Community Forum 040809 broadcast

Saturday, April 11, 2009
Time: 4:56 PM

Host: John Gogliettino
Guest: David A. Cosmo, Jennifer Licht: CPR instructors

CT 04: Bloggers meet-up with Jim Himes

Friday, April 10, 2009
Time: 5:23 PM


Yesterday, I attended a blogger meet-up with 4th District Congressman Jim Himes down in South Norwalk. From the fair elections act and reforms to the financial industry, to his thoughts on his first months in Congress, everything was on the table and I grateful that Congressman Himes took time out of his schedule to talk to the online community.

You can read a full write-up on the encounter over at the sister blog My Left Nutmeg (as well as over at Connecticut Bob), but I thought I would share this exchange Himes had with fellow blogger Gabe from Connecticut Local Politics.

In light of the AIG bonus fiasco, the focus of Gabe's question in the videoclip concerned Republicans challengers taking a somewhat left-of-center stance on populist issues...a stance which are traditionally reserved for Democrats.

All in all, I thought Himes really hit a home run with his response...

Again, I strongly encourage you to read CTBob and My Left Nutmeg's take on the event.

CT 05: Murphy raking in the dough

Thursday, April 09, 2009
Time: 4:31 PM

Quick note:

Chris Murphy's campaign announced that they raised 400k this quarter...someone is getting ready for '10.

Celebrating Marian Anderson

Time: 2:21 PM

The New Yorker magazine's Alex Ross has written an intriguing piece on the life of Marian Anderson. me, it's worth the read.

(h/t to you know who for the link).

Saadi on Boughton's budget proposal

Time: 8:21 AM

After the mayor's 2009-2010 budget address, I spoke to Minority Leader Tom Saadi to get his take on Boughton's proposal...


Lets try this again

Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Time: 5:07 PM


When it comes to Danbury receiving state aid, don't let the mayor clown you...

Well, it looks like someone received my memo, attempted to modify his statement, and still managed to get it wrong.

As I mentioned yesterday, in Mayor Boughton's statement to the News-Times regarding his budget proposal, the honest one said the following:
Boughton said the budget proposal he plans to present Tuesday is based on getting the same state aid that the city received last year -- as outlined in Gov. M. Jodi Rell's budget proposal released in February.

If state funding was reduced, he said, it would impact the city's ability to deliver services and result in layoffs.

"I will not saddle the taxpayers with a large increase," he said. "(If state funding was reduced) we would have to do layoffs and eliminate positions. Right now, we are proposing no layoffs."

Yesterday, I carefully outlined why what the mayor was basing his proposal on (the Governor's budget proposal released in Feb) was simply ridiculous for the simple reason that Rell's budget is out-of-whack by 2 BILLION dollars.

Well, fast forward to last night and watch as the mayor attempts to clarify the comment he made to the newspaper.

Assuming a “freeze” of the phase-in of the revaluation, the impact of the proposed budget to our taxpayers includes a mill rate increase of .31 or little over 1%. A typical home that is assessed at $239,900 currently pays $5121.86 in property taxes. Under the proposed 2009-2010 budget, that same home would pay $5196.23 a difference of $74.36 for the year or approximately $6.00 per month.

Should the Legislature decide not to allow for a suspension of the phasein of the revaluation, we will adopt a mill rate that will reflect our spending plan and implement the next phase of the revaluation according to law.

I am also assuming that state aid will remain relatively flat for the coming fiscal year. Both Governor Rell’s budget, and the legislative Democrats budget that was released on Friday indicates that Danbury will be receiving approximately the same amount of state aid that it received last year.

While it's nice to see that 1.) Boughton is a reader of this site and 2). he clarified his statement, he STILL GOT IT WRONG.

Let me explain...

As they explained on Friday, the Democrats budget proposal WILL REDUCE MUNICIPAL AID BY 49-50 MILLION DOLLARS over the next two years...a fact which is WELL KNOWN TO JUST ABOUT EVERY MAYOR AND FIRST SELECTMAN IN THE STATE.

How do I know that...because members of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities were at the Capitol today basically begging state legislators to maintain funding towns and cites at the same rate.

CTNewsJunkie has the details.
Now that they’ve seen the Democratic majority’s budget proposal, which reduces municipal aid by $49 million over the biennium, local elected officials were back at the Capitol Wednesday asking legislators to maintain at the very least flat-funding for cities and towns.

Many of the officials, like East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey, said she’s already cut more than $8 million out of her town’s budget and she can’t afford for the state to withhold anymore. She said in this economy she cannot ask citizens to contribute more by paying higher property taxes, and she can’t ask the labor unions to give anymore than they already have.

“State aid cuts make a bad situation worse,” New Haven Mayor John DeStefano said. He said he even had to close a senior center in a re-election year.

New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart said bluntly that he doesn’t have the “luxury” of raising property taxes in a re-election year.


“We are not sustainable without massive infusion of state money,” [Bridgeport Mayor Bill] Finch said. At the moment Finch said he’s faced with having to cut another $2.7 million from his budget.

He said that means he has to chose between laying off 39 cops, 43 fire fighters, closing all recreation programs, closing all senior centers, and closing all after school programs.

As you can see, mayors and first selectmen are already raising the red flags and are being straight with their constituents when it comes to the dire circumstances towns and cites are facing.

Shouldn't the mayor of the seventh largest city in Connecticut do the same and just tell the people the obvious...that the prospect of layoffs is a REAL STRONG POSSIBILITY and that basing his budget on the Governor's numbers is a disaster waiting to happen.

Look, it simple, we're facing a economic tsunami here in Danbury and when the governor and legislators at the Capitol finally agree to a budget, I can just about promise you that Danbury WILL receive a reduction in state aid. For those in the city's education system, this will spell disaster as I wouldn't be surprised if the state's Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding for municipalities are reduced also.

The mayor is playing a tricky game of Russian Roulette as a good portion of his budget is based on what happens at the State Capitol...and at this point, the range in disagreement between the Democrats and the Governor's office is about the size of the Grand Canyon.

...something to consider as we enter the budget season.

HatCityBLOG VIDEO: 2009-2010 budget address

Time: 3:43 PM

From last night's Common Council meeting, here's Mayor Mark Boughton's 2009-2010 budget proposal.


President. Honorable Leaders and Members of the Common Council, Madam Clerk, City Officials, Department Directors, Employees and my fellow Danburians.

In accordance with the my duties as Mayor and those prescribed by the Charter of the City of Danbury, I respectfully present my proposed budget, and the Comprehensive Capital improvement plan for the fiscal year 2009-2010.

Before I begin my budget details, let me say thank you to the legislative body of our city, the Common Council, and its leadership. Our Council spends hours working on the City’s business in a voluntary capacity. In the coming month, they will be giving up their evenings and weekends to deliberate over this body of work. For their dedication and commitment we should all be thankful.

I would also like to thank our Director of Finance David St. Hilaire. David has spent hundreds of hours poring over these numbers and with the aid of his capable assistant Judy Baris, they have been able to create a first class document that all of us can be proud of.

Ladies and gentlemen, as in the past, Danbury stands on strong financial footing. We continue to maintain the highest credit rating and bond rating in our history.

This year I am proud to report to you that Standard and Poor’s, the largest of the three credit rating agencies, has upgraded us because of our sound financial practices and our strong financial performance.

We continue to have one of the lowest effective property tax rates in the state and our sewer and water rates are 100% below the state average.

I would encourage you to review the graphs and charts that are included in your budget. In particular, I would like to point out our low debt service rate and our high fund balance. Both of those numbers continue to remain healthy and strong.
Central to the operation of our local government is our mission statement. Our mission statement defines and drives our purpose and our decision making process in the City of Danbury.

“The City of Danbury’s mission is to ensure a superior quality of life for its citizens by providing the most cost effective municipal services while preserving the cultural, historical and natural resources of the City. We are committed to working with citizens to enhance Danbury’s position as a premier place to live, work, and raise a family in a traditional yet progressive community” This year’s spending plan reflects that mission, but does so in an increasingly difficult economic environment.

I cannot think of any other time in the history of our city with the exception of the Great Depression, that we have been challenged as we are today.

Let’s make no mistake. The current economic crisis that has engulfed us is not the fault of any of our residents or our city government.

Unfortunately, Wall Street’s irresponsible gambling and the poor decisions made by financial institutions in general, have brought the economic crisis to our Main Street.

This year’s spending plan meets the challenge, but does not relieve us of a burden created by greed and arrogance of the financial industry, that we will be face for years to come.

We are faced with declining revenues in every aspect of the budget. Specifically, our building permits are down 27.8% reflecting the current national recession.

Our motor vehicle grand list is down $21,000,000 reflecting the slowdown in motor vehicle sales.

Our investment incomes are off by almost 50% reflecting lower interest rates.

Our grand list has dropped by 8 million dollars.

In the coming year, we expect a 22% decline in permits and license revenue.

In response to these challenges, we have already taken a number of proactive steps to help mitigate the downturn in this year’s economy, some of the highlights include:

• Implemented a spending freeze and a hiring freeze.
• Deferred filling 14 positions.
• Implemented a 4 Day work week to save on energy and overtime costs.
• Deferred some capital projects.
• Renegotiated energy costs and other expenditures with our vendors.
• Conducted internal assessments and reviews of financial practices of various departments.
• Reviewed the assignment of city vehicles.

In the 2009-2010 budget, I recommend that we continue these cost cutting practices and in some cases expand on them. In the next fiscal year I am recommending that we:

• Eliminate the14 unfilled positions with an approximate savings of $1,000,000 in salary and benefits.
• Implement the Early Retirement Program to eliminate a minimum of 10 positions providing an additional savings of $700,000.
• Retool our health insurance programs to offer more voluntary options for our employees.
• Eliminate under-utilized office equipment; we have even eliminated water coolers! cost savings: $13,000.
• Implement aggressive tax collection methods to clear up any aging receivables.
• Continue to monitor and regulate overtime expenditures.
• Eliminate salary increases for our Department Heads as well as the Office of Mayor.
• Look to develop new ways to generate revenue.

I have also taken several steps to help us as we develop our 2009/2010 budget.

We have renegotiated and locked in our Heating Oil price at $2.18 per gallon and our Gasoline price at $1.74 per gallon. This will save the City of Danbury hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs.

For managers hired after January 1st 2009, I have eliminated free “retiree” medical insurance, and require a contribution to our pension plan.

In addition, new managers hired after January 1st 2009, will have a lower cost medical plan as opposed to the costlier health care plan that is currently offered.

All of these decisions represent a sweeping change in our employee benefits for our senior staff.

While these strategies will be effective, we must continue to reduce spending at every opportunity, while we weather the economic storm around us.

That is why the 2009-2010 budget is a “zero growth budget”.

Our general government operations budget is approximately 1 million dollars below last year’s general government budget.

In the 2009-2010 budget I am also proposing that we borrow no money to fund our Capital Improvement Program, all capital improvements will rely on previously authorized funding or on the federal economic stimulus program.

For the third straight year, I am proposing no increases for sewer and water rates.


For the Education Budget I have proposed a “zero growth” budget of $112,000,000. I know that this will be a difficult challenge for the Board of Education to meet, but we must ask them to continue to refine their numbers in this unsettled economic time. I have no doubt that the Common Council will work with the Board Education to ensure that we are providing services that meet the needs of our children as well as
reflect the taxpayer’s ability to pay.

Finally, I want to commend the Dr. Pascarella, Chairwoman Podhajski, and the members of the Board of Education for the steps that they have already taken at containing cost.

Public Safety

Most important to our mission statement and to quality of life in the City of Danbury is the delivery of public safety services. While most of our budget is designed to reduce spending and eliminate staffing, there is one area that I am recommending an increase of staffing.

On April 21st we will dedicate our new Police Station. As a way to deploy more police officers to patrol, I have included three civilian employees as well as three part-time civilian employees that will form the core of our civilian work force at the Police Station.

We are also applying for federal stimulus funding to provide for civilian dispatching at the new Police Station. The centralizing and civilianizing of dispatch, will allow us to put more officers on the street, and more firefighters in the field, helping us to utilize our staff more effectively and ensuring that we remain the safest city in Connecticut.

Tonight, you will also see a grant application on our agenda for the funding of twelve new police officers under the C.O.P.S. program.

These positions are fully funded by the federal government for the next three years.

The new officers will enhance the bike patrol as well as expand the traffic enforcement division of the Danbury Police Department. The expanded traffic enforcement division will include a new motorcycle patrol with motorcycles purchased through the asset forfeiture fund.

Ladies and gentleman this spending plan represents a maintainenance approach to our government while we wait for the economic climate to improve. As such, there are no other major initiatives.

Grant Agencies

Earlier this year the Common Council, with my support, opted to change the way we fund grant agencies and work towards developing real metrics and measurable outcomes for our taxpayers.

I have identified several agencies that are performing services for the City of Danbury that we will fund so that we do not have to hire staff to perform the services that they are doing.

I have included funding for three key categories:

The Women’s Center- To provide critical intervention, support, and counseling for those who are victims of family violence.

Danbury Youth Services- To provide critical counseling for challenged youth.

Connecticut Institute for Communities-To provide assistance and capacity building for our non-profits.

The Boughton Street YMCA- Transition dollars to continue offering recreational opportunities for our residents.

The War Memorial- To provide services for our emergency management system, veteran’s activities as well as recreational opportunities for our youth.

The Danbury Council of Veterans-To provide graveside services as well as the Memorial Day Parade.

The Volunteer Center (S.A.V.E.)- Manage our SAVE program

D.A.W.S.- To help manage our animal shelter on the weekends.

One organization, the Danbury VNA, provides critical nursing services for our residents. I am proposing that we enter into a MOU with the V.N.A. which will allow us to pay them for their services that they provide to our residents on a case by case basis.

Approximately $500,000 will be distributed through the grant process established by the Common Council earlier in the year. The task force will distribute money in three key areas:

Economics: This category is designed to promote financial stability and self-sufficiency in the economic crisis. Programs and initiatives that will be funded in this category will be homelessness, housing, financial literacy, job training, and basic needs that are a direct result of the economic crisis.

Education: This category is designed towards helping children, youth, and their families achieve their potential. Programs and initiatives that will be funded include afterschool care and parent education programs.

A well educated workforce attracts world class jobs.

Health: Promoting health and wellness in the community, Programs and initiatives include those to promote a healthy lifestyle, counseling services and home health care.

I also am proposing tonight that we rally the residents of the City of Danbury to support these causes as well. The initiative is called “Danbury cares about Danbury”, will ask our residents to support our investment strategy in Danbury’s non profits and to support their fellow citizens who are experiencing difficult economic times with an additional voluntary donation.

To do so, I have asked our Tax Collector, Scott Ferguson, to design and include a new form in the tax bills to solicit a voluntary donation from our residents. If each taxable property donated just $20.00, we could raise an additional $500,000 for these organizations that would be used to aid our residents in a time of need.

The impact of our spending plan to our residents is critical as we seek to balance our budget, protect our quality of life, and reduce costs.

After careful analysis and much discussion with our Director of Finance, I am recommending that we “freeze” the phase- in of our state mandated revaluation.

This means that with exceptions of new construction and adjustments, the assessments of all property in the City of Danbury will be frozen at their current level. By suspending the phase-in, we can ensure that the taxpayers of Danbury will not be saddled with an assessment that may not be reflective of current market conditions.
The suspension of the phase-in will also allow our residents to have breathing room in an unsettled economic time.

A suspension of the revaluation will also reduce the impact of our budget for our residents.

In order to implement a suspension of the phase-in, the State Legislature must adopt a bill that is pending before it which has passed out of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee with strong bi-partisan support. It is my understanding that this bill has a strong chance of becoming law.

In addition to the suspension of a phase-in, I have also asked the Legislature to consider the possibility of allowing cities and towns to discard their most recent revaluation and give the authority conduct a new revaluation before the next scheduled revaluation date.

Assuming a “freeze” of the phase-in of the revaluation, the impact of the proposed budget to our taxpayers includes a mill rate increase of .31 or little over 1%. A typical home that is assessed at $239,900 currently pays $5121.86 in property taxes. Under the proposed 2009-2010 budget, that same home would pay $5196.23 a difference of $74.36 for the year or approximately $6.00 per month.

Should the Legislature decide not to allow for a suspension of the phasein of the revaluation, we will adopt a mill rate that will reflect our spending plan and implement the next phase of the revaluation according to law.

I am also assuming that state aid will remain relatively flat for the coming fiscal year. Both Governor Rell’s budget, and the legislative Democrats budget that was released on Friday indicates that Danbury will be receiving approximately the same amount of state aid that it received last year.

The 2009-2010 budget does not assume any savings from the proposed early retirement program.

I have also reduced revenue projections to reflect our current economic environment.

In the long term, our corner of Western Connecticut will overcome the economic crisis. However, the economic forecast for the short term shows little in the way of a potential rebound and improvement.

In this economic crisis, with the national unemployment at 8.5%, and possibly reaching 10%, we have choices to make. Those choices are the same choices being made around every kitchen table in our community.

What steps can we take to save money? What steps can we take to ensure that we live within our means?

Some of our residents have lost their jobs, still others have tragically lost their homes, and all of us have seen our most important asset, our home, significantly devalued.

In tough times, we have to make tough decisions.

This spending plan makes the tough decisions.

In essence, the proposed budget reflects the budget that we can afford, not necessarily the one that we would create in good economic times.

During these difficult economic times, people of our community need their local government to be responsive, to be agile and to be compassionate.

It is our duty to let residents know that we are for them and that we care about them.

It is also our duty to provide the services that are necessary to maintain the quality of life that we all enjoy, and at the same time, strive to live within our means.

Tonight, we have been summoned to a higher challenge. A challenge that is bigger than Republican or Democrat, a challenge that is about our community.

This is not the time for partisan politics. It is the time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on behalf of all of our residents.

This evening, I ask for the Common Council’s support as we work together in a bipartisan fashion to develop our spending plan.

I welcome the Common Council’s input on improving our bottom line. I thank the members of this elective body for their care and concern for our city.

The 2009-2010 proposed budget puts our priorities in order. It reduces spending in general government operations by almost a million dollars, and it balances significant budget cuts with a small contribution from our taxpayers to maintain our quality of life.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe in the strength of this community. Our city will see its way through this difficult time.

It is a time that was not created by us, but must be managed by us. Danbury is blessed with a diverse and strong economic base and a resilient people.

There will be more tough decisions to make in the future. But we will make them together as one community, united in purpose, dedicated to supporting and caring for each other as we face the difficult road that lies ahead.

With these thoughts in mind I respectfully submit to you this budget for our City’s 2009/2010 fiscal year. Thank you, God Bless America and God Bless our Great City.

Exposing Boughton's sleight of hand

Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Time: 5:53 PM

Okay, I'm going to take this step by step and show Mayor Boughton's sleight of hand in action.

Here's a quote from the honest one regarding his city budget proposal.
Boughton said the budget proposal he plans to present Tuesday is based on getting the same state aid that the city received last year -- as outlined in Gov. M. Jodi Rell's budget proposal released in February.

If state funding was reduced, he said, it would impact the city's ability to deliver services and result in layoffs.

"I will not saddle the taxpayers with a large increase," he said. "(If state funding was reduced) we would have to do layoffs and eliminate positions. Right now, we are proposing no layoffs."

Okay folks, hold on to your seats because NOW I'm going to show you why, when it comes to layoffs, the mayor is not telling you the complete picture...because as a former State Rep, Boughton (and anyone who's been paying attention to the events at the State Capitol) already knows that the state budget proposal presented by Gov Rell is off balanced by at least 2 BILLION dollars.

For your viewing pleasure, watch the following video made by a member of My Left Nutmeg.

Got it?

AGAIN, the budget proposal which Gov. Rowland-Rell presented back in February was based on deficit of 6 billion dolars when the actual figure is 8.7 dollars.

In other words, the governor's proposal is a joke and NOT realistic.

From last Friday, here's State Senator Don Williams outlining the governor's dishonesty.

Here's State Rep. Bob Godfrey explaining the governor's budget gap in terms people can understand.

Also, when House Speaker Chris Donovan and area lawmakers held a forum at WCSU last month, they detailed the MASSIVE problem with the governor's proposal and released this document that further explains the dilema we all face (you can also download the file by clicking here).

In short, the governor's proposal won't work PERIOD...and this means that the probability of Danbury and other cities not receiving the same level of funding from the state as last year is about 99.99999999999999999 PERCENT!

Heck, the governor has even conceded that her budget was out-of-whack last week...
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell's budget office is predicting that the state budget deficit for the next two fiscal years will be nearly $7.4 billion, about one billion higher than first projected.


In February, Rell proposed a two-year, $38.4 billion budget that assumed a $6 billion deficit for the two fiscal years beginning July 1.

But Democrats in the Legislature criticized Rell for using that figure when the Office of Fiscal Analysis had predicted an $8.6 billion deficit.

Again, as a former State Rep, Boughton KNOWS this yet he's playing a game of sleight of hand in order to avoid stating that he's layoff employees in his budget address...his most highly visible address he presents as mayor (the second most visible being the state of the city address).

Remember who told you this first...

HatCityBLOG Budget FLASHBACK: Visconti and Taborsak criticize Boughton's leadership

Time: 2:00 PM

In advance of tonight's budget presentation by Mayor Mark Boughton, here's a oldie but goodie from June 11 2007...


Before June's Common Council meeting, Council members Fred Visconti and Lynn Taborsak made an appearance on the cable access show "Community Forum" and shared their views on the state on Danbury under the leadership of Mayor Mark Boughton.

From the so-called parade ordinance and to the BRT tax giveaways, to irresponsible development, and the various problems with the city budget, Visconti and Taborsak clearly and carefully outline the concerns that are on the minds of residents who are upset with the direction of the city under the current administration.

Clip 1: Problems with the city budget and Mayor Boughton's re-election gimmicks (part 1 of 2).

Clip 2: Issues with the city budget including lack of information from department heads, acceleration of the budget process, concerns with education budget, and question regarding funding from the state (part 2 of 2).

Clip 3: Development madness and the BRT tax giveaways.

Clip 4: Parade ordinance outrage.

HatCityBLOG Budget FLASHBACK: Cappiello and Godfrey blast Boughton's 2007 budget proposal

Time: 12:33 PM

As a preview on my comments on this year's budget, you first need to take a step back and take a look at the problems EVERYONE had with Mayor Boughton's EARLY budget proposal last year.

As you recall, the mayor rolled out last year's budget a whole month early using Gov. Rell's budget estimates although the governor and state legislators were locked in a heated battle over the state's budget...and you should know, you have ot factor in how much money you're getting from the state before you can do a realistic city budget.

In this flashback, we go back to early last year where State Rep Bob Godfrey outlines why Boughton's proposal is boneheaded and shares a conversation he had with State Senator David Cappiello...and lets just say that Cappiello didn't hold back on criticizing Boughton either.

Originally posted on 03.15.07.

QUESTION: What do Democratic State Rep. Bob Godfrey and Republican State Sen. David Cappiello have in common?

Answer: They're both critical of Mayor Mark Boughton's early city budget proposal.

Now, remember when I pointed this out.
As for the budget, presentations sound great but as with anything, the proof is in th details. Democratic minority leader Tom Saadi was quick to touch on this point last night.
Democratic caucus leader Tom Saadi said he and fellow Democrats will evaluate the budget in detail over the next month, but he fears the final numbers will change if the Gov. M. Jodi Rell's proposed budget is not passed.

"This budget relies on the governor's funds. While that reliance may be 80 or 90 percent right, we are going to have to make up the difference," Saadi said.
And remember when I made this point...
The Senate Democrats called for a wholesale rewriting of Gov. M. Jodi Rell's $17.5 billion budget proposal Wednesday, saying they oppose virtually all of her tax proposals and significant parts of her spending plan.

Following their first detailed caucus since Rell announced her proposal last month, the Democrats emerged Wednesday afternoon to say that closer scrutiny of the governor's budget has revealed a series of flaws.

"It turns out that there's a lot less than what meets the eye," said Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, the highest-ranking senator. "This is going to be a very difficult budget year. ... This budget has a lot of flaws that did not reveal themselves immediately."

Standing next to Williams at a press conference at the state Capitol, the co-chairwoman of the legislature's tax-writing committee, Sen. Eileen Daily, D-Westbrook, said Rell's tax plans are "a real gut-punch to the middle class and to the poor."

The Democrats "just couldn't sanction" Rell's 10 percent, across-the-board increase in the state income tax, the repeal of the estate tax, and the phase-out of the popular $500 property tax credit, Daily said. She also cited opposition to the elimination of the personal property tax on cars, and using annual revenues from the casinos to help pay for the car-tax elimination.
Now, rememeber to take that into consideration when you watch Democratic State Rep. Bob Godfrey detail the "folly" behind the early arrival of Mayor Mark Boughton's budget proposal as well as describe a conversation he had with Republican State Senator David Cappiello who called Boughton's budget "irresponsible."
I guess there is bi-partisanship in Connecticut afterall.

HatCityBLOG Budget flashback: Spending run amok

Monday, April 06, 2009
Time: 4:26 PM

In honor of Mayor Mark Boughton budget proposal tomorrow, lets take a look back at previous criticisms of the mayor's previous proposals.

The mayor's 2007 budget proposal was remarkable to say the least for the fact that Boughton rammed this budget down the throats of the people at ramming speed. In fact, unlike other budgets in the past, the budget of 2007 was presented 30 days early, which is due in large part because the finance director at the time was retiring.

Both Democrat and Republican state lawmakers were not happy with the mayor's 2007 budget proposal because it was based on the governor's projected revenue figures instead of the traditionally more reliable figures which are available as one approaches April. While I'll address the criticism Boughton received from those at the State Capitol later, this video clip from April's Common Council meeting really gets to the heart of the complaints over the Mayor's spending habits at the time.

From the April's Common Council meeting, here's then Common Council member Lynn Taborsak taking Mayor Boughton and the "rubber-stamp" Republican controlled Common Council to the woodshed over the city budget.

As we approach this year's budget, the complaints over the mayor's past spending habits is worth noting...

HatCityBLOG VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Border tolls forum

Time: 1:07 PM

Members of the Transportation Committee, Department of Transportation, and area lawmakers discuss the prospect of the state installing border toll booths
WCSU: 03.26.09

The re-implementation of tolls on the border of Connecticut was the center of a forum held at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury last Thursday.

Transportation committee members Rep. Tony Guerrera, Rep. David Scribner, Sen. Toni Boucher, DOT commissioner Joseph Marie, and Transportation Strategy Board member Jill Kelly got an earful from members of the public on the irresponsible thought of placing tolls on the CT/NY border on I-84.

In short, NO ONE in the audience liked the idea of border tolls and didn't have a problem expressing their feelings on the matter.

Border tolls highlights (20 mins):


Border tolls forum in it's entirety (2 hours):


Health care forum TOMORROW

Sunday, April 05, 2009
Time: 7:46 PM

Tomorrow morning, the Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, along with state lawmakers, will lead a roundtable discussion on health care reform for small businesses and non-profit organizations.

Here's the details:

Who: Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, State Representatives Joseph Taborsak(D-Danbury), Chris Lyddy(D-Newtown), Bob Godfrey(D-Danbury), Jason Bartlett(D-Bethel), Business Leaders from Danbury area.

What: Secretary of the State & State Representatives to lead roundtable discussion with entrepreneurs focusing on reducing health care costs for small businesses and non-profit organizations across Connecticut.

Where: Danbury Public Library Program Room, 170 Main Street Danbury.

When: Monday April 6, 2009 10:30 a.m.

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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)

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"

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.



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



11.15.23 Recanvass return
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Election night returns
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Initial returns

Oct 10 2022
Jan 10 2023
Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Dem/GOP slate/ballot position

VIDEO: DRTC convention
VIDEO: DDTC conveniton


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

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

(VID) 2021 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum

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

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


Danbury 2005 election results
Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

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

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

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

Danbury 2013 election results
(VID) 2013 DDTC nominaiton convention

Danbury 2015 election results

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

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