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Can We All Get Along? Nah, Plus: The Congressional Race, And Milton Bond

May 25th, 2010 · 18 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Council, State Politics

Cecil Young has filed an ethics complaint against several City Council members following last Monday’s battle royal in which a host of local legislators were shouting, pointing, pushing, pulling, falling on benches and the floor. Yes indeed, another OIB moment.

Cecil, forever a community irritant, is not a violent man, but he’s noisy and unafraid to tell you what he thinks, especially city pols. Cecil was ending one of his usual jihads against city officials during the public speaking portion of the council meeting when City Council member Evette Brantley, as the video evidence shows, got in Cecil’s face, the first time anyone could recall a council member challenging a citizen speaker in such a way. They went back and forth as a prelude to chaos.

If Evette ignores Cecil it’s just another Cecil rant, but getting in his face brought this to a whole new level that was captured on film by local cable access and eventually a statewide and national audience.

Ironically it was Brantley, council district partner of Bob Walsh, who did not hesitate to expose a phone message from Walsh in a racially charged rant following a vote Troll did not agree with relating to a development project. It became locally a huge hullabaloo with the council chastising Walsh following his public apology. Will any of Evette’s peers demand a public apology at the next council meeting? Council President Tom McCarthy says Evette made an apology right after the chaos to her peers in vacant council chambers, but how about one at the start of the next council meeting?

Said Troll about current events: “The lord acts in mysterious ways and (last) Monday night was one of those mysterious ways.”

Will Cecil gain any satisfaction from the city’s Ethics Commission? Of course not. It’s a toothless tiger.

What About Congress?

Lost in the convention weekend frenzy, GOP Fourth District Congressional candidate Dan Debicella’s overwhelming delegate endorsement and no other GOP challenger earning enough delegates to qualify for the ballot.

That means GOP candidates such as former Town Chair and mayoral candidate Rick Torres and Easton First Selectman Tom Herrmann must petition their way for an August primary. Looks like GOP primaries for governor and U.S. Senate, including a three-way primary for governor between endorsed Tom Foley, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele and Hartford area business exec Oz Griebel.

Economics guru Peter Schiff says he’ll petition his way on the ballot to challenge Linda McMahon. Former Congressman Rob Simmons has qualified for the ballot, but announced today he will not primary?

So in what kind of shape is Congressman Jim Himes? He’s moving along with his campaign operation downtown, acting like he has a serious race. He’ll have one due to the makeup of the district that includes Republican suburban strongholds and the state’s largest city. He’ll also have plenty of dough to persuade voters what he’s done as a freshman legislator. The key for Debicella is getting through the primary without blowing too much of his money.

Milton Bond

Milton was a special man, a one-of-a-kind artist in these parts with a Zen-like quality in approach to his work. Milton was a heralded reverse glass painter whose genius was shown in the Smithsonian. On a couple of occasions he invited me into his home in Stratford to view his work and him in action. To watch someone paint in reverse on glass was a marvel. In 1980 John Kartovsky, president of West End Moving and Storage, commissioned Milton for a painting to commemorate the company’s relocation to Pine Street. Milton’s painting “Fairfield Avenue, 1928″ would become the cover of my book Only In Bridgeport. Milton had images of the city I could never know, on buildings, streets, sidewalks, cars and trucks. He was one of those guys I could prod about what a Bridgeport neighborhood looked like in a particular era. As a toolmaker at Remington Arms for 30 years Milton knew all about craft, shaping and perspective. When he retired from Remington painting on glass would be become his new artwork. Milton had viewed the city from a perspective no other could imagine, a view that will endure. Milton passed away over the weekend. He was 92.

Friends may call on the family June 2 from 5 to 7 at the Spear Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield.

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • Mojo

    *** As an activist, Mr. Young has failed his community by using other city problems as a lead to merely convey his own personal dilemmas during public speaking. However Councilwoman Brantley should have just excused herself to the lady’s room if she didn’t feel well or care for Mr. Young’s message this month during Public Speaking. Let’s hope it does not lead to “more” than what it actually was, for the city! ***

  • donj

    That lady had no right to get in his face!!! These are the people we elect in Bpt ughhh where is TC when ya need him he would have been a better choice than any of those clowns up there. That’s why I voted for John Slater last year and I never vote Republican but city council people are crazy.

  • town committee

    I just watched the council video for the umpteenth time. It’s clear to me that Brantley caused all of this trouble and was responsible for embarrassing the city and the council. Brantley should be chastised by the council as a whole.
    Young has been a pain in the ass for 40 years that I have known him. This was not the first time he has addressed the council so the council should be used to these rants. Give him his 5 or 6 minutes and then it’s over. Brantley was clearly the aggressor and clearly responsible for the city getting a black eye.
    DePara was also out of line and he to was overly aggressive. Look people as the saying goes if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen.

  • Local Eyes

    Bob Walsh has been vindicated by a video camera. Furthermore, he’s been identified as the only Bridgeport City Councilman who has a clear understanding of the humor sometimes found in justice.

    Bridgeport’s Ethics Commission might be a toothless tiger but when coupled with media attention and a lawyer’s watchful eye, Cecil Young could create the kind of public relations scandal that’d put Cecil & Bridgeport on the map–and isn’t that what he wants?

  • Ernie Newton

    I think it’s a sad day when a person who goes to a public forum is treated like that. We have a right to address our public servants; remember we elected them to represent us. Not themselves.

  • Lake Forest Guy

    Evette Brantley is an unnecessary embarrassment to Bridgeport. I truly hope this is her last term in office.

  • enlightened

    The disgraceful action by the City Council leads to one conclusion, and one conclusion only: Councilman Troll Walsh must be censured and removed from council.
    It is obviously all his fault.
    The rights of poor Cecil Young, representative of all of the voices he hears, were obviously trammeled by various council creatures, including Councilwoman Brantley, Councilman DePara, and Council President McCarthy.
    And what did Walsh do? Nothing. He sat back, no doubt smirking, as his fellow council people made monkeys of themselves in public.
    Council saw fit to imagine charges against the common good because Walsh defiantly acted independently of administration fatwas. Here he goes again, avoiding responsibility for the reactions of the common herd.
    Mr. Young’s complaint contains one unfortunate citation against the activities of Mayor Finch. We all know it is hard to forgive Finch for this incident. After all, he was not there.
    But in the kindness of his heart and amidst thoughtful reflection, perhaps Mr. Young can find himself willing to serve the greater good of the commonweal by ignoring the mayor’s non-role.
    As has been so ably described in this webzine, the mayor’s campaign for secretary of state has been dashed upon the Penfield Reef of helpless aspirations. The community is undeterred and has enthusiastically taken up the call to find an appropriate state-wide position for the mayor’s excessive environmental expectancies: executive director of the Connecticut Bureau of Harbor Buoy Whereabouts, monitoring the location of our sentinels of the sea from Greenwich’s Tweed Island to Block Island or thereabouts.
    But least we forget, it’s all Walsh’s fault. Walsh must go.

    • Mojo

      *** Councilman Walsh gets blame for many anti-admin. agendas so it doesn’t surprise me his critics would blame him this time for not playing (POLICE) during this silly pushing match! *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  • Denis OMalley

    This underscores why City Council should go back to its previous, more accurate name of Common Council.

  • Local Eyes

    Seen on a t-shirt in downtown Bridgeport:

    Cecil Young
    is my
    hero!

    Seen on the lapel of a happy attorney:

    Cecil Young
    sent my daughter
    to Harvard.

  • flubadub

    I’m a constituent of Councilwoman Brantley. She needs to publicly apologize to Cecil Young, her constituents, the good citizens of Bridgeport and fellow members of the Common Council. As much a pain in the ass Cecil is and can be, there was no need or excuse for her abusive behavior. For whatever it is worth she will not be getting my vote in the future. The Mayor and Council members should publicly chastise her in the same manner they publicly harangued Bob Walsh.

  • Local Eyes

    It’s far worse than a City Councilwoman interrupting a citizen during his allotted time.

    It’s a chance to publicly diss–with impunity–the drawbacks of Affirmative Action and every lawyer knows it!

    Local Eyes thinks Cecil Young will become the Rosa Parks of disgruntled citizens everywhere.

  • Local Eyes

    Rosa Parks didn’t get off the bus and

    Cecil Young never gave up his microphone.

    Conclusion: Cecil, I like your style!

  • BEACON2

    Local Eyes,
    If you have been attending RTM legislative meetings in Fairfield, and falling asleep with pre-digested commentaries, it must be interesting to visit Bridgeport (even if only by video) where you will find real action, though not necessarily affirmative action!
    Do any of you remember the story of the little boy who cried “WOLF” once too often? When the wolf ultimately showed up and he cried out “Wolf,” he was ignored. And consumed by the wolf.
    It is hard to ignore Cecil Young when he steps up to the pulpit. He has many moves, experience and staying power. He also believes he is above five-minute rules. However, readers are correct in identifying that an appeal to the Ethics Commission for redress in this case is probably a waste of effort. Does anyone care to indicate how you determine whether “ethics rules” in Bridgeport have been broken? Or bent, or nudged, or ______ (you fill in the blank)? This is a real opportunity for creative contributions from OIB contributors (and comedy) for the benefit of the Ethics Commission. Thank you neighbors.

  • Black Rockin

    Brantley??? Why would anyone vote for her? Some class act she is.
    She could make the “Who’s Who” of the WWF, paging Linda McMahon.

  • independent soul

    Thank God I don’t know any of the idiots in that video. It is truly embarrassing to be a citizen of B’port and watch the asinine behavior of Brantley and DePara. Some example! This disgusting abuse of power should be played repeatedly by anyone with balls enough to run against these 2 next year. Cecil had the right to speak. Brantley and DePara crossed the line, and McCarthy and the others who chimed in are not much better. Did anyone else hear someone say “hold him down?” Nice behavior. Someone should have held Brantley and DePara down! This city’s leadership is a disgrace. Period.

  • city hall smoker

    How do you spell g-h-e-t-t-o?

  • city hall smoker

    Question: who is representing Brantley, DePara and McCarthy? Are they retaining their own counsel or is the city attorney handling the case? Another waste of my tax dollars.

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