New city mayor, new councilors hold first meeting

By SHERIDEN CYR

STAFF WRITER

The now-Democratic majority Bristol City Council met for the first time post-election on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Business was relatively light as four of the seven council members are new.

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu discussed many of her priorities for the council and made particular note that her office and her businesses as mayor will be open to the public. There was an underlying theme of repairing, and in some cases creating, communications between the city and its government.

Zoppo-Sassu said she would be making her calendar public on both the city website and on the council’s Facebook page. “The purpose of this is to let taxpayers know what exactly comprises the balance of my week,” she said. The council will also experiment with removing the strict three-minute time limit on public discussion on a case-by-case basis.

The mayor reported that by the end of November she hopes to have a meeting with all of the chairs of the boards and commissions in Bristol.

“This meeting would serve to coordinate things like how we do our minutes, FOI requirements, attendance requirements, the role of the chairperson, and the role of the organization,” said Zoppo-Sassu. She also hopes to have a round-table discussion with union presidents that comprise the city’s employee base. Having a “strong, trust-based relationship” with the unions will benefit the city, she said.

Committees and boards will be formed in whole at the December council meeting. The mayor asked fellow council members and the public to come forward with nominations or desire to be on a committee or board.

Zoppo-Sassu reported a charter review commission will be named in December. The charter has not been looked at in a comprehensive manner since the 1960s, according to the mayor. She requested councilors return in December with at least one nomination from their respective districts. The commission will have a party balance.

In new business, several items were passed unanimously by the council:

They passed a resolution to approve the filing of a grant application for $200,000 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fund Brownfield Cleanup activities at 894 Middle Street.

They passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign the Connecticut Department of Transportation Agreement for Rights of Way Projects.

They passed an award of contract 2018-033: fire pumper vehicle to Firematic Supply Co., Inc. for $574,350.

They passed a resolution to approve the Education Specifications for the renovation status at the Memorial Boulevard Intradistrict Arts magnet school located at 70 Memorial Blvd.