Special Election February 22: 15 Days And Counting
Join The Family, Friends and Neighbors Campaign For Row A Democrats Now!
Join the Democratic Family, Friends and Neighbors Campaign in one of the following ways:
1. Make phone calls to get out the vote
2. Make your vote count by absentee ballot if you will be out-of-town or unable to get to the polls
3. Put up a lawn (snow) sign for Terry Gerratana
4. Canvas, distribute literature in your neighborhood
5. Volunteer for Election Day (Poll Standing, Calling, Rides To Polls from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
firstname.lastname@example.org. The Voter Information and Ride Line 860-796-4059
Candidate Information Form Now Available For Municipal Election
Endorsements due between July 19-26th for November 8th Election
A five-member nominations committee within the Democratic Town Committee has been formed to review candidates for all city offices in 2011. Serving on the committee are DTC members Rosemary Klotz,
In July, the Town Committee will make endorsements for all city offices to be on the ballot on November 8th including Mayor, Tax Collector, Treasurer, City Council by District (10), City Council at large (5), Board of Education (3), Board of Assessment Appeal (2) and Constable (4).
The DTC through its Nominations Committee will be gathering candidate information and developing a party issues platform as part of the endorsements for the city election. A nominations report will be prepared for the 51-member DTC ahead of votes to endorse candidates for city offices.
Democrats interested in municipal office or contributing ideas on municipal priorities and policies are encouraged to participate. A candidate information form may be downloaded or accessed online at https://newbritaindemocrat.org/2011-endorsements/
Serving on the Nominations Committee are DTC members Lidia Agramonte-Gomez, Rosemary Klotz, Peter Kochol, Richard Marzi and Emma Pierce.
From the Chair:
Playing Favorites: Stewart Administration Sends Lots of No-Bid Work To Two GOP Aldermen
A review of city purchasing records show that two Republican city council members have received a substantial amount of no-bid business through the Stewart administration. The transactions appear to have avoided an open bid process by either skirting a $3,000 minimum for bidding or bypassing the competitive and ethics process altogether.
Alderman at Large Mark Bernacki’s Sir Speedy Printing Company and Ward One Alderman Willie Pabon’s New Britain Fence Company have logged dozens of transactions on the city’s dime steadily doing printing and fencing work. Between the end of 2003 and 2010 — the tenure of Tim Stewart in the Mayor’s office — the two firms connected to the GOP aldermen received a total or $240,316 — $77,458 in billings from Sir Speedy and $162,858 from New Britain Fence, according to City Hall finance records.
Between the end of 2003 through 2010 Sir Speedy’s invoices involved more than 260 separate transactions with jobs ranging from as little as $19.95 to $1,000 or more — all falling below the $3,000 level, with one exception of an invoice for $5,764 . Annual amounts for Sir Speedy range from a low of $3,226 in 2004 to a high of $17,885 in 2006. New Britain Fence Company’s billings ranged from a low of $1,050 in 2010 to a high of $87,285 in 2006.
Controversy over contracting and public officials in the Stewart administration surfaced in 2006 when Mayor Stewart approved an “emergency” purchase order for New Britain Fence to install a mile long fence around the Pinnacle Heights housing project that was slated for demolition. The Pinnacle Heights contract totalled $68,870 and was awarded to New Britain Fence at the end of August that year without bidding or going to the Common Council.
Democratic Alderman Larry Hermanowski objected to the “emergency” contract at the time, filing a complaint with the city ethics commission because both Pabon, then a police commissioner, and his son, were public officials serving on city boards. Hermanowski’s complaint — subsequently dismissed by the Stewart controlled five-member ethics commission — was based on the city’s ethics code which prohibits any elected or appointed official from doing work for the city without “an open and public process.” Responding to the Hermanowski complaint, Mayor Stewart defended the emergency contract in September 2006, telling the Hartford Courant:
“There’s nothing shady going on here. This was not a contract that was steered to a crony of the mayor,” Stewart was quoted as saying as he claimed the city’s purchasing agent and economic development director handled the purchase.
Undoubtedly Tim Stewart will defend any and all transactions that have gone to businesses connected to GOP members of the Council as dealings that are as pure as the driven snow.
The issue, however, is not whether businesses such as Sir Speedy or New Britain Fence should have an opportunity to work for the city. They should as should other businesses here in the same line of work.
At issue is the total absence of transparency by Stewart in favoring certain vendors and not working with the Council through an open process for doing the city’s business. More important, the matter raises the question of whether special treatment has been given to public officials for private gain.
In this regard the city’s Code of Ethics is clear: “No official or employee shall grant or make available to any person any consideration, treatment, advantage or favor that it is not available to the general public.”
A related post on the city’s ethics commission is available at http://nbpoliticus.blogspot.com/2006/10/new-britains-partisan-ethics-process.html
“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause.”
Ronald Reagan on the 40th anniversary of the D-Day Landings 6 June 1984. The former President’s 100th birthday was observed today (2/6/11)