Rodriguez Leaving Board

Paul Bass PhotoTwo-term Fair Haven Alderman Joe Rodriguez plans not to run for reelection this year because of a new job he has taken with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Rodriguez disclosed his plans Wednesday while accompanying Blumenthal to a party at START Bank on Whalley Avenue (at which Blumenthal used the word “great” three times in one sentence in official remarks about the new financial institution’s job-creating and community-building potential).

Blumenthal, who took office in January, has hired Rodriguez as a research aide and outreach organizer. Rodriguez said he feels that position precludes him for running for office again or, say, taking sides in partisan primaries. During his time on the board he has taken a lead on issues such as blighted housing.

Following is a letter Rodriguez sent last week to the Ward 15 Democratic Ward Committee:

Greetings Ward 15 Friends & Neighbors,

As you may know this November 2011 is a General Election for the position of Mayor
and Aldermen. It is with a sadden heart that I regret to inform you all that I have
chosen not to seek re-election as the Alderman of Ward 15.

It has been an honor and a privilege in serving as your alderman for two terms. We collectively have worked vigorously with the city, police, and others to revitalize the Fair Haven neighborhood. Below is a highlight on some of what we accomplished in a short two terms.

- Established Grand Avenue as a commercial corridor & special services district
- Passed tough anti-blight legislation
- Passed legislation which requires banks who acquire foreclosed properties to register with the city.

- I ensured Fair Haven non-for-profits received their fair share in federal dollars during the CDBG process.
- Worked along side our Block Watches to engage residents in becoming acting citizens and organizing a Grafton St Block Party
- Worked with the Fair Haven Community Management Team to increase membership and helped organize their annual community picnic.

We, together have a lot more we can accomplish in the next 9 or so months and I look forward to working with you all—especially as we try to work on a tough budget. I will convene a community meeting soon to discuss the upcoming election.
Thank you,


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posted by: Nan Bartow on April 28, 2011  3:38pm

Congratulations, Joe!! Kudos to you.

posted by: streever on April 28, 2011  3:52pm

Kudos to Alderman Rodriguez for not representing two sides—I appreciate his commitment to ethics and openness.

Your voice on the board will be missed, and I look forward to seeing an election for your seat.

posted by: Andrew Ross on April 28, 2011  4:53pm

Good for you Joe! Great luck in your new role!

posted by: Fair Havener on April 28, 2011  7:58pm

Best of luck to you Joe.. You will be missed. I hope you still can find time to attend the management team meetings and stay active in fair haven. we can use you as an advocate for us

posted by: Fair Haven Mom on April 29, 2011  7:33am

Joe, you will be missed greatly. You have been so responsive to Fair Haven issues and concerns and your constituents, even those of us who are not in your district, and a major advocate and activist for our area.

I wish you the very best in your new position and hope you will continue to remain active in our community. You are a much appreciated voice of calm, reason, and action.

posted by: Tomas Reyes Jr. on April 29, 2011  11:55am

Congratulations to you for a job well done and
for your thoughtful decision to open up your
aldermanic seat so that someone else can vie to represent your community.You all are doing a bang-up job in Fair Haven and your constituents should be proud to have you as their representatives. We at the CHDC are
extremely proud of you too. Good Luck and God

posted by: Betsy Goldberg on April 29, 2011  5:44pm

Joey, it was only a matter of time that you’d be recognized state-wide for your talent and good grace.  Blumenthal could not do better than to put you on his team.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on May 1, 2011  6:33pm

Good luck Joe and the best for your future,
I will not say “you will be missed” because seems to me that we are going to see you very often around Fair Haven, Mr. Blumenthal needs you (he needs a Latino contact) you always worked much closer with all the organizations that are on Gran Avenue. Hope you will represent and be that voice that Fair Haven needs.

Again, all the Best for your family and you.