LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Progressive Soup 04.20.11
Time: 9:12 AM
2009 BUDGET FLASHBACK: Warren Levy opposed Mayor Boughton before he supported Mayor Boughton
Time: 4:56 PM
In honor of the anticipated City Council At Large campaign of unaffiliated, turned Democrat, turned "it's all about me", turned Republican Warren Levy, from 2009's Common Council meeting here's the then outspoken critic of Mark Boughton blasting the mayor over his overbloated budget proposal.
Can't wait for Warren to explain his years of opposition to the mayor's policy when he announces that he's running on the mayor's ticket.
Only in Ridgefield
Time: 7:08 PM
I missed the debate due to an illness, but from everything I have heard and read points to an overwhelmingly successful presentation and discussion by Marty Heiser compared to the other candidates. I realize it will still come down to voter turnout for either side, but it's obvious the Democrats and PTA/Education lobby will continue to overlook the financial difficulties Ridgefield is faced with. I think it's time we accept the reality that we need somone experienced like Marty Heiser who can deal with fiscal responsibility with more than just words and promises.
Ridgefield Patch today:
Wednesday night at the library, Heiser and DiPreta spoke at an informal event organized by the Rotary Club of Ridgefield about some of the issues they hope to address if elected to the position – Kozlark did not attend the forum due to a miscommunication, according to both her and Rotary Club member Alex Karasanidi.
Ridgefield Press today:
Maureen Kozlark, the third candidate in the race, wasn’t there. Responding to an e-mail shortly after the meeting she said that she’d been told to go B&G on 7 restaurant on Route 7 to meet with Rotary members, and had gone there. She was upset at the mix-up.
So someone who has openly expressed support for Heiser is involved in a "miscommunication" with Heiser's opponent?
Heiser introduced themselves to the small crowd in the Dayton Room before answering a few questions from Karasinidi and a some from the audience.
So the person who expressed support for Heiser PRIOR to the event was allowed to fire off questions to the candidates?
...and the cherry on the top.
6:16pm on Thursday, April 21, 2011
This was a Ridgefield Rotary Club sponsored event which was opened to the public as a community service. All three candidates were informed of the time and location of this forum and it was announced on the front page and the "Happenings" section of last weeks Ridgefield Press, as well as posted on the Ridgefield Patch, plus numerous email blasts to various groups in Ridgefield. Obviously, 2 of the candidates and representatives from the Ridgefield Press, Patch and the New Times managed to be present. I can't make excuses for the rest of the town.
So much for "miscommunicaiton"...I hope I'm not the only one scratching his head?
Paging Ridgefield Press and Patch! I think Karasanidi has some explaining to do!
2010 BUDGET FLASHBACK: Council plan to distrubute over 400,000 dollars with no accountability?!?
Time: 6:50 PM
Originally posted May 4 2010
Photo by ctblogger 04.2010
With all the scrutinizing over the city's allocation to grant agencies and schools, it should come to a surprise that this year's budget proposal includes a line item that has absolutely no accountability.
During the public health and safety ad-hoc committee meeting, councilman Jack Knapp brought up the issue of a line item of 425,000 dollars in the Fire Department budget that goes to the volunteer fire department and questioned how the money was used. What happens next is quite remarkable as the members of the council admit that there is no accountability for the money used by the department.
COUNCILMAN VISCONTI: I just think that we are giving out almost a half a million dollars here. I think we should have some type of record keeping so we know what it's being spent on.
FIRE CHIEF HERALD: It's certainly a legitimate question.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT CAVO: Just for historical perspective…a couple of years ago, the previous director of finance made a request to all the receiving agencies that received money to supply that office with an accounting of their records…I believe that some departments complied and some did not. I still think that's totally possible for the director of finance to request that from them. They should absolutely request that from the director of finance.
FIRE CHIEF HERALD: Similar as they do with the grant agencies.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT CAVO: Yes. If the grant agencies can do it…
COUNCILWOMAN STANLEY: Can they do that for this year's budget?
COUNCIL PRESIDENT CAVO: I don't know if they would have to get that to us before we vote.
FIRE CHIEF HERALD: Well, whether you…a dispersal is different than voting I would say—
COUNCILWOMAN STANLEY: That's right—
FIRE CHIEF HERALD: When is the dispersal?
FINANCE DIRECTOR: Usually, funds are dispersed in July. In some cases, it's distributed four times a year.
COUNCILWOMAN DEEP: You can distributed it whenever you want right?
FINANCE DIRECTOR: Well, with the grant agencies you like to do it on some type of pre-determined basis…so it's clear and they can budget accordingly…
UNKNOWN COUNCILMAN: What determines that number [allocation to the volunteer fire department].
FIRE CHIEF HERALD: That number has been the same for about eight years from what I can see…
AD-HOC CHAIR (Charles Trombetta): I think that even that is about part of the budget…all the questions are legitimate, we need to have a separate ad-hoc committee to look into that…
With all due respect to the volunteer fire department, having over 400,000 in taxpayer's money at their disposal without accountability is unacceptable…and according to members of the council, this is not the first time this issue was discussed.
In the past, the council has voted to withhold allocating money to a non profit agency without a first having detailed account on how the money was going to be used. The Hispanic Center was singled out and de-funded due in large part to their activism during the 287g/ICE ACCESS debate although their city funding was not used towards criticizing the city. If the council demanded accountability for non-profit agencies and scrutinized the education budget to the penny, surely you would think the council should have SOME CLUE how the allocation of 400,000+ dollars to the volunteer fire department was being used.
What we have hear is a classic case of a double standard and the council should not allocate anything until they have a detailed analysis on how this extremely large sum of money is being used.
Setting the record straight
Time: 5:48 PM
1. Regardless of the crap that flowing out of Mark Boughton's mouth in regarding to funding education, the mayor DECREASED FUNDING to schools from 1.79 percent last year, to an embarrassing .7 percent.
Also, in attempting to defend his screw-job to the children of Danbury, during his presentation, Boughton rifled off several improvements being made to schools such as the replacement of boilers and windows...these items have NOTHING TO DO with the operating expenses of the school system or the city's budget. Rather, the upgrading of the schools fall under the category of Capital Improvements and is paid for by bonding.
Using Boughton's dishonest playbook, he wants to public to think that he's proposal to the school system is an increase in funding when in fact it's a MASSIVE decrease that will negatively impact the quality of education in the city.
2. I spoke to a number of teachers, school officials and residents who followed my coverage of the education budget process last year, to get their take on the low attendance at last night's public hearing. Overall, EVERY SINGLE person connected with the school system feel that speaking against the mayor's proposal is a waste of time. Many people are still very upset at the mayor and council over the cuts to education last year and note that while hundreds of people spoke out against the mayor's proposal last year, the council ignored there concerns and approved the funding decrease.
"Politicians who are harming my child's education need to be thrown out of office" said one parent who wanted to remain anonymous. "What happened last year there when we filled city hall and pleaded with the council not to decrease the funding to the schools? Nothing! I'm not wasting my time again this year, instead I'll let my vote do the talking for me!"
What the mayor and city council are doing to the school system is a disgrace. I don't know what's worse, the fact that the mayor is getting away with this shit, or the fact that the members of the Board of Education aren't voicing the displeasure with the mayor's proposal with the passion you would expect from people who are responsible for running the school system.
The arts return to Library Place
Time: 12:47 PM
Re-produced in full w/permission.
New Danbury Art Gallery Pulls Artists "Out of the Woodwork"
by Amanda Bloom
The Mercurial Collective, a new downtown Danbury art gallery located at 11 Library Place, will be holding its grand opening for "Out of the Woodwork" on Saturday, April 30. The Collective also serves as office space for TheMercurial.com, Greater Danbury's web magazine, and the gallery aims to bring the magazine's popular "digital galleries" off the web and into the three-dimensional world.
Along with The Collective, neighboring artists Erin Walrath and Chris Durante will be opening their studios to the public and showing their work. This trio of creative minds and spaces will be lighting up Library Place with a beautiful, fun-filled family event for all to enjoy.
A total of five local artists will be coming "out of the woodwork" on the 30th. Walrath, a self-described "painter at heart", has been creating art at 13 Library Place for five years. She works primarily with "displaced objects", creating intricate, multi-media works both grand and tiny. "Rumination", a piece from 2007 on view in Walrath's studio, is a multi-paneled 9' x 14' aerial view of Baghdad. She also creates little treasure chests out of match boxes that fit in the palm of the hand.
"It seems that as long as we continue to define ourselves to such a degree, spiritually, culturally and personally by material objects," reads Walrath's artist statement, "the vast sea of garbage that we leave behind us will be obscenely saturated with evidence of our misgivings and illusions. And so, by assembling these little windows, glimpses of, or in the very best case, even vistas onto the roles we play and the beliefs we cling to, I indulge myself in this madness. And participate in what is really, beneath it all, a spiritual discipline of watching, seeing and finding meaning in chaos."
Walrath will be displaying work in her studio and next door in The Mercurial Collective.
Chris Durante has been operating his framing studio out of 9 Library Place for 15 years, providing hand-crafted frames for artists and museums, including The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield. Durante's medium is ink, with which he renders shapes and designs that, although faceless, are somehow brimming with character.
"I make complex drawings about simple things," reads his artist statement. "String, Sticks. Shapes abstracted from images in comic books. Moments of clarity when things seem to line up and then move, only to line up again, Grids. Accidents and chance."
Durante, who teaches Drawing at Norwalk Community College, will also be showing work in "Continuum: Gender Identities" at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists from April 30 to June 3.
Catherine Lucia, Durante's wife, will also be showing simple, bold and whimsical prints in "Out of the Woodwork". David Haislip, who works as a part-time framer in Durante's studio, will bring more whimsy with his art, which he creates with whatever lies in front of him, be it cat whiskers, Elmer's glue or a tangle of wire. Haislip is also a photographer and former violin restorer, and his work has been shown at The Aldrich.
Alec Jordan is the fifth "Woodwork" artist, and his medium is just that – wood. Jordan creates handsome furniture from local trees he mills himself. His materials – sassafrass, mulberry and American elm, to name a few – are not available in the general market. Jordan also has a background in sculpture and welding and has been restoring his home, a 1752 colonial, with his family for years.
"Out of The Woodwork" will take place from 4 to 7pm on Saturday, April 30. Food and drink will be served, and Woodbridge's New England Brewery will be generously providing locally brewed beer. Fairfield County's most beloved bluegrass band, String Fingers, will be playing live music. This is a free family event, and all are invited to come and celebrate our local artists and our local community.
Parking is available in the Charles A. Bardo garage on Library Place and on Main Street. Main Street parking is metered until 5:30pm.
After the opening, work can be seen Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am to 2pm at 11 Library Place or by appointment. Contact Amanda Bloom at (203)417-2215 or Editor@TheMercurial.com.
LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Danbury Live 04.16.11
Time: 5:59 PM
Off the grid (for a while)
Time: 4:02 PM
Sorry for the HUGE delay in posting. I have to take a break from writing on a regular basis for a couple of weeks...I'm in the middle of writing my senior thesis.
Here's some tidbits:
1. Tonight, the public will have the opportunity to speak their mind about Mayor Boughton's outlandish budget proposal. I say outlandish because what this mayor is doing to the education system in giving them a laughable .7 PERCENT increase is a disgrace. I'll talk more about this and why speaking to the council is a colossal waste of time, at a later date.
2. It's rumored that our grossly incompetent City Clerk Jean Natale screwed up again...and if the rumor is true, her latest mistake will cost taxpayers $$$$$. At this point, someone should really consider filing an ethics complaint against this moron.
3. Oh oh!!!! It seems like the rumormill in Bethel is all abuzz regarding our laughable assclown John McGowan. It's rumored that the U.S. Marshals are looking for the anti-immigrant extremist. I'll update everyone on any developments as well as the latest on McGowan's rape trial later.
4. Here's a copy of Boughton's latest campaign finance statement.
Basically, Mark had a kick off campaign fundraiser and was able to shake 11K from the money tree.
Besides the usual suspects, most notable out of the 11K...
- Fedele threw Mark 1,000.
- Linda McMahon threw Mark 200.00
- The Jowdys and Yamins are masters of the art of spreading your money to a candidate. Both families bought various ad buys as well as donating directly to Boughton.
- Robert Botelho threw Mark 280.00
- ...and of course, it's nice that Mr. Unaffilated, turned Democrat, turned "it's all about me", turned Republican Warren Levy contribution is the first one on the list (80.00)...and his ad buy was mighty generous (150.00). I guess since he kissed the ring, we can expect him running on place of Robert Riley for city council at large.
I can't wait to finish writing my thesis so I can get this site back to full speed.
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