Marchand Beats City Plan Challenger

Thomas MacMillan PhotoAdam Marchand won an election Thursday night by following the first rule of politics: Show up.

Marchand (at right in file photo), Westville’s Ward 25 alder, was unanimously reelected by his colleagues to his seat on the City Plan Commission.

Freshman Prospect Hill/Newhallville Alder Mike Stratton was also running for the post. But he couldn’t make it to Thursday evening’s meeting of the Board of Alders, where the election was held in his absence. (The alders meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday night, was postponed until Thursday because of Winter Storm Janus.)

Reached after Thursday night’s meeting, Stratton said he had been hosting a fundraiser—scheduled a month previously—for U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and state Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield (who’s currently running for state senator).

Marchand’s election was one of a list of appointments alders made at a Thursday meeting of the full board.

As the new alder term starts up, the board elected its members to various city commissions, councils, and committees on which alders serve. Appointments to the Board of Alders committees that handle new legislation remain to be made.

The only contested election Thursday evening was for the alder spot on the City Plan Commission, a body that deals with various zoning issues and scrutinizes plans for new construction in New Haven.

All alders present cast their voice votes for Marchand over Stratton. Marchand wons 23-0 vote. Seven alders were absent, including Stratton.

Marchand even won the votes of all present members of the “People’s Caucus,” a breakaway group of alders formed as an alternative to the board’s working supermajority. Stratton is a founding Caucus member.

Stratton said the fundraiser for DeLauro and Holder-Winfield, held at his house, had been scheduled a month ago.

“I had to host, obviously,” he said. “That’s what I was up to.”

Asked about the lack of support for his City Plan bid from the People’s Caucus, Stratton said, “I wasn’t there. I can’t comment on it. I don’t know what that was all about.”

“I wasn’t lobbying hard for the job,” Stratton said. He said he hadn’t been told that any other alder was even interested in the post. He hadn’t discussed his candidacy with the People’s Caucus, he said.

Marchand took criticism early on in his first term from constituents who said they expect him to keep up with the voluminous reading of documents as part of his role on the City Plan Commission, which reviews the nitty-gritty of building projects large and small throughout New Haven. He has actively questioned builders at City Plan meetings.

Alders also made the following appointments Thursday night:

• Ad Hoc Living Wage Commission: Jessica Holmes and Darryl Brackeen.
• Affirmative Action Commission: Brackeen
• School Readiness Council: Santiago Berrios-Bones
• Capital Projects Committee: Rosa Santana
• Cultural Affairs Commission: Frank Douglass
• Development Commission: Sarah Eidelson
• Emergency Management Advisory Council: Sal DeCola
• Environmental Advisory Council: DeCola
• Equal Opportunities Commission: Delphine Clyburn
• Food Policy Council: Frank Douglass
• Legal Assistance Association: Evette Hamilton
• Parks Commission: Ernie Santiago
• Peace Commission: Dolores Colon
• Property Acquisition and Disposition Committee: Andrea Jackson-Brooks and Brian Wingate
• Redvelopment Agency Advisory Council: Jeanette Morrison
• Solid Waste Authority: Richard Spears
• Transfer Committee: Santana
• Greater New Haven Water Pollution Control Authority: Al Paolillo
• Youth Commission: Carlton Staggers and Berrios-Bones


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posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 24, 2014  9:50am

Reached after Thursday night’s meeting, Stratton said he had been hosting a fundraiser—scheduled a month previously—for U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and state Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield (who’s currently running for state senator).

Like I said a true One percenter and part of the machine.

posted by: robn on January 24, 2014  10:16am

Just curious…can BOA members bring bills directly to the floor of the BOA or does everything have to come out of a committee or commission?

posted by: Atticus Shrugged on January 24, 2014  11:18am

Hosting fundraisers for DeLauro and Holder-Winfield.  It sounds like M. Stratton is getting ready for a run at the mayor’s office as soon as Mayor Harp leaves.  Just a feeling that I’m getting.

posted by: Tlove on January 24, 2014  11:46am

In earlier years alders that are appointed to the CPB usually serve one term. I know that Justin was voted off the CPB pretty quick. I hope that you be more considerate of people that present and attend the meetings. You tend to ask a lot of questions; some that are not relevant and some that could wait and be answered by the staff at a later time. The meetings should only last for a maximum of two hours. Some meetings have been held for three hours or more, causing some people to get parking tickets and, of course, are not reimbursed. People have other commitments and want to go home. So please think about that and not just your own agenda. PLEASE!! Tlove

posted by: mstratton on January 24, 2014  1:19pm

For the record, I was fully prepared to go forward at this weeks tuesday regularly scheduled meeting. This meeting was postponed and rescheduled to Thursday without any discussion or opportunity to build consensus about that new time. Seven people could not meet at that time. Leadership didn’t bother asking any of us. Simply moving it out to the following tuesday or starting at 8 would have allowed me to get there. In fact I was so torn by this that I left my house before the fundraiser ended to try to catch the last half. I was there at 810, the meeting had already ended but I stayed till 1030 working on an educational forum with five colleagues for residents.

As for the civil planning commission, I was asked whether I wanted to serve on a commission by leadership. I emailed “sure how bout city planning”. That was 2 weeks ago. No further communication until Tom MacMillan calls me last night and says I lost an election to city planning. What election? Leadership sent zero notice that there was a contest for this spot. If I had known that Marchand wanted the job and there would be an election, I would have withdrawn my name. He has a term of experience, and I put my name forward to be of service where I thought service was needed. I am not going to fight Marchand when he really likes the job, and has the experience. My two peoples caucus members Spears and Festa were right in voting for him, and were as caught off guard by the surprise vote. Leadership seems to provide great notice to some and no notice to others. No excuse for a lack of due process either in not notifying of an election contest and not building consensus on a proper date for postponement. Simply moving the meeting to 8 would have ensured 5-7 more embers were present. Simply telling me about the contest would have avoided an unnecessarily divisive election to a time consuming public service position. I would have withdrawn. I suspect a lot of politics here as leadership was aware of my fundraiser.

posted by: robn on January 24, 2014  2:08pm


Yeah I’m sure Mike in interested in removing a zero from his paycheck…although he’s got that crazy compassion thing going so who knows.

posted by: accountability on January 25, 2014  11:32am

Awesome. Mike Stratton blows off a meeting at which he’s standing for election to one of the most important posts that the Alders have appointment power over to host a big money fundraiser.

But he’s the victim of tyrannical leadership.

MS: weather happens. You’re a local political leader. Leadership involves choices.

Everyone else on the board has life schedules to rearrange too. Some of them may involve much more mundane things than hustling cash for other politicians. You know, dance classes for kids, church, taking care of elderly relatives.

You have a wife. You have political friends. Many people who voted for you have personal relationships with Holder-Winfield and DeLauro. You could have asked someone to host a part of the fundraiser, and told Rosa that you had to be present for a vote. She does that to groups all the time when stuff happens in DC.

You made a choice. Account for it. Quit whining. Tell us why a fundraiser is more important to your constituents and the city than a seat on City Plan.

posted by: Eddie on January 25, 2014  10:51pm

Amazing.  Mike Stratton demands that meetings need to be scheduled to accommodate his campaign fundraising parties.  Then he blames others for his decision to not attend the meeting. What a leader!!  It is great to see him taking accountability. 

Also why on earth is he asserting ownership over members in the people’s caucus?  “My two peoples caucus members Spears and Festa”.  Wow, they are HIS members?  HAHA.  He even assumes that their votes require his validation and approval.  The votes receive the Mstratton NHI comment seal of approval.  I guess Spears and Festa are breathing a sigh of relief.

posted by: accountability on January 25, 2014  11:03pm

and while we’re on the subject, where’s the help from the “People’s Caucus?” Or your paralegals for that matter?

You’re a LAWYER. And you don’t know how the Board selects commission appointments? And couldn’t figure it out in two weeks? Leadership didn’t call you? So, what, you spent two weeks talking to your caterer about spanakopita? Didn’t you ask anyone any questions?

Try this: Al Lucas (203) 946-8371

And even if leadership didn’t hold your hand, doesn’t your caucus have a plan or strategy for anything other than getting New Haven Independent stories? Didn’t you guys have any discussion about the importance of various commissions, the process for getting seats and the politics of rounding up votes? There are experienced alders in your group. Didn’t any of them explain the process to you?

posted by: Dwightstreeter on January 26, 2014  3:51pm

Why the intimations of class warfare here in some of the posts?
Is it a crime to be successful, especially if you earned it?
Should Matt, Damon, Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, Arianna Huffington and George Soros stop advocating for sensible things because they are tainted by their wealth?
Stratton is new to politics, has demonstrated some energy and creativity and I’d like to see what he can do before he’s cut to death by the lethal knives verbally hacking away at him.
Is cabin fever driving people crazy or what?

posted by: Eddie on January 26, 2014  7:04pm

Mike Stratton’s “energy and creativity” in politics has largely been a strategy of alienation and dehumanization.  He attacked Doug Hausladen for selling tbnh to Toni Harp.  He tried to separate New Haven voters into independent and non-independent minded people.  He did the same with alders.  (Those who don’t agree with him are non-independent minded).  He casually refers to colleagues as “the machine”.  He now claims ownership over other alders and seems to believe that their votes require his validation.  He tries to present himself as someone against money in politics, while donating thousands of dollars to politicians and PACs throughout the country.  The politicians include at least one anti-choice Republican whose big issue is passing the Keystone Pipeline.  I object to his paternalistic and divisive brand of politics, not his success or class.

Btw the Gates foundation is invested in private prisons, which is one of the most horrific institutions in the United States right now.  It uses at least part of the income from these investments to advocate for charter schools.  Seeming benevolence still merits vigilance and criticism.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 26, 2014  7:11pm

posted by: Dwightstreeter on January 26, 2014 2:51pm

Why the intimations of class warfare here in some of the posts?
Is it a crime to be successful, especially if you earned it?
Should Matt, Damon, Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, Arianna Huffington and George Soros stop advocating for sensible things because they are tainted by their wealth?

Speaking of Bill Gates.

Gates unmasks the real face of Davos.

The global elites meeting at the World Economic Forum must not get away with pretending they have the interests of the world’s majority at heart says Nick Dearden
January 2014

Bill Gates is worried – too many people are talking about raising the minimum wage. Appropriately, the world’s richest man spoke on the eve of the World Economic Summit in Davos. Gates is a great symbol of the Davos summit, an annual away day for global capitalism, at which the world’s 1% mouth concerns about poverty and climate change, while working on policies which fuel inequality.

Last year Gates increased his wealth by $15.8bn and has now once again become the world’s richest man, worth about $78.5bn. He’s not alone – as a whole the world’s millionaires got 11% richer last year. For the rest of us, the decades-long trend of stagnating income continues. In some countries – Greece, Spain and Britain – median household income fell sharply.

The policies dream up by those who meet in Davos are a direct cause of these historically unprecedented rates of inequality. Last week, even the financial press was taken aback at the concentration of corporate wealth. Just six companies – including Apple, Microsoft and Google–are sitting on more than a quarter of the $1.5tn reserves held by US non-financial corporations.

Read the rest.

posted by: robn on January 27, 2014  9:56am


Sure. Stratton is executing a sinister plan to take a full time job with three fewer zeros at the end of his paycheck because then he’ll be able to ascend to a job with two fewer zeros at the end of his paycheck.

posted by: accountability on January 27, 2014  11:00pm

Dwightstreeter: “Stratton is new to politics…”

Why do people keep saying this?

The man is a longtime contributor to the trial lawyer’s PAC, one of the most sophisticated political money machines in the country.

He’s given several hundred thousand dollars to candidates in congressional races all over the country in the past decade.

You may appreciate his energy and creativity. But to excuse a lack of understanding of the process and skipping an important meeting to raise cash for other politicians because you say he’s “new to politics” bears no connection to the reality.