December 14, 2010

Cockayne stays despite Democratic objections

City Councilor Kate Matthews talking to one of the many television news crews that showed up for the showdown.

Despite objections from most of the City Council Democrats, Republican Ken Cockayne declared he would remain as the city's acting mayor for another month.
Cockayne, a second-term Republican, also said that he would pick someone else to serve as acting mayor for the city after Jan. 11. He gave no indication whom he might select but many insiders said that first-term Democrat Kevin Fuller is likely to get the nod.
Cockayne tossed aside Mayor Art Ward’s own pick to serve as acting mayor in December. In revoking the appointment of Democrat Kate Mathews, he said that maintaining consistency at the helm was critical.
Matthews called it “inappropriate for the acting mayor, who should be acting as a steward of the office in the mayor’s absence, to revoke Mayor Ward’s appointment and appoint himself in its place.”
She described herself as “disappointed and dismayed” at Cockayne’s choice.
Cockayne has been acting mayor since Dec. 4, when Ward collapsed after choking on a piece of steak.
Ward remains in intensive care at Bristol Hospital. He is in critical but stable condition. There has been no formal word from the mayor's family or doctors about his prognosis.
Fuller was the only Democrat to back Cockayne’s move.  See the whole story.
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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan but Ken is right...consistency is important right now until more is known about the Mayor's condition. The "but it's my turn" mentality needs to be put asside. We will know more about Art's condition over the next few days.

Anonymous said...

Consistency is important. We shouldn't have to keep a score card to figure out who the Mayor of the Month is.

Anonymous said...

Ken is consistently an idiot.

Is that the consistency you want?

Anonymous said...

The city council meeting last night officially put us in the category of third world country. They should have announced that they all agreed that a special election will be held on Feb 8th. If someone doesn't like it, challenge it in court. Last night council meeting was an embarrassment.
I don't want the job so no one place any ulterior motive to my opinion.

- Rick Kriscenski

Anonymous said...

Ken may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but I agree that consistency is important at this juncture. The last thing we need is mayor-athon.

Anonymous said...

Hope he stops saying Im doing what ART wants. What art was doing wasnt working.

Anonymous said...

You already have consistancy. Ken has the same consistant mentality he always had. He's a consistant bully with no respect for anything but what he wants.

Anonymous said...

If Kate was elected the next fill-in Mayor - would she be able to work full time at City Hall? Ken has been. The city does not need a part-time Mayor. Kate start attending meetings, and maybe you can might get re-elected next Nov.

Anonymous said...

You are actually justifying Mr. Cockayne's behavior by saying we need consistency? That is absolutely absurd! Why would you want someone to represent the city who, along with Mr. Krawiecki, seem to have orchestrated the most elaborate coup this city has ever seen? They have managed to get Mr. Nelson to fall in line step with them and Mr. Fuller has also fallen victim to their scheming. Also, the charter states that there wouldn't be a "mayor of the month" as you so state. Mr. Cockayne knows he is in there till November.

It's disgusting and an embarrassment to this city. Mr. Cockayne has voted over half the time against Mayor Ward so if you think he will be forwarding our mayor's agenda, think again. Time will reveal what they have in store for our city and its citizens.

Did anyone not notice how angry Mr. Cockayne became when he didn't get his way? He can't even control his temper when straightforward questions are asked of him. 7:03 is right. The only fair way to solve this is through the election process. This is not a dictatorship!

Ben said...

Is there any work getting done at the council level at city hall?
Or do they all just fight about who is going to be mayor?

Why so many blogs on the same subject?

Why are you people so nasty all the time?

I hope the mayor is getting well.
I'm afraid it's not looking good.
I wish Art the best, my hopes and prayers go out to him.

Ken, scr@w the BS. Just do your job. I haven't seen, or heard of you doing anything bad.
This gives you anonymous posters free reign to make stuff up;)

Anonymous said...

Rick,

the Council cannot call for a special election: the public initiates recall by petition.

Anonymous said...

If consistency is what you want, why have elections?

Would it not be better to seek improvement??

Anonymous said...

We should keep Ken on to finish Ward's term then re-elect him at the next election. The one's who oppose him don't like him because he's keeping an eye on them so they can't get away with as much as they would like to. I personally know Ken and believe he would try to do what's best for the city.

As for Mathews, who would want that oinker for mayor. She would be someone who would be lead by the nose by the good old boys club. Ken is his own man.

coakayne addict said...

Sounds like Matthews was the one who was out of line, not Ken Cockayne.

Queen-to-be Kate must think she has a throne to inherit.

Matthews must be taking lessons in how to be a nasty piece of work from Kevin McCauley.

Go Cockayne, Go Cockyane, Go Cockayne GO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

11:31...You are either Ken himself or his mommy.

conspiracy said...

seem to have orchestrated the most elaborate coup this city has ever seen

December 15, 2010 9:03 AM

```````````````````````
WOW !!!! I hadn't heard that Ken was the one to force feed Artie .

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the City Charter allows an Acting Mayor to appoint an Acting Mayor. If it's not specifically stated in the Charter, the appointment is illegal and if the Acting Mayor (Ken) becomes incapacitated as our current Mayor has, then any action implemented by the 2nd Acting Mayor would not be enforceable. That's no way to run a city.

Ken Cockayne, good, bad, indifferent, Republican or Democrat, he is the legal choice of the current Mayor and should remain in that post until the Mayor returns to duty or the elections are held next fall.

Anonymous said...

Matthews is gone in November anyway..who cares? She was non-existent all throughout her "campaign" in 2009, never shows up to meetings, has been kicked off of city boards for her poor attendance and then she cries to be acting mayor? Please, what a joke! Last night was the first time anyone saw her come out of her turtle shell, all in time for the TV cameras. Bristol made a huge mistake voting for her, me included. We should have voted for Mills and the kid instead.

Art, we need you back in office!

Anonymous said...

As a voter, I feel that this debacle is a disgusting circus. What is the process? What does the charter say? Are individuals just making up their own rules as they go along? Absent any case law or charter provision, it seems like the most logical, fundalmentally fair remedy is to have the most senior ranking Democrat fill the spot until Mayor Ward returns. This decision would represent the voice of the people. After all, the city's electorate and citizens elected a Democrat, not a Republican to run the city for two years. Had Cockayne propsed this in the beginning, he would have stood much taller in the room, in my eyes. How can Cockayne be allowed to reappoint himself? I believe it is time for the State to step in and take a look. At a glance, something appears to be way out of order legally.

Anonymous said...

Actually the city elected Art Ward to be Mayor who happens to be a Democrat. In fact if we are to follow your logic, the voters on a citywide basis, elected a Democrat and we should then go to the next person who has won a city wide race and that would be either Rose Parenti or Jason Welch. Only a third of the city voted for any of these council people anyways.

People did not just vote Art Ward in because he was a Democrat, they voted in Art Ward because they like him and his message. I think we should all just enjoy our holiday's and worry about Art Ward's health and then lets deal with this in the new year.

Anonymous said...

2:40 PM, Nice try.

Leaving Cockayne in the office is the most logical, least disruptive move. It just makes sense not to rock the boat at this juncture. The decision has been made. Now, we'll all be watching to see if the dems can put aside all the ill will and animosity, and pull together for Bristol. That would make them all stand much taller in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Amen 3:03 PM!

Anonymous said...

Feel bad for Ward, but the man didn't do s**t for the city. The Police Chief is still working and his girlfriend the personal director is still allowed to make bad decicions. They have made Bristol a joke. Ken says he wants them out, I haven't heard anyone else say anything!!!

Anonymous said...

"Ken, scr@w the BS. Just do your job. I haven't seen, or heard of you doing anything bad."

You weren't at the Council meeting last night. He and Mills tried to scuttle a done-deal union contract, which would have cost the Bristol taxpayers thousands of dollars in wasted arbitration fees, just so he and Mills can pretend to be fiscal watchdogs. Are Bristol voters really that stupid, that they won't see through this? Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

The mayor appoints the acting mayor.
The charter does not say for how long, be it one day, or the balance of the term.
The mayor can name a different person acting mayor anytime they so desire. It seems that Ward did just that, but
Cockayne does not want to recognize that and the dems are too stupid to fight it.


Shows just what kind of people we are electing.

Anonymous said...

3:14

How come that wasn't reported in the media?

Tell me more.

Anonymous said...

Too stupid to fight it? Are you not paying attention? The Republicans had the charter on their side last night, and all the Dems had was Ward's intent. Charter trumps intent. They were too smart to fight it.

Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer but with Mayor Ward in the Hospital and not able to perform the duties of his office the acting Mayor then takes over until the Mayor comes back. In this case the luck of the draw went to Ken. Ken has done an excellent job so far and has remained focused on the City of Bristol. I agree with his decision to stay on until January 11th when we should all have a better picture of how long Mayor Ward will be out of office. Let's pray and hope for Mayor Ward's recovery and keep moving Bristol "ForWard".

Anonymous said...

The Board of Education has successfully negotiated a new contract with the principals' union. But state law says a City Council can reject a BOE-negotiated contract and send it to binding arbitration. If Cockayne had been able to muster one more vote last night, it would have to go to binding arbitration, which the City of Bristol has to pay for. And the arbitration board would rule that this contract was the "last best offer", and therefore impose it on both sides. But only after Bristol paid for several meetings of the arbitration panel. Cockayne and Mills know this (Mills is an ex-teacher), but they are Republicans: they posture rather than lead, because they think we are too stupid to know the difference.

Anonymous said...

all you people need to stop all this baby nonsense. who cares who is acting mayor or not. ken is acting mayor leave it at that. ward is lying on his back in i.c.u stop all this b.s and get on with things.

shame on the BOE once again said...

December 15, 2010 4:34 PM:

Thank you for pointing out an example of why the Binding Arbitration system needs to be reformed.

But as far as rejecting the contract, I call that principle rather than posturing. I'm sure the BOE agreed to a generous contract with these over-paid extortionists just as they agreed to the ridiculous school on Chippen Hill.

Anonymous said...

SHAME ON BOE: Well, you have shown that there is in fact at least one person too dumb to know the difference between posturing and leading. Rant all you want against the binding arb law - IT IS THE LAW. Empty gestures like Cockayne and Mills tried to pull last night would have cost the Bristol taxpayers real cash money. Apparently it bought your vote.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is SEWEEEE!

Anonymous said...

6:20

Leave dave Mills alone.
He just spent more money getting an unneeded ice rink downtown

Anonymous said...

to be exact the contract gave 6.9% increase to those covered. the average pay for the group is around $125,000. That works out for 42 employees to about $5 million dollars of taxpayer money. Say what you will, the Education budget is some 70% of the entire City budget. When it comes time to pass it, everyone will say "we can't do anything about their budget" you have to start somewhere and it seems to me the administrator's contract is a great place to start!
In addition, West Hartford and Bloomfield just did teacher contracts with ZERO increases. This contact was done by Tom Obrien and the good Dr Phil in one session. Now that's great negotiating.
By the way, did they involve people like the Board of Finance while they made their deal?
Bottom line, the highest paid people in the City get 6.9% increase- TO THE TAXPAYERS THAT PAY THE BILL WHAT WERE YOUR INCREASES OVER THE LAST 3 YEARS?
These are no longer times like they have been since the beginning of time, we have a crisis and everyone wants to look the other way. I for one thank Dave Mills for raising the questions

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the "baby" comments , However it was the Bristol God Cockayne that did away with Wards wishes and declared himself the Mayor. Is that or is that not egotistical ?

Anonymous said...

Forrestvill School Committee
Jan 2010 - Oct 2010 5 absences

Water Board
Nov 2009 - Nov 2010 5 absences

Retirement Board
-Removed for absences

Real Estate Committee
Jan 2010 - Nov 2010 3 absences

Bristol Community Org
Jan 2010 - Nov 2010 5 absences

Guess who's attendance record this is? If you can then you can probably figure out why Ken kept the Mayor's seat for 1 more month, thus freezing the truant out of the acting mayor role. Also it is not a far stretch to figure out why Nelson supported this move. Why would he want to put a lackey like her in the position anyway, when she can't attend meetings as a "part time" council person? Put this off one month, pressure mounts on Cockayne and he appoints someone else, perhaps another Dem who actually does his job. Everyone looks good, everyone is happy and the city is in good hands, OR the mayor returns to health and his duties.

Anonymous said...

Why is Kate whining that she didn't get Mayor of the Month? I just don't understand these people. It isn't as if Cockayne can make any major decisions without Council approval...he can't do any damage. He's just overseeing daily operations.

Did he foil her plot to do something major while the real Mayor is out of commission?

Shame on BOE said...

December 15, 2010 6:20 PM:

Stupid? You would know, you see it every morning when you look in the mirror.

You're also a petty little turd, too dumb to know when you're getting screwed. Too dumb to know who or what to vote for...is you.

Anonymous said...

December 15, 2010 6:20 PM:

Not many are dumb enough to believe that you know what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

" I disagree with the prior comment stating Block would be nominated next for acting mayor. Even though, Block would be an exceptional choice. However, Kevin Fuller crossed party lines because he was surely promised the nod in January. Mr Cock ayne weaseling his agenda! Block should be lauded for pushing for appropriate due process. It is unjust that Kate Mathews is not the current acting mayor. The next elected mayor should do away with the rotating acting mayor nonsense. Have one second in command for unfortunate scenarios like what has occurred. God bless Art Ward and his family. "

not a block head said...

December 17, 2010 12:24 AM

Block would be an exceptional choice? Yeah right he's just fantastic. As one of his constituents, I would like to thank him personally for supporting $150 million for two new schools that are not even in our district. Block is a lightweight (rhetorically speaking of course) who like Kevin McCauley, has no business serving on the city council.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Bristol is now a one party town.

We need someone to question these out of control officials.