Community Bulletin Board
- Love a Lilac
- Improving Air Quality
- What's Happening in Waterbury and Beyond
- TURN to a Historian at the Litchfield Historical Society
- A Night at the Boys and Girls Club
- Call for Hall of Fame Nominations
- President Trump Signs Two Esty-Authored Bills
- Safety Classes at Railroad Museum
- College Scholarship Opportunities
- Take Your Child to the Library Day
- Markley and Zupkus Town Hall Meeting
- Click It Or Ticket Enforced Over Holiday Season
Jason Van Stone
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.
Story and Photographs By John Murray
The first televised mayoral debate in Waterbury history occured last night inside the Waterbury Magnet Arts School (WAMS), was hosted by the Waterbury Neighborhood Council, broadcast on Channel 96 and moderated by Fox TV journalist Laurie Perez. The candidates are from left to right, Democrat incumbent Neil O'Leary, Independent Party's Larry De Pillo, and Republican Jason Van Stone. The debate lasted two hours and highlighted sharp differences in candidates for the audience inside WAMS to see, and for the viewing audience throughout Waterbury to hear.
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
For the past 18 months Larry De Pillo, middle, has unleashed a blistering attack on every proposal and action initiated by Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary (D). At hundreds of events and programs De Pillo, the Independent Party candidate for mayor, has blasted O'Leary as a dictator and a man out of touch with the Waterbury taxpayers.
Earlier in the day the two men clawed at each during a mayoral debate on WATR while Republican Jason Van Stone, left, seized the middle ground. Tonight, during the second debate of the day, this one in the NOW Building, and conducted by the Waterbury Chapter of the National Conference of Black Women, one of the questions asked each candidate to name one thing O'Leary has done right in the past two years.
When De Pillo said O'Leary was right in bringing economic development into the Mayor's Office, O'Leary crossed himself, and gave a quick thanks to God. It was the first positive thing Larry De Pillo had said about his administration in nearly two years, and O'Leary fully embraced the moment.
Jason Van Stone announced today that he will seek the Republican Mayoral nomination for the upcoming municipal election in Waterbury November 2013. Van Stone is currently a commissioner on the Waterbury Board of Education and Republican Party Chairman.
Jason Van Stone
The Waterbury Republican Town Committee elected new officers this evening at its March meeting. Jason Van Stone, the former vice chairman and current Board of Education commissioner, was unanimously chosen to lead the local GOP for the next two years.
Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura is a five-term incumbent, and after switching to the Republican Party in June, Jarjura is seeking a record sixth consecutive term in office. Last night while accepting the GOP nomination Jarjura was animated, engaged and fired up. For much of the past ten years his public speeches amounted to singling out local and state dignitaries in the crowd for acknowledgement. Last night, Mayor Jarjura uncorked a blistering speech that he wrote late Monday night after the Board of Aldermen meeting.
Column By John Murray
Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura is seeking a record sixth consecutive term.
(Editor’s note - the following observations by John Murray were sharpened by dozens of interviews and conversations with political insiders throughout Waterbury)
After serving ten years as mayor of Waterbury one might think that Mike Jarjura had a firm grip on the local Democratic Party - his party - but you’d be wrong. As we careen towards election day 2011 Mayor Jarjura faces a revolution within the Democratic Party - much of it his own creation.