Last night was my city's appointment of new members to various committees. So I voluteered for a committee position that involves tech stuff like video, which I enjoy. This pales when compared to the much more notable selection of Justin Rosen to fill the remainder of Alderman Barbara Lambert's term, who is stepping down because she won Jim Amann's former seat in the State Assembly.
Congrats to Justin, although I'm sure he's totally sick of hearing his name mentioned with his age (which is 21, if you hadn't heard). I'm sure he's going to be a great addition to our Board of Alderman.
So a seat on the newly formed committee to manage "MGAT" opened up, which is the Government Access Television channel. Apparently one of the people who managed it before it became an official board is also a City employee, and from what I've heard you can't be on a city committee in that case.
Rich Smith, the Democratic Town Committee chairman, called me recently to ask if I was interested in the spot. I told him sure, and assumed it would be a simple task to be confirmed, based on Mayor Jim Richetelli's comments in this New Haven Register article by James Tinley:
Despite some heated moments in 2008 between Republican Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. and the Democrat-controlled Board of Aldermen, neither side is expecting any controversy to arise from the appointments.That should have tipped me off right there! While they sorted out some procedural issues regarding my late addition to the agenda, the maybe 60 or so other committee members who were ALL unanimously elected by the alderman were fidgeting while my appointment was being debated. Then I heard my blog being discussed!
“Usually, it goes pretty smoothly,” said Richetelli.
Everyone was waiting to be sworn in so they could go home, and here I was holding up the works! Each time I heard my name mentioned, I sank a little deeper into my chair. All my friends were laughing and pointing at me; I don't know how many times I was referred to as a "trouble maker", "leftist agitator", or worse!
And those were my friends!
Here's Mike Brown's write-up of the event from My Left Nutmeg:
(Cheers for another extreme left-winger, hate-mongering infidel crashing the gate. - promoted by Scarce)For the record, I'm going to play this completely straight, and the only agenda I'll be serving will be to help provide complete transparency to the legislative process through public access TV. My political opinions will be limited to what you read on this blog, or if you have the bad luck to engage in a discussion with me. But as far as the MGAT thing goes, I'm going to be totally apolitical.
CTBob appears to be a lightning rod for partisan division in Milford. The Board of Alderman voted along party lines (9-6) to appoint Robert A. Adams, a blogger, to the MGAT Commission - Milford Government Access Television Commission.
Bob was a last minute entry; and this seemed to start the rankling. Then Alderman Scott Willey (R) stated that he had been to CTBob's website. (my note: Oh, Shit!) He noted the "extreme left wing" commentary and wonder if that would be the new tone of MGAT. Bob was thrilled to hear about the increase in traffic to his website. (my note: not really!)
We can only hope that MGAT will improve with someone like Bob on the commission. No more endless video of small children pledging allegiance to the flag. No more grandstanding by the Mayor, presenting awards to children for sports events - this took up the first half hour of last night's meeting. Unfortunately, I think Bob actually likes all that stuff. (my note: not really!)
Alderman Willey also seemed to be perturbed that the commission was made up if three Democrats and two persons who were unaffiliated - no Republicans. The source of this fracas can be traced back to when the MGAT commission was approved as a Aldermanic Board appointment, and not as a Mayoral appointment as the ordinance was originally written by the City Attorney. Elections have consequences.
It should be noted that Alderman Willey recently referred to the Democratic Aldermen as socialists, trying to turn the government in Milford to something akin to that of the former Soviet Union. The subject of this particular revelation was a "Fight the Hike" resolution passed along party lines, urging UI and the General Assembly to reduce electric power rates in the State. (Sounds like the Communist Manifesto to me.)
Congratulations Bob we expect big things from you on this commission - like ambushing State Reps at the train station and videos of paper machete heads - kissing.
Fortunately, MGAT's cameras were there recording the evening's events, and I'm hoping to have some video up sometime in the near future that shows the raking over the coals that I endured to get on the committee. That way you'll be able to enjoy it as much as me.