November 5, 2009

Ward eyes committee assignments for new council

For the first time in many years, the mayor plans to name himself as chair of one of a City Council committee.

Mayor Art Ward said he’s eyeing the prospect of naming himself as the head of the Salary Committee. He said he may want to chair another panel as well.

Ward said he also intends to ax some committees.

Those on the chopping block include the Roberts Property Committee and the Theater Committee.

The mayor said both panels were created to push projects – a recreation complex on the former Roberts property and a community theater at Memorial Boulevard School – that can’t be funded anytime soon.

It’s not clear what other committees may be wiped out.

Ward, who won reelection Tuesday by a wide margin, said he will take a couple of weeks before handing out committee assignments to the council.

He said he wants to take enough time to ensure that all six councilors, including three newcomers, have a chance to take on assignments that interest them.

City Councilor Frank Nicastro said the three veteran councilors who won reelection this week “are going to have their hands full” dealing with “giant committees” such as the Real Estate and Ordinance panels.

“I don’t envy them,” Nicastro said.

Ward said that eliminating unnecessary committees will free up busy councilors to focus on more pressing issues and problems.

The mayor said that he can always reinstate the Roberts, Theater or other committees down the road if circumstances change.

In the meantime, Ward said, “it’s fruitless to spend the time and effort” to keep alive committees that can’t really do anything.

Ward’s decision to take the helm of the Salary panel, Nicastro said, “is a very wise move. That’s a very professional move.”

He said that Ward, who chaired the panel as a councilor years ago, can take on the job without missing a beat.

Nicastro said that two of the three council members who serve on the Salary panel – Mike Rimcoski and Nicastro – won’t be back after newcomers take their place Monday.

So for the mayor to bring his experience to the panel, Nicastro said, is “a wise thing.”

Nicastro said that once the newly elected councilors have some time in office, Ward may shuffle the assignments a little.

“Once these guys and ladies all get their feet wet, a year from now, if he wants he can name somebody chairman,” Nicastro said.

Nicastro served as mayor from 1993 to 2003. He has been on the council since 2005, but stepped down this year to focus on his job as state representative for the 79th District.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

don't worry about ordinance, frank. the mayor clearly doesn't want this city to cleanup its act so he'll just continue to take things away like the code enforcement officer. pay attention, folks. this is the guy you re-elected to run your city. be prepared for the undesireable elements to start moving into this town in droves because there will be no one there to stop the landlords from allowing their properties to fall apart.

Anonymous said...

Talk about having a big EGO.

Isn't the Salary committee the one that can reward friends?

Anonymous said...

What does Mad Dog have to say about that?

Anonymous said...

"pay attention, folks. this is the guy you re-elected to run your city."

Yes it is, and there's a good reason why the majority of us re-elected him...he's doing a great job!

Anonymous said...

Barnes and the Republicans should be on top of this.

But they won't be, and then they will wonder why they don't win elections.

The "leadership" has failed the committee members, they have failed the Republicans, they have failed the people of Bristol.

They should resign and let someone DO THE JOB as it supposed to be done.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Ward couldn't/didn't make meetings before and now he wants to be on more committee?

Steve, why don't you check into his attendance record? You might find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

Raise your hand if you are going to miss Frank Nicastro.



Last call, Anybody?

Anonymous said...

Just another ploy to protect the under-talented Personel Director. It is truly disappointing that he refuses to do big picture and instead wants to micromanage small picture.

Anonymous said...

I thought he would have gotten over whatever caused him to be such a jerk to his fellow Dems over the last two years but I guess not. I will bet my glass beer at Sporty;s that the Councilmen are reading about this for the first time on the blog and that he has not mentioned anything to them. So much for a kinder, gentler second term.

Anonymous said...

The mayor doesn't have to answer to the Republicans or the Chairman Barnes. He will have a strong voting bloc with the addition of Mills and Fuller who he feels he can control, or at least that is what his brain trust was saying on election day. They were counting on Mike Rimcowski too, for an even fourth vote, but I guess now they will have to make nice to Cockayne. Count on them getting the primo committee assignments as he primes the pump.

Anonymous said...

Can the mayor really do that, Steve? Doesn't the committee assigment list get approved by the whole council? Can they block that? Seems like a big waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Moving forward?!

Anonymous said...

Where do you get those bumper stickers that say "Don't blame me, I voted for _____"

At this point, there may be a whole bunch of people in town who may want to write in Stortz or Alford, Kenny Johnson or Ellen."

Anonymous said...

Make Roberts Propert a sports complex that what this town needs softball, baseball, football, turf fields. That`s what makes sence Mr Mayor. This town needs it lets work together and make this happen.

look ahead said...

7:05 - suck it up.

Anonymous said...

By eliminating those two committees mentioned, Ward is reducing TWO assignments.

At the same time he is also eliminating the advocacy effort for two areas that, when action is taken, would enhance Bristol and make it more attractive.

Why talk about marketing Bristol when yo aren't working to make it attractive?

These committees cannot spend money on their own, and they gave some citizens a reason to be involved.

Dumb move Mayor!!! Just a power move, and a petty one, because Zoppo started one and Stortz the other.

Anonymous said...

"They should resign and let someone DO THE JOB as it supposed to be done.
November 5, 2009 8:36 PM"

So step up and get involved then.

Anonymous said...

Talk about a tax increase- BALL FIELDS, THEATHER, PARKS- who do you think is going to pay for that-THANK YOU MR. MAYOR- NO MONEY, NO PROJECTS, NO COMMITEES- let's focus on what is needed- PUBLIC SAFTEY, ROADS,SERVICES,BRINGING BUSINESS TO BRISTOL

moan and groan said...

guess that sour grapes before the election has resulted in raisins for all of you "anonymous" bloggers - need to grow up before you grow old, which seems to be happening now.

Anonymous said...

Poster at 11:00

It is a Closed Club in case you haven't noticed.

Anonymous said...


And a theater wan't bring people and business to Bristol?

Lets invest in Bristol and it will prosper!

Anonymous said...

Bring Stortz back!

Anonymous said...

Apparently Ward thinks he got a mandate from the people, when in reality it was the ineptness of the Republican party that resulted in his reelection.
Where was the party in questioning him, where was the "Mad Dog" in questioning him?
Seems like that had a hands off policy for some reason.
Of course if Alford had gotten elected, Cockayne would be odd man (no pun intended) out.
Think about it.

Embarrassed for you said...

"Just a power move, and a petty one, because Zoppo started one and Stortz the other."

Grow up 9:37 AM. Stortz and Zoppo are history (well, except for certain lap dogs that Zoppo keeps, but that's another story). The reality is that the failing economy has made these committees obsolete. This is a wise move by Ward. He's obviously doing what's best for Bristol. If Bill or Ellen's feelings are hurt, I suggest they follow the advice of 7:50 AM and "suck it up."

Anonymous said...

Find someone or company to buy roberts property and build a sports complex softball, baseball, football, Do whats right for Bristol.It`s very easy

Anonymous said...

the personal director hase a lot of talent. We the tax payers dont get the benifit only dept heads. She only keeps company with people that make her look good.

gargle, gargle said...

suck it up.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Ward tell us this during the campaign??


Anonymous said...

Ward axed the Memorial Boulevard Theater Committee shortly after getting elected because he couldn't care less for the performing arts (just ask anyone on the Tourism, Entertainment, Arts, and Museums committee). His excuse was "no money", but the fact is there was funding for this project in the Center Mall/Downtown grant that Bristol has been promised. Adding insult to injury, he pulled the plug without bothering to consult with the committee members, many of whom had put in long hours on the project. When you treat volunteers like that, don't be surprised if they don't come flocking to your door next time. Which of course is no problem for Ward, because there won't be a "next time". When you don't have a vision, you don't have to act. Ward makes Stortz look like the Energizer Bunny.

Anonymous said...

Bristol elects another CITY EMPLOYEE to the coucil. This Fuller guy is a board of education employee. This means he can not vote on the largest part of the city's budget. Of the $190 Million city budget, Board of Education is $100 million of it. Between this guy and McCauley, a City Firefighter taxpayors lose votes and risk casting the city council into a tie with no tie breaker.

Isn't there a law about this called the Hatch Act? If there isn't there should be. Bristol taxpayers are getting short changed every time a city employee gets elected to the city council. Where were the Republicans on this?They should have made this better known during the campaign.

Anonymous said...


And when the economy improves, will we be ready to do anything?

When they close the Blvd School. will Ward let it sit like we have with the Mall?

When people think about coming to Bristol, willl we tell them, wait, we have put everything on hold?

Maybe what Ward is doing is good politics, but it certainly is bad management.

By the way, how much is it saving us?

Anonymous said...

2:34 poster...I mean Stortz,

Cockayne wasn't running against Stortz incase you didn't know.

Anonymous said...

Zoppo was running McCauley, Block, Mathews and Veits campaign....therefore Ward will continue to keep them out.

Ward don't let Zoppo control the Council from the outside.

Anonymous said...

Does Wards EGO keep him from taking his signs down?

Seems like he and Cockayne are milking it for all it is worth (nothing).

Anonymous said...

11/5 8:10 he was re-elected because there wasn't anyone else that was going to beat him. no offense to Ms. Alford who gave it her best, but citizens in this town complain but they don't do anything to change the outcome. i'm sorry, but i don't agree with your statement that he is doing a "great job."

Anonymous said...

7:50 poster: you're telling 7:05 to suck it up? you're kidding, right? we are talking about something very important in this town that will clean it up and is the only way to start attracting decent folk into this town. perhaps you should leave this town, because you're so into ward that you can't think straight! (another ward zombie!)

Anonymous said...

"i'm sorry, but i don't agree with your statement that he is doing a "great job.""

That's okay! The majority of Bristol's voters do. :~D

Anonymous said...

The Repuhblicans blew that issue, and many others.
They could have beaten Ward, but they did not address the issues.

But thenthis is their modus operandi.

Odin said...

To the guy whining about city employees on the city council: grow up. The voters knew Fuller was a city employee and they voted for him anyway. Rimcoski has been stealing from the Bristol taxpayers for four years (every time he cashed his paycheck) and it finally caught up to him. If there was a law preventing city employees from running for office, it would prevent the people from deciding for themselves whom they want to represent them.

Anonymous said...


No, they are getting ready for 2011!!

Heaven help us!

Anonymous said...

Just imagine the hulabaloo if someone pulled this while Ward was a Councilman!

What a hypocrite!

And where are the republicans, Mad Dog and the power brokers?

Anonymous said...

City employees who get elected to the council have a massive conflict of interest. If the tainted councilman has any integrity he will recuse himself from any vote that directly effects his paycheck. Check the record ..McCauley did not vote on a firefighter/department contract, grants or personnel matters. Go ask him why. Odin, you shot your mouth off like a uninformed union hack.

Anonymous said...

Hey ODIN you must be Wards lap dogs.

Anonymous said...

12:47: "The majority of voters do." What majority? 65,000 people in this city and 33,000 eligible voters and out of those 33,000 only about 20 percent voted. Hardly what I would call "the majority." Oh yeah, and a large group of those were Dems. It's amazing how insignificant ward's win was once you tally up the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Boy Stortz you need to get a life. Just reading this blog you can tell your posting all over it. You where one of the worst Mayors Bristol ever had and will NEVER be reelected again. Everyone knows you didn't win your last election, Coutcher lost it. It was a vote against him not for you!

Get a life and move on.'s my understanding that many people told you if you where interested in running to talk to the leadership. But as usual you wanted to be begged to run.

Anonymous said...

8:19 AM, You said it yourself, "only about 20 percent voted." The rest were obviously satisified with the job Ward has been doing and assumed he'd win by a landslide. On the other hand, every single anti-Ward voter made sure to vote, and they still lost.

As for your other obtuse observation, "It's amazing how insignificant ward's win was once you tally up the numbers."...LMFAO!!! I guess it was significant enough...He won! ;~)

Anonymous said...


I don't know what is going on within the Republican party, who didn't approach who etc., (it seems as if the republicans approached Alford among many others), but I would have supported and worked for Stortz.

He was good mayor who had and has the interests of Bristol at heart.
By your logic one could say that Ward didn't win this election, Alford and the Republicans lost it.
With all the elections he won, he must have been doing something right. On the other hand, since the republicans aren't winning very many, guess they aren't doing anything right.
By not including Stortz, even if he didn't want to run, you are showing your insecurity and also your lack of political astuteness.

Anonymous said...


Let me see if I got this right.
You say, as if talking for the republican town committee, that stortz would never get the nomination.
Then you say that you understand that people said to stortz, if you want to run, ask.

I may not be too smart, by why ask, if a king maker like you would deny him the nomination.
I think stortz is smarter than that, to put himself in a position where people like you are just waiting to put him down.

Again, bottom line, your approach failed, AGAIN.

loser said...

8:09 - suck it up.

Anonymous said...

Ward is beginning to sound like Perez

Anonymous said...

The Mayor chairs police, fire, parks, public works, joint board.
Since he has a poor record of attending meetings, why does he want to take on more, other than EGO!

Anonymous said...

About city employees on the Council, haven't you guys figured it out yet? This is how it works-

Employee can't vote on matters related to his job, so Fireman Kevin can't vote on his Fire Dept contract, etc. But he can vote on the Board of Ed. Meanwhile, Board of Ed Kevin can't vote on the Board of Ed matters, but he can vote on the Fire Dept. contracts. Do you get the picture?

The Firemen won't screw the Police contracts, and the Police won't screw the Fire Dept. contracts, and neither will screw the Board of Ed contracts and the Board of Ed won't screw the Police and Fire contracts. All one big happy family of City Unions.

Anonymous said...

Stortz is finished and has been since 2007. Those of you who think he has"the best interest of Bristol in his heart" have drunk the kool-aid. He will use (or try to) you until he gets what he wants then you are out.

Pro Stortz comments, along with MOST anti Bristol GOP are from Stortz.

Anonymous said...

12:07 poster: you are so far off the mark it isn't even funny. voers didn't look at these two councilmen and say, oh, he can't vote for this so i'll vote for him or vice versa. that is totally absurd. people don't think that way but obviously you do. if you check maccauley's record, you will see he has only abstained from a handful of votes over his four years as councilman which is really a non issue even though scrola tried to make it one. if you want to get to abstaining, why don't you check on cockayne who abstained from a health care vote stating he is in the insurance business and can't vote on health care issues which is huge now and will definitely be an issue in the next two years. just remember that abstaining is across the board so let's play fair.

Anonymous said...

So Ward gets to hire who he wants and sets the salary too? - Talk about power and corruption.

Anonymous said...


It appears that you are the one that drank the kool aid, way too much of it.

I have heard of no one that feels that they were used, except maybe those that were in it for favors for themselves.

I, and many others, still feel that he was good for Bristol, and woould have gotten elected on 2007 if he chose to run.

But then, with people like you working against him, who knows?

By the way, you sound like the guy that "threw in the towel" awhile back.

Anonymous said...

6 24 in the morning

I was part of the organization in 06-07, didn't like waht was happening

Like Schaffrick and Moccabee didn't use Johnson to get at stortz and then not support johnson in 09.

Loke Alford and Gill, and maybe others weren't being used also.

The party has a reputation for that but people do learn. That is why there is soi much difficulty in getting candidates.