Update: Marilyn Moore is a pistol. A pol with passion. And I say pol in the best sense of the word (some pols don’t like being called pols), a bright feisty force you want on your side in a fight.
Moore, who came within an extra point (tired of football analogies?) of defeating Anthony Musto in a State Senate Dem primary in 2008, is a dear friend of Marian Evans who was dismissed as the city’s health director on Friday. Evans is president of the board of directors of the Witness Project of Connecticut, a support group for women sufferers of breast and cervical cancer www.witnessprojectct.org. She’s angry about the loss of her friend’s job and the loss of what she says was Evans’ work on behalf of the neediest of residents.
M&M has plenty to say about Evans losing her job but is reserving harsh public comments. Better to cool off, gather information and monitor the city’s next move as Mayor Bill Finch goes about hiring a new health director. In the short term William Quinn, recently retired after 21 years of service as New Haven’s health director, will fill the void. And it’s not an easy void to fill with all the health care issues that involve the state’s largest city.
What’s next for Evans? Does she have legal recourse that mirrors Ralph Jacobs, former civil service personnel director and Andrew Abate, former director of the Water Pollution Control Authority? Jacobs awaits approval from the City Council on a financial separation package worth in the range of $150,000.
It appears the Evans case is different. The health director’s appointment is made pursuant to state statute. Jacobs was protected by civil service and therefore could only be terminated for cause. Jacobs’ lawyer former Mayor Tom Bucci, a labor law specialist, claimed in court that there was no just cause. Jacobs and the city have agreed on a separation package. In the Abate case, although he wasn’t technically civil service, Bucci argued that under the charter Abate’s position created more than 20 years ago brought civil service protection, and again termination only for cause. The city and Abate settled on a separation package of roughly $60,000.
Evans was hired by former Mayor John Fabrizi in 2004 with a specified term of office under state statute, although Evans did not have a stated employment contract with the city. So it appears the same (for cause) protection applied to Jacobs did not apply to Evans once her term expired in 2008. Evans worked at the will of the mayor. And clearly a battle of wills took place between the mayor and Evans. This is the kind of issue that can get political activists cranked up. At the same time a mayor, this mayor at least, wants department heads that follow his agenda.
I asked Marilyn Moore what plans she has for future elected office. She wasn’t prepared to commit. If she runs for state senate again she’ll give Musto a heck of a fight. But could she be thinking about a mayoral run? She’d be, with the right message and organization, an attractive candidate. More on the mayoral dynamics on Tuesday.
Check This Out
If you want to find out what your state government is spending and where, go to www.ctsunlight.org. Just plop in a name to learn the salary of your favorite local or state pol or for that matter what any state public employee makes, and all sorts of other stuff.
Keila Torres has a piece in today’s Connecticut Post revealing donations that various City Council members made to Haiti relief agencies from their $9,000 stipend accounts. Council members do not receive a salary, but have nine grand available for expenses that sometimes end up as charitable donations. It’s a nice gesture by council members, but how about folks in Bridgeport that are hurting?
News release from Dan Malloy campaign
MALLOY SAYS LAMONT IS WRONG ON PAID SICK LEAVE
February 8, 2010 – Former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, a potential candidate for Governor, today reaffirmed his long-standing position that Connecticut employers should provide paid sick leave to their employees. Malloy said Ned Lamont, who in an interview published online today said he is against paid sick days, “doesn’t get it.”
“There are certain basic rights that should be afforded to any working person in Connecticut, and paid sick leave is certainly among them,” said Malloy. “It’s wrong that we would penalize workers – salaried or on hourly wage – for being ill. A person should not have to worry about missing a rent check or a mortgage payment because they catch the flu.”
“Ned doesn’t get it. Ned says he thinks ‘…we deal with sick leave just fine at the small-business level where I live.’ But that’s the problem: most people don’t live in that world. Ned’s statement shows just how disconnected he is from the concerns of the average working person in Connecticut.”
“Providing paid sick days to employees isn’t just the right and fair thing to do, it’s also good public policy,” continued Malloy. “Connecticut has tens of thousands of employees who work in food service and healthcare. Allowing those sick workers time to recuperate benefits the entire population. Additionally, allowing workers to take time to seek early treatment also means fewer trips to the emergency room for untreated illness – saving the state money.
“It’s not anti-business. It’s smart public policy, and it’s the right thing to do.”
In recent years both branches of Connecticut’s State Legislature have passed bills that would require employers to provide sick leave. Each bill required employers with 50 or more employees to provide sick leave, with paid sick time accruing at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked.
Malloy said he supports the legislation, and that there are “smart ways to improve the business climate in Connecticut that don’t involve jeopardizing people’s health.”
He concluded, “Connecticut needs to lower energy costs, provide smart tax incentives that reward businesses that create jobs, and fix our health care system to help small businesses lower their overhead. And we can do these things, and more. But we don’t have to force sick people to go to work.”