The Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2021 Virtual Danbury Mayoral Debate scheduled for Wednesday, October 13 at 7:00pm.
Chamber President and CEO PJ Prunty says the debate is between the City of Danbury Mayoral candidates Democrat Roberto Alves and Republican Dean Esposito. The Chamber founded in 1914 has a long-standing tradition of hosting Mayoral debates. After a hiatus, the Chamber started hosting the debate again in 2019. Board Members and Staff formulate questions of interest for local Danbury business owners and employer.
“This is an important election for Danbury - as for the first time in 20 years - we do not have an incumbent running. Chamber Members have a keen interest in the success of the City of Danbury being a good place to own a business, recruit talent and serve their customers,” said President Prunty. The event is sponsored by Collins Hannifan, P.C.. Moderator Harry Carey-Director of External Affairs for AT&T Connecticut will ask the candidates questions and assure that each candidate is given ample time to answer. This year's event will be virtual and requires interested parties to register via the Chamber website. Registration is free and is limited to first come first serve. Registered participants will receive a secure zoom link prior to the event.
Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce (virtual) Mayoral debate set for October 13th
Time: 1:14 AM
Goodbye Nico's...hello East Meets West Pizza and Hibachi
Time: 4:23 PM
The days of the "Nico's Pizza and Pasta" are now a distant memory.
The new owners of the downtown pizzeria decided to make a clean break from the former restaurant with a new name change and Facebook page. I think it's a wise move since the eatery named "Nico's Pizza and Pasta" as people knew it ended the day George Korres retired; the name change should end any confusion among people who didn't get the memo about the change in ownership.
I've eaten at East Meets West on several occasions, and I'm relieved to report that good quality pizza is still available downtown...make sure to stop by the restaurant on your next visit to Main Street.
Danbury Hospital to require proof of vaccination for visitors
Time: 2:16 PM
Recently, Danbury Hospital announced that visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to access the facility.
Effective October 5, visitors to Nuvance Health hospitals and facilities must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours in order to enter. This includes inpatient, Emergency Department, Nuvance Health Medical Practices, and ambulatory services.You can read the details on the new policy at the hospital's website.
Special Populations and visitors with extenuating circumstances may be asked to provide documentation but providing documentation is not required in order to visit for these groups.
Nuvance Health is permitting one support person per day for patients not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. This includes inpatient, Emergency Department, Nuvance Health Medical Practices, and ambulatory services. Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID will be permitted visitation only for extenuating circumstances and special patient populations as described in this policy.
State Rep. Arconti recognized by AARP for advocating for affordable utilities
Time: 9:35 AM
REP. ARCONTI RECOGNIZED BY AARP
House Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee State Representative David Arconti (D-Danbury) was recognized by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for his leadership on ensuring that all Connecticut residents have access to affordable utilities.
"I am honored to have been recognized by this extraordinary organization for our work on behalf of Connecticut's consumers, especially many represented by AARP," said Rep. Arconti.
Arconti was presented with the 2019 AARP Legislative Achievement Award for his efforts supporting legislation to rein in the cost of utilities for ratepayers.
While the COVID pandemic delayed the distribution of awards, Rep. Arconti is grateful to AARP for the special distinction and noted, "I look forward to our continued work holding utility companies accountable and pushing for policies that will benefit all our Connecticut ratepayers."
Rep. Arconti represents Danbury's 109th Assembly District. In addition to his role as House Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee, he also serves on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and on the General Law Committee.
Esposito outlines his plan to guide Danbury through the pandemic
Time: 8:42 AM
Mayoral Candidate Dean Esposito’s Plans to Move Danbury Forward Post-Pandemic
Danbury, CT- Today, Republican Mayoral Candidate Dean Esposito released his plans to Move Danbury Forward Post-Pandemic. When elected Mayor, Dean Esposito plans to build on the “Danbury Difference.” Dean’s COVID-19 recovery plan prioritizes public health and safety, economic recovery, and education.
Public Health Recovery Plan
Increase the number of locations citywide for Covid-19 vaccinations and testing. As Chief of Staff, Esposito worked closely with the Health Director on creative solutions for hard-to-reach communities. Under Mayor Esposito’s leadership, getting tested or vaccinated in Danbury will be both safe and accessible.
Esposito looks to go one step further in public health accessibility. His plan is to acquire an unused space in downtown Danbury for the Health Department to utilize in addition to City Hall. This will allow the Health Department to expand on the number of services it already provides to the community and offer the extra space needed for efficient operations.
Additionally, Esposito feels there is more to be done in the community with regards to addiction recovery and mental health. As Mayor, he plans to make an increased effort to promote and connect the services offered by organizations in Danbury and programs from the State and Federal government to residents and families in need.
Public Safety Recovery Plan
Esposito is a proud supporter of our local law enforcement and first responders. He’s seen first-hand how these brave individuals served our community tirelessly through this pandemic.
Esposito’s plan includes supporting our local law enforcement with responsible funding increases. As Mayor, Esposito will support a budget that allocates funding to all emergency personnel for pandemic response training, and will work with the Chiefs and Emergency Management Department to identify new resources to better serve and protect the community.
And, during his first two years in office, Mayor Esposito will begin plans to build expansions for the Fire Department Headquarters. The need for additional space is increasing and Esposito knows how critical it is for our firefighters to have the resources they need to protect the community.
There is no question that Danbury families and local businesses suffered throughout this pandemic. As Chief of Staff, Esposito worked on each fiscal budget with Mayors Cavo and Boughton, and for the past three years, there has been no increase to property taxes. But Esposito knows there is more that we can do.
Family-owned restaurants have found solutions to keep in business through temporary outdoor dining. As Mayor, Esposito will continue to be an advocate for small businesses who want to see these solutions become permanent. He plans to work with City departments on additional initiatives for our small businesses, and urge state leadership to adopt more creative incentives as businesses continue to recover.
For the downtown business owners, Esposito will continue implementing sidewalk renovations and infrastructure improvements. Esposito believes more lighting, public art initiatives, and an enhanced public safety presence will help revitalize the area for the entire community to enjoy and revive local businesses who have suffered tremendously over the past year and a half.
Esposito will continue to advocate for a Public Charter School in downtown Danbury. Danbury was offered an opportunity to provide education to over 700 students, with zero impact to Danbury taxpayers. With private funding to build the school, and State funding to operate it, Esposito feels that this Charter School is a choice that Danbury families should be able to make for their children.
For the safety of our students and faculty, Esposito has been working on solutions to update and enhance various air handling systems throughout the district. He is also an advocate for mental health counseling in our public schools. He plans to assess the various needs of the district and see what resources Danbury counselors may need to serve more of our students.
And, as Mayor, Esposito’s first order of business will be to fight for the funding Danbury students deserve from the State of CT.
“To continue to increase the burden to our taxpayers is irresponsible. Our students deserve the best schools, and we have continued to increase the Board of Education budget, thus increasing the local share of education funding. But if you make the decision to raise property taxes, you make it even harder for the families of our school children to get by. Our community is already facing financial hardship increased by the pandemic, which directly or indirectly affects our children. That’s why I am calling on families to support me in fighting for the fair share of State funding that your kids deserve.”
LIVESTREAM: Zoning Commission Public Hearing
Time: 9:32 PM
Police chief memo on homeless shelter debunks "increase in crime" narrative
Time: 6:54 PM
In advance of tonight's Zoning Commission public hearing on the homeless shelter proposal at the Super 8 hotel on Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour wrote a memorandum to Mayor Joe Cavo in which he reports that the facility has not led to an increase in crime in the neighborhood.
In short, based solely on incidents reported to us, it does not appear that the shelter has had any significant impact on crime or calls for police service in the area at this time.This is the second time Chief Ridenhour has placed his observation into the public record and counters the narrative presented by residents opposed to the proposal to make the shelter a permanent structure.
Commission member Perry Salvagne IV wasn’t sold on the argument. Hotels may contribute more to the city, whereas a shelter could become a “burden” on services, he said.Chief Ridenhour's statement also runs counter to the narrative presneted to the public by lawmakers going as far back as last November when State Rep. Ken Gucker made the following comments at the monthly meeting of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee.
“The people you’re attracting with a hotel are here to do business, maybe participate in tourism, visit family, etc,” said Salvagne, who ultimately voted in favor of the plan. “I would wonder whether people coming to use this as a shelter use might contribute to the costs of our services, whether that’s police, ambulance, the various other services that are offered in the city for those in need.”
That’s a concern others in the community have had. The police chief has said the department has not seen an increase in calls or issues at the Super 8 since individuals were moved there, compared to the old shelters.
You can read the memo in its entirety below.
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