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Board and Commission Appointments Face Change

by Diana Stricker & Marcia Chambers | Apr 17, 2014 11:03 pm | Comments (1)

File Photo Efforts are underway to change the process of how people are appointed to boards and commissions in Branford. This comes at the same time that new commissions are being created—including the potentially powerful Public Building Commission. 

The three-member Board of Selectmen (BOS) makes appointments, typically following recommendations by the town’s political parties. However, volunteers have always been able to go directly to the selectmen rather than the parties, or the selectmen can hand-pick candidates. The three- member board is pictured above. 

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Ted Kennedy, Jr. Launches Political Career

by marcia chambers | Apr 9, 2014 7:52 am | Comments (2)

Lori Mack Photo Saying he was proud of his family’s legacy of “standing up for working families, for social justice , for political and economic fairness,” Ted Kennedy, Jr. last night announced he would continue their work by seeking to become a state senator. 

Kennedy, 52, said over the next several months he intends to “hold a conversation” with the voters of the six towns that form the 12th State Senate District in order to hear their views and needs. He said he wants to listen and to learn even as he outlined a number of ideas to take to Hartford. He told the audience he would legislate by consensus, a belief his father, the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, believed in.

More than 200 people filled the grand auditorium of the Blackstone Memorial Library, where it was standing room only for the long-awaited announcement from the Connecticut heir to the Kennedy dynasty.  At 6:30 p.m. he formally announced his candidacy. The crowd stood, applauding and shouting and whistling loudly as a new Kennedy emerged on Connecticut’s political stage.

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Ted Kennedy, Jr., Takes Political Plunge

by marcia chambers | Apr 7, 2014 11:17 am | Comments (1)

Thomas MacMillan Photo In what is the worst-kept secret in the state, Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, Jr., will announce tomorrow night that he will seek the open 12th State Senate District seat, according to associates.

As the Eagle reported two weeks ago, Kennedy is gearing up to run for the office in a district that oversees six towns, including Branford, where he and his family reside. The other towns are Guilford, Madison, North Branford, Killingworth and a section of Durham. Five of the six towns, including Branford, are led by Republican first selectmen.  Killingworth’s first selectwoman, Catherine Iino, is a Democrat. 

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Pat Widlitz Says Farewell to the Legislature

by marcia chambers | Apr 3, 2014 1:52 pm | Comments (3)

With Permission Longtime state Rep. Pat Widlitz, the co-chair of the powerful House Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, will be on the campaign trail this summer, she said yesterday—“but not for myself.”

Widlitz, a Democrat who represents the 98th Assembly District (Guilford and two sections of Branford), told the Eagle in an exclusive interview that she will not seek reelection this November. She will retire at the end of her current term on Dec. 31.

She has served 20 years as a state legislator. Before that she held local office as a Guilford selectwoman and as a member of the Board of Education.  She turns 69 in July.

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Ted Kennedy Jr. Eyes State Senate Seat

by marcia chambers | Mar 24, 2014 3:23 pm | Comments (6)

Thomas MacMillan Photo Another Kennedy is gearing up to run for elected office—this time in Connecticut.

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“Non-Candidate” Malloy Previews Stump Speech

by marcia chambers | Mar 10, 2014 3:47 pm | Comments (5)

Bob Rattner Photo Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the coy candidate-in waiting, left no doubt Sunday evening that he is running for election this year and offered a preview stump speech on issues on which he is considered vulnerable: the economy and handling of state finances. 

Malloy gave the preview at the New Haven home of U.S. Rosa DeLauro at what was billed as “the kick-off campaign” for Congressional and state office holders.  After DeLauro introduced him as a person “who has been making a difference in the lives of the people,” Malloy dived into the campaign pitch.

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Democrat Gives Forecast

by Diana Stricker | Dec 27, 2013 9:37 am

Diana Stricker Photo The sole Democrat on the three-member Board of Selectmen (BOS) is not planning to take the town by storm, but he does plan to make a difference.

Dr. Bruce Storm, a former Branford school superintendent, is serving on the BOS after attaining the third-highest number of votes in the November election. He ran for office anticipating that former Second Selectman Andy Campbell would win the first selectman’s seat, and he would round out the Democratic majority. That didn’t happen; the Republican sweep put Jamie Cosgrove and Joe Higgins at the helm, and also put a Republican majority at the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

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Cosgrove: Door’s Open

by Diana Stricker | Dec 20, 2013 11:29 am

Diana Stricker Photo New First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove says there’s a feeling of history when he sits in the Town Hall office and looks out at the Green.

“It’s important to know the history but it’s more important not to get stuck debating history,” he said.

Cosgrove (pictured), the first Republican at the helm in eight years, says it’s time to move forward.

“It has been a really smooth transition,” he said in regard to his first few weeks in office. “You’re going to have a period of time where people get to know who you are,” he said. “The staff has been very helpful and willing to work with each other.”

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Democrats Blast Republicans For Musical Chairs

by marcia chambers | Nov 20, 2013 4:04 pm

Marcia Chambers Photo

The real action of the Representative Town Meeting last night happened before the meeting began.

When the Democratic minority arrived at the second floor meeting room at fire headquarters they found three tables lined up in a row instead of two tables on one side for the Republican majority and one table facing them for the Democrats.

The Democrats then engaged in a symbolic revolt—they picked up their table and put it back where it used to be.

The game of musical chairs reflected the new power dynamics on the RTM, where Republicans have just replaced Democrats as the majority.

The new Republican majority leader, Rep. Ray Ingraham (pictured standing above), said he had had moved the tables into a new arrangement because his constituents had asked him to change the seating plan of the meetings. Ingraham said in an interview that he believes that RTM members should reflect the view of their neighbors, rather than what their party ideology might ask. Mixing up the representatives to get greater thought and discussion is beneficial, he argued. 

Democrats said they were steamed over Ingraham’s decision because they had previously arranged via e-mail to have party leaders meet with the new moderator, Dennis Flanagan, after last night’s meeting to discuss the issue. They criticized Ingraham for acting without consulting them or taking a vote; Ingraham said nothing in the rules requires a vote. The Democrats said they are concerned that if everyone is mixed together, it will not be clear who voted for what and that in the end both parties are different philosophically.

One route the Dems might be willing to take is having representatives sit by district, one of them told the Eagle. Ingraham said that idea is worth discussing and perhaps the RTM tables might be placed in horseshoe fashion in the center of the room, with the moderator and the clerk seated to the side.

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A New Cosgrove Takes Charge

by marcia chambers | Nov 19, 2013 2:06 pm

Mary Johnson Photo Jamie Cosgrove was sworn in as Branford’s first selectman this morning, and he conveyed the wishes of his legendary grandfather Dan Cosgrove—who turns 96 today.

“‘Go do some good,’” Jamie Cosgrove quoted his grandfather as saying.

The timing of Jamie Cosgrove’s swearing-in and Dan Cosgrove’s birthday turned out to be a special coincidence for a family whose political dynasty has shaped Branford’s history in many ways. (Dan Cosgrove, who is ill, was not present for the swearing in at the Blackstone Memorial Library. Click here for a previous interview with him about his history in the town.)

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