Racist comments in the Danbury News-Times continues
Time: 5:37 PM
Although the newspaper promised to monitor and remove obscene material in the past, it seems that little has changed since the paper switched from it's forums section to it's new format which allows readers to post comments anonymously.
Here's a sample of the latest filth (all of which are from today).
From today's article from someone who thinks they're replying to yours truly.
Not to be outdone...from an article on the farmer's market.
Maybe the News-Times should take note of what happened in Hartford when people said enough is enough.
Danbury Live July 8 2008 broadcast
Time: 4:34 PM
Playing political potpourri with John Hartwell
Time: 7:06 PM
Recently, I made a decision to come out from behind the camera and take people powered media to the next level by becoming a co-guest host on the public access show Ideas at Work and Beyond.
Since the show covers the Danbury area (which includes such towns as Bethel and Ridgefield), last night, Democratic State Senate candidate John Hartwell sat in the hot seat with myself and host Mary Heiser (Republican Board of Finance Chairman for Ridgefield) and answered a series of questions that centered on issues in the 26th district (Bethel, New Cannan, Redding, Ridgefield, Westport, Weston, Wilton).
1. Public financing of campaigns.
As a big fan of the new campaign finance laws in Connecticut, I asked for Hartwell for his take on new law and how the new way of financing of campaigns levels out the playing field.
2. Health Care:
In his travels talking to people across the district, I asked Hartwell what was the biggest concern in the minds of his constituents. His response was Health care.
As someone who had to endure traveling to New York from Danbury, one of the biggest complaints in portions of the 26th district is the terrible rail service on the Danbury section of the Metro-North New Haven Line. I asked Hartwell for his take on improving the line as well as his take on the ongoing problem with transportation in the area.
4. Minimum wage and earned income tax credit
My final direct question to Hartwell centered around the increase to the minimum wage and whether or not he approved with the decision of the Democrats to override Gov. Jodi Rell's veto.
You can watch the interview in it's entirety over at the local access show's website.
Time: 1:12 PM
I knew there would be feedback to my coverage of City Clerk Jean Natale's embarrassing appearance in front of the Charter Revision Commission.
Due to the tremendous amount of emails I've received, I'm going to make a special section of this site devoted exclusively to my argument that the position of City Clerk be eliminated once and for all and replaced with a civil servant staff.
Hopefully, if all goes well, I'll have the new section up and running to Monday so stay tuned.
Community Forum 070908 broadcast
Time: 1:00 PM
Host: John Gogliettino
Guests: George Dimyan, Heather Mock, Will Hoggard
Breaking down the nonsense from the City Clerk
Time: 12:58 PM
July 7th: This weekend, Danbury Live aired the charter revision committee meeting in which City Clerk Jean Natale made her long overdue appearance. Although it was a holiday weekend, the feedback I've received on that particular show was more than expected.
You can catch a repeat of the show on Tuesday at 11 AM on channel 23. I'll also post the show in it's entirety on this site and make the show available for downloading later this week.
As I stated earlier, recently (AFTER MUCH CRITICISM) our lovely City Clerk Jean Natale graced the Charter Revision Commission with her presence and basically gave the most embarrassing presentation about her job position in recent memory.
Between Natale's ramblings and reading off of her prepared statements (which was most likely written by you know who), our City Clerk basically offered a laundry list of nonsense and misleading statements to the commission which has further outraged her critics.
For the last two weeks, I (along with former City Clerk Helena Abrantes) made appearances on the local access show Ideas at Work and Beyond to make the case and show how Natale is the worse City Clerk in the history of Danbury and (in my opinion) why the position (which pays 48,000 PER YEAR) should be eliminated. I showed video footage of Natale's meeting with the commission but due to time constraints, I was unable to show everything. Thankfully, the internet knows no time barriers so I'm going to break down every single misleading statement Natale made to the commission as best as I can.
This will be an ongoing post as several people are coming forward and speaking out about how Natale either mislead the commission in several statements or provided what in political terms is called "smoke and mirrors." I'm in the process of combining the remarks for everyone and when I update this post with a rebuttal to one of Natale's statements, I'll push the entire post to the top of the site.
I've reversed the order of this post in order to have the most updated entry on the top of this write-up:
Item 5: Councilman Warren Levy lays out the case against the City Clerk position
Before Natale started her "smoke and mirrors" monologue with the charter revision commission, members of the public were allowed to speak. One of those members, Councilman Warren Levy, gave the clearest and best case on why the City Clerk position needs to come to an end.
Text highlights of Councilman Levy remarks (including my comment in parentheses) are below the video.
1. The position has no qualification (for further info, look at the current City Clerk's resume).
2. The council NEEDS staff (which has been an ongoing complaint ever since the previous Assistant City Clerk resigned.
3. Work needs to be done in the office which requires a certain COMPETENCY level (which is currently non-existent).
4. The office should work with the Council on a regular basis (which is also non-existent).
5. The legislative body needs to be separate from the executive body so there can be a separation of powers...it should be separate so that our taxpayers benefit to the maximum (which is a nice way of saying that the current City Clerk uses her position in a partisan manner with her loyalty to the mayor trumping her obligation to the council and taxpayers of Danbury who voted her into office).
What Councilman Levy's remarks aren't new NOR are the laundry list of complaints about the competence of the current City Clerk...
Item 4: Public notifications of meetings and accusations of being "racially motivated" in regards to immigrant-related topics.
If there is one moment from the City's Clerk's testimony in front of the Charter Revision Commission that sticks out the most for me, it's her comment regarding notifying individuals on the Common Council of upcoming meetings. In fact, this portion of the City Clerk's rant is so outrageous, it requires me to break it up into several parts.
Here's Natale in her own words:
Part 1: For now, lets put aside her notion about emailing Councilmembers and lets just take a look at her statement regarding the filing of public notices in accordance to state statue.
In order to better understand the incompetence of Natale in regards at least one instance when it comes to properly filing meetings, lets review the Freedom of Information Act: Section 1-225(d), G.S, which relates to what I'm getting at:
Notice of each special meeting of every public agency … shall be given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of such meeting by filing a notice of the time and place thereof ... in the office of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state.
In other words, whenever there is any type of meeting that involves the Common Council, whether it's a public hearing, ad-hoc committee meeting, common council meeting, the clerk (in terms of Danbury, the City Clerk), MUST file notice of the meeting at least twenty-four hours before the start of the meeting.
I bring this to your attention because on at least one occasion, an individual filed a complaint with the Freedom of Information Commission which resulted in the commission admonishing the City of Danbury and the City Clerk for violating Section 1-225(d), G.S.
Back on March 7, 2007 beginning at 7:15 p.m., the Common Council held a grant agency budget ad-hoc committee (a budget meeting that focuses on the city distributing grants to different social agencies in the area). It's worthy to note that meeting where the Hispanic Center funds for the 07-08 year were frozen AND (in a rare move) members of Elise Marciano's whack-pack (who have a long history of hatred towards the Hispanic Center and then executive director Maria Cinta-Lowe) were allowed to speak and launched into a tirade against the organization.
Although this meeting is critical in the history of the anti-immigrant community's war against the Hispanic Center (including what many view as conspiracy between elected officials, individuals in the media (primarily commentators on local access television) and those in the anti-immigrant establishment), rather than go down that timeline, lets focus on why this meeting is important in regards to the competence of the City Clerk.
On July of 2007, the Freedom of Information Commission heard a complaint filed by the person who represented the Hispanic Center at the grant agency meeting, John Gogliettino, against the City of Danbury and the City Clerk about the meeting. Here's the final decision by the Commission which admonished the actions of the City Clerk and is a TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT to the City of Danbury (take note of the portion in BOLD):
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
FINAL DECISION: Docket #FIC 2007-171
In the Matter of a Complaint by
John Gogliettino, Complainant
City Clerk, City of Danbury; and
Common Council, City of Danbury,
March 12, 2008
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 6, 2007, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S.
2. By letter of complaint filed March 22, 2007, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to post timely notice of a budget workshop.
3. It is found that the respondent Common Council held a special meeting on March 7, 2007 beginning at 7:15 p.m.
4. It is found that notice of the special meeting was stamped received for record by the respondent City Clerk on March 7, 2007 at 8:53 a.m.
5. Section 1-225(d) provides in relevant part:
Notice of each special meeting of every public agency … shall be given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of such meeting by filing a notice of the time and place thereof … in the office of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state.
6. The respondent Common Council contends that the notice was actually delivered to the City Clerk sometime between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. on March 6, 2007. The respondent Common Council further contends that its efforts to deliver timely notice to the City Clerk were delayed by the illness of the Clerk of the Common Council, who is also the City Clerk, and that the Clerk had to engage others to complete the task of delivering the notice.
7. Although there appear to have been circumstances explaining the delay in delivering the notice, it is found that the respondents failed to overcome the presumption that the notice was received at the time and date it was stamped received.
8. It is concluded that the respondents violated §1-225(a), G.S.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. Henceforth the respondents shall strictly comply with the requirements of §1-225(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 12, 2008.
Because the FOI Commission concluded that the City Clerk failed to properly file notice of the meeting twenty-four hours before the meeting, Jean Natale (the very person who glowingly talked about how she provided notice of all meetings to the charter revision commission) was found in violation of FOI law and admonished by the FOI commission in their final report on the matter.
Which brings me to...
Part 2: Jean Natale's role in what was called the "racially motivated" Hispanic Center controversy.
There is good reason why I haven't talked about everything I know in regards to the Hispanic Center controversy but since this deals with the City Clerk and the comments she made to the Charter Revision Commission, I'll touch upon this subject as briefly as possible and in doing so, show how the media dropped the ball in covering one critical aspect of this story (which is far from over).
During her presentation to the Charter Revision Commission, Natale made a big issue over the fact that she provides weekly emails to each member of the Common Council regarding upcoming meetings for the next week...a VERY BIG issue. Now, it's important to remember that the City Clerk is not legally required to provide weekly emails to the members of the council BUT since she made this part of her presentation, it's clearly fair game to point out her incompetence in this area which created an uproar at last month's common council and resulted in widespread criticism in all the newspapers (not withstanding a News-Times blistering editorial which severely criticized Natale for her role in the Hispanic Center controversy).
Here's a copy of the email Natale sent to all the Common Council members (note the date of the email):
Taking that date into consideration, read this section on the Hispanic Center saga filed by the Fairfield Weekly (again, take note of the dates)
City Clerk Jean Natale, a Republican, counters that she posted notices for the ad-hoc meeting in City Hall and gave announcement via the city's website as usual. She faxed us a meeting noticed stamped May 19 at 9:35 a.m. and an email to an IT assistant to have the notice posted online, May 20 2:12 p.m., as proof.
By Natale's own admission (probably in an attempt to avoid further embarrassment), she:
A: Provided to the Weekly (a) notice of the meeting to the Town Clerk that was stamped on Monday June 19 and,
B: Provided to the Weekly an email she sent to the IT department over 24 hours later requesting that the meeting be posted on the city website calendar for a meeting held on Thursday the 22nd.
Based on what Natale provided the Weekly, several things immediately pop into mind that should have resulted in the media asking follow-up questions.
If Natale sent an email to all the Common Council members on May 15 about the meetings for the next week and,
A: Giving the benefit of the doubt that she received notice of the Hispanic Center meeting after she sent the initial e-mail AND,
B: Natale had the notice of the meeting stamped on Monday May 19th at 9:35 am AND,
C: Natale had informed the IT department to post the meeting on the city website on Tuesday May 20th at 2:12 pm, THEN,
1.: Why didn't Natale send out another revised email notifying the members of the Common Council of the Hispanic Center meeting on the 16th, 19th, OR 20th (although she was able to take care of her legal public notification requirements on the 19 and able to "alert" the IT department on the 20th) AND,
2.: If Natale brought up the fact with the Charter Revision Commission about how she emails members of the Common Council about meetings, why did Natale NOT provide the Weekly a copy of the email she sent to all the members of the Common Council that DID NOT HAVE THE HISPANIC CENTER AD-HOC MEETING POSTED. Furthermore,
3.: Why did it take Natale over 24 hours from the time the meeting was stamped in the City Clerk's office to alert the IT department to have the meeting posted online? ALSO,
4.: Did Natale make sure that the IT department actually placed the meeting online after her request. At 48,000 per year, we shouldn't we expect this out of of the City Clerk since posting items on the city website the most common way the public learns about events at City Hall? Problems between the City Clerk and the IT department is nothing new and has been noted on this site in the past...
This brings us to the comments from the members of the Common Council who were COMPLETELY unaware of the Hispanic Center ad-hoc meeting. As a side note, let me personally state that I (like all but one Democratic member and one Republican member of the Common Council) was completely unaware of the meeting...and I CHECK THE CITY'S WEBSITE DAILY AND DID NOT SEE ANY NOTICE OF THE AD-HOC MEETING! If I did (and given the fact that I followed this story for the last year in great detail) I would have been there to video tape the event. In fact, I was actually at City Hall during the time of the meeting at a different meeting (open space forum in the Common Council chambers).
Again, EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT (for the exception of Fred Visconti who was a member of the ad-hoc committee and probably received written notice), as well as Republican Jane Diggs had no idea that the meeting took place on the 22nd of May. But SOMEHOW anti-immigrant/hate group leader Elise Marciano and her xenophobic/racist ilk not only have knowledge of the meeting, but were in attendance and (in their continued axe to grind towards the Hispanic Center) continued to spew a laundry list of misinformation about the organization without ANY rebuttal from those who would have been there to point out Marciano's group ridiculous LIES if they knew about the meeting. Several people called this event, which was called "embarrassing" by the chairman, as a secretive meeting which further fuels the notion that there is a connection between those in the anti-immigrant community and elected (and appointed) officials at City Hall.
From the Weekly:
On May 22, Cinta-Lowe's successor, Eva Colon, came into an ad-hoc committee, chaired by Reilly, that the U.S. Citizens for Immigration Law Enforcement knew about and some of Common Council say they didn't.
"This hate group always seems to have inside information," says Reilly. "It's really a group that, for some reason, has an axe to grind with Latinos."
Meanwhile, "quite a few members were unaware," [of the meeting] says Democratic councilman Paul Rotello...
During the June Common Council, questions surrounding the City Clerk's role in the members not knowing about the Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee came out. although several members of the Council spoke out in frustration in not knowing about the meeting, in an effort to keep this post as short as possible, we'll focus on Councilwoman Jane Diggs written criticism directed at Natale.
In this brief moment of clarity, Councilwoman Diggs showed courage and shed light on what she called the "underhanded" and "secretive" nature of certain members of the Common Council as well as the City Clerk in regards to the entire Hispanic Center debacle which she described as "racially motivated". Unfortunately for all of us, Diggs was unable to enter all of her remarks (three pages worth) into the record due to the repeated interruption and objections of the mayor. Since Diggs has now refused to release her full remarks to the public, we'll never fully know what else she was going to say about her encounter with the City Clerk and other officials including Common Council President Joe Cavo, other Republican leaders, and possibly Mayor Boughton himself.
Given that disappointment, Diggs was able to get some rather important points into the record and it's VERY, VERY, VERY revealing. Here, for the first time, is a transcript of what Diggs said about the City Clerk, her lack of knowledge of the Hispanic Center ad-hoc meeting and what she viewed as "racially motivated" intentions by certain members of the council as well as the City Clerk.
DIGGS: This ad-hoc meeting was not properly posted in a manner that it should have been by the City Clerk and to include persons who they wanted in this ad-hoc meeting, and may I add, individuals from the community who have downplayed the importance of diversity in the city.
I checked with Corporation Council regarding with constitutes a legal meeting but at this point...I'm fully beyond that point, I'm fully beyond that issue and I really want to speak this evening on the process...I'm talking about the process that transpired almost two weeks ago.
My remarks are really about inclusion and about race because this is what the denial of funding for the Hispanic Center is all about. I know I was denied access or even knowing about this meeting because it was promoted in a very secretive and underhanded manner by quite a number of the Republican leaders and the City Clerk's office.
I contacted the City Clerk after learning of the meeting and she stated that she was too busy during the course of the week to post the meeting. I contacted the Council President the day after the meeting was held and he simply stated that it was posted in the Common Council chambers..."
At this point (where Diggs was giving a inside detail in what actually happened in regards to the process among the members of the council and City Clerk who she later described as "racially motivated" when ONCE AGAIN, Mayor Boughton interrupted in an effort to stop her from getting her entire statement on the record.
BOUGHTON: The issue as it relates to whether it was posted or not posted is really germane to the funding of the Hispanic Center...
DIGGS: It really is focused on the funding of the HIspanic Center because I think it was all racially motivated...
Finally, I compiled a video that outlines a majority of the points I just raised (and includes video of Diggs' remarks).
To this date, NO ONE from the Mayor's office, the City Clerk, or the leadership of the Republican-controlled Common Council (Pres. Joe Cavo) have responded to any of the points Diggs made in her statement with the most important being where Diggs states that in her conversation with Natale about the Hispanic Center ad-hoc meeting, that the City Clerk informed her that "she [Natale] was too busy during the course of the week to post the meeting."
Unfortunately, as of this date, the mainstream media has failed to question the City Clerk, Cavo, and Mayor Boughton about Diggs' conversation with Natale which seems to DIRECTLY contradict Natale's statement to the Fairfield County Weekly as well as Cavo's defense of the City Clerk at the Common Council meeting, thus THE MEDIA dropped the ball and missed a critical point in Diggs' statement (which should give you an idea on why I stated this site in the first place).
In light of EVERYTHING I just posted, Natale's remarks to the Charter Revision Commission where she bragged about notifying members of the Common Council via email about meetings is absolutely unbelievable. Trust me, I could go on and on about this but I think you get the point.
Item 3: "There is always a way around something...you're a lawyer, you're a lawyer..."
In what can only be described as outrageous, Natale (AN ELECTED OFFICIAL) attempts to persuade the charter revision commission to find a way around the city having to publish public notices (which is a violation of State Statue)!
PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE JOKINGLY MANNER IN WHICH NATALE ATTEMPTS TO PERSUADE THE COMMISSION TO VIOLATE STATE STATUE BY SAYING "THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY AROUND SOMETHING" (even something as "silly" as a state statue). Also, take note of how an elected official in Natale calls the News-Times an "arrogant" newspaper that's difficult to deal with as well as claim that the residents don't read the notices although she has no statistical data to back up her "claim"
Now, what Natale is requesting is VERY DANGEROUS for a number of reasons.
AGAIN, let me stress that what the City Clerk is requesting in finding a way around the publication of ordinances and meetings in the newspaper with the largest circulation in the city is most likely is in direct violation of state statue and something every other town in the area HAS NO PROBLEM DOING.
From Danbury's charter, here's the section of the charter Natale is referring to:
Section 3-7 ENACTMENT.
Ordinances and resolutions shall be enacted by a majority vote. Every ordinance, after enactment and approval as herein provided, shall be filed with the City Clerk and recorded, compiled and published by the Clerk as required by law and this Charter.
Section 3-8 PUBLIC NOTICE AND HEARING.
At least one public hearing, notice of which hearing shall be given at least five (5) days but not more than fifteen (15) days in advance by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City and by posting notice of such hearing in a public place, shall be held by the Common Council before any ordinance is enacted except an emergency ordinance as provided in Section 3-12.
Section 3-10 PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCES.
Every ordinance after enactment, as provided in Section 3-7, and approval, as provided in Section 3-9, shall, within ten (10) days, be published in its entirety in a newspaper having a general circulation in the City and, unless it shall specify a later date, become effective on the thirtieth (30[th]) day after such publication, subject to the provisions of Section 3-11.
Now, there are many references in the state statue to municipalities being required to publish notices in newspapers having general circulation to the city (which in the case of Danbury CAN ONLY BE THE NEWS-TIMES).
From Connecticut State Statue on municipal powers:
Section 7-157: Publication. Referendum. Publication of summary.
(a) Ordinances may be enacted by the legislative body of any town, city, borough or fire district. Any such ordinance so enacted, except when enacted at a town or district meeting, shall become effective thirty days after publication thereof in some newspaper having a circulation in the municipality in which it was enacted, provided, upon a petition of not less than fifteen per cent of the electors of such municipality filed with the town or borough clerk, as the case may be, within thirty days after the publication of such ordinance, asking that the same be submitted to the voters of such municipality at its next regular or special meeting, it shall be so submitted and in such event shall not become effective unless a majority of the voters voting at such meeting vote in favor thereof. Any ordinance enacted at a town or district meeting shall become effective fifteen days after publication thereof in some newspaper having a circulation in such town or in such district, as the case may be. Cities and other municipalities whose charters provide for the manner in which they may enact ordinances may enact ordinances in such manner.
(b) Whenever any town, city, borough or fire district is required to publish any proposed ordinance or ordinance in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the legislative body of such town, city, borough or fire district may provide that a summary of such proposed ordinance or ordinance shall be published in lieu of such proposed ordinance or ordinance, provided that, in any case in which such a summary is published, the clerk of such town, city, borough or fire district shall make a copy of such proposed ordinance or ordinance available for public inspection and shall, upon request, mail a copy of such or proposed ordinance or ordinance to any person requesting a copy at no charge to such person. Any summary so published shall bear a disclaimer as follows: "This document is prepared for the benefit of the public, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation. This document does not represent the intent of the legislative body of (here insert the name of the town, city, borough or fire district) for any purpose." The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any proposed ordinance or ordinance which makes or requires an appropriation.
Section 7-191: Charters, charter amendments and home rule ordinance amendments: Hearings; draft and final report; public notice; referendum; effective date; filing of copies with Secretary of the State; file maintained by State Library.
(d) Not later than fifteen days after receiving the final report, the appointing authority, by a majority vote of its entire membership, shall either approve the proposed charter, charter amendments or home rule ordinance amendments or reject the same or separate provisions thereof. Not later than forty-five days after a vote of the appointing authority to reject such matter, a petition for a referendum thereon, signed by not less than ten per cent of the electors of such municipality, as determined by the last-completed registry list thereof, and filed and certified in accordance with the provisions of section 7-188, may be presented to the appointing authority. Not later than thirty days after approval by the appointing authority or the certification of such a petition (1) the proposed charter shall be published in full at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality, or (2) the portion of the charter or home rule ordinance being amended shall be published at least once in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality with a notice that a complete copy of the charter or home rule ordinance and amendment is available in the town clerk's office and that a copy shall be mailed to any person who requests a copy. The town clerk shall mail or otherwise provide such copy to any person who requests a copy.
Now, taking into account that the CITY CLERK (AN ELECTED OFFICIAL) wants the Charter Revision Commission to ignore a VERY IMPORTANT state statue ("There is always a way around something..."), lets take a look at OTHER TOWNS THAT BORDERS DANBURY and take a look at their charter.
Here's Ridgefield's charter (pdf format) on the publication of ordinances.
Section 3-6. Legal Notice.
Legal notice of all Town Meetings shall be advertised in a newspaper having a general circulation in the town at lease five (5) days prior to Town Meeting. A copy of this notice signed, by the Selectman or a majority of them, shall be posted at a readily accessible place at Town Hall...
Here's Brookfield's charter on the publication of notices:
C4-5. Public hearings and adoption of ordinances.
1. A. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Charter, no ordinance shall be acted upon until at least one (1) public hearing on such ordinance shall have been held by the Selectmen. Notice of such public hearing, stating the general subject matter, date, time and place of the hearing and stating that copies of the proposed ordinance are on file with the Town Clerk, shall be given at least seven (7) calendar days in advance by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town and by posting a notice in a public place. Copies of such proposed ordinance shall be made available for public inspection at the Town Clerk's office at least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the public hearing. If substantive changes, as determined by the Town Attorney, are made in any such proposed ordinance subsequent to the public hearing required under the provisions of this section, then a second public hearing shall be held on such proposed ordinance prior to final action. Every ordinance, after passage, shall be filed with the Town Clerk and recorded, compiled and published by said Clerk as required by law.
2. B. Within ten (10) days after final passage, each ordinance so passed shall be published once in its entirety, or in summary form as provided by Section 7-157(b) of the CT General Statutes, in a newspaper having a general circulation within the Town. Each ordinance, unless it shall specify a later date, shall become effective on the 21st day after such publication following its passage unless procedure to overrule such ordinance is initiated in accordance with this Charter.
From the town of Newtown's charter section (pdf format) on the duties of the Legislative Council.
...At least five (5) days prior to said hearing, the Legislative Council shall cause to be published, in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town, a notice of the public hearing...
...and from Newtown's charter section 7-50 on the PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCES:
(c) Notice of the date, time, and place of said hearing and the full text of any proposed ordinance shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town at least 10 days before the day in which such hearing is to be held.
(e) Following action by the Legislative Council, notice of said action shall be published in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the Town within 21 days of such Legislative Council action...
On the local access show, Ideas at Work and Beyond, I commented about this remarkable statement from Natale.
Here's one rebuttal that pretty much sums things up.
State law requires publishing of all ordinances. For an elected official to say there is always a way around anything is reason to call for her to resign. Democracy is costly - it is the price we pay. The people have a right to know what their government officials are doing. We need to have more disclosure not less.
I think it's rather laughable to hear the City Clerk complain about the cost of publishing public notices. In a time when this mayor is bonding the city to oblivion, to hear someone whine about spending tens of thousands of dollars to publish ads (when by her own admission, the city has saved money by not hiring a FULL TIME ASSISTANT CITY CLERK) simply makes no sense. As the comment above states, DEMOCRACY COST MONEY and for a city that has a budget that is in the HUNDREDS of MILLIONS OF DOLLARS and has no problem finding 75,000 for a FILM FESTIVAL.
Natale's suggestion that no one reads the public notices is downright insulting to those who ACTUALLY READ THE NOTICES. I for one make a point to check out the notices from time to time to an effort to make sure that the notices are actually published within the time frame dictated by state statue and in light of the alleged secretive and "racially motivated" nature of the Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee meeting, one should request more transparency from City Hall and not less.
Natale's comment doesn't hold water when you look at the other means in which she can notify the public (for free) that is NOT being utilized. For one, if the City Clerk wanted to, she could request that the IT department create a section of the city's website for ALL legal notices (which is not being done). She could also do the same with the email sign up service the city uses (which is not being done). You can't complain about the arrogance of the News-Times and offer other means to inform the public about public notices when you don't even utilize other means to inform the public with the tools at your disposal.
Finally, as I stated in the video clip, Natale is simply throwing up smoke and mirrors towards the Charter Commission because the notification of public notices is a state statue and outside of the jurisdiction of the Charter Revision Commission. In short, Natale is simply wasting the people's time with a bunch of nonsense that has no absolutely ZERO relevance to the people she's talking to and if anything, the Corporation Council should have stated this when questioned about whether or not publishing of public notices was a state statue by a member of the commission.
ITEM 2: Jean Natele's the first City Clerk to actually do the job of City Clerk in 40 years?!?
One of the most insulting remarks from Natale happened when she first opened her mouth and stated that in the past, the position of City Clerk was mostly a figurehead position and she's the first person in 40 years that's actually doing the job as City Clerk.
In response, here's just one rebuttal on Natale's outrageous charge.
Her statement that she is the only city clerk in 40 years to do the job is just wrong. They all did the job as outlined in the charter. That she disparages people such as Betty Crudgington and George Massoud who have passed on and are not here to defend themselves is totally disrespectful and shows her lack of character. The problem here is that she does not understand the limited role of the City Clerk as outlined in the Charter. The civil service job of the assistant clerk is what she was talking about. They did not do that work because it was not their job. She owes the families of those good people an apology.
ITEM 1: Jean Natale's "excuse" in not meeting with the commission earlier.
BACKGROUND: The Charter Revision Commission requested Jean Natale to meet with them to talk about the position of City Clerk and for MONTHS the City Clerk was a no-show.
After the level of outrage and criticisms towards th present City Clerk increased, Natale finally met with the commission and offered the following as her excuse in her not meeting with them earlier.
Now, is it me or did she NOT explain why she didn't meet with the commission earlier? Basically, Jean offered NO reason why she didn't meet with them because she has no excuse for the exception of the irrational ramble she offered that makes no sense whatsoever.
Bigotry loses again
Time: 8:28 PM
It’s official: New Haven won’t have to release the names of recipients of its immigrant-friendly ID cards, thanks to a ruling late Wednesday afternoon by the state Freedom of Information Commission.
The FOIC voted 3-1 at its Hartford headquarters to uphold a June 25 proposed decision by one of its members. That decision denied a request by opponents of the city’s immigration policies to release the 5,000-plus names. Opponents said they wanted to turn the names over to federal immigration authorities to try to sink the city’s immigrant-friendly policies.
Deborah Torres, attorney for Unidad Latina en Accion, one of the groups supporting the city’s position, credited the testimony of New Haveners on the front lines of immigration issues with helping to win the case.
“People who testified in person and were subject to cross-examination, people who deal on a continuous basis with people in immigrant communities, including documented and undocumented immigrants, talked about their perceptions of those populations — their fears, their concerns, how they perceived some of the statements of the complainants and other immigrant group,” Torres said. “They testified eloquently and at great length.”
In the end, commissioners expressed sympathy with the argument made by the city and its expert witnesses that threats of violence against city officials and immigrants in general warranted keeping the identities of cardholders secret. The cards — which entitle holders to access to city services like libraries and parks, and can be used to help open bank accounts — are not held just by immigrants, but they are designed to help immigrants integrate into city life.
The city’s police chief, the Fair Haven neighborhood’s top cop, and the state’s homeland security chief all testified in previous hearings that they believed that releasing the names would endanger public safety. A top city official received a death threat because of her role in crafting the ID program. (Click here, here and here to read about that. Click here to read the original FOIC decision that was upheld Wednesday.)
Learn about the political landscape of the 4th District
Time: 5:31 PM
For those readers from the Ridgefield area, I STRONGLY encourage you to click over to CTLP and read the analysis Genghis did on the 4th Congressional District and learn why Democrat Jim Himes has a great chance in winning the seat presently held by Chris Shays.
City Center Summer Series starts tommorrow
Time: 11:23 AM
From Union Savings Bank Press Release:
Grab your blanket and picnic basket – CityCenter Danbury’s Summer Nights Concerts on the Green kicks off this Thursday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. with a family concert by The Barons, who will perform hits from the 1950s. Children’s activities will take place before the concert, starting at 6 p.m.
The free concert series, sponsored by Union Savings Bank of Danbury, runs through August 23 and includes Thursday evening family concerts, Friday evening performances by well-known local artists and Saturday evening multi-cultural shows.
City Center gives more details on Thursday's opening act.
Returning for the second time, The Barons are here to bring the people of all ages together. Oldsters will reminisce with their favorite tunes from the 50’s; youngsters will appreciate the musical purity that makes the oldies a timeless genre.
Also Thursdays are Family Nights and there will be lots of activities for the children before and during the show!
Scooby Doo, courtesy of Noah's Arc Animal Hospital and the Tooth Fairy, courtesy of Dental Associates will both be visiting the Green that evening.
Activities begin at 6:00 and the concert begins at 6:30.
For a full rundown of all the concerts at the green, check out the City Center website.
Why does Halas Farm think they can do whatever they want?
Time: 1:15 PM
Here's a quiz for you.
Can you point out the city violations in these photos which the city has allowed Halas Farm to get away with for some time.
I'll give you the answers later...
UPDATE: Here's a hint. The following image below is the site map for Halas Farm location (you can enlarge the image by clicking on it). The section in blue is NOT HALAS' PROPERTY BUT IS CITY OWNED LAND. The section in blue is also the area in the photographs on the top of the post. Like I said, I'll give you ALL the answers later.
Residents speak out against irresponsible development under Mayor Boughton's watch
Time: 12:57 PM
From last week's Planning Commission public hearing on the hotel complex proposed by Interstate Business Center, LLC, here's one resident who came out in opposition to the development who shared his thoughts on the mayor and those on the land-use boards who turned Mill Plain Road into a traffic nightmare.
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