By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Bristol City Council held their monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 10, and announced the dates of two upcoming public hearings.
The Charter Revision Commission has been working to update various sections of the city charter. A public hearing will be held on Thursday, July 19, at 7 p.m. in council chambers, in order to gain public opinion on the six sections under review.
The sections to be discussed are section 39, Board of Education, regarding the staggering of terms of commissioners; section 56, unlawful harassment, which will hold elected officials accountable for abiding by the city’s anti-harassment policies; sections 44, Public Works, and the new 48A, Water Department – sewage treatment, which transfers the responsibilities of the sewage system from the Public Works department to the Water Department; section 54, personnel committee, which will establish a personnel committee; section 25, Board of Finance, which allowed the charter revision commission to adopt recommendations from the city’s bond counsel; and section 4, bond issues, which clarifies the language regarding the way the City bonds money.
Councilor Dave Preleski announced the public hearing for the ordinance committee. The Wednesday, July 18, hearing will be broken down into five sub-hearings. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the first floor meeting room of City Hall, the ordinance committee will be gathering public opinion regarding code of ordinance section 18-192, Downtown Bristol tax increment financing district; at 4:40 p.m., section 2-151 and section 2-155, the City Energy Commission; at 4:45 p.m., section 2-72, pertaining to administration; at 4:50 p.m., section 2-66, regarding definitions; and, at 4:55 p.m., section 2-66.1, regarding the effect of union contracts and other agreements.
Public participation began with the monthly nonprofit spotlight. Patricia Stebbins, founder of Brian’s Angels, a homeless outreach organization, said she began Brian’s Angels three years ago, and last year, they received their 501(c)3 designation.
“Basically how we started is, while I was out walking my dog I noticed many homeless in Bristol, and three years ago, next month actually is when we started passing out our first ice water. We went from ice water to… our loving bags. Loving bags included socks, soap, oral supplies, feminine supplies, deodorant, toiletries, and anything else we can fit into the bags,” said Stebbins. “We started the space at the cooling center, so we’ve been going two years, non-stop, all volunteers, all community participation for the food and the space. Bristol’s been pretty amazing… I want to thank everyone for your support, it’s been one of the most amazing things of my whole life, and I just wanted to say thank you, we’re filling the void, we’re getting critical supplies out, and we are saving lives, honestly.”
Al “Chops” Ciachetti also spoke during public comments, and suggested that council look into naming a road “Nicastro and Ward Way” after former mayors Frank Nicastro and Art Ward
“[I] made a formal request that the mayor and city council do their part to consider naming the new road at Depot Square or Central Square. I want to name it ‘Nicastro and Ward Way,'” said Ciachetti. “These two gentlemen have dedicated their lives to the city, to the state, and to their country. Mr. Frank Nicastro has been a councilman, mayor, Navy veteran, and state representative of Connecticut. Mr. Art Ward has also been a councilman, mayor, Marine veteran, and has also worked in, or was working with, the state of Connecticut at the Veterans Affairs Office.”
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said Ciachetti’s request would be considered the first public submission of a name for the new road that goes through Centre Square, and that there is more information to come, regarding how other citizens can make submissions.
Preleski also alerted those gathered about an initiative through the fire department, where the department can install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in homes.
For more information regarding installation, Preleski said to call the Fire Department at (860)584-7964 ext. 4.