HatCityBLOG FLASHBACK: Former Chief of Staff warns against charter revision and four-year terms.

Monday, February 12, 2024
Time: 8:25 PM

\As the bi-partisan opposition towards Mayor Alves's misguided and partisan handling of the charter revision process intensifies, here's another flashback video from the HatCityBLOG archives.

From the last charter revision public hearing in 2008, here's former Common Councilman and former Chief of Staff to Mayor Gene Eriquez, Joe DaSilva Sr., providing a city charter history lesson while outlining the pitfalls and dangers of a four-year term.


"Democracy!"

Wednesday, February 07, 2024
Time: 7:57 AM

It is one of the most powerful Newstimes editorials against the last SUPER MAJORITY Common/City Council efforts to radically alter the city's constitution; I still have the hard copy...

Newstimes, Feb 14, 2009.

Danbury's Charter Revision Commission was bringing the city down the wrong path -- advocating a switch to four-year terms for elected officials.

There was no public demand for it. The push came from some members of the Republican Party, including Mayor Mark Boughton.

But something remarkable happened last week. The Common Council, which has a Republican majority, recommended that the proposal for four-year terms be stripped from the commission's plan for charter changes.

The proposal is a political loser and the council wants to dump it.

[...]

Advocates of four-year terms said the job of governing Danbury is too difficult to learn in a two-year term -- an amazing claim. But the four-year-term proposal was really about giving politicians a break from running for re-election and staying in touch with voters.

The commission and the Republican mayor should have dropped this four-year-term proposal long ago.

Credit Republicans on the council for backing away from what was really a grab for power."

And credit Democrats on the council for intelligently challenging the charter proposal and refuting claims that an elected official needs a four-year term to figure out how to govern in Danbury.

As the Democrats wrote in a position paper on the charter proposals: "Two-year terms make elected officials answerable to the public in close proximity to the decisions they make. We know of no crisis or lack of ability of the overwhelming majority of elected officials that would necessitate four-year terms."

A charter establishes how a community will govern itself. At its best, a charter promotes efficiency and responsiveness. The result of four-year terms in Danbury would have been limits on efficiency and limits on responsiveness.


Facts

Tuesday, February 06, 2024
Time: 3:19 PM

Charter revision facts.

2007:

* Mayor Boughton suggests that commission members comprise three Democrats, three members of the GOP, and three Independent members.

* Boughton also suggests that letters for recruitment be sent to the head of the Democratic Town Committee and Danbury CT Republican Town Committee. He described these measures as essential for transparency and for the public's trust in the process.

* There were NO elected officials on the commission, and the then Council President (Joe Cavo) was invited to participate as a commission member.

* The commission members were approved a month AFTER the council approved the initiation of the charter review process (process approved July 2007; membership approved Sept 2007).

* Mayor Boughton WAS PRESENT at the ad-hoc committee to make his case for opening the charter for revision.


2024:

* Mayor Alves presents his pick for commission (via letter) BEFORE the council votes to initiate the charter revision process.

* No information was provided by the mayor's office regarding who was involved in the vetting or recruiting process.

* No effort was made by the Alves administration to seek members from the GOP town committee.

* Mayor Alves WAS NOT PRESENT at the ad-hoc committee to make his case for charter revision.

* The majority of Mayor Alves' recommended list of members were active supporters of his campaign and/or were former Democratic candidates for office.

Peter Buzaid: D - Council Prez. D candidate 2023, Alves supporter;

Ellen VanDyke Bell: D - candidate 2021, Alves supporter;

Brigid Guertin: D - candidate 2023, Alves supporter;

Wilson Hernandez: D - candidate 2021, Alves supporter;

Mini Santosh: D - candidate 2023, Alves supporter.

Facts.

Say NO to the charter revision powergrab


Time: 10:30 AM

As a VERY active public participant in the last charter revision process, I have grave concerns over the Alves administration's attempt to re-open the city's constitution and the non-transparent and politically motivated tactics from elected officials and their supporters who favor the proposal.

Unlike my political commentary on state matters, when it comes to issues in Danbury, I try to avoid offering too much commentary on city issues, but this is different.

This move, complete with talks of four-year terms, eliminating the elected position of Town Clerk and Treasurer to appointed positions who serve at the pleasure of the mayor, and reducing the number of members on the City Council in one of the fasting growing municipalities in the state, is nothing short of a blatant attempt to change government operations in the city and reeks of a classic political power grab that the city council should reject.

During the last charter revision process, other like-minded public members and I promised to be a watchdog and to speak out on any attempts to re-open the charter if the matter was unwarranted; this attempt to re-examine the charter is not only unjustified but blatantly laced in a type of hyper-partisanship Democrats in the city once decried when Republicans enjoyed majority status in the city.

This heavy-handed crusade from an administration that's less than 100 days old is hazardous and reeks of the type of political power grab that EVERY SINGLE predominate member of the city rejected the last time the charter was examined in 2008.

Over the day, I will meticulously detail my case against this unneeded plan that neither the new mayor nor the Danbury Democratic hierarchy discussed with voters during the campaign season, which ended over 90 days ago.

For a primer of things to come, here's a video clip of City Councilman Benjamin Chianese highlighting one of MANY glaring problems with the proposal: the mayor's recommendation of the makeup of the commission, which reeks of the type of partisan politics and non-transparency that the mayor promised the public that he and his administration would avoid.

This latest and unnecessary attempt to forever alter governmental affairs in the city should be viewed with extreme skepticism. I'll have MUCH more to say later...stay tuned.


BREAKING: Read separation agreement between Board of Ed and School Superintendent Kevin Walston

Saturday, February 03, 2024
Time: 8:09 AM

As many questions regarding the sudden departure of School Superintendent Kevin Walston remain unanswered, this week, I filed a series of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests with the Board of Education and School administration.

In response to my FOIA request, here's a copy of the separation agreement between the Board of Education and Walston.

Developing...


HatCityBLOG Throwback Thursday moment: remember...

Thursday, February 01, 2024
Time: 11:20 AM

In honor of Black History Month in Danbury...


Meet Interim Superintendent Dr. Kara Casimiro

Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Time: 2:45 PM

Danbury Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Kara Casimiro posted the following introduction message to the community on the school's website; here's the message in full.

Dear Danbury, Families, Students, Staff, and Community,

I’m writing to formally introduce myself to the Danbury Public Schools community as the Interim Superintendent. I have come to know many of you both personally and professionally over the course of two decades serving in this school district. However, I thought I would provide a quick overview of my experience for those of you I have not yet met.

My educational preparation includes a Doctoral degree in Education from Northeastern University, and a Master of Science, a 6th Year of Education degree, and CT State Certifications from the University of Bridgeport. I have also completed the Executive Leadership Superintendent program from Central CT State University. Further, as a proud graduate of Western Connecticut State University, I studied history and social science, which provided the foundation of learning that would later serve me well as an educator in Danbury Public Schools.

I began my career as a teacher in our middle school alternative program and then as a classroom teacher at Broadview Middle School, where I taught history and social studies for over ten years.

In 2012, I began working in district administration as a Humanities Curriculum leader and then as the Director of Teaching and Learning. Since 2021, I have served the district as the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, where I have been leading the design of the Career Academy and preparing for the new academy campus opening in the fall of 2025.

As a career educator and leader in Danbury, I understand the complexities of our long history, as well as, the incredible potential to make the Danbury Public Schools a flagship school system. Through the relationships that I have built, I will continue to work with our dedicated staff to realize our Portrait of a Danbury Graduate and to create the opportunities that our students deserve.

I am honored by the appointment to lead this district and look forward to sharing more of my vision, while co-piloting the journey of transformation, innovation and achievement with you.

Dr. Kara Quinn Casimiro

Interim Superintendent

Danbury Public Schools


BREAKING NEWS: Kevin Walston is OUT as School Superintendent

Friday, January 26, 2024
Time: 9:40 PM

BREAKING: Walston is out. The Board of Education has unanimously approved a separation agreement with School Superintendent Kevin Walston.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kara Casimiro will serve as interim School Superintendent.

Here's video of the school board's vote.

PUBLIC STATEMENT OF THE DANBURY BOARD OF EDUCATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Michael Seelig - seelim@danbury.k12.ct.us

Danbury, CT - January 26, 2024 Mr. Kevin Walston, Superintendent of the Danbury Public Schools, has decided to resign from his position for personal reasons. The Danbury Board of Education supports Mr. Walston’s decision and wishes him well as he takes the time necessary to address his personal issues. Mr. Walston will remain on leave through June 30, 2024, and the Board of Education has accepted Mr. Walston’s resignation, effective that date. The Board thanks Mr. Walston for his leadership of the Danbury Public Schools, and it wishes him every success for the future.

Given Mr. Walston’s decision, the Board has appointed Dr. Kara Casimiro to serve as interim superintendent for the time being. The Board appreciates Dr. Casimiro’s willingness to serve the district in this capacity, and the Board wishes to assure the public that the Board and the Administration will continue their work together on behalf of the Danbury Public Schools community.


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INDEPENDENT PARTY OF DANBNRY
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CITY OF DANBURY VIDEO ARCHIVE (Dec 2012-present)

The Mercurial (RIP)
Danbury News Times
Danbury Patch
Danbury Hamlet Hub
Danbury Daily Voice
Tribuna Newspaper
CT News Junkie
CT Capitol Report

10.03.18 (PDF):
"Approval of Danbury Prospect Charter School"

10.30.20 (HatCityBLOG VID): Charter School discussion during 2020 interview with Julie Kushner

2018 (RADIO): WLAD
"State Board of Ed signs off on Danbury charter school proposal"

08.20 (VID): CT-LEAD
"Stand up for Education Justice" Rally

08.20.20 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Charter schools are not ‘magic bullet’ to improving Danbury schools"

09.13.20 (OP-ED): CHAPMAN
Candidate for state Senate supports charter school for Danbury

01.15.21 (VID): CT-LEAD
Danbury Prospect Charter School press conference

03.19.21 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Danbury leaders do not want a charter school"

04.01.21 (OP-ED): CT-LEAD:
"Why did Sen. Kushner vote against us?"

05.06.21 (VID): Danbury rally to fully fund public schools

10.07.21 (VID): Danbury City-Wide PTO "Meet the Candidates" education forum

10.07.21 NEWSTIMES
Danbury candidates quarrel over charter school, education funding

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"New operator named for Danbury charter school: ‘I’m a huge advocate for parent choice’"

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"Some Danbury Democrats ‘open minded’ about charter school after new, CT operator named"

01.21.22 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Lessons from Danbury: Ending the dual process for charter school approval"

02.09.22 NEWSTIMES
"Proposed Danbury charter school won’t open in 2022, governor leaves funding out of budget"

02.18.22 NEWSTIMES:
Danbury residents plead for charter school funds in 9-hour state budget hearing: ‘Just exhausted’

03.05.22 (LTE):
Time has come for Danbury charter school

03.12.22 (OP-ED): TAYLOR
"Why I am excited about the Danbury Charter School"

03.16.22 (LTE):
"Why a Danbury Charter School?"

04.02.22 CT EXAMINER:
"Crowding and a Lack of Options for Danbury Students, But No Agreement on Solutions"

04.04.22 (OP-ED): DCS
"Danbury Charter School plans debut"

04.07.22 (PODCAST): (CEA)
"SENATOR KUSHNER DISCUSSES POINTS OF OPTIMISM FOR DANBURY PUBLIC SCHOOLS"

04.18.22 (VID): CT-LEAD
Protest press conference

04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU
Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school

06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER:
"Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MIKE McLACHLAN (then MAYOR CHIEF OF STAFF) DEPOSITION

Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint


Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park


trans_button Santos Family Story
VIDEO: Tereza Pereira's ordeal with ICE agents

VIDEO: Danbury Peace Coalition Immigration Forum (April 2006)
featuring Mayor Boughton and Immigration attorney Philip Berns

VIDEO: 2007 Stop the Raids immigration forum at WCSU

2007: Community protest anti-immigration forum

A tribute to Hispanic Center Director and immigrant activist Maria Cinta Lowe

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2023 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

Results:
11.15.23 Recanvass return
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Election night returns
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Initial returns


ESPOSITO FINANCE REPORTS:
Oct 10 2022
Jan 10 2023
Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

ALVES FINANCE REPORTS:
Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

CAMPAIGN SLATE DATABASE
Dem/GOP slate/ballot position

VIDEO: DRTC convention
VIDEO: DDTC conveniton


2021 (ALVES/ESPOSITO)

TOWN COMMITTEES
(VID) DDTC nomination convention
(PDF) DDTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) DRTC nomination convention
(PDF) DRTC campaign slate flyer

FORUMS/DEBATES
(VID) 2021 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum

CAMPAIGN FINANCE
First quarter
Alves Apr 10th SEEC filing

Second quarter
Alves Jul 10th SEEC filing
Esposito Jul 10th SEEC filing

Third quarter
Alves Oct 12th SEEC report
Esposito Oct 12th SEEC report

CAMPAIGN MAILERS
Alves "Jan 6th" attack mailer 10.21.21
Esposito "you can't trust Alves" attack mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 09.30.21
Esposito mailer 09.28.21
Alves mailer 09.27.21
Esposito mailer 09.27.21


PAST CAMPAIGN COVERAGE

2005 (BOUGHTON/ESPOSITO)
Danbury 2005 election results
Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

2007 (BOUGHTON/ABRANTES)
Danbury 2007 election results
(VID) Helana Abrantes TV ad
(VID) BRT tax deferral presser
(VID) Helena Abrantes "Community Forum" interview

2009 (BOUGHTON/GONCALVES)
Danbury 2009 election results
(VID) 2009 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2009 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2009 DDTC nomination convention

2011 (BOUGHTON/TABORSAK)
Danbury 2011 election results
(VID) Saadi/Nero campaign kickoff

2013 (BOUGHTON/NO DTC ENDORSED CANDIDATE/MCALLISTER)
Danbury 2013 election results
(VID) 2013 DDTC nominaiton convention

2015 (BOUGHTON UNCHALLENGED)
Danbury 2015 election results

2017 (BOUGHTON/ALMEIDA)
Danbury 2017 election results
(VID) Al Almeida concession speech
(VID) 2017 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) Al Almeida nomination acceptance speech

2019 (BOUGHTON/SETARO)
Danbury 2019 election results
(VID) 2019 NewsTimes Editorial Board interview with Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro
(VID) 2019 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2019 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2019 convention endorsement speeches from Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro