Reverend Furlow Comes On Board

Richard Furlow has five separate neighborhoods to represent; he promised to do so “independently.”

Furlow (pictured) was sworn in this week to replace Angela Russell as the alder from Ward 27, perhaps the city’s oddest-shaped voting district, covering parts of Beaver Hills, West Hills, Westville, Beverly Hills, and Amity. Rusell stepped down as the ward’s alder last month. As the only candidate for the open seat, Furlow took it without the need to hold an election.

Read on to learn some facts about the ward’s new alder.

Name: Rev. Richard Furlow

Age: “Young enough to be energetic, old enough to have the wisdom to make the right decisions.”

Occupation: Instructor at the Reach The Nations school of ministry in Hamden.

Where he grew up: New Haven and East Haven.

Goals: “I want to be the bridge from residents to City Hall.” The ward is most concerned about keeping the crime rate down. Top area cop Sgt. Renee Forte is “doing an excellent job.”

On the city budget: Since he’s “coming in on the tail end” of the budgeting process, “I don’t really have an opinion,” he said.

On the idea of closing Polly McCabe, the city’s tiny school for pregnant teens: This idea emerged at the Finance Committee meeting Furlow observed on Wednesday. “That school’s been there forever,” Furlow said. “I remember the reason it was opened. They didn’t want the young ladies who were expecting taught with the young ladies who were not.” Our culture and society has changed since then. The issue “needs more dialogue.”

On parking requirements for new developments: This is a now-common question during discussion of projects like Rt. 34 West and Star Supply. New urbanists say zoning laws should require fewer parking spaces. Others worry that would mean too much on-street parking would be gobbled up. Asked if the requirements should be lowered, Furlow said it depends. He said all those decisions should be made case-by-case, to ensure the decision is properly “contextualized.”

On the Board of Alders’ split between a largely unified majority and the breakaway People’s Caucus: “I have respect for everyone here. I’m coming in to work with the team and for the best interests of the city. I’m independent.”

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posted by: Hill Resident on May 19, 2014  1:04pm

Goo Luck Mr. Furlow - represent your Ward well!

posted by: Alder Darryl Brackeen Jr on May 19, 2014  1:06pm

Looking forward to working with my fellow colleague from Ward 27 on the important issues that must be addressed in the day’s ahead.

posted by: robn on May 19, 2014  1:28pm

Sequestering single teen mothers is the worst idea I ever heard of. They should be given daycare and put back into a normal school so they can finish high school.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 19, 2014  9:29pm

I wonder will he be like this Reverend?

posted by: connecticutcontrarian on May 20, 2014  9:11am

I agree that we need to move beyond the days of forcing teen mom’s to hide in the shadows or being sent away to “take care of a sick aunt in the South.” However,  there are practical concerns that many pregnant students face e.g. being able to frequently leave school for dr. Appointments; having access to classes/workshops on parenting, maternal health,  etc. Unfortunately even in those schools with day care programs teen mothers are still “sequestered” and ostracized.