March 26, 2009

House speaker calls for courthouse to remain open

It doesn’t look like the gavel is going to come on Bristol’s courthouse anytime soon.
House Speaker Chris Donovan, a Meriden Democrat, said Thursday that “it doesn’t make sense” for lawmakers to go along with Gov. Jodi Rell’s proposal to shut down courthouses in Bristol and his hometown.
The closures probably won’t happen now, said state Rep. Chris Wright, a Bristol Democrat. “The speaker holds a lot of weight.”
Closing the Meriden and Bristol courthouses, as the governor proposes, would save $2.1 million annually by eliminating funding for 29 positions and associated costs, according to Rell's budget.
Another $438,000 would be saved by axing five public defenders who work at the two courthouses.
Though Donovan’s support for the two courthouses is crucial, it’s not the last word.
“We’re hopeful” the courts will stay open, said state Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat.
“It appears we’re going to be able to save it, but I can’t take that to the bank,” Nicastro said.
Donovan said that both courts are busy places that serve important roles in their communities.
Without them, he asked, “Where are people going to go?”
State Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Bristol Democrat, said that shutting down the courthouses would “hurt Bristol” by cutting into downtown business.
“There’s more and more leaving the downtown area,” the senator said, and adding to the exodus wouldn’t help.
A state law requires the Bristol courthouse remain open at least 40 weeks a year, a measure written into the statute book more than 15 years ago when former House Minority Leader Edward Krawiecki, Jr took the initiative to block earlier talk of shutting the Bristol institution.
However, the law doesn’t specifically require a superior court locally so it’s always possible the state could stick a traffic or small claims court in the space and comply with the law's wording without leaving much of a judicial footprint in town.
The state tried most recently in 2001 to close the courthouse. The effort was beaten back by the city's legislators and Nicastro, who was mayor at the time.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

18 comments:

Concerned Conservative said...

“The speaker holds a lot of weight”, said state Rep. Chris Wright.

--Of course he does. And he tells you and the rest of the Bristol delegation (with the exception of Hamzy) exactly how to vote.

Concerned Conservative said...

Donovan said,“Where are people going to go?”

--Well unlike a good precentage of your party's base sir, the rest of us don't spend time there unless we're called for jury duty.

Anonymous said...

Closing the court would not be a negative to the community or the downtown. Just drive by the court on any given day and I think you'll have an idea of what I mean. With the exception of a few attorneys and judicial marshals who might buy a hot dog across the street, the court and it's clients add nothing to the marketability of the downtown. Close the court. City hall needs the space anyway.

Anonymous said...

Was that really Nicastro in the picture????

Anonymous said...

Close the court! Why should we have to make it convienient for the criminals to go to thier court dates. Closing the court would also be a step in the right direction of cleaning up what is left of downtown.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

“The speaker holds a lot of weight”, said state Rep. Chris Wright.

--Of course he does. And he tells you and the rest of the Bristol delegation (with the exception of Hamzy) exactly how to vote.


Speaking from experience, within each chamber, and within each party, there are two groups: the leadership and the caucus. On the big issues they get together, and of course there are the differences between the two parties, but in general there is the leadership's goals and the almost two hundred agenda's of the members.

The speaker doesn't tell them how to vote but he does decide what can go on the agenda.

_________________________________

Donovan said,“Where are people going to go?”

--Well unlike a good precentage of your party's base sir, the rest of us don't spend time there unless we're called for jury duty.


Well, unlike the Republican's base my party's base doesn't commit corporate crimes, war crimes, and ethical misconduct. We tend to destroy the country at the micro level not the macro level.

Anonymous said...

No, 2:51, your party is just leading us to socialism.

Anonymous said...

Re: 2:51

If you believe that controlling the agenda is not surreptitiously indicating how to vote, you will be in college for a long time.

Concerned Conservative said...

anonwestconngirlsaid:

"Well, unlike the Republican's base my party's base doesn't commit corporate crimes, and ethical misconduct"

--And the recent former Governors of New Jersey and New York did what then?

--And whom exactly committed a "war crime" in the Republican Party? What a crack-pot you are!

--Lighten up. I was making a joke, although I believe you Miss, are serious.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

Re: 2:51

If you believe that controlling the agenda is not surreptitiously indicating how to vote, you will be in college for a long time.


I didn't say that. What I said was that the situation is more complex than people would like to believe. When a bill is first raised by a committee it can go through dozens of changes. Perhaps even being completely gutted and then even put back together at any point in the process.

Perfect example: Tom and his zone pricing bill. The original stand alone bill was bottled up in committee, so a way was found to insert the language into another bill. By the time it was discovered, the bill had passed in the Senate.

Bottom line, this is not a top down process and with an issue like the courthouse the speaker does hold a lot of weight.

Anonymous said...

anonwestconn:

I guess they don't teach grammar very well at "westconn" or where-ever you're from.

More than one agenda are referred to as agendas, not "agenda's".

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

--Lighten up. I was making a joke, although I believe you Miss, are serious.

No I was joking around.


I guess they don't teach grammar very well at "westconn" or where-ever you're from.


I learned grammer in Bristol's fine school's.

America said...

11:45 - sad part is that you feel good in trying to rectify your ineptness while hoping that everyone reading your trash is illeterate enough to give you a pass on substance - you figure it out - never mind, thank goodness some intelligent people waste their time reading you nerds.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

America:

You're projecting.

Concerned Conservative said...

anonwestconnliberalchick said:
"I learned grammer in Bristol's fine school's" (sic).

Will new buildings cure that inadequacy?

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

Will new buildings cure that inadequacy?

Probably not.

Concerned Conservative said...

So why would they stimulate the economy?

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

It's been brought up here on this blog before that the benefit to having schools close to populated downtown areas attract a need to provide services in that area. Parks, stores, local services, etc.

This is in addition to the short term economic capital generated from the income's of people who build those schools.

Short term money for construction workers and yes their unions.

Long term greater demand for more convenient services in the vicinity of the school.