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Monday, September 25, 2006

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Republicans not doing the city's business

While I digest text of Joe Lieberman's speech from today, I thought it would be rather informative to bring to everyone's attention some of the nonsense the local Republicans are doing in Danbury CT.

You see, I've lived in the Danbury area for about 20 years and until recently, most people wouldn't know that the city existed.

That's until Republican Mark Boughton became mayor.

In the years since Boughton became mayor, things in Danbury have slowly gone downhill. If you turn back the clock, one can see that a primary source of the downfall was Boughton's out-of control increase in condominium and housing development. The increase of condominiums and homes in the area resulted in property rates skyrocketing at an alarming rate, a population surge that the city had a hard time absorbing, and massive traffic problems throughout Danbury and surrounding area (ask anyone in Danbury about traffic on I-84 or Route 7 and you'll get the idea). Now these problems might of happened eventually anyway but Boughton definitely sped things along to the anger of many citizens.

The increase in land development resulted in a boom in such business as landscaping and construction thus, the immigrant population thrived. It's an easy case of supply and demand with developers looking for cheap labor and immigrants looking for a better way of life. Add the fact that Danbury has a low crime rate and a decent education system, walla, you have your illegal immigration problem.

Now although prior to 2005, Boughton never spoke out against illegal immigration, once the mayor's proposal to build a day laborer center was met with outrage from his Republican-base, the mayor suddenly changed his tune and became a critic against illegal immigrants.

Originally claiming that illegal immigrants were draining the city resources (without citing any figures), Boughton made national headlines with his request for local police be allowed to enforce federal law (this was ultimately turned down). Never one to shy away from headlines or media attention, Boughton also made headlines by cracking down on...I kid you not, illegal volleyball courts. Claiming that Danbury has a "serious" problem, the mayor went on a PR blitz doing a host of interviews and public appearances (I like to call it grandstanding).

In a nutshell, the whole circus act the mayor created unwanted drew attention to a normally quiet city. Due to in large part to Boughton's ill-advised statements, racist groups such as the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control headed by former Minuteman and former Republican senate candidate Paul Streitz found a home to spread their hate-speech and prejudice against the immigrant population (learn about them here, here, and here). All the while this is happening, people ignored the awful political record of the mayor and the Republican-majority.

You see, the Mayor Boughton and the Republican majority in Danbury is pretty much the same as the President and the Republican majority in Washington. Want to divert attention from your own mismanagement, install a sense of fear and people will support you. This use of fear against immigrants was used perfectly by Boughton as he was able to divert attention from his failings as mayor and won another term as mayor in 2005.

With Boughton having nothing to show for his last two years in office, and the Republican majority asleep at the wheel in terms of governing or doing any meaningful work, the mayor is attempting to lay the fear groundwork by bringing attention to the immigration problem again for his re-election bid in 2007.

That's where I come in.

You see, way before following Ned Lamont with a video camera, I made it a point to go to as many local government meetings as possible and try my best to bring attention to the failings of the mayor and the Republican majority. Following the Lamont/Lieberman primary helped in fine tuning my skills and I'm now able to bring to light the gross inaction of the Republican majority in the city.

I hope after reading this post, you'll have a better sense of what's actually happening in Danbury and how the mayor is using his slight of hand ability to keep people from looking at his failures. Here's my cross post from my local blog called Hat City Blog

I'll make this simple and to the point. The Republican-majority and Mayor Boughton are not doing their job.

If the Common Council meetings were televised, you would find that an alarming number of ad-hoc committees are in limbo and nothing is getting done at City Hall. The ad-hoc committee on broadcasting meetings has not met once as well as a number of other ad-hoc committees a majority of which were requested by the Democratic minority.

Enough is enough.

The Mayor and the Republican majority are doing a disservice to the community and it's becoming apparent to the public that they've been in control of the city for way too long.  Important committees such as a review of the way the city hands out grants,  and tax credit for elderly homeowners, and many other issues are not being addressed by this mayor or the Republican-controlled council and it's simply a disservice to the community.

There has been numerous editorials and articles written on the inaction of the Republicans to hold a number of ad-hoc committees including the review grant request and the broadcasting of meetings. Unfortunately, to really know how serious the problem is right now, you actually have to attend the meetings. If you only watch In Our Opinion, you get a very one-sided Republican point of view of what's happening since Lynn Waller can't seem to find it in herself to really criticize the mayor (Republicans stick together). The News-Times has just scratched the surface in regards to the inaction and hypocrisy of Mayor Boughton (i.e., one day it costs 60,000 to broadcast meetings, the next day it costs 90,000 and all the while, he never explains where he got the figures from).

Therefore, this is what I'M going to do for you.

I made a video highlighting the various problems this city is facing, and inaction of the Republicans, and the frustration of the Democrats who want to get something done. Hopefully, after you watch this video, you'll get a better idea of how bad the situation is in our city as it seems like the Republicans have a problem when it actually comes to doing their job.

Enough is enough

Write a letter to the Editor, let your voice be heard.

Go to the meetings and address the council at the public forum, express your outrage.

Enough is enough.

What we need are politicians who are willing to get the city's job done, not politicians who take trips to Brazil, set up useless self-promoting blogs, and propose building doggie parks with the people's taxes.

Enough is enough.

See what I have to deal with in Danbury.

If you want to read the post in full or read about other nonsense in Danbury, I encourage you to check out Hat City Blog (FYI: Danbury was once the hat city capital of the country)