NB Politicus

The Politics of Division: Cafero, GOP Seek To Make 5th Congressional District Less Diverse

Posted in 5th Congressional District by nbpoliticus on December 27, 2011

The impasse over the redistricting of  Connecticut’s Congressional political map is jeopardizing New Britain’s place as one of the major cities in the 5th Congressional District.

Republican Minority Leader Larry Cafero  and his GOP cohorts on the stalemated legislative commission want New Britain to vacate the new 5th to join the 1st District where Hartford and New Britain are “communities of interest” that should go together.

In their brief to the state Supreme Court,  Cafero and company are using the “communities of interest” factor cynically and falsely to tilt the 5th into a Republican-leaning Congressional District.

New Britain,  the home of 12-term Republican Nancy Johnson until 2006, provides the 5th District with the diversity and political balance it needs to be a level-playing field for politicians of all stripes and backgrounds.

Without towns such as New Britain the 5th Congressional District becomes much less diverse.  The Republicans, who sabotaged an agreement within the commission, argue for a proposal that promotes a racial and socio-economic isolation on the political map for the next decade. This strategy may serve the GOP’s short-term election agenda,  but will be divisive, diminishing the influence of New Britain voters.

Congressional districts should reflect a political and demographic balance. The 5th District should remain what it is now: a mix of urban and suburban and the wealthy and the working class voting together.

Taking New Britain out of the 5th District will create an imbalance and reduce the chances of advancing the state’s common interests by its Congressional delegation.

Mayor Uses On-Line Survey To Encourage Participation: Appointments Pending For Boards and Commissions

Posted in city politics and government by nbpoliticus on December 11, 2011

Democrats, Republicans and Unaffiliated voters — are welcome to submit their names and qualifications to be considered for a nomination to one of the volunteer boards where citizen oversight and participation can make local government more accountable to residents. Over the last week Mayor Tim O’Brien completed his appointments to the city Police Commission. But 26 other bodies must be filled to have all hands on board for the new administration.

Mayor O’Brien has invited interested residents to submit information via an online survey available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/93LHK6X

Commissions such as Fire, Parks and Recreation, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Board of Finance and Taxation, Civil Service/Personnel and Veterans are mandated by the City Charter. Special acts require the Board of Water Commissioners and the Fairview Cemetery Commission to be filled. Other commissions that have been established or re-established by ordinance after Charter change in 2003 include the Arts, Building, City Plan, Aging, Persons with Disabilities, Youth and Family Services, Ethics, Human Rights and Opportunities, Parking, Public Works, Health, Conservation, Ordinance Appeals Board and Housing Board of Appeals. Mayoral appointments will also be made for the Commission on Community & Neighborhood Development and the Municipal Economic Development Agency. Complete information on commissions, their composition and schedules is available at the city’s website: http://www.newbritainct.gov/liv_boards.html

Persons interested in serving may call the Mayor’s office at 860-826-3303.