When it comes to why the parade ordinance ad-hoc committee was dissolved, how does Mark Boughton and Joe Cavo get away with quotes like this?
Council president Joe Cavo said the committee never met because there wasn't a need.
"We haven't received any complaints about the ordinance being too restrictive," Cavo said. "If we had, we certainly would have revisited it."
Mayor Mark Boughton, who disbanded the committee during last week's council meeting, said the fears of those who were against the ordinance three years ago never panned out.
"It's worked pretty well," he said. "We haven't received any complaints about the permit process, and prior to the ordinance we were receiving complaints all the time."
I'll make this simple…these statements are BOLDFACE LIES.
I understand that it's been three and a half years since the parade ordinance was debated, therefore most people might not recall the problems with this piece of … let me try and explain things...
”We haven't received any complaints about the ordinance…”.
When the Common Council debated the adoption of the parade ordinance [May 2007], opponents of the proposal voiced their concerns in public comment.
One of the chief concerns with the ordinance stems from the law's restrictions. In layman's terms, if you organize a group of 25 or MORE people at a public place THAT interferes with vehicular and pedestrian traffic, then you have to get an application from the police department. For instance, TECHNICALLY, lets say that you schedule a school trip that focuses on the history of Danbury. Now, this trip includes students walking from the Danbury Library down Main Street towards the Historical Society. Now if you have more than 25 people in your group AND you interfere with the normal flow of pedestrian traffic (sidewalk) AND you know that there is a parade ordinance, TECHNICALLY you're in violation of the ordinance and could be subject to a 100 dollar fine.
Sounds crazy right? Well, that was just ONE of several problems with the ordinance that was talked discussed in great detail during the ordinance debate.
Now, here's the kicker!
During the debate when this VERY ISSUE was raised, ad-hoc committee chairperson Mary Saracino (a.k.a., the person who chaired the committee that drafted the ordinance), moved that the ENTIRE proposal be sent back to committee for revision.
The council voted 10-9 to send the ordinance to committee for revision (including four Republicans) AND the mayor cast an illegal vote to block the measure.
NEXT, Minority Leader Tom Saadi proposed an amendment in which the number of people that would trigger the ordinance would be increased from 25 to 100 individuals.
Makes sense right? Well, that amendment was vote 10-9 in favor of the amendment YET Mayor Boughton cast an illegal vote to block THAT measure.
Think I’m kidding? Well, from May 2007, here's video footage of everything I just outlined.
After Mayor Boughton casted his illegal’s votes, here’s what Council President had to say about the council’s votes…
Yeah…pretty crazy huh?
After the vote, I interviewed several council members to get their reaction to Cavo's comment and the mayor's illegal blockage.
Later, days later a still irritated Saadi talked to the Danbury Democratic Town Committee about what happened at the May meeting…
Need I say more?
We haven’t received any complaints about the permit process…”
Talk about parsing words!
As the mayor knows, the problem with the ordinance had NOTHING to do with the permit process. Hell, there was NEVER a problem with the permit process…a process that's been in place for as long as I remember…
As the mayor and city corporation counsel stated, the origins of this idiotic ordinance had to do with the World Cup games celebrations (and IMO the immigrant right rallies from 2005 and 2006). The other minor complaint had to do with the certain groups being pissed off that they had to pay for police services while other groups didn't pay a dime.
Heck, the year after the ordinance was enacted, the mayor EVEN ADMITTED to problems with the ordinance.
Again, here's yours truly questioning the mayor about the status of the ad-hoc committee back in 2008…listen carefully.
BOUGHTON: …the bad news is we probably run up about 150,000 in police charges for all the parades and things that go on in the city…those numbers, they escalate quickly, so that's been a problem….there are other questions about the amount of people, and I think one of the things that we'll look is for recommendations from the chief [Al Baker] is "is this working, are you turning people down", I don't we ever turn someone down but the good news is that people have been really good about coming in and getting a permit so we've been able to organize…I'll talk to the committee chair and if there is a burning issue, I sure we can look into that…
Please remember, these are just a couple of problems with the ordinance…
Now in light of this information, which Perrefort and other reporters knew beforehand, why on Earth can Boughton/Cavo get away with their misleading statements?