Cohen’s assessment of city spot on
I strongly support (Councilman Barry L.) Cohen’s assessments and objectives as published in last issue of the Voice, on what the city’s priorities should be going forward. He correctly identifies our lagging economic development and how to move to the future. These are on the mark, refreshing, and long overdue.
Further Cohen’s viewpoint and aspirations for West Haven are earnest and productive vs. the confrontations we’ve witnessed for decades between and within factions of the majority, the Democratic Party. Cohen has proven himself to shed party labels for what has been the betterment for every Westie, regardless of the district you may live.
The article stated that the minority in this city can often be “ignored” As we’ve all witnessed over the past 14 months, Cohen is anything but forgettable. He offers a unique and needed perspective of what every public servant should aspire to be.
Cohen is a hands-on and highly collaborative community leader, business owner, and legislator. He rolls up his sleeves in his commitment to providing extremely responsive constituent services. As a co-minority leader with Councilwoman-at-Large, Colleen O’Connor, Cohen comes extremely prepared with thoughtful insight to every council meeting. His passion for our community is only matched by his dedication to building partnerships with businesses and support of non-profits.
Thank you, Councilman Cohen, for ensuring that the minority voice is alive and well. Your work is greatly appreciated by Republicans, Unaffiliateds, and Democrats alike.
Joe Viola Jr.
City needs to put business in the mix
Ed. Note: The following was a letter sent to the City Council with a request it be published in the Voice.
I’d like to introduce myself. I am a business owner, property owner, and resident here in our great City of West Haven. I relocated my catering business about seven years ago to 224 Campbell Avenue in West Haven. Prior to that we were located in New Haven for 15 years. My wife and I and our three children live at 493 Ocean Ave. My children attend public school. During the day, I am the primary caregiver and distance learning specialist.
First, thank you for doing your best to pull the city together during our tumultuous times of Covid-19. I’m quite sure that the challenges that have occurred have been ﬁrst for a lot of people. And, as a result, we’ve been forced to do things entirely diﬀerent than we otherwise would have. As a business owner/father this has been the overarching theme for me. Quite often I’m called at the last minute to be at home with my children during distance-learning and have to juggle their and my personal workload.
Secondly, The main focus of my letter is a request for transparency and guidance. While I have numerous questions/concerns that I will address on a future date, most speciﬁcally and most urgently: Has our Economic Development Commission not been meeting during this time period? Does this not seem like the ideal time to schedule extra meetings so that we can pull our business owners together and emerge successfully from the pandemic? We can determine what the best course of action is together as a team? Has the city council oﬀered guidance to the business owners. After all, Mayor Rossi has said city residents are overburdened with taxes and one of the keys to relieving the tax burden is to bring economic development to West Haven.
I have scanned through the city website and I cannot ﬁnd a simple course of action for guidance for a business owner anywhere. Perhaps maybe I’m oﬀ-base with what I’m looking for as guidance that I believe that municipal government should oﬀer. Or perhaps maybe I’m just naïve that I cannot ﬁnd the actual information that’s there. So that said, if the meetings occurred and decisions were made where are the agenda where are the minutes?
There’s only agenda listed on the city website. Please update the website accordingly.
Additionally, if no meetings were scheduled, and the website does accurately reﬂect the lack of attention to business owners: What is being done as a whole to oﬀer guidance to programs that are available on a state, national or local level to local businesses? What, if anything, is being done to contract business owners to develop a blueprint for future success in West Haven? What, if anything, is the overall plan to emerge from the pandemic successfully?
Finally, thank you for taking the time to read the letter. I greatly appreciate your attention to this matter.
Eric A Rogers
Sweet Relief Inc