I guess the veterans aren't the only people pissed off at Mayor Boughton's latest attempt in shameless self-promotion with his idiotic political signs. In case you didn't know, Odiepus Boughton's so-called "People over Politics" signs were placed on the corner of Main and South Street JUST IN TIME FOR THE MEMORIAL DAY PARADE.
Aesthetically obnoxious effluvia is the description for the latest eyesore on Main Street, Danbury.
The taxpayers forked over big bond money for Main Street's beautification. New pavement, center island, sidewalks, lights, Kwanson Cherry trees and Zelcova Elm trees.
April brought the annual clean up in the city. In May, everything is too pristine. Let's place two large outdoor signs in front of the Republican headquarters building.
In the month of May, six months before the election, the Democratic and Independent parties do not place large political election signs outside of Main Street.
Bethel places their political signs outside during the month of September. Ridgefield places their political party signs outside in October, a month before the election. Newtown does not decorate their streets with any outside political signs. The citizens that drive through the city of Danbury every day deserve a better fate. Their view and their nerves could be enhanced if that large politics and people mayoral incumbent election sign was quietly taken down and put back up during the month of October.
In the United States, our democratic election process is designed to produce a city mayor who will set a positive example for the citizens who voted that person into office.
I believe our mayor listens to opinions of the voters, but that remains to be seen.
C. Rodney Dow DANBURY
Well said but I wouldn't hold your breath on the mayor listening to your concerns.
Guest post: Danbury DTC Joe DaSilva on housing and development
Friday, June 29, 2007 Time: 10:37 AM
(Since this will be a slow post day, this post has been bumped back to the top of the site)
As I stated several times in the past, the NUMBER ONE issue on the minds of voters is NOT IMMIGRATION but Mayor Boughton's approach to development.
In a HatCityBLOG first, I'm going to turn this site over to Danbury's Democratic Town Committee chairman Joe DaSilva. In his first guest post, DaSilva will set the record straight regarding Mayor Boughton's failed development policy.
Joe, thank you for taking time to offer your remarks and the floor is yours...
The following represents my own ideas. In other words, I am writing as a resident of the City of Danbury, specifically downtown Danbury; a Democrat; and a soon to be homeowner. While I happen to be the Chair of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee, the opinions expressed here should be not be ascribed to the members of the Town Committee or be considered an exposition of its opinions.
This post is an outgrowth of conversations I've been having with Al about issues that concern the voters in Danbury. Contrary to the opinions of Danbury's Mayor, the most significant issue confronting Danbury is not immigration. Frankly, its so low on the list that it probably follows confronting litter as an issue to be resolved. Fair property taxes, economic development that creates real jobs that pay a living wage, quality education for every student, and a real plan to combat traffic congestion should all rank higher on the priority list.
One problem that seems to over arch most, if not all, of those challenges is housing and development. This is not a problem that was created overnight and its not one that we will solve in a day. Moreover, it's a problem that faces communities all over the State of Connecticut. The legislature has been working on this issue for several years. Anyone seeking true expertise, I am hardly an expert on this issue, should look at the work that former State Representative Lew Wallace was doing on Smart Growth.
This, however, is my take on the issue of growth, housing and some ideas on how it could be tackled. The first proposition is that growth, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. Growth is however something that should be managed and when it is not is when it causes problems.
1. Residential v. Commercial:
As a city Danbury has a distinct advantage - we have a commercial and business tax base. Properly configuring property taxes allows the city to use this commercial/business tax base to ease some of the burdens on home owners.
Most important, however, is that this is the property upon which economic development should take place. Proper economic development should, hopefully, be targeted to create quality jobs. In an effort to encourage business expansion, the State of Connecticut permits municipalities to defer property taxes in exchange for creating jobs or expanding a business. This is a perfectly appropriate use of tax abatements.(we'll get to a perfectly inappropriate use of them by the current administration later).
Example: "The previous administration under Mayor Eriquez granted tax deferrals for economic development that preserved and created jobs. These tax deferrals kept GE in Danbury; gave an incentive to Belimo Air Controls USA Inc to relocate to Old Ridgebury Road, expand its operation and clean up a contaminated property; and allowed Cendant Mobility (now Cartus) to consolidate its operations in Danbury, becoming Danbury's second largest employer. It should seem obvious that these examples show a judicious use of tax deferrals for the right reasons: the retention and creation of thousands of stable, well paying jobs for Danbury residents. Unfortunately, the current administration seems to miss the point entirely."
Critically, this is one way in which challenges of properly managing growth dramatically affect other issues confronting the City of Danbury. Unfortunately, the current Danbury administration has done little or nothing to address economic development in this manner. Worse, the actions of this administration have actively damaged Danbury's ability to generate this type of growth. The most poignant example: the Westside reserve. Residents of Danbury will no doubt remember the controversy of whether the City should build a baseball stadium or not.
A little background: in 2002, the Boughton administration created a bogey man: specifically they claimed that if nothing were done a casino would suddenly spring from the earth on the west side of Danbury. Of course this claim was absurd. (Anyone seen a new casino going up in Connecticut recently?).
Then, the Mayor pushed for the approval a zone change for several hundred acres of land on the west side of Danbury. The several hundred acres of property are adjacent to the Union Carbide property and represented one of the last significant undeveloped commercial/industrial properties left in Danbury. The zone change allowed the large-scale development of a mixed use project. Specifically, the project will develop single-family housing, condominiums, and some retail shopping.
There were three things wrong with this zone change: 1.) It eliminated the last significant opportunity industrial/commercial development on the west side of Danbury; 2.) The zone change was approved in a single meeting so the residents of the City had virtually no chance to comment on the issue until it was too late; and, 3.) The City received a measly ten million dollars or so in exchange for the zone change; foregoing the opportunity to offset the burdens this development would have on the City by requiring, for example, the building of a west side fire station on reserve property. (Contrast this with the fact that when Commerce Park was developed in the 1960s the developer built a fire station and then deeded it to the City).
2. Residential Development: Condominiums.
Out of controlled growth! Condo Moratorium! Too Many Condos! No one who lives in Danbury and has been awake in the last five years is unfamiliar with these statements. Yet, the current administration has done little to nothing to truly remedy the problem.
The first proposition is this: Condos are neither inherently bad nor good. Condominiums serve a useful purpose for people who either cannot afford a more traditional house or are not interested in owning or living in a traditional house with all that entails in maintenance, yard work, snow removal etc.
The problem in Danbury isn't that there are too many condos, its that there are too many condos in stupid places. For example: the West Side Reserve. Need another? Drive north on Route 37 toward New Fairfield. Between Padanarum Road and Stacy Drive, I bet you will see what I'm talking about: (Stetson Place?).
The Route 37 condos don't look particularly bad in an architectural sense, nor do they look cheap or shoddy. They do, however, look absurd in that they are far too close to a major roadway! Moreover, they add several hundred units and the associated traffic generated thereby to an already over burdened road.
Contrast this with the new project on the corner of Division Street and Park Avenue. These units also appear well constructed and well designed. Importantly, they also replace old and run down housing stock and create real housing opportunities in the downtown Danbury. Most importantly, however, all of the units in this project are three bedrooms. This creates real opportunities for home ownership by families. (More on this below).
3. Tax abatements and downtown development:
The current housing controversy in Danbury concerns the granting of tax deferrals to a major developer for the development of two large developments in downtown Danbury. Specifically, the City of Danbury approved, on the urging of Mayor Boughton, the granting of a seven-year tax abatement for the construction of a 115 unit apartment building on Crosby Street and the development of over 500 condominiums on Kennedy Avenue.
Mayor Boughton stated that he wanted to spur market rate housing in downtown Danbury and claimed the tax give away would be necessary because otherwise no developer would commit to the down town.
This claim and the project were both absurd and damaging to the future of Danbury.
First, tax abatements were not necessary and claiming they were is nothing short of insulting the intelligence of Danbury residents.
Unnecessary: There are many projects in downtown Danbury overseen by responsible developers committed to Danbury that didn't receive such breaks. For example: new three bedroom condominiums are being built on the corner of Division Street and Park Avenue. For example: several years ago the Nolan family developed the Harrison Square apartment project on Main Street. For example, the Nolan family has rehabilitated several multi-family houses on Terrace Place in downtown Danbury. None of these developers received a windfall in the form of a tax abatement; yet they committed their time, energy, vision and money to creating real housing opportunities in downtown Danbury.
Damaging: the tax abatements will cost the City of Danbury millions of dollars in lost taxes and lost sewer and water charges. Moreover, the developer has decided to market the rental building on Crosby Street to college students as an alternative to dorm living. I hold two degrees from Western Connecticut State University. I truly believe the college adds a lot to the City of Danbury and I have no problem with the concept of college students living in downtown Danbury. I do, however, recall that the reason the mayor and the developer gave for the granting of the tax abatement was to spur economic development through the creation of market rate housing in the downtown area. Even if you agree with this argument, it is hard to envision exactly how much economic activity will be generated by college students!
The 500-unit complex on Kennedy Avenue hasn't even begun yet. Once its open, however, this will generate traffic on an already congested downtown. Moreover, this will generate burdens on the Danbury Schools and the Police and Fire Departments. Yet while this project will create these burdens to the owners will not be contributing to the costs because of the tax abatement. Instead, the rest of the property owners in Danbury will have to carry these costs for seven years!
4. Real housing opportunities:
Every level of government is encouraging home ownership. Home owners tend to be more committed to their communities and have a strong motivation to take care of their property.
Unfortunately, owning a home in Danbury is very expensive, though substantially more reasonable than lower Fairfield County. In fact cost of housing is creating other problems for our state. The following story was shared by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano. A couple of years ago he spoke at our town committee meeting and this story stuck with me. He was discussing jobs and economic development in Connecticut. He related that a business owner in Stamford was moving out of Connecticut. Not because of high taxes or salaries but because his employees couldn't afford to live in Connecticut. They couldn't afford to purchase homes in lower Fairfield County and traffic is so bad they couldn't get to Stamford from the more affordable areas to the east of Bridgeport (Stratford or Milford for example) or northern Fairfield County (Danbury or Bethel for example). Mayor DeStefano pegged this problem clearly: housing is too expensive and we aren't creating opportunities for working people to own their own homes, especially since the vast majority of construction is centered on either McMansions or Condominiums. Unfortunately, there is little or no development of small single family homes for people starting out or seniors looking to downsize. In other words, what Connecticut, and Danbury, needs is a return to building regular houses for regular people. The example that Mayor DeStefano used was the housing boom that greeted the GI's returning from World War II.
This is somewhat understandable. Developers create and build projects in order to make money. This is how they make a living. There is a clear motivation to maximize what they can make on any single project. This does not mean that developers have bad motivations or are bad people. It means that we need to provide an incentive to create stock that is needed.
Thus, there is an opportunity here. The City of Danbury, and municipalities around Connecticut, should provide an incentive to developers to build affordable, starter level single-family homes. This type of construction has a lower impact on services, while simultaneously creating opportunities for working people to own their own single family home. This is an instance where tax abatements for residential development may be appropriate.
A modest proposal could permit the granting of a tax deferral to a developer who constructs three or four bedroom single-family homes under a certain number of square feet. The length of such a tax deferral could be pegged to the price, number of bedrooms, the total square footage, and/or the number of such houses created by a particular project.
While I am normally opposed to the use of tax deferrals for residential development, the above proposal would not create a significant burden for other taxpayers or city services. At the same time, it would create incentives to the development of housing that is needed and better serves the long term needs to the City of Danbury.
The foregoing are arguments and a modest proposal. There are many ways to address the issues of development and growth and reasonable people can disagree on which approach or blend of approaches would work best. Even the current administration has had limited successes. Specifically the UNIT inspection team program which targets properties that are non-compliant with zoning and building codes. While the program does, by the nature of its mission, over target multi-family property and thus tends to effect lower income and working people, the program has real benefits to the City. The other positive change effectuated under this administration has been the requirement that houses face, under most circumstances, face out to the street. This effectively combats the wedging of houses on undersized lots by spinning the house so that a side of the house faces the street.
These two actions represent the limit of this administrations positive vision. The balance of Mayor Boughton's attack on housing and growth represents a complete sell out to big developers and an abandonment of the rest of the city’s homeowners. A comprehensive plan to address growth and development must concentrate on preserving viable industrial/commercial property for the creation of good jobs, while at the same time limiting condominium development to appropriate places and encouraging the development of needed and under-constructed housing. Unfortunately, this type of comprehensive plan that targets the concerns of working families and property owners in Danbury over the concerns of big developers is unlikely to come from the current administration.
National xenophobes just as disgusting as the local xenophobes
Thursday, June 28, 2007 Time: 10:43 AM
Seems like people who have the mindset of Tom Bennett, Elise Marciano's anti-immigrant group Vice President John McGowan, and members of Marciano's whack pack can't seem to hide their bigoted, racist, and violent intent when it comes to making a statement.
The recipient was Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, who has been a leading advocate of the proposed legislation for changing the immigration system. His offices in Washington and across Florida have received thousands of angry messages in recent weeks, but nothing as alarming as that letter he received at his home.
"I'll turn it over to Capitol police, and we'll go from there," said Mr. Martinez, who declined to elaborate on the nature of the threat.
Republicans who support the immigration bill are facing unusually intense opposition from conservative groups fighting it. This is among the first times, several of them said, that they have felt the full brunt of an advocacy machine built around conservative talk radio and cable television programs that have long buttressed Republican efforts to defeat Democrats and their policies.
While the majority of the telephone calls and faxes, letters and e-mail messages have been civil, aides to several senators said, the correspondence has taken a menacing tone in several cases.
Senator Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican who is undecided on the final immigration bill, said his office received a telephone call recently that "made a threat about knowing where I lived." Mr. Burr passed it along to the authorities. "There were enough specifics to raise some alarm bells," he said.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is one of the architects of the immigration overhaul, said he also had received threats in telephone calls and letters to his office. Mr. Graham said several other senators had told him privately that they also received similar messages. "There's racism in this debate," Mr. Graham said. "Nobody likes to talk about it, but a very small percentage of people involved in this debate really have racial and bigoted remarks. The tone that we create around these debates, whether it be rhetoric in a union hall or rhetoric on talk radio, it can take people who are on the fence and push them over emotionally."
Several senators said Wednesday that they did not care to be identified speaking critically of the broadcasters, fearing the same conservative backlash that befell Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, this month when he declared: "Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem."
Since Mr. [Senator John] Warner arrived in the Senate, technology advances have made it easier to deliver more messages to members of Congress. Many e-mail messages sent to the Senate are copied to multiple offices, including one that was forwarded to the authorities this week. Referring to supporters of the bill, it closed with the line: "They need to be taken out by ANY MEANS."
Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the United States Capitol Police, said it was the department's policy not to discuss potential threats against lawmakers.
As Mr. Graham walked back to his office on Wednesday, he said he doubted that senators would be deterred by any threats. "I'm sure a lot of the people who have taken a high-profile position on this have been threatened, but what are you going to do?" he said. "You saw what happened to Senator Daschle."
Mr. Graham was referring to Tom Daschle, the former Democratic majority leader from South Dakota, whose office received a mailing of anthrax in 2001. The case remains unsolved.
"One of the requirements of public service in modern America is dealing with a few voices that are full of hate," Mr. Graham said. "And our discourse and the way we politic, the way we engage each other, brings that out."
ONCE AGAIN, The Danbury News-Times allows anti-immigrant xenophobes to express their violent intentions
Time: 9:08 AM
This is just ridiculous. It's about as if the News-Times supports this type of speech because this comment (and the assclown who wrote the disgusting remark) is still on the site. Read the crap in bold.
Posted by: The Plain Truth Wed, Jun 27 2007 DisNoir36, your statements and attitude make it quite obvious that you have not felt any of the repercussions/effects of the unmitigated flow of Illegals into the American work force. You must be very well insulated in your career and not need to compete against these cutthroats. Many of us on the other hand have been severely affected.
I have friends in the construction business who are now working for less than they did 20 years ago just to pay their bills. It has taken one friend, with a very busy roofing business, four years to remodel a home he bought and not in a grand style just updating the place. Why, well because; though he constantly works, he has had to reduce his prices continuously to do so. And, the Illegals still cut his throat.
I have other college educated friends mostly in the IT field who have lost their jobs to H1B Visa holders. Why because; though hundreds of thousands of new prospects are turned out of our universities every year the uber-capitalists insist that they do not have adequate candidates from which to choose within our own labor pool and have escalated the H1B program to record heights. And they are right; they do not have sufficient candidates to choose from, sufficient candidates who are willing to work for 2/3s to half of the standard salaries for these skill sets.
If as you say “Rell just perpetuated the existence of an underclass by denying them an opportunity to get quality higher education and move up…” is true; then I say good! Good let them be relegated to mowing our lawns, serving and cleaning our tables at restaurants. Why should we educate them so that they can further debase our way of life? The children of those who have come here Legally receive the benefits as they should. These others should do what it takes to become residents the right way not expect to be excepted into our society simple because they were adept at scurrying across our borders like rats or took advantage of being allowed to enter the country on a Visitors Visa to become a squatter.
And, before anybody make a crack about not choosing where they were born. Very Very Few of these kids were born there the majority of them were spirited across the border in the same manor as their parents arrived there and are just as Illegal as they are!
“I seriously wonder what will happen with all you haters if this immigration bill does pass. Somehow I doubt the hatred will simply dissipate once the question of 'legality' is removed from the equation.”
I predict violence, lots of well deserved violence. Violence; toward the Illegals and unfortunately violence toward some Legal citizens who are mistaken for Illegals. And I sincerely hope, violence against “our legislators”/government for selling out The People to the interests of the uber-capitalists and lining their pockets with the ill-gotten gains of it all.
Again, an individual who advocates violence against other people is still allowed to post on the News-Times site and the offensive remark is not pulled from the site. Forget the fact that this garbage is probably written by a whimp who would probably wet his/her pants at the sight of a gun, the fact that this jerk is still allowed to post comments, and the inciteful remark has not been pulled from the site, speaks volumes about the irresponsiblity of the local rag.
UPDATE (9:55 A.M.): This person who's "bored with the B.S" provided this nugget of info.
I know who this is. ctblogger, you can pull more weight with the NT than I can, believe me. It's the "Illegal and lovin it!" character. He has even admitted to being this "The Plain Truth". If you want to help crack down and help out our local newspaper during their tough times, just pay attention and point out what you see. I feel if just a FEW individuals had their IP blocked, we would see a positive change.
Okay Elizabeth (if you're still there), someone has done the research for you and I'm sure you'll do the right thing and not only disable the username, but also block this person's IP number.
We'll check throughout the day and see how long it takes for the News-Times to do the right thing...
UPDATE (3:30 P.M.): Well, it took a while but the post is FINALLY removed from the News-Times site. Let's hope that the racist that goes by the username "Illegal and lovin it/The Plain Truth" is banned from the site as well. Thanks to all who monitor hate-speech on the News-Times and help keep the local rag accountable.
UPDATE (6:30 P.M.) I was just contacted by a regular on the News-Times board who wants to set the record straight.
careful, bored...watch that extra "G" in "LOVING". I complained to no avail about someone mimicking my log in name on the NT boards and found their internet editor to be dismissive and uncooperative. (This was post-eugene and NOT Elizabeth).
I'm totally down with H.C. blog, and my daily run-ins with voice, cootie, ILLEGAL with a "G", Plain Truth, Lilee, and various other similar-minded anti-immigrant zealots speak for themselves.
To recap: Anti-immigrant, xenophobe=ILLEGAL AND LOVING IT.
Ditto + advocating violence against immigrants whose IP number should be banned from the NT board forever=The Plain Truth
Here's the latest on the man who brought down former Minority Leader and disgraced Republican State Senator Louis "Looney" DeLuca.
A Danbury businessman arrested last year in a federal probe of mob influence in the trash industry pleaded not guilty today to new charges of conspiring to commit kidnapping and arson to intimidate competitors.
James Galante was indicted last summer along with 28 others on charges of participating in a scheme to drive up trash rates. He was indicted earlier this month on additional charges of conspiring to commit arson and kidnapping by damaging a competitor's truck and kidnapping the driver at gunpoint in 1992.
Galante, 54, of New Fairfield, pleaded not guilty to those and other new charges. Galante now faces 93 counts, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, extortion, mail and wire fraud, and witness tampering.
Prosecutors said the scheme forced customers to pay more for trash pickup. Twenty-one have since pleaded guilty.
The new indictment includes additional charges against the eight defendants who have not pleaded guilty and charges one person not named in the original indictment. The additional charges include allegations that some of the defendants tried to bribe politicians and made campaign contributions through straw donors. The politicians have not been identified.
Whoa, who turned on the furnace? Just drove from beautiful Newport at 75 degress into unbearable Danbury at 97 degrees (in the shade).
Going through my emails and checking my tivo so it might be awhile until I'm back to posting on a regular basis. As for those who sent my tips via email: We've looked into some of the informaiton and were surprised at how deep the rabbit hole actually went. All we can say at this time is THANKS and mum is the word until we get the green light from the attorney.
Again, I'll get this site back up to speed soon so stay tuned.
If you're wondering why I haven't posted in a couple of days, it's because I'm not in Danbury right now.
I'm in one of my favorite places to be, Newport R.I. and blogging from my favorite coffee house/internet cafe, Jack and Josies.
Although I'm in Rhode Island, that doesn't mean that I won't update this site, just not as much as usual. Before I left town, there were some rather interesting developments in the crusade to remove Tom Bennett show "BigT's Talk and Variety" from public access. Also, it seems that Elise Marciano and her anti-immigrant whack-pack I.Q. dropped to an all-time low by using the victims for her own political purposes (hidden behind the cloak of a "prayer vigil"). I think it's safe to say that she and her xenophobic minions are not only the laughing stock of Danbury, but also disgusting to the core.
I have to thank those again who have emailed me tips and information. For those who I didn't send a reply message, we have a ever growing team of people looking into every singe bit of information presented to us...it's just that the amount of info is a bit overwhelming and will take some time to analyze.
We'll, I'm jumping on my bike and take a well deserved ride around Ocean Drive.
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"
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.