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A City Council Election Year And Already Absentee Ballot Applications

June 5th, 2017 · 23 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Council, City Politics, Education, News and Events

It’s not often three school board members sign up to address the City Council during the public speaking portion of the meeting on the same night, but that’s what Maria Pereira, Sauda Baraka and Howard Gardner are scheduled to do for Monday’s session. The school board budget and Classical Studies Program are common themes.

See council agenda here.

The council will also take up an ordinance amendment regarding “Residency reporting of all municipal elected officials, board and commission members.”

This is an election year for the entire 20 council seats, all Democrats. A majority of council districts judging by the amount of announced candidates are headed for September primaries.

Still, the largest question looms, will City Council President Tom McCarthy seek another two-year term in the 133rd District? First elected in 2001, Big Mac says he’s not made a decision, not publicly anyway. He’s led the legislative body for 10 years.

Former State House member Bob Keeley and zoning commissioner Anne Pappas Phillips have teamed up to challenge McCarthy and his North End district partner Jeanette Herron. Herron says she’s running irrespective of what McCarthy decides.

So the political wheels turn with party endorsements in July. And, in case you’re wondering, campaign operatives have already signed out absentee ballot applications for the September 12 primary. The actual absentee ballots will be available to fill out in August.

Why wait for the last minute?

See 2017 election calendar here.

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • John Marshall Lee

    The hearing for the residency reporting Ordinance precedes the Public Speaking session and City Council meeting. It asks all municipal elected officials as well as those appointed by Mayoral power to initially report their actual residence to the Town Clerk office and thereafter at least annually to reaffirm their residence on record. It asks that a change of residence be reported to the Town Clerk within 30 days of such change (while the Motor Vehicle Department requirement is 48 hours). If the Ordinance is passed it will be instructive to see how this new process is worked out with the Town Clerk office, what a listing of all those who are either elected or appointed who may be covered by the Ordinance looks like, and how those folks will be informed of the NEW requirement and provided an opportunity to comply. Perhaps there will be additional vacancies on boards or commissions? Time will tell.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      What about BOE members?

      • John Marshall Lee

        Joel, are Board of Education members elected municipal officials? The initial target included all elected and Mayorally appointed and I am not persuaded that this is the spectrum of people the Ordinance would cover. Do you have a copy of the Ordinance that makes you doubt that? Time will tell.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Added to that proposed ordinance should be a report from the Registrar’s Office.

  • Bob Walsh

    Article in the CT Post on marketing the city. Talks about how little Ganim can do with $150K for statewide office. Watch him.
    First of all he has it in the budget. So what if they spend more than is in the budget. We’ll deal with that later.
    Or the BRBC will match what the city spends above the budgeted amount. Now we’ll have to spend more. It’s called leverage.
    Or we will pay out of bond funds. Don’t think you can? Watch em. It’s been done before.
    $150K quickly becomes $300K, $500, $1,000,0000 or more. All in the name of marketing the city with Joey G appearing in the ads. It’s been done before. Watch them do it again.

  • Ron Mackey

    The council will also take up an ordinance amendment regarding “Residency reporting of all municipal elected officials, board and commission members.” Now, how will we know that these individuals reside at the address they report?

    • Lisa Parziale

      Ron, if they own property a check of the tax rolls is one way to determine if they own one or more properties, I would expect they vote, a check with the Registrar’s office will match their residency address, and in situations that are really questionable, ask that they produce a utility statement. If they comply with the above and are still lying, then they get away with it. Anyone going through that much trouble to serve on a Board or Commission is definitely up to something shaky. Let’s not forget that some reporters are willing to do stake-outs.

      • Ron Mackey

        Lisa, they own one or more properties but that doesn’t mean that they reside there,  a check with the Registrar’s office will match their residency address but that doesn’t mean that they reside at that address,  they can produce a utility statement and still not reside at that address.

        • Lisa Parziale

          You’re right. But,a stake out worked recently, reporters if determined can and will wear them down.

          • Ron Mackey

            Lisa, I only bring it up is because of the past history of Police and Fire Department when there was a resident requirement that all Police and Fire members had to lived in Bridgeport but a number of didn’t live in the City. You had police officers tracking down where those members really reside. I know people who had to move back into the City.

  • Bob Walsh

    Politicians don’t lie. They may stretch the truth. They may have multiple addresses. They may live with a family in Bridgeport and live alone out of town.
    Oh ‘f’ it. Of course they lie but they will swear it’s the truth.

  • John Marshall Lee

    The City website at this time shows the Hearing at 6:00 PM and the matter to be open for public comment as required of any new Ordinance is listed:

    “Ordinance Committee Public Hearing re: Proposed Amendment to the Municipal Code of Ordinances, Chapter 2.02 – Administrative Regulations Generally, amend to add new Section 2.02.080 – Residency reporting of all municipal elected officials and board and commission members. [71-16]”
    But the actual language of the Ordinance itself is not available for public review or understanding electronically. And I wonder and ask “Why not?” If such info was available in advance of a hearing would we continue to have two or three minute “public hearings” where no one speaks “pro” and no one speaks “con” because the actual material, developed by the Council Committe to be voted upon is not shared with the public as part of their service TO INFORM??

    How do you learn about the back story if the committee does not put material out for the public, at the meeting, or on the web site? Go to the details of the actual committee meetings where agendas and/or minutes of meetings are posted, perhaps? And discover that the item raised in January at a Committee meeting that the proposing sponsor could not attend was carried over to February where it was withdrawn to attempt a different application to multiple ordinances, and then after March and April when the Ordinance Committee failed to meet, it was discussed on May 23 as a single ordinance and passed unanimously by the Committee, with a hearing scheduled for today.
    Requesting all elected and mayorally appointed officials to initially post and annually affirm their actual residence connects with the Charter that calls for those same people to be residents and voters of our City. When it comes to those parties elected it generally is not an issue but there was some confusion within the past year of the Mayor’s residence so a 30 day period to provide notice of new residence is fair to the official and to the public.
    Regarding appointees to Boards and Commissions, comments from Mayoral aide Angel DePara seems to indicate a reality that research is done at the time of initial appointment but thereafter there is no regular check on basic info, near the time of expiry of the appointment or later, since there is also no evaluation of the service provided by an appointee. This Ordinance can obviously be strengthened, but it is a start. What actual attention is paid to the new Ordinance will be the acid test. Time will tell.

  • Bob Walsh

    John
    Everything is located on the minutes of the Ordinance Committee meeting of 5/23/2017.
    Will JML find it before the Public Hearing?
    Time will tell!

    • John Marshall Lee

      Bob,
      Please put your reading glasses on instead of your troll-nature ready to find fault with others. (And for those who do not find the agendas and minutes of City Council Committee, you need to go to the City Clerk link at the lower right of the City site. Click on that and choices on City Council and Committee links further become available.)

      Go to the third paragraph of my last entry and see what I said about the May 23 meeting. However, O WISE MAN OF PAST CC PROCESS, there were discussions that were part of the CT Post article from Sunday that were not part of the May 23 meeting minutes. So, Bob, when you say “everything” you indicate that you settle for City minutes as providing “everything”, and it ain’t necessarily so.

      And that is my point in answering your curmudgeonly entry. You aim too low in your expectations. Time will tell.

      • Bob Walsh

        JML
        I confess. Guilty as charged. I do not read every word in your posts. There are only 24 hours in a day.
        Bottom line is enough is said for one to get the gist of the matter.
        If you have additional questions or comments, go to the Public Hearing. Nothing is set in concrete even after it passes. But to suggest that things nefarious are a foot is a bit too much.

        • John Marshall Lee

          I was at the hearing and spoke. So was Judge Carmen Lopez who also spoke. The Judge questioned why such an Ordinance with no teeth, no enforcement power, and no swearing or affirming language was even being considered. Depending on the Council action, perhaps they will get more serious about this subject currently or in the future? Time will tell.

  • Bob Walsh

    A friend of mine was running for office and saw the name of a City Council member on the voting list. He thought to himself I have to talk to him. I’m sure he will vote for me.
    He went up and knocked on the door. A man answered and he asked if he could please speak to the person who’s name was on the voting list. The man relied that he doesn’t live there. My friend showed him the voting list and said yes he does. Here is the voting list.
    The man at the door said no he woes not. I live there and there is no one by that name here!
    What is one to do?

  • Bob Walsh

    A well documented story had it that Andres Ayala did not live where the voting records said he lived but lived in the address of his fiance.
    Mr Ayala said that he did in fact live where the voting records indicated. Some days he stays very, very late at his fiances house. Some days he he gets up very, very early and goes to see his fiance. On a very rare occasion he might spend the night with her.
    What is one to do?

  • Bob Walsh

    A well documented story indicates that a state rep used a false address as her residency. a complaint was filed with the State Elections enforcement Commission. They investigated.
    They found that she did indeed reside outside of the district but in the same city. They threatened to prosecute. She admitted where she lived and was found guilty of applying for state matching funds.
    If she did not filed for state money OR if she used fer proper address and said that she intends to move into the district if she wins nothing would have happened.
    What is one to do?

  • Bob Walsh

    There was a chairwomen of a city board. She said that she lived at an address in the city. A member of the public said she did not. The city investigated.
    As proof of her living outside of the city the individual showed an address where they maintained she livid. The utilities were in her name. Her daughter attended public school in the district and listed as her address the mothers address outside of the city.
    As proof that she lived in the city the mother said that there was a bedroom that served a proof that she lived there. Hamilton Burger rendered is decision. As long as she was not registered to vote in two different cities we have to take their word.
    What is one to do?

  • Bob Walsh

    There was a member of the Library Board of Directors.
    He was an architect and served free of charge while doing improvements to the Black Rock branch. Only problems is he had moved out of the city several years before.
    Although the person will be expected to fill out a change of address when they move, what happens if they don’t.
    What is one to do?

  • Lisa Parziale

    We got you Bubba! Now get yourself back here and help us elect our new candidates for the City Council!!!!!!!

  • John Marshall Lee

    Good questions all, and since there are no penalties in the current Ordinance other than the potential loss of integrity in public view, perhaps it will not be a bad start? Calling for a party to fix what is wrong is frustrating but we are now in a period where election day is about 5 months away. Perhaps some of your stories will make their way into the minds of new voters? Time will tell.

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