Community Forum: Apr. 2 broadcast
Time: 10:17 AM
An examinaiton of an irresponsible attempt to sell city-owned land
Time: 7:37 PM
Common Council public hearing: 03.18.08. Photo by CTBlogger.
Mayor Boughton's attempt to sell city-owned land on Rockwood Lane reeks of hypocrisy since this the same mayor who made a campaign promise to acquire 12,000 acres as open space by 2012.
While I could go on and on pointing out the ignorance in Boughton's latest stunt, thankfully someone else did all the work for me...and made the Common Council second guess the deal.
For those not familiar with this idiotic proposal, here's a quick recap.
The Common Council is considering selling two acres of undeveloped land to a homeowner on Rockwood Lane.Now, lets forget that DeFabritis' request to have a buffer is already in place BECAUSE THE CITY OWNS THE LAND...I'll sit back while Gucker explains the stupidity of Boughton's ways.
Resident Paul DeFabritis is offering $20,000 for the land, which is next to his home. He is not planning to develop the land, according to his attorney, Peter Hunt.
"It's an unimproved road and it doesn't have access," Hunt said. "It's basically landlocked."
DeFabritis, who owns about nine acres next to the city's two acres, said he wants to buy the land to protect him from any development that could take place around his property, which is close to the New York State border.
"I want the buffer," DeFabritis said. "It's basically a cliff. I couldn't develop it if I wanted to."
Kenneth Gucker, a politically active city Democrat, is questioning why the Common Council is selling the land -- especially when voters recently approved spending $6.6 million to purchase open space.Hmm...why does the Cotswald case come to mind?
"The mayor stated when he was running for office he wanted to get, I believe 12,000 acres by 2012," Gucker said. "I can't see how that can happen when you're selling off city property."
While there may be no plans to develop the land at the moment, no one knows what will happen in the future, Gucker said.
"Rather than selling off property we should be acquiring property," said Gucker, who also questioned the proposed purchase price for the land. Gucker said the city owns a few other parcels on Rockwood Lane and should be drafting a long-term plan to manage its properties. Doing so would help address over development, which Gucker said is the city's number one problem.BINGO! Gucker nails it. Unfortunately, Boughton doesn't seem to get the message and offers an excuse that makes NO SENSE.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said the land deal gets the property back onto the tax rolls.Now, as I said, I'm going to step back, bite my lip, and not explain why Boughton's remark is simply wrong as well as short-sighted. Instead, keep the last honest man's comment in mind when you hear Gucker rip the proposal to shreds when he addressed the Common Council during the public hearing.
"The land can't be developed. You can't get a building lot out of there," Boughton said. "There's a benefit here. We'll be able to collect taxes, it won't be developed and it still remains as open space. If the city can get a chance to develop some revenue, clearly we are going to do that.
I guess Gucker did his homework and didn't drink the mayor's kool-aid. Gucker's presentation was instrumental in convincing the Council to modify the deal.
While Councilman Saadi understood the desire to purchase land to act as a buffer, he expressed concern with combining lets and future development. He inquired about Deed restrictions. Mr Pinter suggested that if Common Council decided to sell the parcel of land in question to the petitioner, negotiations could be made whereby the Common Council authorized the sale subject to a clause in the Deed which would require some form of restriction for conservation purposes.
A motion to amend was made by Councilman Saadi and seconded by Councilman Visconti to authorize and direct Corporation Counsel to draft an appropriate Deed restriction/conservation easement to prevent the 2-acre parcel (Lot #B09001) from being developed by the current petitioner or subsequent owners.
The motion to amend carried unanimously.
You can watch video footage of the debate on the Rockwood Lane land deal by clicking here.
With the deed restriction amendment in place, last night, Gucker approached the Common Council and offered these remarks.
In closing, as I'm sure Ken would say, DO YOUR HOMEWORK and NEVER TRUST ONE WORD THAT COMES OUT OF A POLITICIAN'S MOUTH. Boughton was wrong DEAD wrong in even selling this land off in the first place...not placing deed restrictions only adds insult to injury. With irresponsible development being the NUMBER ONE ISSUE in this city, Boughton should not be in the business of selling off city-owned land. ASk the people of the 1st and 2nd ward who live by the Cotswald property how they feel knowing that the city didn't keep their hands on that land when it was in their possession.
It's simple: If the mayor's promise was to purchase open space, don't sell undeveloped city-owned land. Anything else is a slap in the face to the constituents who took the mayor at his word. You don't get to 12,000 acres of open space by 2012 by selling land in 2008.
Common Council gives movie production company the green light
Time: 5:06 PM
For 2,000 a month, Elevation Filmworks will be able to use the school as a headquarter for their production. City Hall gave them temporary permission to use the school...yesterday's vote just makes the deal formal.
Here's a breakdown on the movie starring Keanu Reeves, Monica Bellucci, and Winona Ryder:
At fifty, Pippa Lee positively glows with female serenity, the devoted wife of a brilliant publisher thirty years her senior, proud mother of successful twins and a lovely and adored friend and neighbor. But, when her husband spontaneously decides that they should leave New York for a retirement home as a "pre-emptive strike against decrepitude," and has an affair with someone even younger than she is, Pippa finds her beatific persona unraveling in alarming ways. The truth is, the gracious woman of the present day has seen more than her fair share of the wild side. She has finally found love and security in a family of her own. And now, that cozy world, too, is in danger.
From last night's meeting, here's footage on the discussion surrounding the approval.
Congressman Murphy announces legislation to address home invasion crimes
Time: 3:34 PM
Here's portions of the congressman's press release:
Here's a portion of Murphy's presser from earlier today.
Murphy’s proposal intends to:
· make home invasion a federal crime;
· improve the FBI’s tracking of home invasions across the country;
· improve federal resources for parole and probation activities, including federal funds for the use of GPS monitoring devices and the hiring of additional parole and probation officers;
· And create a national training center for parole and probation officials.
“Connecticut has been through enough this year. These senseless crimes have hurt so much more than our homes and families – they have shattered our sense of safety and security in our communities. It’s time for the federal government to provide more assistance to the states to keep us safe,” said Murphy.
The first part of Murphy’s proposal will make home invasion a federal crime, allowing it to be prosecuted in the federal courts and subject to stiff penalties. By making these heinous crimes a federal offense, the Murphy legislation will ensure that all arms of the law, both state and federal, can act to prosecute and deter these terrible acts. And in order to better monitor the frequency of home invasions across the country, Murphy is proposing that the FBI separately report the frequency of this particular crime. Currently, the FBI tracks home invasions in the same category of residential robberies; that category of crimes has increased 13% nationwide in 2006 from 2002.
The second bill being crafted by Murphy makes GPS monitoring technology and the hiring of additional parole and probation officers eligible for funding under the existing Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program (Byrne Program). The Byrne Program is a partnership among federal, state, and local governments to create safer communities by awarding grants to states to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system—with emphasis on violent crime and serious offenders.
Murphy’s bill also creates a National Training and Policy Center for Parole and Probation Officials. Housed in the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, the training center will act to provide parole board members and parole officers with technical assistance and training, as well as act as a clearing house for best practices in parole and probation policy.
“The safety of our citizens is a mandate on all levels of government - local, state and national. By better leveraging federal resources, we can create a real, working partnership to return a sense of security to the citizens of Connecticut,” said Murphy.
Danbury Live: March 29 2008 broadcast
Time: 2:33 PM
Common Council meeting TONIGHT
Time: 7:01 PM
If you're not doing anything tonight, make your way down to City Hall to tonight's Common Council meeting.
• If you're pissed off about Richter House, now is the time to speak up.
• If you're pissed off about the problems within the sex offender ordinance, now is the time to speak up.
• If you're pissed off about the city selling off land, now is the time to speak up.
• If you're just pissed in general, grab something that won't break your television screen and watch the circus on Channel 24 at 7:30 PM.
There is something for everyone to gripe about on the agenda so it should be an interesting night. I know, I know...I said I was going to comment about several items on tonight's agenda but I'm short on time so I'll save my comments for later.
Here's what's on deck for tonight...flickr.com
COMMON COUNCIL MEETING
April 1, 2008
The meeting will be called to order at 7:30 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & PRAYER
McMahon, Nagarsheth, Johnson, Trombetta, Calandrino, Perkins, Visconti, Chianese, Esposito, Saadi, Cavo, Rotello, Diggs, Teicholz, Arconti, Curran, Knapp, Levy, Riley, Seabury, Stanley
MINUTES - Minutes of the Common Council Meeting held March 4, 2008
1 – COMMUNICATION - Collective Bargaining Agreement between The City of Danbury and The Danbury Municipal Employees’ Association, Inc.
2 – COMMUNICATION - Promotion – Danbury Police Department
3 – COMMUNICATION - Appointment to the Richter Park Authority
4– COMMUNICATION - Appointments to the Transit District Board of Directors
5 – COMMUNICATION - Donation to the Police Department
6 – COMMUNICATION - Donation to the Fire Department
7 – COMMUNICATION - Donations to the Department of Elderly Services
8 - COMMUNICATION - Appointment of Independent Auditors
9 – COMMUNICATION - Transfer of Funds – Historic Document Reserve Account
10 – COMMUNICATION - Hatters Park Field Naming
11 - COMMUNICATION - FAA Leases
12 - COMMUNICATION - Interlocal Sewer and Water Agreement
13 – COMMUNICATION - Immanuel Lutheran License Agreement
14 - COMMUNICATION - Grading Easement for Reconstruction of Airplane Hanger
15 - RESOLUTION - Sun Trust Lease Agreement
16 – RESOLUTION - Meserve Foundation Grant
17 – RESOLUTION - CT Coalition to End Homelessness Grant
18 – RESOLUTION - CT Fair Plan Grant – Fire Department
19 – REPORT - Annual Report of the Danbury Housing Partnership
20 – REPORT - Rockwood Lane
21 – REPORT & ORDINANCE - Governmental Entities
22 – REPORT & ORDINANCE - Amendment to Ordinances
a. Illegally Parked Motor Vehicles
b. Motor Vehicles on Front Lawns and Yards
23 – AD HOC REPORT & ORDINANCE - Sex Offender Ordinance
24 – AD HOC REPORT - Grandview Drive – Draining and Grading Easement
25 - RESOLUTION - VA Grant for Homeless Shelter
26 – DEPARTMENT REPORTS – Police, Fire, Public Works, Permit Center, Elderly Services, Library, Dream Homes, Economic Development, Health-Housing & Welfare, Unit
Gas prices in the area
Time: 2:06 PM
Via Gasbuddy, here's a list of the gas stations with the cheapest prices.
Want to help monitor gas prices for gasbuddy? Join the site and read the details. Filing reports for the site is really easy to do and the more info on local gas stations, the better for everyone who's looking for the cheapest prices in the area.
My Left Nutmeg named best political blog in Connecticut by WashPost's "The Fix"
Time: 1:22 PM
How about those apples!
Hat's off to everyone to contributes to My Left Nutmeg as it's a blog for the progressive community written by the progressive community.Best of the State Politics Blogs
We're almost there!
After two days of culling through the various nominees for the best of state politics blogs, we now have -41- 45 out of the 50 states represented...
Without further ado here is our official list of new -- and improved -- best state politics blogs!
scroll down and see:Connecticut
* My Left Nutmeg
HatCityBLOG VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Selling of city-owned land at Rockwood Lane
Time: 8:47 AM
City Hall, Common Council chambers, 03.18.08. Photo by CTBlogger
As I stated earlier this week, there are several interesting items on this months Common Council agenda. This particular item, the selling of city-owned land, sparked a heated debate and called to question Mayor Boughton's stance when it comes to his so-called open space initiative.
From the March 18th public hearing, here's the debate the Common Council had regarding the land deal.
I'll comment on this item as well as other topics on tonight's agenda later today.
A generous donation
Time: 10:05 PM
WTNH filed this report during their 5:00 broadcast.
Here's an update on the story of Fred Bering's donation to Danbury Hospital.
Yup, you guessed it...
Time: 5:51 PM
Police are looking for a man who held up the Peoples Bank branch at Greenwood Avenue and Grassy Plain Street on Monday.
Just about noon, a black male wearing a black hooded coat walked into the bank and demanded cash from a teller. The robber didn't display a weapon, and no one was hurt, Capt. Robert Cedergren said.
The description of the robber is similar to that of a suspect in two Danbury bank robberies over the past two weeks, and Bethel detectives are working with Danbury police to see if the heists are connected, he said.
Today's theft makes three robberies in the Danbury area in last couple of weeks.
Links to previous robberies are below.
March 18: Chase Bank, Newtown Road
March 26: Theft at Fairfield County Bank, Federal Road (10,000 dollar reward offered).
HatCityBLOG VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Sex offender ad-hoc committee
Time: 5:00 PM
In advance of tomorrow's meeting, from March 13th, here's footage of the second meeting of the sex offender revision ad-hoc committee.
NOTE: The following video is unedited raw footage and I'll explain why I posted the video as is tomorrow. I missed about five minutes of the meeting.
I'll comment on the sex offender revisions as well as other items on the Common Council agenda tomorrow.
Time: 6:44 PM
Sunday's segment of "In Memoriam" on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" featured actor Richard Widmark, 93, who passed away at his Roxbury home last week.
Time: 1:51 PM
Oh Lou...there you go again showing your true colors.
(h/t to Talking Points Memo for the clip).
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