NB Politicus

Council Committee To Hear Move To Weaken Anti-Blight Ordinance, Proposal To Increase Senior Tax Relief

Posted in blight, city government by nbpoliticus on July 2, 2014
CITY HALL WATCH

CITY HALL WATCH

By John McNamara

Housing and taxes are usually topics as hot as this week’s weather and both are on the agenda of the Common Council’s Committee on Administration, Finance and  Law at 7 p.m. today at a City Hall public hearing and meeting.

Four Republican aldermen have proposed changes to the city’s anti-blight ordinance that would reduce fines and penalties that can be imposed on absentee landlords for neglecting or walking away from multi-unit housing.  Revisions would also amend some definitions of what constitutes “blighting conditions” but leaves most of them intact.

At issue is how tough the city will be on absentee owners responsible for blight.  The current ordinance states that blighted properties will be subject a fine of $250 per blighted condition per day after a 30-day grace period. The fine will double if not paid within 10 days of issuance. The proposal advanced by Ald. Willie Pabon, Don Naples, Jamie Giantonio and Lou Salvio would lower the penalties:

When the owner of the property has been found in violation of this article, a blight enforcement official shall issue a ticket for such violation, which ticket shall provide for a fine of ninety dollars ($90.00) per violation payable to the City of New Britain. If any such fine is not paid within fifteen (15) days, a penalty in an amount equal to three (3) times the fine shall immediately become due and payable in addition to the original fine.

No matter how you do the math the $90 fine even when it triples weakens anti-blight enforcement and takes  an important economic tool away from the city to crack down on blight.. Fair housing advocates sends the wrong signal to the bad actors in the city’s rental housing market and  worry that  the Stewart Administration is pushing the change as a sop to out of town landlords for their financial and campaign support in the 2013 election.

Expanding Senior Property Tax Credits

On property taxes, Common Council President Michael Trueworthy is asking the Council Committee chaired by Ald. David DeFronzo to consider expanding senior property tax credits beyond the levels now allowed by the state-mandated program.  The Council extended income levels for senior and disabled residents several years ago without increasing costs in the overall municipal budget.  That legislation, however, was vetoed by the former Stewart administration.

The senior tax relief measure may take on more significance with the adoption of the municipal budget that raised the property tax rate by 11% this year, cut services and raised fees to deal with a structural budget deficit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Britain Democrats Choose Candidates

Posted in city government, Democrats by nbpoliticus on July 26, 2007

The Democratic Town Committee (DTC) met July 24th to endorse its candidates for municipal offices. An estimated 130 persons, including 42 Town Committee members, attended the endorsement session held at the La Quinta Inn reception room on Columbus Boulevard.

A five-member nominating committee issued a report with recommendations, information about all candidates and a 3-page party platform that identified key issues and noted the accomplishments of Democratic elected officials over the last two years. Committee members included Connie Wilson Collins, Carlo Carlozzi, Jon Bryda, Rosemary Klotz and Peter Spano.

Leading off the meeting Councillor At Large Jim Wyskiewicz won unanimous support for Mayor three and a half months after announcing his candidacy. He was nominated by his wife, Patty, who is a DTC member in District 1. Seconding speeches came from Connie Wilson Collins, Frank Gerratana and John Melescensky.

“This City is ready for a leader who stands for fiscal responsibility, a school system filled with opportunity, cleaner and safer neighborhoods, sustained economic development, and a “green” City Hall, ” Wyskiewicz said in accepting the endorsement. “This City is ready for a leader who stands for honesty, integrity, for high ethical standards who will restore decency and respect at City Hall.”

Wyskiewicz, a contracts administrator for UTC’s Hamilton Sundstrand in Windsor Locks, spoke of his experience in the public and private sector with over “15 years working in private sector business, from telecommunications to the aerospace industry.” His public service includes seven years on the Board of Finance and two terms on the Council.

Touching on his family’s deep roots in New Britain, Wyskiewicz recalled his grandfather, James F. Carlone, an active Democrat for many years. “He was an inspiration to me to get involved and give back to the community. I learned a lot from him, from his time on the Board of Tax Review, to his endless campaigning for Democratic candidates. His spirit and memories serve to inspire our contemporary campaign.”

In seeking the endorsement, Wyskiewicz cited three key issues he will discuss with voters, including sustain economic development, affordable housing and quality education.

The Committee also endorsed Treasurer Teresa Sapieha Yanchak and Tax Collector Fred Menditto for re-election. Sapieha Yanchak, a former Ward 4 Councillor, is the first woman to hold that office having been elected two years ago as a member of the Jakubowski slate. Menditto, first elected to be Tax Collector in 1975, has been re-elected in 15 consecutive elections.

In Council At Large endorsements, Majority Leader Mike Trueworthy, Council President Suzanne Bielinski and Paul Catanzaro won endorsements with newcomers Eva Magnuszewski and Paula Mele.

Trueworthy, who was first elected to the Council from Ward 2 and is completing a first term at large, said that his campaign will focus on the re-development of downtown, increased education funding from the state, customer service at City Hall and infrastructure improvements.

Trueworthy said the Democratic campaign should focus on “bringing new people in to grow as a people and a party.” He added that “the best way to do this is to show people what they can accomplish by being involved.”

Other endorsements included

City Council Districts (Wards)

District 1: Greg Gerratana and Ed Kirejczyk, Jr.; District 2: Tonilynn Collins and Adam Platosz; District 3: Shirley Black and Silvia Cruz; District 4: Larry Hermanowski and Phil Sherwood; Ward 5: Rolando Centeno and Lori Rocha.

Board of Education

Board of Education President Peter Kochol, incumbent Kevin Riley and newcomer Aram Ayalon

Board of Assessment Appeal

Francisco O. Cuin and Robert Wysocki

Constables

Alton Brooks, Dominic Paventi, Frank Smith and Joe C. Willis, Sr.

Related Stories and Information On Democratic Endorsements:

The Courant’s Monica Polanco had the coverage:
http://www.courant.com/news/local/nb/hc-nebdems0725.artjul25,0,7224078.story

Associate DTC Member Beau Anderson, one of the state’s leading political bloggers at Spazeboy, is providing excerpts of candidate remarks at the DTC’s June 28th Meet The Candidate Night. Excerpted candidate remarks may be seen at Beau’s site as Beau takes a well-deserved break from blogging. As of Wednesday 7/25 , the video remarks included Jim Wyskiewicz, Phil Sherwood, Shirley Black and Greg Gerratana