After recently reading an article in the New Haven Register entitled, “NEBCO hotel target West Haven’s Savin Rock with $20M to $35M plans,” I’ve come to the conclusion that our elected officials see the glass as half empty, take the attitude that whatever can go wrong, will, and most notably have no vision for the development of the shoreline or the future of this city.
Why it is that Mayor Rossi and the members of the City Council simply see their job as having to choose between a hotel or a brewery? Why isn’t the mayor demanding from her staff to see a comprehensive plan that may include a first class hotel, a brewery, several shops, restaurants, and other reasons to bring tourism and much needed revenue into the poorest city in the State of Connecticut? In fact, has the mayor thought of calling both developers into her office and negotiating a viable proposition that would benefit both ventures?
Before the hotel has even been vetted never mind constructed, Council members have already expressed concerns about the project going “belly-up.” Mayor Rossi is worried about the height, and Council Chairman wants it relocated to the train station where it will have a breathtaking view of the Armstrong Rubber Company! It seems to me that, while I’m not against a brewery, our leaders see this as the easy choice.
I believe, that a first class destination hotel on the water, has the potential to be the start of something big. One only needs to look nearby in Madison and Old Saybrook as examples of success.
While many residents of West Haven may be getting excited at the prospects of finally getting something at the Savin Rock Conference Center, I want to warn you not to get too excited. The defeatist attitude will ultimately not lead to much if anything at all.
Remember, this is a city that still clings to the glory days of the Savin Rock Amusement Park, something that hasn’t been in existence for almost 60 years. We are doing our best to save our shore, but from what I’m not exactly sure. I believe that with the right plan, oversight, and vision, West Haveners, can have access to the shoreline, a better quality of life, and lower taxes. The shoreline has often been called the city’s crown-jewel, and it is now time to put a plan in place that will revitalize the community, and give hope to future generations.
With the group in charge now, I will leave you with one warning, “Curb Your Enthusiasm!”
With only 32 votes separating mayoral candidates Nancy Rossi and Barry Lee Cohen, why are three former Republican Town Committee Chairmen urging Mr. Cohen to immediately concede the election? That’s very odd indeed. Are they still Republicans?
Moreover, why is the current Republican Town Committee Chairman Dave Riccio adopting a “hands-off approach” to such a super-close mayoral election? Mr. Riccio recently stated: “It’s in the hands of Cohen and his attorney.”
The recent election was a stunning success for Mr. Cohen; especially in a town where registered Democrats have an 11,000-voter registration advantage over registered Republicans. This is by far the closest mayoral election in West Haven in decades, and one would think that the Republican Town Committee and every Republican would be wholeheartedly behind endorsed-candidate Barry Cohen!
With that kind of laissez-faire attitude by the Republican Town Committee toward their candidate in a razor-thin mayoral electoral margin, it is no wonder why Republicans never mount a viable challenge to Democrats, who routinely steamroll their Republican challengers.
Kudos to Mr. Cohen for retaining an attorney and mounting a legal challenge to the election results, especially since he won the machine vote count and the 32 votes which swung the election to Mrs. Rossi were absentee ballots, which historically require careful accounting and analysis. The tiny plurality of votes for Mrs. Rossi makes the election results ripe for judicial review.
All residents of West Haven should thank Barry Lee Cohen for ensuring judicial examination and oversight to ensure that democracy prevails in West Haven.