Friday, November 28, 2008

Funds For the City's Poor Cut By State

Unfortunately, The New Britain Spanish Speaking Center of 28 Cedar Street, due budgetary cutbacks by the state, will no longer be able to provide food for hundreds of people affective this coming January according to Ms. Mary Sanders who heads this wonderful organization.

Governor Rell has slashed a sum of $100,000 form the center’s annual budget request.

There are two options left to help the poor in our city and that is to have the city Council to supplement the center’s financial needs from their rainy days fund or to get a local bank to set up a fund drive to help in providing the necessary funds in keeping the food supplies to continue.

The current people being furnished, by the center, with the food supplies, as listed in the New Britain Herald on November 27th. by its staff reporter Mr. Rick Guinness as follows:

Number of adults under age 65 who are being served by the center 390
There are 75 seniors 65-87 years old.
There are 270 Children being served.
Making it a total of people being feed is 735 in 243 households.

I am sure that most of our citizens while driving through the city have witness the poor recipients walking with their familiar carts filled with food on their way back to their residences.

This plea for help on their behalf should be the stimulus for both the city council members and the city residents to join in with their efforts in order to help out in any way possible.

Friday, November 21, 2008

NB Council Conflicts of Interest Should Be Reviewed!

The Common Council of The City of New Britain should examine itself for conflicts of interest.

Besides the complaint filed with HUD against Alderman Paul Cantanzaro, is the additional conflict that is constant by his being an Alderman, President of the New Britain Human Resources Agency and a city employee for the parks and recreation department of the City New Britain.

The conflict persists by the mere fact that the council approves accepting Federal funding that is awarded to the city’s commission on community and neighborhood development which in turn approves and requests funding to be approved by the Council for the HRA agency.

One instance of an outstanding conflict of interest was with Alderman Cantanzaro insistence of voting on the cemetery issue involving undertakers being eliminated from serving on the cemetery commission when in fact his boss at the parks a recreation department, where Alderman Cantazaro works, is the executive director of the city’s cemetery commission. By the mere fact of his making a motion to eliminate the undertakers and subsequently voting on this motion is an example of his display of defiance to the conflict laws and appears to be above the law with this vote.

The council should review the existing conflict that Alderman Cantanzaro presents to the general public with his determined disrespect to adhering to proper conduct as a city Alderman.

He should be told to resign at least two of the positions preferably all three.

Monday, November 17, 2008



Friday, November 14, 2008

The Pending Demise of the New Britain Herald

It was not shocking news for many of the city’s residents to learn of the possible demise of New Britain’s newspaper. It was very noticeable in its approach since many of their news stands stood idle adjacent to the Herald offices. The readership dwindled due to a lack of news coverage.

Additionally, its reporting style of news coverage changed drastically since the departure of Editor, Patrick Thibodeau. The noticeable change in style seemed to irritate its loyal readers. Reporter after reporter came and left. One would assume that there was a revolving door for the reporters or was it just a low pay schedule with little future advancement in pay that made them move on? Consistency was lost and in time, so were the readers.

I recall Mr. Thibodeau sitting in the front row of the City’s Council chambers and would be insulted or abused by the Aldermen regarding his past news reports but Pat would just sit there showing no emotions and his following day’s report would not even mention the vicious personal attacks, but would only report the newsworthy issues for his loyal readers.

There were many good reporters that followed Pat such as Elisa Hutcoe [Krockmalnyckyj] who subsequently joined Pat as his co editor of a Washington enterprise called the “Computerworld” which is based out of Boston, Massachusetts.

There were many more notable writers in addition to the two aforementioned like Ms. P Riordan, Ms. Herran Kerry, and now Ms. Lisa Backus is holding the fort along with Rick Guinness and Scott Whipple.

I am sure that Mr. William Millerick, a former Editor of the paper, is holding back his emotions over this great loss for our city.

I personally feel what the Late Mrs. Brown, former publisher would say if she were here to say it, along side the late Mr. Vance.

I cannot finish this dialog without mentioning the faithful all around assistant to everyone in the newsroom, Ms. Carroll Miller, who dealt with the public such as me with charm and impeccable grace.

I wish to convey to all who were associated with the Herald a heartfelt thank you for your dedication to your readers and you will all be sorely missed by all the residents you so faithfully served.

Any comments from current or past readers are welcome on this blog and you may make your comments anonymous or you may sign your name to your comments, but feel free to join in on wishing the men and women behind the scenes at the Herald a fond farewell.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Open Forum Number Four

I am offering my readers a fourth open forum to post any issues they feel are important to the people of New Britain. If you have an issue with city government that you would like to share with the rest of the readers, feel free to post it here. Whether it be a problem you experienced with a city agency or official, or something positive they may have done and you would like to share it with the rest of New Britain, this is a chance to do so. Public interest stories are also welcome, so if you know about a person, or group of people that is doing something to somehow make the lives of others better, feel free to post it here.

You are welcome to post items anonymously, or may sign your posts if you choose to do so. Consider this an opportunity to speak up about issues you feel may be important to the people of New Britain. Simply click on the comments link below to leave your message. Thanks for checking in to review my postings and please feel free to check back frequently as I have a number of interesting stories in the works.
This fourth forum is being provided since the third was a great success.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Obama Transition Phase

This is to give our readers the opportunity to discuss whatever effects they may feel that will affect both their personal economic problems, as they see it, and the national economic downturns, layoffs, and business closings that the new Obama administration presents.

And last but least the adversities the economic dilemma that our city and town governments are currently facing regarding the possibility of being forced to layoff some of their employees.

Please restrict your comments on the national issues to this particular blog in order to free up the local blogs with local issues.

Friday, November 7, 2008

East Side Residents Meet With Mayor Stewart

The East Side Neighborhood Community Action Meeting held with the Honorable Mayor Timothy Stewart at their meeting held on 11-6-08.

The mayor gave his overview as an excellent update of the current and future expectations of the city services for the west end.

He mentioned the rehabilitation that is underway at the old fire station which has been used as the emergency building and will be ready in a few months for public use and scheduling of meetings. He touched on the Broad Street area growth that is occurring.

Leaf pick up whether curb side or bagged with a spring time final pick up after the snow has melted.

Importantly he announced a terrific change in this year’s snow plowing schedules by going from 10 routes to l4 with double shifts and arranging the same routes being done by the same trucks with their first doing the emergency and or public safety routes which will result in faster completion of the task with the same employees becoming familiarized with their routes. He also announced a change from the traditional salt and sand to a salt that is less toxic to the grass and trees by the road side.

He continued by announcing in addition to the standard garbage pickup that they will be introducing a separate canister for the recycling materials which will only have to brought out to the curb every two weeks. Some people place metals and furniture on the on the curb side without arranging a scheduled pick up with the city’s department of public works. They have inspectors checking around the city and issuing $100 fines to these violators.

The Mayor also mentioned that with the new recycling program, the materials are being sent to the Bristol facility, which produces electricity, and suggested that it helps the city to save on electrical cost. He also mentioned that the contractors assigned to pick up the garbage start as early as 4 AM in order to beat the traffic caused by the school busses but that he will negotiate a 5 AM start up when their contract renewal is due. He also did mention that the containers cost the city approximately 800 to 900 thousand dollars which was funded through bonding.

The Mayor elaborated that the planned work for the Walnut Hill Park which will commence after the cancer walk-a-thon on mother’s day in order to correct the pot holes caused by drainage problems on Hart Street and in the Park itself. Due to the major drainage corrections needed to be accomplished, this project will take a long time to complete. Hart Park had its baseball field re-done along with the girl’s tennis courts as well.

He also mentioned that the New Britain Police Department is attempting to fill the current vacancies with New Britain Residents if at all possible with the 70 Applications that have applied. He reported the removal the police sub-station from Broad Street to the West End near the Chesley Park area.

He also explained the city has experienced less income from its investments creating a shortfall on the anticipated budgeted income and we will not hire to fill the vacancies at city hall and may have to go to a shorter work week for our workers because we cannot layoff all of our workers. We have stopped our personal use of city vehicles for going home for lunch in order to save the fuel involved.

He announced the planned west end streets to be repaved are Jubilee, Smalley, and Linwood which is part of a five year plan that was decided not on a political basis but by having a survey done and setting the priority needs.

The Mayor did answered many questions asked by the residents but he seemed reluctant in answering about the cemetery fencing problem since it is a legal matter but did indicate that the individual contractor was arrested and that there is a performance bond involved.

He mentioned the problem properties while under bank forecloses with the banks providing no services such as lawn maintenance and snow removal and how the city has to do the clean ups and having to place a lean on the properties.

Saint Thomas School was also mentioned with the Mayor indicating that a local Middletown developer is interested in making a 55 and over residence with it.

He answered questions about seniors obtaining a tax freeze on their property taxes by their applying at the senior center through Mr. John Coughlin to make the arrangements and especially those who need help in removal of leaves and snow off their properties due to disabilities they too must see Mr. Coughlin in order to prove their income status for their eligibility to obtain the needed help.

Additionally, the Mayor during the Q&A period mentioned how they have portable cameras that can be placed anywhere in order to get surveillance information to help the police department to move forward with their suspected criminal activity investigations. He alluded to some cameras being placed on top of telephone poles and all are motion detected and do work on the internet as well. He also indicated that they are dealing with the taggers by their grouping several of the misdemeanors charges together in order make a felony conviction stick.

The Mayor made an excellent presentation and all those present were well satisfied with all his answers and hoped to see more of him in the future. I should indicate that Aldermen Mark Bernacki and Adam Platosz were also present along with four members of the New Britain Police Department.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Crying Baby Number "Four"

As requested by my readers we are starting crying baby number "four"

Unfortunately, one of our council Alderman Louis Salvio (R) admiringly claimed he blew the whistle and HUD took the money away.

It originated with a complaint he filed with the Hud Agency claiming three Democratic Aldermen were in a conflict of interest regarding HRA agency and Federal Funding. When in reality two abstain from voting and the third was absent from attendance of the meeting in question.

HUD did investigate and cited two Republican Commissioners with a conflict of interest and withdrew a sum totaling $264,248 affecting eight of the city’s agencies.

With the onslaught of winter arriving Heat, Food, and children’s clothing are the priority for the poor in our city but the funds remain with HUD.

At the New Britain Council Meeting this past Wednesday two distinguished individual from The Spanish Speaking Center and The Salvation Army spoke of the need for food, winter clothing for the poor and heating. Unfortunately, they did not mention the large sum for this purpose is sitting at the HUD office in Hartford, Ct.

I am respectfully requesting that you devote the necessary time in order to have HUD release these extremely needed funds in order that our poor can survive this winter with sufficient food, heat, and clothing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Boot Finder Number Two For Mayor Stewart

I have received numerous emails as well as phone calls as what the boot looks like.

Therefore, making it the reason for adding the new blog in order to present to our readers what the mechanical Boot Finder looks like. Please remember that they do place two of these bootfinders one on each side of the vehicle so it can read the plates parked on both sides of the street as this vehicle passes by.

A computer is controlling what the bootfinder is reading and it is assumed that a new down load of current information from the motor vehicles department and the local tax department is completed on a routine basis in order to keep the information stored in the bootfinders's computer up to date and accurate.

Be reminded that the city of New Haven after installing the boot system in August of last year reported that they collected $3,000,000 last year of unpaid taxes and expects to collect and additional $4,500,000 of uncollected taxes.
It is hoped that the city of New Britain’s administration will consider employing this system in order to lessen its taxpayers who do pay their taxes to see that this additional income realized as a method to lower the mill rate they are currently forced to pay because of the uncollected amounts owed by the dead beat scoffers.

The New Haven Register, reported by Angela Carter, Hundreds turn out to pay delinquent tax bills waiting line for at least an hour in order to prevent their cars from being impounded. Resulting in added towing and storage cost.

One headline reported by the New Have Register read as follows:
BYE-bye to the Boot; Hello Plate Hunter; by William Kaempffer of the Register who reported that the cost for this electronic doohickey was a sum of $78,000 and that this High Tech Italian made optical character recognition technology. It not only finds those that owe past tax bills but also targets parking ticket scofflaws as well.

West Haven and Bridgeport have evaluated this system for their own use.

Why not employing this system in New Britain?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Boot for Mayor Stewart

Mr. Mayor: New Britain is not attempting to give you the boot but we are recommending that you get the boot like New Haven did.

With the employment of this electronic gadget called the “plate hunter” New Haven has collected 2.3 millions since the launching of the Boot Finder on August l6th.of this year.

A secondary benefit to this is the elimination of un-registration vehicles in our city thus reducing the insurance rates for our residents because of the reduction of accidents involving un-insured vehicles.

Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. stated that the Bootfinder was a contributing factor to our collecting 98.6% of the taxes due at city hall.

The New Haven Register, reported by Angela Carter, Hundreds turn out to pay delinquent tax bills waiting line for at least an hour in order to prevent their cars from being impounded. Resulting in added towing and storage cost.

One headline reported by the New Have Register read as follows:
BYE-bye Bootfinder; Hello Plate Hunter; by William Kaempffer of the Register who reported that the cost for this electronic doohickey was a sum of $78,000 and that this High Tech Italian made optical character recognition technology. It not only finds those that owe past tax bills but also targets parking ticket scofflaws as well.

New Haven has installed two on a Truck so that it can scan vehicles on both sides of the street as it passes by. It even captured a 15 year old parking ticket that was never paid by the car’s owner.

West Haven and Bridgeport have evaluated this system for their own use.

Why not New Britain?

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