Sunday, July 09, 2006

First DeStefano Post

This is the first of two short posts that I'll write about yesterday's discussion with Mayor DeStefano.

DeStefano on the fabric of Cities and Small Towns

When asked if CT's state government had written off it's cities the Mayor responded with his own experience about what makes a city work. His three tier plan for cities emphasizes safety, good schools, and economic opportunity. DeStefano then gave several examples from his own experiences as the Mayor of New Haven. In response to another question DeStefano talked about marketing New Haven to the next generation. He offered the school system including it's large magnet program, clubs, and the summer concerts on the Green as evidence that "the next generation will love New Haven."

The Mayor also compared and contrasted the differences between what makes a good city versus what makes a good small town. According to DeStefano: "Cities want density, small towns want open spaces." Connecticut needs both to function and he doesn't see their needs as being in opposition of one another. It's in everyone's interest to preserve what's great about both. He said that both towns and cities were to dependent on the current property tax system which forced them to make poor long term decisions about what was best for their communities in order to increase revenues.

A few weeks ago many on this site gave JDS a fair amount of flack for his comments about Rell's plans to deal with urban violence. He stands by that statement, but what's significant is how his solutions compare with those of Jodi Rell. Agree or disagree with the details but you can't deny that DeStefano's policy is about finding a long term workable plan rather than a quick fix.

While looking over my notes from meeting both DeStefano and Malloy something struck me. Malloy spent a lot of time telling us how he was a progressive while DeStefano was actually discussing progressive policy. I have no opinion as to who would make the best Governor, but there's no doubt in my mind that John DeStefano would be the more progressive one.


Anonymous said...

Here is video of DeStefano and Malloy discussing "Strong Communities and a Strong Economy: Jobs, Housing & Land Use" as part of a speaker series.

bluecoat said...

you need to be registered to view the hole article form today's NHR Democratic candidates assail lack of housing but JDS shines over DM because he can think in more than two dimensions and he understands the cookie cuuter solution malloy proposes won't fly....and speaking of big city mayors
Challenged by newspaper to random drug check, Fabrizi tests clean the CT Post is going to great lengths to keep this guy in office...

BRubenstein said...

CGG...and that's why the unions and moist liberals are backing DJS

Anonymous said...

Let's see , this week JDS says small towns "want open space". Of couse last week he was telling them to sccept low income housing. and if not, then no state money.

Even to protect open space.

I suppose JDS's defintion of "open space" is kind of "open". Perhaps like Cpl. Klinger, one needs a Section 8 to understand it.

cgg said...

Anon he was speaking I think in terms of towns bringing in big box retailers.

Anonymous said...

CGG, this is EXACTLY what he said.
Ain;t No mention of "Big Box" nuthin, 'cept maybe his memory hole about trying to extort small towns to the will of the liberal academy

"New Haven Mayor John DeStefano suggested withholding certain grants, or state bond funds for ball fields, libraries and other local projects, from cities and towns that refuse to participate in the state's plans for more affordable housing.

"If you want to live like an island, God bless you," DeStefano said. "Finance your own projects.""

Translation: "I care about the 'fabric' of small towns. I will order all your curtains and drapes now, since my opinions matter and yours don;t"

cgg said...

Sorry Anonymous, I should have been more clear. I was referring to the discussion, not anything else JDS may have said in the press.

Rell is going down said...


you are missing DeStefano's point. The availability of low-income housing directly correlates into keeping open space. He wants to reward towns for making middle-class housing available, by giving them more state aid for their schools. By doing this, these towns won't be forced to pave forests and parks in order to increase property taxes needed to pay for schools. Are you just posting an anti-destefano post, or do have something valuable to add?

Anonymous said...

ok, did not want to you think I was claiming you were flacking for him on this.

I just think JDS has launched a series of howlers which will all come back to bite him in due time

Anonymous said...


increasing low income housing saves open diminshing local financial resources to pay for buying land?

by adding additional school children to the town rolls?

by adding additional cars on local roads and more strain on local sewers and water lines?

What I find insulting is the implication that local officials and voters are too dense to do what's right for their own town.

When some "expert" demands "dense zoning" the implication is local officials are dense if they down pave over their towns with "approved" land uses like subsidized housing. Or do liberal intellectuals think mother nature coexists with subsidized apartment houses and not a taxpaying Wal-Mart?

(FYI....once a town builds low income housing the new residents will need a place to shop, and it ain;t gonna be the Whole Foods Market... it will be Chez Sam's)

When I see this stuff welcomed on St. Ronan Street and backcountry Greenwich, get back to me