As we head into the final days of May – and it finally gits warm around here – things in our little corner of the universe are really popping, both good and bad. And we have many, many things to talk about, honeybunch.
The foist thing is a letter that Cobina received from Christine Sullivan of the Economic Development Commish. She has been good in two ways: she facilitates the semi-regular feature, “Hidden Gems,” which highlights businesses in town; and she is not afraid to let people know how she thinks things are going – something almost unheard of hereabouts.
Tennyrate, she has been on the “Savin Rock Museum” caper and sent a missive this way:
“There appears to be, quite frankly, little to no interest in our little burg in maintaining the Savin Rock Museum. Because the museum was never run to potential, and then closed (pre-pandemic) for years, no one misses it. Anyone with a modicum of interest, or perhaps more, such as the historical society, are just thankful that some artifacts will still be visible and looking beyond that to the positives of the brewery; the museum is lost in the shuffle. It is now pretty plainly admitted –despite some information which purports to be more or less the real deal — that this will in no way be a museum, that it will be “a display”.
“Any criticism of losing even a down-on-its-luck museum (“It was never really a museum”) is taken as criticism of the New England Brewing Company, which it definitely is not. The brewery is a boon for economic development and welcomed. It is unfortunate that its kind offer to display some of the artifacts is paradoxically the cause of the issue at hand. According to Marty Juliano of NEBCO, they did consider building a separate building for the museum, but parking considerations made that impossible – that would have been preferable, alas.
“As NEBCO wasn’t able to showcase the items except in a high-traffic area, those responsible should have at least considered any opportunity to move the museum, to rejuvenate it, to make it a vibrant museum that worked with schools and the community. As you noted to “Felicia”, why did it have to be one or the other? Why couldn’t we have the brewery and keep the museum? But it turns out it doesn’t matter, because no one cares. That’s where the criticism lies.
“Meanwhile it’s been mentioned that when the Transit Oriented District finally builds housing on Hood Terrace, the Veterans’ Museum will be in the same boat — actually a worse boat, as I don’t think they’ll be displaying any of those articles in apartment or condo lobbies. Along with plentiful fire department memorabilia as well as other West Haven history artifacts being farmed out from the Savin Rock Museum (there’s some confusion as to whether they have been distributed or have yet to be — and there’s still the matter of The Lost Cannon), our history is in danger of slowly disappearing and with it opportunities for community involvement and economic development.. The city needs to keep this in mind and prepare – show some vision for the future. How do you think that will turn out?”
That final question is a real zinger, but a good one. How, indeed? Just one thing, why does this effort have to be a criticism of one thing in favor of t’other? Why is everything either/or? Can’t it be both? Politicians like to pit issues as either/or. They don’t necessarily hafta be. More on this in coming missives, hon.
Nelly Nuthatch came by and is really impressed by the fack that Herroner has had it up to her bicuspids with the Haven developers. As yew know, some type of negotiations have been going on with the Simon Group, the developers, to git a timeline/idea of what in blazes is being planned and when to expect it. To say the developers have played things close to the vest is a joke.
Soooo, now Herroner is gonna play a bit o’ hardball. Good! Maybe it will git the developers to fish or cut bait. She’s ready to fine them for blight cuz they are working at a snail’s pace to get the buildings razed over there, and have yet to file a plan with the city.
Also, she is thinking seriously of reopening Water Street at least for the summer to alleviate the traffic over there. Anyone who has been traveling on First Avenue toward El-em Street knows what she’s talking about. It’s backed up for three blocks at least on any given day, and worse during rush hour.
Cobina don’t wanna be a Gloomy Gus, but methinks the slow-walking of this projeck is a portend of the thing being dumped. Shopping centers – even upscale ones – are not doing well. The one in Norwalk is a good example. It’s doing OK, but the traffic over there ain’t what people thought it would be by a long shot. And, that is Fairfield County, where everything is upscale.
We shall see how this transpires.
Of course, the big news everyone is anticipating is the city going to Tier IV with the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB). Watch what happens after the ink dries on Gov. Ned Lamont’s order. Things in this burg are gonna be much different, and what happens over the next few weeks and months will keep our ink supplier happy.
The descent to Tier IV has been long in coming, and the second time the city will be in virtual receivership by the state in 30 years. The board will have virtual control over everything budgetary – and contractual – so it is gonna be very interesting to see what transpires in that regard. The unions in town may or may not be happy with the outcomes.
It’s not gonna be a happy time here. Taxes will go up, probably, at the whim of the board, and whilst the mayor and a representative will be on the panel, the outsiders will make all the decisions. They haven’t showed much respect for the taxpayers heretofore. There is little to make us think they’ll respect us going forward.
Well, Sammy Bluejay was there the night the City Council did its duty and finalized the budget. The package stays perty much the $168.3 million the mayor’s office sent to the body, but they did some jiggling around with the figgers, and got the city outta a potential problem by taking away raises for elected officials that was in the plan. Remember, the raises can only be for the next term, not the current one.
Sooo, after that was done, the city will have its package beginning July 1. Let’s just hope that the above-mentioned MARB doesn’t decide to reopen the plan and make its own mix of things.
Our ole buddy Ed Granfield must be snickering. Ever since the stuff hit the fan about the city’s spending practices and Tier IV being almost inevitable, some politicos in the city have taken a new gander at the plan the Charter Revision Commish put together two years ago, and was narrowly defeated by the voters.
Now that things are in dire straits, some of the revisions are being looked at afresh, with an eye toward getting more professional people involved in the day-to-day operations of the city. Hmmmmm. Now don’tcha think that Granfield and John Carrano, who spearheaded the two-year process, are chortling at the fack some of the same politicos who pooh-poohed the idea of the overhaul are now looking at the document with less-jaundiced eyes? Remember, the politicos determined they were against it – more because it changed the rules of the game from what they were used to. They used language like “people have to have a voice” and stuff like that, but the real reason was the document really altered the playing field.
Now with things going to Hades in a wicker basket, they wanna take another look. Granfield and Carrano must be snickering in their lagers.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next mitt luff und kizzez,