March 24, 2009

Ward says these times 'call for leadership'

 Mayor Art Ward, a Democrat elected in 2007, plans to seek re-election this year.

Ward said Tuesday that since taking office, “the economy has changed and I’d like to see it through to the point where we’re back on track” as a community, state and nation.

Ward said he’s enjoying the job despite the hardships caused by the massive recession that has crippled many businesses, clobbered revenues and made it difficult to balance the books at City Hall.

“These are the types of times that call for leadership,” Ward said. “They basically test your abilities.”

Ward said the voters will decide how he’s doing come November.

So far, there is only declared challenger, Republican Ken Johnson, the man that Ward narrowly defeated to win the city’s top job 16 months ago.

But two former mayors may be interested in running: Republican William Stortz and Democrat Frank Nicastro, who is stepping down from a City Council seat this year while continuing to serve as the 79th District’s state representative. Nicastro hasn’t ruled out a mayoral run.

The parties will nominate candidates this summer.

Ward plans a formal announcement of his intention to run on April 30 at a fundraiser at Nuchies. But he filed papers recently that made his plans clear.

Ward, who served on the council for seven terms before seeking the mayor’s job, said that he’s been able to “work in a bipartisan fashion for the most part” and has managed to patch up the obvious rift with some Democrats after  a tough primary in 2007.

Ward said that Democrats “have all come to the realization” that in the face of such hard times “we have to put our personal differences aside” and do what’s best for Bristol.

“It’s been a challenge” to serve during a recession, the mayor said, but he’s convinced he’s done the job well .

The highlights of his term as mayor, he said, were the city’s recent bond upgrade, the success in attracting new businesses and helping existing ones expand.

“I enjoy the job. I enjoy working with people. I thoroughly enjoy working with the community” in many ways, from giving recognition to civic groups to reading to schoolchildren, Ward said.

Ward is a former state veterans counselor who served in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam Ward.

Mayors serve two-year terms for about $101,000 annually. The election is Nov. 3.

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

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why didn't he start to "lead" earlier?
Then we might not be in the mess we are.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Ward will ask Dodd to come to Bristol to campaignfor him?

Anonymous said...

He's been leading all along. It's just taken some folks a little longer to follow. He's absolutely right. We do need to get over all the bullsh#t and pull together during this recession. Go Ward!

Anonymous said...

Ward "call for leadership" What a joke, how about acting like a leader instead of a lap dog!! What has Ward do to lead? He has given nice raises to his union boy's, voted to raise taxes and voted no for a pay cut.

Anonymous said...

Relax 8:25 ~ the evil boogie union monsters are all in your mind and the real lapdogs are on the city council.

Oh by the way, once again it's boys (pleural) not "boy's" (possessive), but I guess you'll learn that next year in third grade! ;0)

Spelling BEE said...

8:25am - if you follow ward's leadership, you might be able to know what Ward has done to lead rather than "What has Ward DO to lead."
That is what Ward does, he inspires; even you might learn something - whew.

Anonymous said...

Ward is led by the Unions. So if you want change get rid of the yes man for the unions.

nonsense said...

if ward is led by the unions, then why is the fire union contract not settled but is in arbitration?

Anonymous said...

12:06

Because most of the the Fire Fighters supported Zoppo!

Anonymous said...

And if he's such a pawn of the unions, why did the outside workers union agree to settle for 2.8% and 1.8% raises several months ago, and a health insurance co-pay for the first time? In his eight years as mayor, Frank never got the unions to agree to a co-pay.

seems dumb said...

12:06 - if I were negotiating a contract it wouldn't seem like a good time to want to be in arbitration

Anonymous said...

Hey Ward, lets see you do the right thing and take a Salary cut!!...then MAYBE you'll get my Vote. You are overpiad and you know it. Make a sacrafice before you ask us too do the same. Afterall you claim to be a "leader" and you lead by example, right? Prove it and just maybe you will impress some of us for once.

Anonymous said...

1:23

Ward wasn't the first to get Co-pay.

Who knows what other benefits were given: those can be costly too!

And guarantee no layoffs during times like this???

be serious said...

what's the big deal about a ward pay cut - why don't you beg for a pay cut of everyone over 1k - including all administrators, department heads, police, fire teachers and anyone else? that will make a difference - 5 grand from the elected officials is just cliff block pe-ing up a rope for political footage - boy, does he need it.

good said...

ward never said that there would not ever be any lay-offs - he said that he would try not to have any lay-offs. I applaud him for trying to keep everyone working instead of taking the easy way out and dumping people.

Anonymous said...

Curious where this talk of Nicastro and Stortz running comes from? I know both men and have been around City Hall and I don't hear anything about either one running for mayor. In fact, Nicastro has stated at least a couple of times publicly that he is not running in the City this year so as to devote more time in Hartford.

Is Steve just stirring the pot hear or is there tangible evidence?

Anonymous said...

Ward gets full health insurance and so does his wife who works for the BOE. Costing taxpayers twice for healthcare within the same family. Once should carry it not both.

Anonymous said...

Fire contract is in arbitration because the workers want the paychecks, and want to work less.

Steve Collins said...

3:35 -- From early February...

Though Frank Nicastro isn’t running for another term on the City Council, he’s not ready to say he’ll never be back at City Hall.
“I always leave the door open,” said Nicastro, a city councilor who also serves in the state House. “Who knows what the future holds in store?”

Steve Collins said...

3:35 -- And as for Stortz, well, when I asked him about it awhile back, he just smiled. I have heard from allies of the former mayor that they think he'll run.
Will he run? I'm sure nobody knows for sure yet except maybe Bill and his wife. He's not one to lay his cards on the table until he must.

How stupid can you get said...

2:40 PM ~ Even if Ward took the pay cut, it wouldn't amount to piss hole in the snow. The suggestion was a stupid political ploy by an equally...er, IQ-challenged individual.

As far as "leading by example," let me tell you...NOBODY is going to line-up for a pay cut just cuz the mayor took one...absolutely
N-0-B-O-D-Y.

sure said...

3:37 should get you head out of your butt and get your facts straight, ward isn't on the city health system.

Anonymous said...

Leading by example is the only way to lead. Ward can do well offering to take a pay cut.

recognizing waste said...

this is, without a doubt, the breeding ground for the next generation of the most non-productive sponges on our future society - god bless you reliant dweebs who are expecting society to support your lack of initiative goals and your dependance on those who have a sense of values.

Anonymous said...

"Leading by example is the only way to lead. Ward can do well offering to take a pay cut"

That would definitely be pointless...You can't lead if no one is going to follow. This is one time NO ONE is going to follow.

What a maroon said...

7:44 PM,

Does that mean if Ward volunteers to takes a pay cut, you're going to volunteer to take one too? You think people all around town are going to line up at work to take a pay cut? Geez...what color is the sky in your world???

Anonymous said...

Ward is leading us down the Slippery Slope!

Anonymous said...

Tsk, tsk, tsk...First Ward doesn't know how to lead, next he's leading us down some mysterious "slippery slope." Which is it?

Sounds like the anti-Ward gang are more than a little confused.

Anonymous said...

8:35

Yup, we are learning from Ward.

He is confused and got elected: we are hoping it works as well for us.

wondering said...

pay cut? should have block spend some of his council pay and show up at city events like this week's Police Officer of the Year event.
By the way, how come the night doesn't do both the cops and the firemen thing together anymore?

Out of it said...

8:35 & 9:08 - if what you are saying is true then you should head the waiting list because you have absolutely no clue.

Anonymous said...

"He is confused and got elected: we are hoping it works as well for us."

Huh?

Well, if you think confusion is a desirable attribute for a mayoral candidate, you guys are in luck! You also have immaturity, inexperience and invisibility (where has Ken been?) going for you too. Good luck with that!

same-o said...

9:08 - you've got the confused part in the bag; learning is the element which continues to elude you illiterates.

Anonymous said...

"He is confused and got elected: we are hoping it works as well for us."

You'd better hope the voters are confused...it's the ONLY way Ken can get elected.

not good said...

Ken who? haven't heard from johnson/cockayne on anything in quite awhile - guess that it is "look at me, my name is Kenny, ,you need to vote for me, regardless of the fact that I feel that I don't need any comraderee."