Why am I upset? Would Kern Park be on the tax rolls as a big box store if previous administrations treated our neighborhood like the Jennings's School neighborhood was treated? My opponent, Eric Carlson has stated several points on his position of the sale publicly:
1. he stated the neighborhood was opposed to "Section 8". At no time did anyone have a chance to explain the difference between "Elderly Section 8" and other "Section 8". Every elderly complex in the city has elderly Section 8 with none of the problems. Mr. Carlson took a trip to Providence to look at and check out the developer however Mr. Carlson did not go to the Komanetsky Estates run by the Bristol Housing Authority. This was the model for their bid!
2. Mr. Carlson said that the Lavero proposal was brought forward even though no one wanted to tear down the building. The fact was that the Housing Authority Bid clearly stated they were in compliance with the R-15 zoning.
3. Mr. Carlson said that no one at the public hearing was upset about the loss of the ball fields for open space. What Mr. Carlson did not say was that the Housing Authority bid that gave the fields to the city was not brought forward for public hearing. This despite that over 120 residents of the area wanted the fields kept under city control and had even a signed petition. I might add that this was done with NO discussion on any of the advantages or disadvantages of any bid.
4. Carlson also stated openly and to the public that the charge of the council was toput all four schools back on the tax roll. Carlson clearly failed and neglected to tell or remind everyone that the Plan of Development clearly states "6. Retain city-owned properties, such as schools, rather than selling them, if the city determines that there could be a future need or an alternative municipal use for the property." When Mr. Carlson was asked if they (The Council) were following the Plan of Development, his response was and I quote, "As best we could!"
So I say again, would Kern Park be on the tax rolls as a big box store if previous administrations treated our neighborhood like the Jenning's School neighborhood was treated?
On Carlson's point about 11 Summer Street being torn down. History has recorded that the actual tearing down of this building was started years ago and the building was actually condemned when Kevin McCauley was a City Councilman. Perhaps Mr. Carlson forgot that.
On his point about the State running a deficit, Mr. Carlson has publicly state that Connecticut is in the same shape as the City of Detroit which filed bankruptcy recently. From what I found out, while Mr. Carlson had us believing we were going broke, the State Comptroller anticipated a $150,000.00 surplus for this year.
Lastly, on the building permit fee waiver point. I believe that this councils actions is a direct end around on the Board of Finance and exposes our city to future problems. If you look at the recent article in the Hartford Courant regarding Amazon building in Windsor where they asked for a permit waiver of only 50% in a package that was valued at over $4,000,000 incentives. Trust me, I am not against any part the Boys & Girls Club plays in the quality of life. I am just stating that other non-profits also play an important role. Now this council and Mr. Carlson have opened up a door that should have perhaps stayed close.