Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The New Britain Herald’s Fate is Still Uncertain!

All reports indicate that the owners of the Herald, The Journal Register of Yardley, Pa., still has not acknowledged any decision on the reported offers from the estimated six firms that have expressed interest. With the bad economical times, upon us, one can only hope that there may be a little light at the end of the tunnel for one of these firms to envision.

The extreme efforts of two of our state representatives Tim O’Brian and Frank Nicastro should be commended by the citizenry of both New Britain and Bristol.

Others members of the state delegation have also supported them with their endeavor in this matter.

Both New Britain and Bristol needs their local news source while we are all being querulous of the possible outcome.


Frank Smith Says NB

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Potential Buyers for the Herald and Bristol Press

DECD: 6 looking at papers

Monday, December 29, 2008 10:57 PM EST

Press staff

HARTFORD — There are at least six potential buyers eyeing The Bristol Press, The Herald of New Britain and 11 weeklies, according to state and municipal officials who met Monday to discuss the looming closure of the newspapers.

“We are guardedly optimistic” that a deal might be struck, said state Economic Development Commissioner Joan McDonald.

Five of the six are already talking to the broker hired by the Journal Register Co. to try to sell the Central Connecticut papers slated to close in mid-January unless a new owner takes over, the officials said.

The other possible buyer, an anonymous New York newspaper veteran, met earlier in the day with the mayors of Bristol and New Britain. Both mayors expressed hope he might snatch up both dailies.

“We are pretty optimistic that this might materialize,” said Mayor Timothy Stewart of New Britain. “The prospects are pretty good that somebody will save these local papers.”

State lawmakers and economic development officials said their role in helping to land a buyer for the troubled newspaper chain is pretty much over unless someone asks for their assistance. Instead, they said, buyers and the broker hired to sell the papers are talking.

“We’re stepping back,” McDonald said.

It remains murky, though, who might be interested at a time when newspapers are taking it on the chin across much of America.

At least one is another newspaper company that responded to a letter sent out to 16 media firms by the state Department of Economic and Community Development, McDonald said. The Journal Inquirer of Manchester is also in the mix, according to Stewart.

Three of six prospects had been talking to the broker, the New Mexico-based Dirks, Van Essen & Murray. Another was put in touch with the broker through state Rep. Tim O’Brien, a New Britain Democrat. The other read about the papers’ plight and contacted the DECD, McDonald said.

The sixth prospect is the one the mayors spoke with in Stewart’s office Monday.

Both Stewart and Ward said the New York buyer is the most promising of all.

“He’s most real,” said Stewart. “I think the prospects are pretty good here. They are looking to maintain that hometown nature.”

The mayors wouldn’t name the individual from New York, but said he has many years experience as an editor, is not connected to any Connecticut paper and is not part of a newspaper chain.

“He does come from a strong background in journalism,” said Stewart. “He was very promising.”

Ward said he was “definitely, definitely interested” and has the financing in place to pull it off.

“Hopefully this will amount to something in the very near future,” Stewart said.

Neither the JRC nor the broker has ever disclosed how much money they’re seeking for the papers. Officials said they would not name any potential buyers

for fear of jeopardizing negotiations.

O’Brien said that he and other lawmakers working with McDonald’s office helped generate publicity that may have spurred interest from a buyer.

“Our efforts have succeeded in getting the word out to potential buyers,” said O’Brien. “At this point, it’s in their hands.”

The five potential buyers who are speaking with the broker are “very much interested in doing something,” said state Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat.

“It appears that negotiations are getting serious,” Nicastro said. “It’s important that we move forward.”

The mayors of New Britain and Bristol said they each spoke with some of the same prospective buyers, but that each of them had been contacted by other potential buyers who were interested in just one of the papers.

Stewart said he spoke with someone from the Journal Inquirer, but Ward said he had not. Stewart said the Manchester paper was interested in both the Press and The Herald and that it was still in the running as a buyer.

Nicastro said citizens need their newspapers. He said he’s heard from many constituents about his work to help save the papers.

“The vast majority of the phone calls are saying, ‘Do what you can do to save the newspaper,’” said Nicastro. He said if people didn’t like it, he would hear from them.

Even if, in the end, no buyer comes through, at least they tried, Nicastro said.

“This can’t hurt,” Nicastro said. “This can only help the citizens of Connecticut.”

State Rep.-elect Chris Wright of Bristol said he hopes it works out because losing the papers would be a blow to democracy. “How can you have a free press if there’s no press?” he asked.

Selling the papers, though, has not proven an easy process.

Stewart said the records kept by the JRC that are being shown to prospective buyers are turning some of them away.

“The books aren’t the greatest,” said Stewart. “That’s part of the issue.”

Some of the concern, said Stewart, is whether the paper is viable. But he said a major stumbling block is that there just isn’t enough information in the books to make a reasonable judgment about the business.

Former Bristol mayoral contender Ken Johnson, who was part of a group that considered buying the Press, said that “the lack of information from the seller has been a primary impediment to submitting any purchase offer.”

Johnson said the broker “actually felt compelled to apologize for the lack of information.”

Another complication, said Stewart, is that the Journal Register Co. papers are so intertwined that it is complicated to sort out the truth about any particular newspaper.

Since the JRC notified employees in Bristol and New Britain on Nov. 11 that it intended to close the papers in 60 days, it has shuttered many weekly papers in southern Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The company is heavily in debt and its stock is worth less than a penny a share.

The newspaper industry as a whole is reeling, with many papers struggling to remain afloat in the face of shrinking circulations and declining advertising. People are shifting their attention online, where newspapers frequently have as many readers as ever, but profits are elusive.

“It’s a challenging time” for newspapers, McDonald said.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Unsafe at D'Amato and Szczesny Garages

In October The New Britain Herald Rick Guinness, A Herald Staff Reporter, Reported that the New Britain Mayor has called for security cameras for the senior parking lot further quoting the Mayor requesting the costing of equipping the D’Amato Garage and having this report by the end of August.

No such report has been made to the Mayor and I personally asked the property manager, Mr. Pellegrino as to when the installation could be expected and his reply was that there are too many priorities before we can consider this issue.

Not to be a naysayer but two more cars were vandalized last night with broken windshields and I can only remember the Mayor’s comment relating to this problem was that the seniors get better insurance coverage’s rather than promoting a solution.

He did make the duck feel safe with cameras at the Stanley quarter Park and the City Council did approve for the installation of safety cameras for their city garage at city hall in order to provide safety for themselves but the seniors be “dammed.”

At the east Side Neighborhood Community Action meeting the mayor announced during the Q&A period of the meeting that the police have the ability to install surveillance cameras in order to capture criminal activities being placed on poles and onto the internet.

Thank you,

Frank Smith Says

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Demise to Two Weekly Newpapers That Prospered

I have written articles of how local weekly newspapers do succeed because of the fact they are delivered to all the residents of the town they service and provide to their advertisers a much reduced advertising cost.

Any business that desires to reach those particular residents finds more beneficial to advertise in the weekly because they do reach all the residents in the targeted town while the dailies only reach a portion of those readers at a much higher advertising cost.

In addition to my story of the demise of the New Britain Herald an interesting story appeared in the Hartford Courant today written by David Holahan with his describing how he and his friends started a weekly newspaper called The Olde Lyme Gazette in l974 publishing 5,000 copies and during the a raging recession that occurred in the years 0f 73-74. The paper well received continued to amaze its readers with their April fools jokes that appeared each year and turned out to be a financial success that in 1979 they purchased The Compass a Mystic, Ct. Weekly making it the smallest newspaper chain throughout the area.

In 1982 both papers were sold to a chain which were sold from chain to chain operators with The Mystic papers experiencing its demise years ago with the Gazette subsequently merged with a rival company becoming the Pictorial-Gazette and was put out of its misery just a week or so by its current owners that also owns the New Britain Herald.

One such paper that I have written about that has been successful over the years is the East Hartford Gazette that is currently owned by the owners of the New Britain Herald and with its current editor, Mr. Doak, attempting to purchase this thriving weekly paper from it owners The Journal Register of Pennsylvania. Why would Mr. Doak attempt to purchase this weekly if it were not a profitable venture?

Please read my posting “The restoration of a New Britain Newspaper” and also read all the very well pointed comments that were posted by well informed individuals that do care about a continuation of a local newspaper whether it be a daily or a weekly.

Frank Smith Says

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Sadly I have the duty to report that the local Spanish Speaking Center of New Britain is making what is possibly its last food distribution, this Christmas Eve Day, due the state’s expiration of the annual contract it had with the center

Ms. Mary Sanders, pictured above with her crew of volunteers, stated that out of the $100,000 annual funding provided by the state, $20,000 was portioned out to the city’s collaborative group of pantries as a helping hand from her center to helping additional needy poor throughout the city. She continued by stating that this may be the last distribution of food, due to the expiration of the contract with the state’s Department of Social Services. Mr. Karl Messerschmidt, Mary’s assistant with the handling the food distribution, offers the only alternatives left to the center besides contract renewal with the state would be holding a fund raiser of some kind.

While I personally was there for my interviews with Mary and her crew members the word of need reached local businesses with their sending donations of food in order to help with the center’s needs to help the poor.

As an outsider looking in I cannot commend the center’s efforts enough with its helping the collaborative pantry centers by sharing $20,000 of its annual food budget, allocated by the state, in order to help the additional poor people in need in our city. It is hard to imagine a more fitting story of sharing for the Christmas season.

Our local state representatives are aware of this disastrous ending of the center’s ability to continue on with their furnishing our city’s poor with the needed food supplies and are fervently working in resolving a solution in obtaining state funds for the center to be able to continue on furnishing our poor with the much needed food.

Every time I have the privilege of sitting down to enjoy a meal, I will personally be haunted with the many eager desperate faces I saw looking to fill their empty carts, with the much needed food for their family members.

The center has been supplying food for an estimated 1,500 persons, each month but this time, they were rationing its distribution in order to be able to have enough for all.


Frank Smith Says NB

Sunday, December 21, 2008



Friday, December 19, 2008

New GOP Sheriff In Town

To The New Britain Town Crier: It is great to read of your revelation that the State GOP has selected New Britain for their state headquarters on Ellis Street.
They too have recognized the socialistic individuals that have organized in town that are forcing their garbage type of ideology down the citizen’s throats with their media diatribe.

It is great to have this new combative organization known to support a full slate of well intentioned individuals that will serve in the best interest of the electorate on our city council, boards and commissions.

It will be interesting to watch the DTC attempting to change their usual methods of brain washing their ideological beliefs into a smoke screen appearance which will not deceive our citizens.

To the 13 “untouchables” of the democratic town council membership be reminded –there’s a new sheriff in town-------the State GOP.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Increasing Police response of the beat policemen!

Officer Larry Oakley, pictured with his new toy the “Segway X-2,” which allows him to travel at a speed of 13 miles per hour--increasing the beat officer’s ability to respond to an urgent call three or four blocks away vs. the time it would take to walk the same distance.

Chief William Gagliardi was able to get federal grants in order to purchase two Segways at no cost to the New Britain Taxpayers while providing better police response by the police beat officers.

I am also told that the Chief is looking into funding the plate finder that will help the department with their finding unregistered cars misusing plates, uninsured vehicles, wanted criminals, and vehicles that owe back taxes and unpaid parking ticket violations thus making our community much safer for our citizens and visitors who come to our city to transact business or just shopping at our stores.

Officer Oakley has been walking the downtown beat for approximately five years and now that he is riding again, with his Segway, hopefully he will give the people the omnipresence of his perceived as being “everywhere” all day long! Chief Gagliardi should be commended for helping his department make the downtown district safer!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Britain Ethics Reform Proposal deters Volunteers

Alderman P. Sherwood

Alderman Phil Sherwood’s recent proposal he submitted for council review which would dictate ethics regulations for all city employees and the citizens that serve on Boards and commissions.

This proposal if enacted by the council would be deterrence for city citizen’s desire or willingness to serve our city.

A case in point was when a current commissioner who rose to speak to the council during the public participation portion of their council meeting stating that if this proposed ethics resolution should be enacted by the council he would be forced to resign.

He cannot violate the confidentiality agreements he has with his clients and that his wife who is a medical professional would also be unable to co-sign the ethics form since she is restricted by the Federal HIPPA mandates of confidentiality.

Alderman Sherwood quest to push his power onto the electorate he is elected to represent rather then listening to their wishes. Let’s not forget his ignoring their wishes with his vote to over-ride the Mayor’s veto on the board of education appointment. He made a comment at the council meeting and contradicted this comment in a local newspaper leaving the electorate wondering which statement was accurate and not the fabrication. Another issue that should not be forgotten was the fiasco he created with his FOI regulation costing the Police department a fairly large hole within their current budget.

Yes, Alderman Sherwood continue on pushing your fellow freshman Alderman to go along with your costly proposals to the city’s taxpayers and watch their reaction at the election poles when they say so long to you and the others.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mayor Needs to Be Allowed to Lead

At the East Side Neighborhood Community Action meeting held on November 6th The New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart made an excellent presentation with his making the positive future outlook of expected services. However, with all the good changes he touched upon he sadly explained that the city was experiencing less income from its investments citing that he will not hire to fill existing vacancies at city hall and may have to go to a shorter work week for our workers because we cannot do a layoff. He said that we need each and every employee for their expertise.

Recognizing that half of the fiscal budget year has passed us by and no changes in the regular operation has ever been announced publicly.

Could it be that the Democratic Majority leadership is avoiding facing this deep adversity of the current financial crisis that the city is facing by their not going along with our Mayor’s intentions to lead us through the very difficult times.

New Haven has done that exact approach by implementing a furlough procedure.

When can the Mayor, who was elected to lead, be allowed to lead us?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

NBTC Censures Senator Lieberman

NEW BRITAIN -The city's Democratic Town Committee approved a "resolution of no confidence" in Senator Joe Lieberman at its December meeting. The move came at the December 11th meeting held at City Hall.

The 12-point resolution, adapted from a more detailed censure resolution adopted by the Glastonbury Democratic Town Committee, won unanimous support at the New Britain meeting. It took issue with Lieberman's role in the 2008 campaign, including a speech at the Republican National Convention and months of campaigning on behalf of GOP nominee John McCain outside of Connecticut. The statement went on to oppose Lieberman's position on a range of issues including:

- Missed votes on increased funding for Homeland Security despite public statements supporting additional resources. "His absence in a debate on legislation to potentially increase security funding to Connecticut's cities meant the difference between the bill passing and losing." said one clause of the resolution;

- The vote to confirm Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General (the only Democratic senator from New England to do so) "in spite of Gonzales' support of torture, rendition and eavesdropping on US citizens";

- Support for the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that denies prisoners the right to habeas corpus, sanctions torture and protects members of the administration from prosecution for war crimes;

- The only Democrat to support the president's idea of private accounts. "Once it was clear that the issue had no traction, Joe Lieberman joined Democrats in opposing the President's plan," according to the resolution;

- Support for NAFTA and CAFTA --the free trade agreements approved without a process to negotiate worker rights, human rights and environmental safeguards;

- Unwavering support of the Iraq war, the greatest contributing factor to the growth in the national debt.

Democratic Town Chair John McNamara said Lieberman's expected pro-Democratic votes in the next Congress will be welcome. And he acknowledged Lieberman's recent statements that he would be in lockstep with the Obama administration on a new economic stimulus package after Lieberman retained the chairmanship of Homeland Security from the Democratic Senate caucus.

"The point of these censures and no-confidence votes, however, should be to send a message to Joe that we are looking for a new senator in 2012," said McNamara. "Going back on your commitments while hiding behind the cloak of 'bipartisanship' or, worse, opposing the nominee of your own party, give politics and politicians a bad name. Senator Lieberman has repeatedly turned his back on Democrats who made it possible for him to serve in the U.S. Senate in the first place."

The no confidence vote from New Britain Democrats did not come as a surprise. In 2006, the New Britain Town committee sent 24 of 31 delegates to the Democratic State Convention in support of candidate Ned Lamont over Lieberman, the largest block of votes opposing Lieberman's re-nomination for U.S. Senate.

The New Britain Committee will be sending its resolution on to state party leaders and to Senator Lieberman to express its concerns on his voting record and role in the 2008 campaign.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Food Pantry for the Disadvantaged Closing!

The New Britain Spanish Speaking Center’s Food Pantry is in Danger of closing due To Lack of Funds cut by the State of Ct.

Rick Guinness of The New Britain Herald with his lead story today announced the sad news for the extremely poor and disadvantaged citizen of the city will be losing their source for food.

He did elaborate how the state’s budget reduced its allocation to the center by a sum of $100,000. At thanksgiving time I notified our readers that the center was just about out of funds. Now according to the Herald report that has become a reality.

Mr. Guinness recommends that we all contact the Governor’s office by sending letters to her requesting a replenishment of the funds to the center in order for them to continue to help the poor with the food they need and count on to survive.

I further recommend that you contact all the legislative members, within your voting district, to request them to contact the Governor to reconsider her actions and restore the badly needed funds at the Spanish Speaking Center.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I have looked over the East Hartford Gazette, a weekly paper, which is part of the troubled group of newspapers that own the New Britain Herald and the Bristol press, but is unique in that it has a circulation of 19,100 and is delivered free by a carrier network to every town resident. Because it is free to its readers, you may ask how it survives. The answer is simple: through its advertising program. If you are in business and wish to reach all the residents, you could advertise through this media since the cost would be much less than advertising with a daily newspaper or even direct mail.

An option would be to connect with the Record-Journal in Meriden who successfully operates five weekly newspapers such as The Berlin Citizen, The North Haven Citizen, The Plainville Citizen, The Southington Citizen and the Town Times.

In the event that The Record-Journal has no interest in opening a local office to handle the New Britain’s daily news issues, it may be interested in issuing a weekly paper not only for New Britain but for other area towns that will be affected by the pending closure of the conglomerate news group.

New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart along with his counterparts including our area state legislatures should arrange a meeting with the publisher of the Record-Journal in order to initiate a common ground of interest for both the newspaper and our City that could resolve our expected loss of news coverage for our city. It may be possible to convert the Herald to a successful weekly like the Gazette, which will make the paper once again profitable for its investors, while at the same time providing a local news source for New Britain residents. If this were to happen, it would be a “win” for everyone.


Frank Smith

Thursday, December 11, 2008


At The New Britain Council meeting held on December 10th I was completely shocked to watch the Democratic side of the isle select Sherwood’s puppet that he called to ask this individual if she wanted to go back onto the Board of Education. This selection was made after three council meetings with the selection being the topic of discussion and having a multitude of parents, former Board of Education members, teachers, and many concerned citizens speak on behalf of Jamie Giantonio as being the right choice and that was the choice of the RTC to fill this existing board vacancy. Many who spoke referred to the former board member as being unworthy to fill this vacancy because of her argumentative disposition during board meetings rather than to discuss issues being presented in a polite manner. They also mentioned that she had missed approximately forty per cent of the meetings when she was a board member. Many who spoke did so for the sake of the school children that the school district and its board members are there to protect and to preserve each child’s educational interest.
Mr. Sherwood, being a Democrat, was out of his realm to be involved with a Republican replacement or was it that she would make a good puppet since, is was reported that, she is a former employee where Mr. Sherwood works.
For the Democrats to ignore the many speakers who made substantial presentations supporting Mr. Giantonio’s appointment was somewhat appalling to watch, as all these comments made by the voters of this city in support of Mr. Giantonio were completely ignored by the Democrats--showing that they posses all the power and the voter’s wishes mean absolutely nothing to them. Like sheep not one democratic Alderman voted with his good conscience but that of the dictates of the leadership.
Hopefully, on Election Day, these voters will remember who chose to ignore them. One thing is for certain, I intend to be right here to remind them!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Britain City Council Members Conflicts

Conflicts All over the Council floor with every Alderman covering for each other!

In addition to Alderman Catanzaro’s conflicts of interest fiasco not only as the head of the HRA Agency but as a city employee, Shirley Black was/is a NB school crossing guard, Ald. Centeno and wife are employees of NB public schools, Ald. Hermanowski’s daughter is married to Dave DeFronzo a teacher at NB High, Ald. ToniLyn Collins is employed at the New Britain Water Dept. are some of the players.

Additionally, the Majority Leader Alderman Trueworthy’s wife works for HRA and Sherwood’s wife works for AFSCME.

And these councilmen are the ones proposing to pass a new “Ethics Resolution for the city Council and city employees; need I say more?

Monday, December 8, 2008

DTC-Chairman John McNamra Speaks Out!

Republicans Descend Into Personal Attacks Over Board of Education Seat

A Common Council vote to appoint Republican Leslie Jacobs to fill a vacancy on the Board of Education has prompted a veto by Mayor Timothy Stewart and a torrent of attacks by Republicans. In his veto message, Stewart referred to Jacobs as "flippant" and "arrogant" but cited no votes or actions by Jacobs as a school board member to oppose her nomination. Jacobs has previous experience on the BOE but has long since fallen out of favor with her party's leadership.

Dismayed that the GOP's hand-picked recommendation, Jamie Giantonio, was not accepted by the Council, Republican leaders have denounced the Council move to replace Marilyn Kraczkowsky, a controversial Republican member of the BOE, who resigned earlier this year.

Jacobs and Council Democrats have been the target of personal attacks and harsh words from Republican Chair Paul Carver and others. Derogatory comments have been posted anonymously on local blogs, including one threat of violence against City Alderman Phil Sherwood.

Democratic Town Chair John McNamara criticized the Mayor's veto message for claiming Democrats are putting partisanship ahead of city schools and children. He also faulted the tone and content of the Republican attacks as "mean spirited", "divisive" and nothing more than the tactics of "schoolyard bullies."

The Council is exercising its judgment and responsibility in accordance with the city charter, according to McNamara. "The Mayor and Republican Chair Carver should make their arguments on the merits of their candidate, and not engage in partisan attacks on members of the City Council and Ms. Jacobs," said McNamara.

"This is the same Republican Party that nominated as their local standard bearer this year Tom Bozek for State Senate, a candidate who suggested that New Britain should downsize its schools by reducing the number of school children by 4,000 through draconian anti-family policies." McNamara said the record of the Mayor and Carver on education and addressing the school district's fiscal challenges has been "abysmal" over the last two years. "If I were a member of the City Council concerned about the quality of education the last person of either party that I would pick would be a rubber stamp for the Mayor," said McNamara.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Autocratic Alderman Paul Catanzaro:

Some four years ago I wrote an article in our local newspapers describing of the mere fact that you as a city employee coupled with your being an elected city Alderman placed you in a conflict of interest at either location until such time you resign from one or the other.

You ignored the warning with your complacent attitude.

And then a few years back you proposed a resolution at a council meeting calling for the elimination of all city undertakers from being able to serve on the cemetery commission and when it was time to vote on your proposal you were cautioned by the Minority Leader of the council that your vote would place you in a conflict of interest since your boss at the city’s park department, where you work, also serves as the Chairperson of the cemetery Commission. With your complacent attitude you acted as though you are above the law and went ahead by voting for your motion. I again wrote an article admonishing your actions in the local newspapers with your continued disdain of your being within the dictates of law.

Paul, it is amazing that it took all this time for these facts to surface and with the additional complaint filed with HUD about your HRA involvement along with two of your other Democratic Alderman who are in conflict as much as you are and are being dragged through the mud and slime of politics because of your insistence that you can do no wrong.

With the aforementioned facts I cannot agree more with the HUD edict that all three of you, should resign from the council due to your conflict of interest and that mandate includes you, Alderwoman Tonilynn Collins, and the council Majority leader Alderman Michael Trueworthy.

Furthermore; It would be much wiser for all three to not attend any future council meetings until such time all the legal conflict issues have been resolved with the HUD Agency.

The saddest part is watching you tear down the democratic ideology through your extreme desire to show the electorate that you have the power and God help anyone who might come between you and your thirst for power.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Parents and Grandparents of New Britain School Children:

On November 19th our Mayor, The Honorable Timothy T. Stewart, issued his veto to the resolution passed by the Democratic Council members and his statement is as follows: [ re-print ] :

To the members of the Common Council:

Our forefathers had some lofty and admirable goals when drafting the Constitution of the United States. They envisioned a government where checks and balances among the three branches of government protected our citizens from abuses of power. They tried to build a system of government where legislatures would debate critical issues with civility and respect and those whose views were in the minority could still speak freely and be heard.

If those framers of the Constitution were somehow magically transported here to 2008 New Britain, I believe they would recoil at how far we have strayed from their vision and how petty, bitter and partisan our local government has become. While our City has always had a reputation for hard fought political battles, I believe last week’s Common Council actions hit a new low in political gamesmanship at the expense of good government.

The debate in filing a Board of Education vacancy should be about the needs of New Britain’s school children. But instead of a debate about children, we had a debate where the participants acted like children.

Council Democrats gave no clear reasons for rejecting a father of two young children with a long history of service to New Britain’s youth. Jamie Giantonio, a young professional who stepped up to take time away from his career and family to serve on the Board of Education, certainly deserved a better explanation than the poor excuse from Alderman Sherwood-that he picked the person who called him on the phone rather than Mr. Giantonio who only sent his a letter. This absurdity would be laughable if it were not being carried out at the expense of the education of our City’s children.

No member of the Council majority has denied that filing the vacancy with Leslie Jacobs is retaliation for a previous vacancy appointment and again, no qualifications other than her once having served on the Board of Education were given. During public participation, ten residents spoke on behalf of Mr. Giantonia---none spoke in favor of Miss Jacobs. In fact, several speakers mentioned reasons why her past service on the Board should be the reason NOT to appoint her to fill this vacancy.

In answering questions at Wednesday’s Council meeting, Miss Jacobs did nothing to hide the arrogant, flippant attitude that earned her a reputation as an ineffective member during her earlier time on the Board. I cannot stand by and let this appointment go through without giving the Council the opportunity to rethink this action and put aside partisanship in favor of doing what is right for this community’s children.

State statutes specifically delineate minority representation on school boards in an attempt to achieve that balance of power as envisioned in the Constitution. It is hoped that an almost even split creates a spirit if bipartisanship that allows Board members to concentrate on educational rather than political issues.

With the appointment of Miss Jacobs, the Democratic majority has only violated that spirit of bipartisanship, they have thrown a live partisan grenade into the New Britain Board at a time when resources are low and needs and tensions are high.

I therefore veto Resolution #30383 in the hopes that you reconsider the chilling message you are sending to people in our community: that political power is more important than sound public policy. Consider this appointment as if you own children or grandchildren’s education depended on it---the citizens of New Britain deserve nothing less.

Timothy T. Stewart
Mayor, city of New Britain

I strongly urge all the parents to call the leadership of the PTO group for their child’s school and ask them to contact the parents of all the children to attend the Council meeting on December 10th in order to support the Mayor’s veto of the Democrat’s choice for appointment to the Board.

Frank Smith

Monday, December 1, 2008


The Assistant Minority Leader of the City Council speaking to the Board of Education at their Monday night meeting presented the best warning to the existing Board members not to resign prior to the end of their existing terms.

We all know how the democratic members of the council don’t plan to listen to the recommendations of the Republican Party and in order to show their power over the wishes of the electorate they may even ignore their own party’s recommendation.

The board meeting started at 7:14 PM subsequent to the opening pledges and the public participation had been completed the board meeting had been into some fifteen minutes of their normal business when Ms. Leslie Jacobs arrived carrying pre-mailed board meeting packet.

This of course telegraphed the sure intention of the democratic council member’s intention to override the mayor’s veto.

Why would the board of Education go through the expense of providing the documents together with the mailing cost if the word hadn’t been passed on by the democratic leadership that the veto override will occur?

Council Democrats Ignore New Britain Tradition!

It has been New Britain’s tradition that whenever a member of any board resigns that they are replaced with a member from the same party.

The Republican Party named their choice for the replacement in their requesting that Mr. Jamie Giontonio be the replacement.

The power hungry members of the Democratic Council chose to ignore tradition by their appointing Alderman Sherwood’s puppet: Ms. Leslie Jacobs.

Mayor Timothy Stewart deserves praise for his listening to the parents who spoke loudly against the Sherwood puppet machine by his vetoing the Democrat’s appointment of Ms. Leslie Jacobs.

The Democrats’ claim is that she served on the Board of Education sometime prior, but her record of service there was rather dismal and for the democrats to ignore her adverse past record is derelict at best.

The mayor deserves full support of his veto; however, rumors have it that the power stricken democrats will override the mayor’s veto at their December 10th Council conclave--forcing the unwanted Jacobs appointment onto the Board of Education and ignoring the parent’s wishes to appoint Mr. Giontonio.

I am sure with next year’s election many faces will change on the council if the democrats persist to push their power onto unwanted wishes of our citizens who they are supposed to be serving on the council to represent.

They may ignore the will of the people now, but on Nov 3rd, our voices will be heard loud and clear!

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