Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Danbury!

On behalf of our family, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a safe, healthy, and loved filled New Year.

May God bless you, and may God bless our America.


Mark and Phyllis Boughton

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Danbury!

Main Street Danbury, looking towards Wooster St. circa 1913.

This is the holiday season. Take the time to love, laugh, and celebrate with your family, your neighbors and your friends. 

God Bless-
Mark and Phyllis Boughton

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Danbury Named 6th Best City In America For The Arts.

Did you see? The City of Danbury was named the 6th best city in the United States for the Arts. You can see how we stack up against other communities across the country by clicking here. Just check out the slide show and you will see Danbury's ranking.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The State of the City, 2011

State of the City 2011
Danbury, Connecticut

Thank you, and of course I would like to thank you for attending today’s event.

Congratulations are in order for Jim Marquis and his team as the recipient of the Cecil J. Previdi Award. As Mayor of Danbury I am proud to see Jim and his business flourish in our great city. Kimchuck’s success is a direct reflection of Jim’s energy, his enthusiasm, and vision.

Before I begin my remarks, I would like to recognize the public officials who have taken time out of their day to be here.

Danbury works because we all work together, regardless of party- to move the agenda of our  community forward.

Of course all of  us in government disagree from time to time, that’s to be expected, but when the debate is over -  we figure out a way to compromise. I would venture to say that all of our state and local elected officials who serve Danbury understand that the art of compromise is what moves our community forward. They understand that none of our residents are served when we dig in, and when we refuse to bend.

It’s a lesson that our federal government might want to follow given the challenges that our nation faces.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have had a terrific year as far as new business growth and development in the City of Danbury.

The Danbury Hospital has broken ground a $150 million expansion, Western CT State University has broken ground on it’s new performing arts center, The Army will soon break ground on the Army Reserve center at Lee Farm, The Danbury Fair Mall has filled the old Filenes space with a Cheese Cake Factory, Brio, Dick’s Sporting Goods and a just announced LL Bean, the Shops at Marcus Diary are under construction with Whole Foods being their anchor tenant, over the last several months we have announced expansions at Goodrich. Pitney Bowes, DRS Technologies and Boehringer Ingelheim.  The Reserve has begun to build again,  and thanks to Union Savings Bank we have broken ground on a new building on Main Street,  The Matrix Corporate Center has done a phenomenal job a recruiting employers to their facility.  This year we have cut ribbons to welcome companies like Guideposts, GM and STP at their facility.

We are in final negotiations with several blue chip organizations, if everything works out just right, in early 2012, we hope to announce new and relocations that will add significant job growth to our region. So stay tuned..

There is a reason our phones are ringing and why our unemployment rate continues to be the lowest in the state,  it’s because we have sent a very loud and clear message that we are a pro-jobs community.

All that is good news for us locally - and something that this Chamber of Commerce and this community ought to be incredibly proud of.

We still have a ways to go with our housing industry,  and we must continue to be relentless and fearless when it comes to creating jobs for our residents.

These economic times demand the very best in us. There is no margin for error..

Last year I came to you and reported to you that we would be hiring a full-time Director of Economic Development. This past spring the City Council approved the funding for the position.

I am proud to announce today that I have approved the hiring of Bruce Tuomala for the position of Director of Economic Development for the City of Danbury.

Bruce comes to us with wide resume of business development and community outreach. A unique blend that marries broader business perspectives and the intimacy and the needs of our Main Street.

The focus of our new Director will be two fold. First to market our 44 square miles to any business that wants to come to Danbury, stay in Danbury, or expand in Danbury.

The message has got to be that while we cannot control state policies and national politics, we are open for business in Western Connecticut.

Second will be to work closely with a new agency that has been created to market and manage Main Street, the Danbury Main Street Partnership.

This past year, we created this entity by ordinance, and solicited people who would be interested in donating their time to improve Main Street. To our delight there were so many people interested, that we had to make some tough choices as to who would serve on the Partnership.

For those who were not selected for the first Partnership, fear not, we will be more than happy to gain your valuable insight and ideas through a variety of different committees and policy groups as we begin to enhance the engagement of our Main Street by my administration.

Our City Council is currently considering proposals from the City to lower permit fees and sewer and water connection fees along Main Street. Imagine that, a government actually lowering the cost of business. Remarkable..

The Zoning Commission has already created the Downtown Revitalization Zone or DRZ. Broadening what we consider Main Street, and including more properties that will be eligible to take advantage of these new incentives.

While I think everyone agrees that our Main Street has great buildings and enormous potential, Bruce and the Main Street Partnership as well as Andrea Gartner and the CityCenter organization can begin to think strategically about how to leverage the changes to our regulations and how to leverage our new package of incentives to encourage economic growth and development along the Main Street corridor.

A key to a successful Main Street is to locate city services and agencies whenever possible along the central corridor. For example, the addition of Naugatuck Community College has been helpful in putting people on Main Street during the day and during the evening. There are almost 700 students now using the Main Street building.

The City of Danbury has a lot of tough choices to make regarding expanded space as it relates to our schools. When possible we ought look to locate those facilities on Main Street or at least in the DRZ. Besides the students, schools bring staff and support personnel downtown who will use the facilities and the stores and restaurants located on Main Street.

With service from the HART bus line, the Danbury Public Library, and access to many other amenties like Western Connecticut State University, locating any of our school facilities along the Main Street corridor will be important for the long term stability of Main Street.

In the next two years we will also have to deal with the challenge of growing enrollment in our public school system. The good news is that people want to live in Danbury. While other cities of similar size in the Northeast are losing population and people are leaving, in Danbury the opposite is true.

It’s no accident that this year Danbury was ranked as the 5th best city to live in in  the State of Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine. To put that in persective, Danbury was ranked higher than Bristol, Stratford, Middletown, New Haven, Milford, and Hartford for our quality of life. We were only eclipsed by Greenwich, Stamford, West Hartford and Fairfield, communities that are much more wealthy than ours.

While investing in our education system is not something that we are really in a position to do, it is something that we must do to preserve our property values and our quality of life. In April, I will ask the voters to approve a modest borrowing to cover the cost of addressing our space needs for our schools and we will have a straight discussion about the cost of staffing our new space to meet the needs of our children into the next decade.

I have also asked Dr. Pascarella, our Superintendent of Schools, to design the next generation of programming for the new space. Programming that will not just focus on putting students into chairs, but will help all of us - including Bruce, market the total community as a great place to live, work, and be educated in.

While the 2020 Task Force Report is being finalized, I envision the acquisition of a new building to house two new middle school academies, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy (STEM) that we hope to partner with a local corporation that will provide resources and mentoring, and we will add grades 6,7,8 to our popular  elementary Magnet School.

Both academies will hold approximately 375  students that will help us manage the numbers at our middle schools.

Danbury, like any community during this economic crisis, is faced with significant financial challenges related to the cost of employee benefits and salaries.

Today I am proud to report that we have been working in a  cooperative fashion with all of our unions to restructure compensation levels as well as pensions, medical costs, and retiree medical costs. While there will be a short term expense, these changes will bend the cost curve over the long term for our taxpayers.

Just so that we are clear, we have redefined public employment through these contracts in a way never done before. If these agreements are ratified by the union members, many new employees will be participating in a defined contribution plan rather than a traditional pension plan, health care plans will have been retooled to be more in line with the private sector, in some contracts provisions like longevity payments and retiree medical have been completely eliminated.

When taken together these new contracts, will save millions of dollars of future expenses and make our government sustainable for generations to come.

All of these changes are difficult to make, but are necessary if we are to put Danbury’s long term future on a sustainable financial path.

Union contracts were not the only thing on our mind to help reduce cost. Working smarter, more efficiently has been critical for us.

Every department has been asked to participate in our redesign of city government.

Under Chief Herald’s direction, the Fire Department has implemented a  pilot program to have our firefighters respond to non-fire related calls with a SUV that is equipped with medical supplies and equipment. This vehicle or SRV, now responds to the 75% of calls that are not a working fire. This reduces the wear and tear on our more expensive pumper trucks and ladder trucks. In addition, the new vehicle saves our taxpayers thousands of dollars in diesel fuel when our firefighters go to shopping center to help someone who has locked their keys in their car.

Chief Baker has implemented a new pilot program that has added multi-directional cameras to our police cars that can read multiple license plates from multiple views to determine if the vehicle has a lapsed registration or insurance or is wanted as stolen property. The cameras work in milli-seconds and save time and manpower on what a was once a laborious process of hand entering each license plate one at a time to determine if the car in question was properly registered.

Both Chiefs are working on our civilian driven combined dispatch center that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime costs. The city will issue an RFP right after the first of the year to hire an outsider vendor to do our dispatching of fire,police, and ems our rollout will be in the summer of 12’.

Our Finance department and IT Department will be implementing a new core software system that will help us better track expenses and will help us reduce paperwork and ultimately personnel as more functions become automated.

Of course we look at the revenue side of the budget as well. We have one of the most creative and innovative tax collectors in the state. Scott Fergusan spends his time coming with new ways to collect the taxes that are due. That is why we routinely maintain a 99% to 100% collection rate.

Several years ago I came to you explaining that the City of Danbury of would like to purchase the Transfer Station located at 307 White. As negotiations dragged on and the economy continued it’s downward spiral, it became clear that a public-private partnership would be less risky for the city and would still provide a revenue stream for Danbury.

This year Winters Brothers Inc and The City of Danbury have signed a memo of understanding that will provide transparency to the facility and will generate a significant amount of dollars for Danbury.

Last year our bond rating was upgraded by both S&P and Fitch, I am confident we will maintain our current bond rating as well as our credit ratings given these changes to our employee benefit package and our tight management of the city’s finances.

The next several budget years will not be easy given the poor economy, lack of state aid, and the pressures of funding our schools, but residents can feel good that our long term forecast has brightened dramatically.

I have to confess, this past year has been a long and difficult one both professionally and personally.

We started 2011 off with some of the worst snowfalls in recent memory -  which brought roof collapses and had our firefighters shoveling the roofs of our  school buildings all over the city. We moved through the spring and the summer during the rainiest season in the history of Danbury. We had not one, but two tropical storms that brought record amounts of flooding and damage to many parts of the city and of course an extended power outage.

We then had a late season October snowfall that was arguably was the worst in our history in terms of damage to our city. The October storm brought limbs down and a second extended power outage that was worse than the first.

I will never forget how strong this community was during those trying times. I was so proud of my wife Phyllis who spent several days at our shelter at the War Memorial comforting and feeding those who could not go home.. I was honored to work side by side with our first responders, my staff Wayne Shepperd, PJ Prunty, Elisa Munoz, Joan Soderstrom, and a host of city employees who have went above and beyond the call.

All also want to recognize Antonio Iadarola Director of Public Works, Chief Baker and Chief Herald, Duke Hart our Superintendent of Highways, and Paul Estefan our Director of Emergency Management for their outstanding service to Danbury during this difficult time.

Ashbritt, the company that collected debris from the storm left this morning- thank God. For the record Ashbritt has collected over 100,000 yards of debris, cleared 3,184 tree limbs, and cut down 27 trees for a cost of $3.8 million dollars.

The grand total of damage from these storms from Jan. 1 2011 until now for both public and private buildings is into the tens of millions of dollars.

Is that important? Absolutely.
Do I think about these costs everyday? Yes.

But, in the long run, we must look at the totality of our lives and ask - does it matter? I’m not so sure..

You see, at the same time that we were managing the storms, roof collapses, floods, policing the city, power outages, cleaning debris from streets, my own father was taking the final journey to his resting place, he was making his peace with God and what lies beyond during that last October snow -  he did this while I held his hand,  it was a beautiful moment. A life changing moment.

That’s the part of life that matters.

I mention this personal experience to you not because I want to depress you before the holidays, but because I would ask that you take time during this holiday season to reflect on what is important and then reflect on what really matters.

Is it important that you have the next promotion or get the next job? Sure.

Does it matter?

Is it important that you have brush on your lawn from the storm that haven’t been picked up? Absolutely.

Does it matter?

(Let me be clear, we will pick up your brush).

Ladies and Gentlemen, we live in a great city of eternal optimism, with limitless potential, that can overcome any obstacle placed in front of it - and we always do

That’s what matters.

A city made up of a beautiful mosaic of people from all over the world that all get along and work together.

That’s what matters.

We live in a city where people want to do business, where the entrepreneurial flame burns bright for start ups, small and medium sized businesses, our corporate partners every day.

That’s what matters.

We live in a city that cares for the less fortunate, that does more for those in need than most cities in the State of  Connecticut.

That’s what matters.

Feel good about our city, our state, our country.

This is the holiday season - live, love, laugh, and celebrate with your friends, your family, your co-workers and your neighbors.

Because that’s what truly matters..

Ladies and Gentlemen, that is the state of our city for 2011.

May God Bless You and May God Bless our Great City..

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Danbury Redistricting Analysis.

The State of Connecticut reapportionment has been completed for the State House and for the State Senate. Mandated every 10 years in conjunction with the US Census, redistricting can be a rather contentious process with Democrats and Republicans angling for a competitive edge.

Democrats want to preserve the status quo with large majorities in the State House and and the State Senate, and Republicans want to make inroads on those numbers by crafting districts that wil help their candidates be more competitive in districts now held by Democrats.

In Danbury we are currently served by the 24th State Senate District and by the 2,109,110, and 138th State House Districts. There are two districts that are solely within the borders of Danbury (109,110) and  two (2,138) that span multiple towns.

The new State Senate map leaves the 24th State Senate District largely unchanged with the communities of Danbury, New Fairfield, a slice of Bethel, and Sherman compromising the district.

However, there is a big change with the new State House map. The 109th District has lost neighborhoods around the Candlewood Lake in the far northeastern corner of the city to the 107th District which is currently represented by David Scribner, and neighborhoods around the FCI in the northern part of the city have been moved to the 108th District currently represented by Rich Smith. In exchange, the neighborhoods around Patch Street and downtown Danbury will be moved into the 109th to make up for the loss of population.

The 138th District will now have a piece of Ridgefield, and the 2nd District will now have a slice of Newtown.

So what does all this mean? Generally redistricting committees should strive to keep legislative districts in one community, spanning multiple towns can be difficult for the individual legislator. From a campaigning perspective candidates will now have to attend multiple events in each town. For example, the 2nd District will have Memorial Day events for Bethel, Redding, Danbury, and Newtown - those are can't miss events for the legislator or a candidate running for that seat. From a governing and policy perspective, a legislator might have to make policy a decision that could be beneficial to say Danbury, but not be beneficial to Bethel - that is a very difficult spot to be in for an elected official.

Having said that, having two new districts help with Danbury's legislative agenda will be a net gain for our community. Both Rich Smith and David Scribner are terrific legislators who are familiar with our city and our are excited about helping move our agenda.

Finally, there is the Congressional map. A recent proposal in the Reapportionment Committee has been to move Bridgeport into the 3rd Congressional District, and in exchange, move Danbury from the 5th Congressional District to the 4th Congressional District. Needless to say, we are not supportive of this idea.

Danbury belongs in the 5th CD - we are the economic center of Western Connecticut, and have had representation in Congress that has recognized our importance to the communities around us. By moving us into the 4th District, we will be further isolated  from the communities that we work with on a daily basis, and lumped in with the larger cities of Norwalk and Stamford. The needs of Danbury would then be eclipsed by the needs of the larger cities and Danbury would not receive the attention or the representation that we deserve in Congress.

 Of course, all this is likely moot as the congressional redistricting will most likely end up in court for the judges to sort out.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Open Up The Deregulation Bill.

This morning a consultant hired by Governor Malloy issued his report regarding the performance of CL&P during the winter storm that paralyzed the State of Connecticut.
As I watched the report, I could not help think that we are just nibbling around the edges of the real problem.
The real problem is that we do not have a system for the delivery of electricity that was envisioned in the deregulation bill that was passed by our legislature in the late 1990′s.
As residents we were told that the deregulation bill would create competition in the market place and spur innovation and efficiency in the delivery of electricity to our homes and businesses.
We were also told by policy makers that competition would provide for us a level playing field that will lower electric prices for consumers.
As one example, here is what then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said at the time of the deregulation bill in 1998 (to be fair, most state politicians on both sides of the aisle were saying the same thing).
Unfortunately, none of the happened. The deregulation bill did not give us choice, to the contrary, it allowed two entities CL&P and UI, to have private monopolies over a public service.
We pay some of the highest electric rates in the country.
Profits and profit taking were placed over basic maintenance of things like tree clearing, maintenance workers, and infrastructure improvements.
There is no choice in the delivery electricity to our homes and businesses, most of us have CL&P a few of us have IU, none of us can switch companies after the latest debacle.
Competition in the market place does lower costs for consumers and demands companies deliver exceptional customer service.
Right now, we have the worst of both worlds:
A highly regulated monopoly that is privately owned.
The Legislature should reopen the deregulation bill to create a true open system, encourage competition in the market place so consumers have choices of suppliers. Similar to they way in many parts of the state you can chose ATT-Uverse, Cable, Dish, and soon Fios for the delivery of your TV signal. That system has allowed consumers to leverage pricing and service for the best of both.
Or the Legislature can restore the delivery of electricity to the way it was in the past. A highly regulated public utility managed by the State of Connecticut.
Both options have their pro’s and con’s. But the current system is indefensible to the residents of Connecticut.
So let’s open up the deregulation bill,  and let’s get it right…

New URL, Same Good Information

Hey, just a short note to let you know that we changed the address of this site to Bookmark it now..

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Special Thanks..

It has been a while since I posted, frankly I have been a little busy.

I want to give a special thanks to all of you during the last several weeks for your condolences relating to the passing of my father. Your cards, notes, calls, and expressions of sympathy have been greatly appreciated by me and my family.

I also want to say thanks to all of the residents of Danbury for their patience during the most recent snowstorm and the aftermath. The clean up is progressing, we are almost 70% through the process, and we should be done in about another 10 days. We will have a rather large pile of processed mulch that we are trying to get rid of..

Then there was the election. Thanks for your support, we have a lot of work to do, and I have been meeting with city staff all week as we try to get our arms around the priorities for the next two years. I will be announcing those priorities at the State of The City speech on December 16th.

We a had a great swearing in ceremony last night. I am proud to be serving with such wonderful volunteers..

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Level Two Snow Emergency At Noon, Here's The Latest.

Map Courtesy of Ryan Hanrahan at NBC-30.
All of the maps have come into alignment and we are looking at a rare October snowstorm. We do expect upwards of 10" of snow in Danbury, I suspect we may get more than that if everything comes together. The City of Danbury has declared a Level 2 Snow Emergency effective at noon. Please move cars off of the street, the Patriot Garage will be open.

We are very concerned about power loss so stock up on supplies now.. We are expecting wind gusts close to 60 mph tonight, that will take down a lot of trees.

Our EOC is monitoring, I will keep you updated as the day progresses.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Danbury Rated 5th Best City In Connecticut!

Did anybody catch the last issue of Connecticut Magazine? Danbury has been rated as the 5th best city in Connecticut with populations over 50,000.

The list ranks cities by crime, education, library spending, recreation, and economy.

Our city is rated higher than Norwalk, Stratford, Bristol, Middletown, New Haven, and Hartford to name just a few.

The Hat City is only eclipsed by Greenwich, Fairfield, West Hartford, and Stamford.

Pretty lofty company..

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Hard To Believe Its Been Ten Years.

The City of Danbury's 9-11 Monument.
It's hard to believe that its been ten years since the attacks of 9-11.

We have all grown a bit older, a little wiser, but I believe that we all still feel that there is some kind of unfinished business here.

As much as we like to say that we have all moved on, that we have let it go, some how I can't, and I know that some how you can't either. Maybe its our proximity to New York City and to Washington DC, maybe its because that you may have known someone who perished that day. Whatever the reason, whenever we see movies, documentaries, images of the day, a photograph, we are moved in a very profound way.

So today, we pause and reflect on that terrible day. Our minds travel back to a different time, the economy was roaring, American exceptionalism was unchallenged throughout the world, and we were content with the lives that we built.

Then, a flash of light, an explosion, and our world was turned upside down.

We remember the heroes of the day, the little acts of courage and compassion that Americans are so good at. We remember the first responders and their incredible sense of duty and their bravery in their response to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and we know that they gave all, and then just a little bit more.

The sense of community that our country experienced after the attacks was inspiring.

Then we look at today. Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, you have to recognize that we have work to do in America. 9-11 should serve to focus us and we should use this event to rededicate ourselves to what is right in this great land of ours, and fixing what is wrong.

America is, and will always be a great place. The place where dreams can still come true. The place where random acts of kindness still happen. Let's not forget that.

Maybe we will always feel this way. I don't necessarily think that's such a bad thing.  It  gives us a mission, a purpose if you will, to address the challenges of the new world.

So today, take a moment to remember and reflect on the lives lost on 9-11, the public servants who gave everything that day and the victims at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in the planes.

Then take a moment to reflect on how special this place called the United States of America is.

God bless you, and may God bless our America.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Working All Weekend To Restore Power.

As of this blog post, there are about 1100 CL&P customers still without power in Danbury. We have 16 crews from all over the country working in Danbury today. I would expect the restoration number to be down to the hundreds by the end of the day.

Trouble spots continue to be Terre Haute, Pleasant Acres off of Acre Drive, and individual homeowners that have lost power for a variety of different reasons.

We still have ice, water, and meals available at the Miry Brook Firehouse Dept. until 8 pm today.

Almost done, hang in there.

Friday, September 2, 2011

List Of Streets Needing CL&P Work.

Update #2- Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh... Ok thanks- I feel better. Crews are hitting the city everywhere. There is a lot of work to do throughout Danbury. Right now the focus is on trying to get as many people as possible up with power by Saturday night. Significant outages remain through Danbury. Pick an area and I can show a neighborhood or a house that needs power.

We are offering free food, water, and ice at the Miry Brook Firehouse (51 Miry Brook Rd) until 8 pm. Feel free to stop by and take what you need.

Update #1- As you can see I have updated the list from yesterday. Crews have arrived from CL&P to work at the Middle River substation (seems that there is some kind of a problem) and the Juniper Ridge substation (another electrical issue) both of these substations service hundreds if not thousands of residents who have lost power, but do not have any trees down or damage to their infrastructure.

The following is a list of streets with power lines that have been impacted by downed trees. These streets cannot be cleaned until CL&P inspects and assists or does the actual clean up. This list is from noon, so I am hopeful that some of these streets have been addressed by CL&P. This is not a list of power outages!  You could have lost power and not have trees down on your street

  1.  194 Franklin Street.
  2. Balmforth St. near Union Circle.
  3. Ironwood Drive.
  4. 9 East Lake Place.
  5. 100 Saw Mill Rd.
  6. 116 Triangle Street near Wildman Street.
  7. 151 Brushy Hill Road.
  8. 214 Brushy Hill Road.
  9. Starrs Plain Road near Lake Waubeeka.
  10. Charcoal Ridge Road.
  11. Karen Rd.
  12. Long Ridge Rd.
  13. Padanaram Rd. near 7-11.
  14. Joes Hill Rd.
  15. Parkwood Terrace.
  16. Eden Dr,
  17. East Gate Rd.
  18. Chambers Rd.
  19. Westwood Dr.
  20. Old Lantern Rd.
  21. Farview Ave.
  22. Eugene Lane.
  23. Miry Brook Rd. by Wooster School
  24. Fairlawn Dr.
  25. Olive St.
  26. 206 Long Ridge Rd.
  27. Hayestown Heights.
  28. Great Plain Rd.
  29. Stadley Rough.
  30. 11 Crane St.
  31. 37 Ridge Rd.
  32. 124 Aunt Hack Rd.
  33. 19 Mendes Rd.
  34. Tammany Trail.
  35. 12 Skyline Dr.
  36. 15 Bittersweet Dr.
  37. 18 East Starrs Plain Rd.
  38. 13 Comstock St.
  39. Middle River Rd.
  40. Hillside and Madison Ave.
  41. Moss Ave.
  42. Lexington and Ridge Rd.
  43. Davis St.
  44. Sheridan St.
  45. Middle River and Rockwood.
  46. Marldon Dr. and Aspen Way.
  47. Indian Ave.
  48. 29 Forty Are Mtn. Rd.
  49. Deer Hill Ave.
  50. Ye Olde Rd.
  51. 1 Grenier Dr.
  52. Briar Ridge Rd.
  53. Pleasent Dr. off of Acre
  54. Bear Mountain Rd.
  55. 12 Connecticut Ave.
  56. Eagle Rd.
  57. 2 Beckett St.
  58. Pocono Lane.
Not all of these streets are closed, some are still passable and are open.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Statement By CL&P Regarding Restoration Of Power.


Priority will be making areas safe, opening roads and assessing damage

MEDIA CONTACT:CL&P Communications
Office:(860) 665-5670
After Hours:(800) 789-2290
BERLIN, Conn. - August 28, 2011 - 

With the remnants of Hurricane Irene leaving Connecticut, about 800 CL&P and contractor line and tree crews from as far away as Florida, Ohio and Michigan are now being deployed to start the restoration process. At the peak, the storm left more than 622,000 CL&P customers without power. This sets a record, surpassing the 477,000 CL&P customers who lost power from Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
"In preparing for this hurricane, we were able to more than double the size of our workforce, said Jeff Butler, CL&P president and chief operating officer. Now that it is safe for our crews to be out, we're able to mobilize all of our available resources. At the same time, we continue trying to get additional crews to expedite our efforts."
Crews will be responding to priority calls and cutting the power to downed lines to make areas safe. Restoring power to critical customers such as hospitals, police and fire departments will be a top priority. We will also be working closely with town public works crews to clear roads for emergency vehicles and so our crews can assess the damage and begin making repairs.
Later this evening, we will adjust our work schedules to ensure restoration efforts continue around the clock with a majority of our workforce working during daylight hours.
"The damage from this storm was unprecedented and the restoration process may take a week or longer in some areas," said Butler. "We ask for and appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers during this difficult process."
In the meantime, CL&P is reminding customers to:
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from all wires! Assume any downed, hanging or burning power lines are live and dangerous. If a power line falls on your vehicle while you're inside, stay there. Don't touch anything outside the vehicle and wait for emergency crews. Call 9-1-1 immediately with any emergency condition.
  • To report outages or check the status of an outage, visit or call 800-286-2000. Our automated phone and online systems can rapidly process your report and help us speed restoration efforts.
  • Check your generator. Make sure it has been properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators can feed electricity back into power lines and pose a deadly situation for line and emergency restoration workers. Always operate generators outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide hazards.
For helpful tips and news updates, go to our website at, follow us on Twitter@CTLightandPower and like us at You can also get updates on outages in your town by texting "outage" then a space, and your zip code to 24612 (texting fees may apply).

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene Weakens But Is On Track.

Hurricane Irene made landfall this morning at the Outer Banks of North Carolina and has continued its march up the East Coast.

A dry slot has worked into the storm causing the eye to erode and the storm to weaken to a Category 1. However, you should continue to prepare for a serious event.

Even has a Tropical Storm, 40-50 mph sustained winds over a period of 5 to 6 hours will do significant damage to our area and cause many trees to come down resulting in power loss.

Rain started in Danbury at 8:37 am. It will increase in intensity for the rest of the day, expect tropical force winds (20-40 mph) to arrive by this evening.

By the way, there are no "D" size batteries in a 500 mile radius..

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Latest On Irene.

Most models are in alignment for a direct hit of the storm in the center of the state. The question for us now is not whether Irene will hit us, it will be how intense of a storm will it be when it makes landfall.

Over night data shows a slowing of wind speed to 110 mph even though the pressure of the storm has dropped. We are still on track for a significant event over the weekend, just not sure if the storm will intensify today or continue to weaken.

Regardless, get your shopping done today and tonight. Complete all preparations for the storm by Saturday at 6 pm.

I will have a update later in the day for you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All Eyes On Irene.

Hurricane Irene's track has taken a disturbing turn to the west. This puts a potential landfall in Connecticut likely. Should the storm continue on its current path, the City of Danbury will sit on the western side of the storm. This could result in a tremendous amount of rainfall on Sunday into Sunday night. 

This is a very fluid situation and you should pay attention to radio and to the tv for the latest up to date information on the storm.

You should take this storm seriously. The ground is saturated, and additional rain fall will result in significant flooding as well as trees falling knocking out power lines.

I have ordered our emergency planning to begin, and our Public Works Dept. will begin cleaning catch basins etc.

Are we sounding the alarm? You bet. Better to prepare for the worst, than be caught off guard.

Stay tuned.

Monday, August 8, 2011

S&P Downgrade is About Much More Than Money.

Friday night's surprise downgrade by the credit rating agency Standard and Poor's from "AAA" to "AA+" has hit our country in a deeply profound way - and has caused panic in the Obama Administration. This past weekend the Administration was busy trying to dispel the importance of this action - mainly because they were concerned of its impact on the economy.

But the action of the administration misses the mark. The downgrade will be about the stock market and the economy in the short term, but in the long term the action by S&P has damaged the psyche of our country and our business community.

American exceptionalism has been questioned, and now, an independent agency, has said that we are no longer the gold standard in the world economy.

This has done and will do tremendous damage to our fundamental belief in the system that has served us for the last 200 years.

Once the foundation that our economic system is built on is questioned, the belief that this country can do anything, be anything, and accomplish anything, is greatly diminished. Once the foundation of our economic system is questioned, the American Dream becomes a ghost for Americans, something that once was, but does not exist for future generations.

So what the should the President do? While government cannot run the economy, the President needs to focus on the economy - not on health care or any other issue, the singular American issue is job creation. He should fire his senior economic staff, reconstitute his economic team, and speak to the American people about his renewed focus - his presidency, and the future of our nation, is at stake.

Finally, the President should cancel his vacation(s) and ask the Congress to cancel its summer recess. Americans are not getting vacations, our leaders should not rest until the American people can rest.

The Republicans should recognize this for what it is and what it has been for the last three years. A crisis that strikes to the very heart of our country. Stay away from being the party that dances on the grave of our dreams (although it's OK to have policy differences) and provide positive pro-growth solutions.

Both sides should not engage in finger pointing and laying blame,  there will be time for that later.

The downgrade has been a tremendous blow to the psyche of the United States. This is about so much more than our ability to pay our bills or an election, it's about who we are as a people and as a nation - the toughest kid on the block, the place were dreams happen, the country where anything is possible.

Mr. President, Congress, get to work..

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Opportunity At Danbury High School.

Danbury High School is an outstanding institution. It’s a wonderful blend of 3000 students who are taught by a caring, passionate staff.

It has become the flagship institution of the Danbury Public School system.
Sitting at the top of Clapboard Ridge Rd., it is a beacon of hope for thousands of our young people as they pass through its doorways. Danbury High graduates have attended some of the best universities in the world.
Alumni of DHS can be found in business, politics, science, theology, medicine, the military, the arts,  and the building trades.
Danbury High School represents the culmination of an investment made by this community in its children. Tuition  for out of town students is over $10,000 (yes students actually pay to go to DHS). For each 9th grader who walks into the building this fall, the taxpayers of the City of Danbury have invested close to $108,000 in their education.
That’s why Danbury High School is so important to our city.
While the sudden departure of Dr. Rossi this past weekend came as a surprise to our community, the reality is that the Board of Education should look at this as an opportunity to enhance an atmosphere of academic excellence directed by a new Principal.
So while everybody is gathering their collective breaths, a few thoughts for the Board of Education on a succesor:
1. Don’t rush. There is no hurry. Danbury High is blessed with a great senior administrative team – that know how to run the building.  Appoint an interim Principal from our pool of current administrators, and then promote a teacher into their place. This will give you time to do a search and hiring. You will have time to get community input, conduct your interviews, and determine the right choice without the pressure of a timeline.
2. Pick someone local. Please – no more flying all over the country for a “national” search when we have a ton of talent in Connecticut and in the Greater Danbury area. Having knowledge of Danbury and the State of Connecticut as well as having the correct certifications makes for an easier transition.
3. Promote from within. If at all possible, try to give priority to internal candidates that are committed to educational excellence.
4.  Change is important. But only if it is put into place to respond to changes to education law, and only if the change is well thought out and well executed.
5. Hire someone who is in it for the long haul. Having seen a revolving door of Principals for the last several years, pick someone that is committed to being here for a while. We invest a lot of time and energy on these hirings, we need a solid five years as a minimum.
6. Communication is key. Effective communication to the Board of Education, to the City of Danbury, to residents, to the media, to staff, to parents, to students is an absolute must.
7. Pick someone who understands the financial pressures that the Board of Education, and the City of Danbury are facing. “Doing more with less” is no longer just an empty phrase, it's real – an effective administrator has to get every ounce of efficiency out of their staff, the building, and its programs.
8. Students and their educational experience come first. Always.
Danbury High School presents an opportunity for the right person. As someone who worked there for many years, I know of the potential and possibility that exists at our flagship institution.
We just need the right leader to get us there..