The first BOA meeting of 2010 was held last Monday, Jan 4th. The first order of business took place during Democratic Caucus. 28 of the 30 members are Democrats and caucus from 5:45 - 6:30 before meetings. Nominations for Majority Leader where heard and incumbent Majority Leader Katrina Jones (21-D) was the sole nominee and re-elected Majority Leader. Greg Morehead (22-D) was the sole nominee and re-elected Deputy Majority Leader.
The agenda was run through, with Morehead, on behalf of a few colleagues, recommending that a pending order from LCI to approve the quitclaim of land on Ashmun St to Science Park be sent back to committee (BOA's Community Dev.) for further consideration. This is a parcel upon which that the owners of Science Park plan to build a daycare. Neighbors hope for more assurance that this will indeed serve the neighbors/neighborhood.
There was also discussion in caucus regarding a resolution up for vote "...strongly supporting camera-based red light enforcement... urging the General Assembly [State] to pass legislation which would allow municipalities to install much-needed red light cameras... and that the New Haven BOA is prepared to approve the passage and implementation of a red light camera enforcement program..." This is only a resolution to try to show New Haven residents' support and to hopefully encourage the State legislature to pass enabling legislation. The BOA can then debate and create the program and corresponding ordinance(s). It was decided in caucus to bring this item to a vote as this resolution has made its way through the process including public testimony and committee evaluation. There was only public testimony in support which also included the Chief of Police's support and thus the City Services & Environmental Policy committee recommendation was "favorable."
Then our colleagues Arlene DePino (18-R) & Maureen O'Sullivan-Best (11-I) join us, City administration representatives, and City Dept. representatives in a session that is open to reporters and the public to observe any further discussion of the meeting agenda before the regular Meeting which begins at 7:00pm. This week there were no questions nor further discussion.
The meeting opened with Divine Guidance from Alderman Michael Smart (8-D). The Majority Leader then moved the first five Communications which carried unanimously including sliver lot sales to several adjacent property owners and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven.
The Board then approved the acceptance of the loan from the State of a Statewide Tactical On-Scene Communication System. Also, several old items were given "leave to withdraw."
Then there was lively discussion and debate on the red-light camera resolution brought by new Alderman Darnell Goldson (30-D). He was against this resolution as were a few of his colleagues. He wanted more time for it to be considered especially for him and others new to the board. Those in support mainly argued that due diligence and process, including lots of time by members, had led to moving this item to a vote. After debate continued and Alderman Goldson's motion to recommit was "called" by Alderman Michael Jones (1-D) and confirmed by a 2/3rds roll-call vote, debate continued on the resolution itself for several minutes but eventually gave way to a vote on the resolution which passed on a vocal majority (perhaps 3-6 Nay votes).
And then with a couple Alders honoring recently passed City residents, including Freddie Fixer creator Ed Grant [NHI article linked], the meeting ended just after 8pm