthal because of his ineptness, but could not get the votes on the Council to remove him.

He certainly was aware, but the democrats tied his hands.

See how quick Ward and Nicastro reappointed him.

Remember also, that if Stortz didn't become mayor, we would be stuck with a money devouring moperation on the Mall site. He did point the effort in the right direction

Anonymous said...

boy, the gop town committee, cockayne, schaffrick and ken johnson supporting the COO position gives me as much confidence as thinking that the governmental bail-out won't be helping the rich.

Anonymous said...

it's not only the gop endorsing the coo plan, councilman minor jumped on their bandwagon too.
too bad that minor didn't have the backbone to defend the coo position before the dems town committee when they held a meeting to discuss the pros and cons.
I guess minor speaks better whenever he is surrounded by republicans, the dems make him accountable, which is uncomfortable to minor.

Anonymous said...

What direction did he point it in? He effectively stopped the effort or ability to receive $45 million in state aid, b/c amongst other reasons, businesses down there would not want a field house and the Boys and Girls Club and the kids and families they would attract. Now we have nothing down there, businesses closing down and the best current idea is to give up and put the West End School down there which will bring tons of kids and parents down there, but only during work hours. Thanks for nothing Bill. All you did was scare all the seniors into voting for you and set us back for generations. I don't think people realize how good the original plan was. The Boys and Girls Club as an anchor was not such a bad idea. They were bringing funds to the table too, as well as the ability to manage the field house in conjunction with the Park Department. There was still going to be lots of room for retail / restaurant / entertainment development there too. But there's no sense bringing up the past any longer. What's done is done. We need leadership to step up now and recognize the current state of things. The West End School should go there now.

Anonymous said...

7:52:

As the position is written right now, the COO is nothing more than a consultant type position. The person hired would only have the power to make recommendations that can be approved or shot down by the Mayor, who the COO would report to.

The public wouldn't have any say in anything, just like we don't now. We have been given the power to vote for or against the position, but until the City Leaders come up with a more detailed description of the COO powers, responsibilities and salary range, we are being asked to vote on something that we don't have enough information on.

Your "hopes" as you worded it are nice ones, but delusional.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Kenny wants a professional in that position, yet HE chjose to seek that seat when his total government experience is attending 3-4 Water Board meetings.

Couldn't get elected to the Council, couldn't beat Ward who wsn't even supported by his own party but he is still running.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

A mayor, Stortz initiated, with council involvement,a board of citizens, not hand picked but all el3ected ogfficials had a say in.

They are going in the right direction. They, and stortz, had no control over the economy, which has slowed things down.

As fara the boys club, that and the field house REQUIRED continual local tax dollars. ONGOING.

Don't know what you are talking about regarding the seniors, maybe yo can elucidate.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Did Johnson suggest that CL&P have a COO?

Did he suggest himself?

Anonymous said...

More of the tax and spend republicans. "Hypocrites"

Anonymous said...

Mr Hamzy please do not get your self involved with the Ken Johnson ,you will find out the hard way just like I did.There is not a honest bone in his body it's all about his eagle

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Republicans don't feel that any of their "in group" is capable of running the city.

Guess they know best.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousWestconnStudent:

Thanks for the appropriate dialog and feedback. I don't always agree with you, but you made valid points. It is very difficult to get people engaged in the process. Maybe some of my points that I made should be considered by future candidates.

Anonymous said...

Tax and spend GOP?!?!?!! - Are you kidding me? LOL

Anonymous said...

His Eagle? What the hell is an eagle?

C'mon Kallenbach and Stortz you can do better than his eagle

Anonymous said...

8:05 Nope!

Anonymous said...

Did the Republicans know what they were endorsing?

Did their leadership explain it to them?

Did their leadership know what they were espousing?

Anonymous said...

When is Johnson and Co. going to provide some information to the people?
Seems like there are a lot of unanswered floating around the city.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what the republicans want? All they want is the opposite of what the democrats want. They are and have been useless (except to themselves of course)

Anonymous said...

Stortz .. people don't care...get it through your head.

Anonymous said...

Why do the Republicans want a COO?

Apparently they are happy with the job Ward is doing. They haven't found anything wrong, or come up with better suggestions.

Seems like they are a little confused.