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Friday, October 21, 2005

New London City Council reverses decision over NLDC

I guess the public outcry was too much for the New London City Council to handle.

From the New London Day
Bowing to pressure from state officials, the New London City Council will rescind its motions severing ties with the New London Development Corp., but not before receiving assurances that the agency's leadership will change.

That change, several people familiar with the conversations between city and state have said, could involve the resignation of the NLDC's chief operating officer, David M. Goebel.

In a meeting at the headquarters of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Mayor Jane L. Glover said the council would convene a special meeting today to formally repeal its vote of Monday night, when councilors unanimously voted to terminate the NLDC's control over the Fort Trumbull project. The vote was taken amid discord over the agency's failure to keep the city apprised of its actions.

State officials, taken aback by the council vote, immediately asked the city to reconsider and apparently offered new assurances that the state supports the city in its effort to force a change in the NLDC's leadership.

The council will back off its earlier motion, City Law Director Thomas J. Londregan said, “with the expectation that the concerns and demands and regrets of the city will be addressed.”

If those are not addressed, Glover said, the council would consider voting on the same motions at the regular meeting of Nov. 7.

State officials have consistently declined to directly address the city's most pointed demand: that Goebel and NLDC President Michael Joplin must step aside. But on Thursday, they threw themselves firmly behind the city in its dispute with the agency.

“We're not going to say what they need to do,” said James F. Abromaitis, the DECD commissioner. “I think it was obviously clear today that they need to change the way they do business, and I think a component of that probably can and should be a leadership change.”