August 11, 2009

McCauley pushes for more review of city projects

Though the state is picking up the entire $159,000 tab for widening a stretch of Center Street, city Councilor Kevin McCauley voted against the project Tuesday.

McCauley, who cast the only vote in opposition, said the city faces a financial crunch that may mean “possible layoffs” next year so it has to begin reconsidering each and every significant project.

At his urging, the council agreed to back a new task force that would review all projects costing more than $100,000.

But councilors said they didn’t understand why McCauley would oppose spending state cash on a project that will help a congested downtown intersection.

“It is not costing the city,” said city Councilor Mike Rimcoski, who calls himself “Dr. No” because he hates to shell out tax money.

The council voted 5-1 to award the Center Street project to the Vernon-based VMS Construction Co. Mayor Art Ward missed the meeting because he is attending a reunion of his old military unit.

Public Works Director Walter Veselka said the state has already given its blessing to the project using development funds awarded to Bristol.

“It really is not city funds,” Veselka said.

McCauley said, though, that city officials have to recognize the need to scrutinize every proposal to see if it makes sense to move forward with it during such tough times.

“We really need to look at these projects,” McCauley said.

He said it may well be prudent to put off even worthy proposals until the return of better times.

While some projects are worthy and ought to be done, McCauley said, “I don’t believe this is and I can’t vote to move this forward.”

City Councilor Craig Minor praised McCauley’s call for a new committee to take another look at projects. He said that’s “a good idea.”

City Councilor Frank Nicastro, too, said he has no problem with creating a task force to review plans one last time before handing out contracts. But, he said, the Center Street project deserves to make the cut.

The main goal of the project, slated to begin this summer, is to add a turning lane for drivers heading east in hopes of alleviating the long backups at the traffic light next to the central firehouse.

City finance officials have said that merely keeping up with existing services could cost the city more than $8 million more next year than it is spending this fiscal year. Slicing that number down is likely to be the major task of municipal leaders for months to come.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

Dr No Rimkowski will not spend city money yet He is free to spend state tax dollars. Am I wrong in thinking that the state has a 8,000,000,000 shortfall and if we just spend all we can it will mean less aid in the future. Get a grip and stop palying to the local TV

Anonymous said...

McCauley????? R U really that out of touch with reality.

No city money is being used for this project, its in your district and its needed.

You have become a disappointment...I don;t think you have been well prepared this term, adn your completly lost in space.
That's too bad also, b/c I had High hopes that you would one-day be our Mayor.
I always thought you had what it took, but I am truly disappointed.

do something said...

mccauley should whine about something that means something and not showcase once a month.

Anonymous said...

Mike, it is TAXPAYERS money!!!

One pocket or the other.

Anonymous said...

That's OK McCauley. We don't mind crashing our cars into each other so you and your municipal union cronies (city workers) don't have to take a reduction in your pay raise (although some of us don't even have employment).

Anonymous said...

6:31 - It's also money that's slated to be spent improving CT roads. If we turn it down, the money will just go to another city...and still come out of our pockets. We'd have to be idiots to say no (guess that explain's McCauley's vote).

Anonymous said...

Dr. No needs to go.

Anonymous said...

Kevin is right: the city should not be spending money on "feel good" projects when jobs are being eliminated and essential services are being cut. Who asked for this so-called "improvement" anyway? Did you?

Obviously you have a job so you can afford to be callous about this.

Anonymous said...

city money... state money... its all taxpayer money, any way you look at it. (and we're all taxpayers, right?)

how much better off would our state and city be if all municipalities in Connecticut looked at the projects for which they have received full state funding and asked, is this really necessary in these times, considering that our state government is operating in the red?

good for kevin. this is real fiscal conservatism and shows that he is capable of seeing the forest for the trees. frankly, i'm glad he's showing some backbone this close to an election. that's a rare and valuable thing that you won't get from other candidates.

as for dr. no, let's just say that i am unimpressed. he exemplifies "penny wise and pound foolish". mike should be careful of his careless criticisms. to me, he appears to occasionally be prodded awake at city meetings, i can never manage to interpret his mumblings, and i can't think of what he's really done for the city lately besides trying to identify the owner of a phantom telephone poll. really, mike?

its time for mike to take a hike so we can replace him with someone who can offer more than hasty, unintelligible rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

If Bristol does not take the money some other City/Town will. I am guessing McCauley does not understand how State aid works?

Anonymous said...

McCauly doesn't understand much of anything.

Anonymous said...

I thought that that was the role of the Board of Finance?

Anonymous said...

August 12, 2009 3:25 AM:

McCauley's "district" obviously and exclusively includes people who work for the city and no one else.

Anonymous said...

Did McCauley and Rimcoski break up?

Anonymous said...

the real meat of the story should have been the new review standard for this type of project not the actual project which I took as him using as an example. I am pretty sure Mccauley realizes its not city money but his point is still well taken. We can do without. It could have been given to a more worthy project so bristol still got their "share."

Anonymous said...

August 13, 2009 8:06 AM - what?

Anonymous said...

"I am pretty sure Mccauley realizes its not city money"

Pretty sure? How sad. McCauley only performs well when he's told what to do. This is what happens when he ad libs on his own. He's totally clueless.

sleepy head said...

mccauley is probably upset because the construction will keep the firemen awake during the day.