Community Bulletin Board
- Drought Warning in Waterbury
- Dreamgirls at Thomaston Opera House
- Opioid Forum 9/26
- Literacy Volunteers Recruitment Event
- Giacomi Earns Independent Party Endorsement
- Free Autism Education Forum
- Metro North Riders Deserve Better
- Greater Waterbury Restaurant Week
- New England Brewing Co Beer Dinner
- Let It Be at The Palace
- Independent Party Nominates Lessard for State Rep in 75th
- Hurry Down Gunntown
Story and Photographs By John Murray
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary doesn't listen to a lot of music, but if he did, a song by the Brittish punk band, The Clash, would aptly describe the tangle inside his head the past month. The song is titled, Should I Stay Or Should I Go.
Today is decision time for O’Leary who will announce his plans for re-election during a 1 pm show on WATR radio. For months he has been undecided whether he was seeking re-election. The issue has bounced around his head like a tennis ball at Wimbledon until he made the decision to not run on Tuesday. Senior advisors were told, and O’Leary began making a long list of telephone calls to top political leaders in Connecticut.
A message to the citizens of Waterbury from John Murray, the Publisher and Editor of The Waterbury Observer......
There has been a lot on my mind the past few weeks as the Waterbury Observer has risked its objectivity to champion systemic change in Waterbury municipal government. I’ve published the Observer for 21 years and the newspaper has never endorsed a political candidate for public office. It was our original intent to provide information to our readers and encourage them to vote. At various times in the past two decades we have been referred to as the Bergin Gazette, a Democrat rag, in the tank for John Rowland, too close to Phil Giordano and a Neil O’Leary mouthpiece.
Senator Joe Markley, Waterbury, along with Representatives Rob Sampson, Wolcott, Selim Noujaim, Waterbury, Neil O'Leary the Mayor of Waterbury and members of Girls Inc. in Waterbury pose for a picture after receiving recognition from the General Assembly through an official citation.
The three men vying to be elected mayor of Waterbury on November 5th are from left to right, Independent Party candidate Larry De Pillo, Democrat incumbent Neil O'Leary, and Republican candidate Jason Van Stone.
Column by John Murray
Trying to understand the 2013 municipal election in Waterbury is as slippery as black ice on an early morning in February. It’s the most low-key mayoral campaign the Observer has covered in 20 years, but trying to dig out the reasons is as elusive as trying to catch the Loch Ness Monster. Why? Because perspectives change from one political camp to another, and grasping reality in politics is like snatching a fistful of fog, they both leave you empty handed.
Is it a foregone conclusion that Neil O’Leary will be re-elected on November 5th? Is that why it’s so quiet?
“Nothing is guaranteed in politics,” O’Leary said. “There has been very little excitement in the campaign so far, and that may translate into low voter turnout. We’ve worked very hard and I’d like to think the citizens of Waterbury like the job we’ve been doing, but does a lack of excitement worry me? You bet it does.”
By John Murray
Two former heavyweights in the Waterbury political arena got a chance to catch up Saturday afternoon at the Taste of Lebanon in the East Mountain neighborhood of the city. Mike Jarjura, on the right, was mayor of Waterbury from 2001 to 2011, and often went on WATR radio to answer questions from Ed Flynn, who hosted a talk radio show for almost 20 years in Waterbury. Flynn scaled back his work a few years ago, and now hosts a music show on Saturdays.
The Waterbury GEAR UP program is currently enrolling for the summer component of its year-round college-readiness program. All students entering seventh or eighth grade in Waterbury public schools in fall 2013 are eligible to participate but space is limited. Approximately 500 student slots remain open as of Fri., April 5.
(Editor’s Note - 15-year-old Charlie Murray spent three weeks of his summer vacation working at his uncle’s business, The Waterbury Observer, and had the opportunity to deliver newspapers, blog, and interview Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary about zombies, ghosts and first kisses. This is the result of that interview)
Charlie: How are you, Mr. Mayor?
Mayor O’Leary: I’m doing well, Charlie, thank you and how are you?
Activist Jimmie Griffin is speaking out against Mayor O'Leary's plan to fill a vacancy on the Waterbury Board of Education with an Albanian. Griffin penned the following open letter to the Mayor, which he released today.
Dear Honorable Mayor O' Leary,
In a recent news brief, I was shocked to hear you're preference for a vacancy on Waterbury's Board of Education would be an Albanian. Let me be clear in no way are these comments to be taken as offensive to Waterbury's Albanian population, but I find it a slap in the face to African Americans and Latinos that you would make such a preference when their children comprise more than 75% of the student population, and represented by less than 20% of the school administrators, teachers and board of education members.
Economic development in downtown Waterbury just got sweeter with the announcement that Dottie's Diner, the creator of the best doughnut in Connecticut, is opening up a second restaurant at 146 Grand Street. The official announcement came from Mayor Neil O'Leary's office this morning, and the mayor and economic development director Ron Pugliese will hold a press conference this afternoon at 1:30 pm at the location on Grand Street, directly across from the post office. The public is invited to attend the event.
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary answered questions about the proposed hospital merger during the hearing June 11th in Hartford. The three partners in the merger were represented from left to right by Dan Moen of LHP, Darlene Stromsted of Waterbury Hospital, and Chad Wable from Saint Mary's Hospital. Photograph by John Murray