Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I thought it would be simple

Now I kind of know how Roland Burris feels.

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.

(photo by Tessa Marquis)

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.

“Usually, it goes pretty smoothly,” said Richetelli.
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!

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)

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.
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.

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.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your appointment. I am not sure what the Republican Alderman think a member of the MGAT does. However, you will find out that it is mostly trying to decide what type of cool new equipment to buy or why the modulator is broadcasting such a crappy signal. One thing we found out in East Haven, a lightening strike on the building housing the government channel's equipment is not a good thing. The electronics does not react well to lightening.

Kate said...

Congratulations there CTBob

Connecticut Man1 said...

I am sure you saw my comment at MLN but... Way to go!

CT Bob said...

EHP, I might have a question or two once we get our initial committee meeting out of the way.

Kate, thanks!

CM1, yes I did see that. And yes, I WAS railroaded into it, with the promise of an easy confirmation hearing and wealth beyond my wildest dreams!

Connecticut Man1 said...

LOL! I so thought so...

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...


This is truly amazing!

A government body actually put someone that knows what they're doing onto a panel where what the appointee already knows could be useful?

Wait a minute...is that even legal?
Sounds a little unAmerican to me.

This sort of thing could set some sort of dangerous precident that could ruin government as we know it.

What if the whole state started acting this way?
Then (gasp!) the Federal Government!

Holy Smokes!

I'll have my people speak to Scott Willey who obviously hasn't seen of your better work as yet, and who clearly makes the mistake of taking what he reads on blogs too seriously.
(Face it, we both post overly opinionated glop and so does nearly everyone else.)

Congratulations to you Bob, but frankly that should go to the Town of Milford too!

Milford's a fine town.
I've always liked Milford - it's like Southington (normal) but with a beach, and and a Town Green that's even bigger than ours.

tessa said...

I never promised remuneration. Just meetings.

CT Bob said...

Thanks ACR!

Yeah, Milford's a great town. There's literally no place I'd rather live! Although if I had to, I could probably survive in Rhode Island, as long as there was a good harbor nearby. And maybe somewhere on Chesapeake Bay would be mostly OK, but their summers are too warm.

I really don't have a problem with the Republicans focusing on me in this case. The committee is made up of three Dems and two Unaffiliated, so they're worried about the supposed lack of bipartisan representation (although nobody says that the U's are going to be ersatz D's by default).

Which is a reasonable and valid point, except the guy whose place I'm filling in for was also listed as a Democrat, so they had months to put up their own candidate for the seat and they didn't.

They really don't have anything to worry about with me. I'm committed to bringing transparency to the democratic process, and the best way to do that is to use the Government access channel to broadcast all the important meetings. There's no room for partisan bickering here.

Besides, anyone who's really followed this blog knows I rarely hold my punches when it's a Democrat behaving badly. I've taken some pretty serious shots at Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Rod Blagojevich, Hillary Clinton, Joe "Not Really A Dem" Lieberman, and many, many others here.

But I kind of understand that I do tend to get under people's skin; that's the fun part of blogging!

CT Bob said...

Sadly, you're correct Tessa. I'm just going to do it for the glory of the meetings.

Bob Symmes said...

I suspect Wiley would REALLY get riled if he knew of your Comintern membership...better leave your membership card home, comrade-dude.

CT Bob said...

You mean like THIS?