During her closing statements, [Helena] Abrantes challenged Boughton to three debates that would be open to the public and held at night or on weekend when more people could attend.
Boughton said Wednesday that he hasn't decided on Abrantes challenge but said he would try and see what will fit in his schedule.
"We'll look at any request." he said, pointing out that he will attend upcoming candidate forums held by the PTO and volunteer firefighters. "Beyond that, we'll have to look at the dates and see what we can squeeze in."
Boughton on avoiding open debates: September 20 2009
As for other debates in the mayoral race, Goncalves said he has agreed to participate in an event sponsored later next month by the League of Women Voters of Danbury.
Boughton, however, said he had not yet received an invitation to the event.
"There are already several events planned for next month," he said. "Anything beyond that may be difficult to fit into our schedule."
Boughton on avoiding open debates: September 25 2009
Goncalves said it was "slap in the face to the voters" and a "display of arrogance" when Boughton said last week that he likely couldn't attend a debate being offered by the League of Women Voters of the Danbury Area.
"As a Danbury resident and taxpayer who was born, raised and educated in Danbury, I consider the mayor's response that he had not seen the invitation, that his schedule was filling up and that enough other forums were scheduled, totally unacceptable," Goncalves said during an outdoor press conference.
Goncalves, who made reference to a debate being held next week before the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce at a cost of $45 per person, added that residents have a "right to hear the opposing viewpoints of the candidates in an open and no-cost forum."
In response Boughton said he only received the invitation to the league debate late last week and he will evaluate whether he can attend the event.
"It's already late in the (election) cycle and we do have a full schedule of events," he said. "I also have a responsibility to run the city of Danbury."
Avoiding open debates is nothing new for Mayor Mark Boughton...just ask 2007 Democratic mayoral candidate Helena Abrantes.
Citing the concerns Gary Goncalves has with the chamber of commerce luncheon/forum (not free to the public, held during a time when most of the public would be unable to attend, etc), throughout her campaign two years ago, several times Abrantes called upon Boughton to agree to an open forum in which the public would have an opportunity to hear the two candidates debate the issues.
Unfortunately, the public never had an opportunity to see the two candidates debate each other in an open forum.
Earlier this week, I caught up with Abrantes and talked to her about the similarities between Boughton's refusing to open debates with her back in 2007 and his refusal to open debates now.
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.