Community Bulletin Board
- Click It Or Ticket!
- Grants for Kaynor Tech
- Red Carpet Exhibitions @ The Mattatuck Museum
- Get The Facts About Ebola at Saint Mary's Hospital
- Waterbury Branch of Metro North Rail Gets On Track
- Verizon's Holiday Food Drive
- CT News Anchor Book Signing at Barnes & Noble
- A Christmas Carol
- Children's Thanksgiving Dinner
- Sen. Hartley Receives Perfect Score from Conservationists
- Free Concert for Hispanic Heritage Month
- Sisters to Sisters Book Club Meets Sept. 8
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary
Daniel Casagrande of Cramer & Anderson. (Photo from Danbury News-Times)
Story By John Murray
There is not much time for city leaders to implement aldermen by district for the November 2015 election, but Mayor Neil O’Leary said there is no choice. The process is moving ahead at a vigorous pace and an outside lawyer was hired yesterday to oversee the historic change in municipal government.
“The voters spoke loud and clear on Election Day that they want aldermen by district,” O’Leary said, “and we’re going to give it to them.”
But it’s no easy task.
Story By John Murray
The whispers started before Election Day. If Governor Dan Malloy won re-election Neil O'Leary was going to step down as mayor of Waterbury and join the Malloy administration. We disregarded the speculation until a close political insider said it was true. "If Malloy wins, O'Leary is gone."
The Waterbury Observer just received a letter from Raechel Guest about the the challenges the city faces implementing aldermen by district in the coming months. Guest was a staunch supporter of electing aldermen by district and wrote this open letter to the 15 current aldermen who are tasked with executing the will of the people.
After listening to Mayor O'Leary on WATR, it is my understanding that the boundaries for the new Aldermanic Districts will be drawn up by an outside consultant, guided by a commission to be selected by the Board of Aldermen. It is also my understanding that final approval of the plan rests with you.
Commentary By John Murray
In the past four months Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary has been successful in leveraging his influence on the local political scene to help secure $35 million dollars in state and federal aid. This November voters in Waterbury will be asked if they want to elect aldermen by district, or whether to keep the current at-large system in place. The idea of electing aldermen by district has been kicked around since 1994, and while much of the debate has been defined by ethnicity and skin color, it really is an issue of fairness and equal representation.
An artist rendition of a revitalized Freight Street with a Greenway trail on the right.
United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the City of Waterbury has been selected as a recipient of a $14.4 million TIGER VI (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Photographs By John Murray, Chelsea Murray and a GoPro Camera
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary reacted as a bucket of ice water was dumped on his head today in Library Park as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. O'Leary and 30 department heads and supervisors in city government participated in the event during the annual Back To School Rally in downtown Waterbury. O'Leary was challenged last week by Board of Education commissioner Jason Van Stone, and accepted in honor of his first cousin Carl Carlson, who was diagnosed last month with ALS. It was Van Stone and Carlson who doused O'Leary with the ice and water.
Neil O’Leary, right, and Michael Gugliotti embraced on Election Day 2011 moments after O’Leary knew he’d ended Michael Jarjura’s 10-year reign as mayor of Waterbury. Gugliotti was the police chief at the time, and a close personal friend of O’Leary’s. The FBI is investigating whether the 200 Waterbury police officers that volunteered on Election Day for the O'Leary campaign were compensated, or used city assets. Both O'Leary and Gugliotti clearly state no city assets were used and the police and firemen who volunteered all took vacation days or used personal days.
Story and Photographs By John Murray
For the past 18 months the FBI has been investigating a complaint about the large number of police involved in the 2011 municipal election in Waterbury. The core questions of the investigation are a) whether city employees were paid for working on Neil O’Leary’s victorious campaign, b) did the police use city vehicles or assets in the campaign, and c) were police compensated at a later date for volunteering on Election Day?
So far lots of questions, and no answers.
The first inclusive multi-cultural festival in Waterbury history - The Gathering - was held in 2013, and was so successful, that it will now become an annual event, the next one being tomorrow, May 17th, from 11 am to 8 pm in downtown Waterbury. Pictured above are Brazilian samba dancers marching in the 2013 parade.
Column and Photographs By John Murray
There was one moment during The Gathering last year that will stick in my memory until my last breath. The moment was wrapped in anticipation, anxiety and exhaustion. A small group of volunteers and city employees had been planning the festival for months; recruiting ethnic groups, plotting parade routes, and dealing with insurance, electricity, and details we didn’t even know existed. When May 18th arrived we were unsure of what we had created. There were more than 40 cultural groups signed up to share their music, food and dance, but were they going to show up?
By John Murray
Members of the Crosby High School LifeSmarts team won the Connecticut State Championship and will compete this weekend for the national championship in Florida. Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary acknowledged the accomplishment by treating the kids to a pizza party inside City Hall, and then asked them to participate in a flag raising ceremony to kick-off "The Gathering", a city-wide celebration of cultural heritage which will be held in downtown Waterbury on May 17th. Waterbury residents have found their way to the city from every corner of the globe, and The Gathering is an opportunity for city residents to share the traditions of music, food and dance from their homelands. Last year 40 ethnic groups participated in the festival, and flags from each country was displayed in front of City Hall.
A passionate man, Rod Dixon implored students at North End Middle School in Waterbury to fully participate in the Kid's Marathon program, and to bring the message of activity and health back into their homes.
By John Murray
Long-distance running legend, Rod Dixon, of New Zealand, was back in Waterbury Thursday morning to help kick-off the second year of his Kid’s Marathon running program in the city. Dixon won the bronze medal in the 1500 meter run at the 1972 Olympics, was a World Champion cross-country runner, and the winner of the 1983 NYC Marathon. Now 63, Dixon has dedicated his life to bringing his passion of running and healthy living to elementary and middle school students in California and Connecticut. In time, Dixon hopes his Kid’s Marathon program spreads across America.