From The Chair: The 2013 Election
Tim O’Brien has been a public official in New Britain for the better part of 18 years. In that time, he’s served as a commissioner, city councillor, state representative and mayor. He has worked continuously and stood for policies and priorities intended to make the city a better place for all of its residents.
After last Tuesday’s loss in the Mayor’s race and a withering, year-long campaign of personal attacks, yellow journalism and lies from a well-heeled propaganda machine, some will say Tim O’Brien will move on or won’t be heard from again.
They would be very wrong.
O’Brien may be leaving office now but his commitment to this community is unwavering and resilient. He is — as my Jewish friends say — a “Mensch” — a person of honor and integrity who will always put New Britain’s interests ahead of his own whether he is Mayor O’Brien or Citizen O’Brien.
Two years ago he took office to solve problems amid a bad fiscal situation that will not get any easier for his successor.
While it may have been politic to “kick the can down the road” on some things ,O’Brien didn’t adopt a “don’t make no waves” stance in his desire to address serious and immediate challenges. He took some bold actions that, if sustained, will make the city a better place. His was a responsive administration on new business and manufacturing; the stage is set for transit-oriented development downtown. That progress needs to continue.
To be sure Tim O’Brien lost a propaganda, style and communication war this month and during his rookie term.
But no one should take that as a mandate to retreat on investments in education or ensure that City Hall resources are there for adequate life safety, anti-blight measures and code enforcement. Nor should they apply the penny-wise and pound-foolish GOP routine and try to cut budgets on the backs of the city’s work force.
After 10 to 15 years of indifference and neglect, the schools now have resources they’ve desperately needed to improve achievement; building and code enforcement policy — the flash point for much of the vitriol against Democrats — now serves the interests of homeowners, tenants and small property owners. It will be sustained.
If they have alternatives, newly elected officials need to say what they would do differently in a way that serves residents and not outside interests.
The campaign is over and the hard job of governing needs to begin.
Congratulations to Mayor-elect Erin Stewart and candidates who were victorious on Tuesday. Thanks to all who put their names on the ballot.
Veteran’s Day Wreath-Laying At Site of “Borinqueneers” Memorial Park
State Rep. Bobby Sanchez, Mayor O’Brien and members of Latino Coalition, including DTC member Francisco Cuin, will be part of a Veteran’s Day Ceremony as part of efforts to establish a Memorial Park in New Britain for the 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers”
The Ceremony will be from 11:30-12:00AM on Monday, November 11, 2013 Farmington Avenue (corner near Lasalle and Washington streets).
At the October DTC meeting Rep. Sanchez said a local fund for charitable contributions is being set up to raise money for the memorial park. Details will be forthcoming.
The proposed New Britain park will honor the 65th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed “The Borinqueneers” from the original Taíno name of the island (Borinquen). Since World War I the Borinqueneers has been a regiment of the United States Army in which generations of Puerto Ricans have served, sacrificed and died in service to their country.
Democratic Town Committee Meeting, Thursday, November 21st, 7 p.m.
Location to be announced.
END QUOTE for Veteran’s Day
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
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