“Inequality is not inevitable. It is the consequence of bad decisions.” – Dan Drew
[Updated 1/13/16, 9AM] An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Mayor Drew was up for re-election this year. He is actually up for re-election in 2019, after the gubernatorial race.
There’s big news in the town that many of us good students share and call home for 6 months out of the year! Middletown Mayor Dan Drew announced earlier today that he was establishing an exploratory committee to run for governor. He is currently serving his 3rd term as Middletown’s mayor, and will look to take over from current governor Dannel P. Malloy, a democrat whose current approval rating sits at 24%, and who consistently ranks as one of the least popular governors in America. Read past the jump for Mayor Drew’s announcement video and more about ~local politics~.
In case you somehow missed it, there has been a lot of talk since last semester about a proposed development that could find itself right next to Wesleyan’s campus on Washington Street, between High and Pearl. For those who have strong interest and/or opinions about this topic, Middletown’s Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, February 27th at 7 p.m. that will address two zone-change proposals that could either allow or prevent this development from happening.
Specifically, the hearing will address the developers’ zoning code text amendment proposal — which would allow for more commercial development on Washington Street to go forward — and that of avid opponent to the development Ed Mckeon, which would make the zone under consideration become eligible for residential use only, thus preventing the development from going forward. More information about the two zone change proposals can be found here, but disregard the original pre-Nemo hearing date.
If you want to attend and/or testify at the hearing, here is some important information:
What: Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing on proposed zoning code text amendments
Where: 245 DeKoven Drive, Council Chambers (in City Hall)
When: February 27th at 7 p.m.
If you plan on testifying: try to arrive before 7 p.m., and bring at least one printed copy of your testimony. You will only be given a couple minutes to deliver it, so make it concise.
For extensive reporting on all things Washington Street Development, check out the links after the jump (provided by the WSA).
Despite all the brouhaha over the potential Wesleyan bookstore relocation—including dissenting voices from Middletown resident Jen Alexander ’88 and Red & Black owner Ed Thorndike ’89—Mayor Dan Drew remains committed to supporting the development on economic grounds. In a press conference on Wednesday, Drew praised developer Bob Landino’s proposal as a potential job-creator in Middletown. As Middletown Patch reports:
“This will bring a $6 million influx of funds into the Middletown economy,” said Mayor Dan Drew. “It will create 30 full-time jobs in the development complex.”
Joining Drew at a press conference in council chamber of city hall were Robert A. Landino, president and CEO of Centerplan Construction; Gerry Daley, longtime chair of the Economic Development Commission; and Larry McHugh, president of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.
Drew also compared the model to William and Mary College (though this slab of Washington Street is at least a few blocks from Middletown’s “historic downtown”) and praised Landino’s connections to the Middletown community (read: he’s not from “New York or Boston or Chicago”):
To all those who are interested in learning about Middletown and the town-university relationship, a message from Michael Linden ’15:
Middletown Mayor Dan Drew will be coming to WesFest tomorrow, Friday April 13th, to talk about the Wesleyan-Middletown relationship and how Wesleyan students can become involved in both the town and university communities during their time here.
Come many and come with questions, this is a great opportunity to meet Middletown leadership!
- What: Mayor Drew is coming
- Where: Usdan 108
- When: Friday, April 13, 4:30 – 5:30PM
- Who’s invited: all members of the Wesleyan community (past, current and future!)
Dan Drew, Mayor-elect.
Not three weeks ago, BZOD and I were frantically recording the tempestuous (…ok, more like placid) Mayoral Debate, wondering who, who might become the next mayor of Middletown?
Finally, the wait is over. Dan Drew, Democrat, proprietor of a hairdo that is one white lightning-bolt away from the bride of Frankenstein, and current Middletown City Councilman, is your new mayor. With 4,951 votes to Giuliano’s 4,310 (and Bourne’s 172)–according to unofficial counts–Dan has reason for celebration… though not for long.
His competitors, while wishing him luck, have more or less promised a sequel, with Giulano stating “at another day and another time, we will have our chance” and Bourne going full-Terminator with her “I will be back.”
[Thanks to The Middletown Press for their quick reporting]
Though notably absent from the Middletown Mayoral Debate at Wesleyan, Christine Berry Bourne, city treasurer of Middletown, remains in the race as an independent candidate for mayor of Middletown. Bourne has much connection to Wes—including the fact that she is married to an alum (Bourne ’80) and lives well within walking distance of campus. Much attention in these final weeks has been centered on party candidates Sebastian N. Giuliano (R) and Dan Drew (D), but here’s a statement from Bourne, as submitted:
My name is Christine Berry Bourne and I am running for the office of Mayor of Middletown as an independent candidate in the upcoming municipal election. I am encouraged by the interest that the Wesleyan student body has shown in this year’s election by your registering to vote, your attendance at candidate debates, your assistance to local town committees and your participation in voter registration drives on the Wesleyan campus. I commend you for those activities and other examples of your involvement in the Middletown community and I ask you all for your consideration and vote on Election Day (November 8).
I have lived in Middletown most of my life and thus have developed strong ties to this great community. I have been married to Robert Bourne (Wesleyan Class of 1980) for over twenty-one years and we have three children – two of whom are currently in college and one in the 8th grade. I have worked tirelessly as a community leader and have served, among others, as the president of a labor union local (AFSCME Council 4 Local 466); as a vice-president of AFSCME Council 4; as a vice-president of a non-profit organization that serves the developmentally disadvantage; as a religious education teacher; as a youth basketball and cheerleading coordinator; as a president and secretary of various schools’ PTO; as a co-chairman of the Middletown Mayor’s annual charity ball; and as a member of the city’s Charter Revision Commission. I hold deeply the notion that for one wanting to lead one must first serve.
So it continues, two days after Mayor Giuliano vows to cease all active campaigning until power is restored. (Not so, says Wes students who spotted the mayor handing out fliers in Usdan.) (Hold him to it, Washington Street. It’s gonna be a while.) Today, Middletown Press reveals its official endorsement: Giuliano, writes the local news source, “is a guy immersed in the nuts and bolts of building a better city and protecting its traditional assets.” Sure, he’s made mistakes—”failures in tactic, in tone and in transparency.” But at least he owns up to them:
Talking about who started it or who is most to blame would be as big a waste of time as debating the size of the new TV monitor in Giuliano’s office or how many local events his opponent has attended. We are endorsing Sebastian Giuliano for a fourth two-year term as mayor in Middletown because his knowledge of and dedication to the city is without question.
So there’s a caveat:
We endorse the re-election of Sebastian Giuliano on Nov. 8, but in doing so urge him to draw upon the “long view” of Middletown that makes him a good mayor.
Not pictured: candidates.
Hey folks! I’m sitting in Crowell right now next to wieb$ preparing to liveblog the Middletown mayoral debate. So far, the scene isn’t too exciting; we’ve got a handful of people sitting in seats or milling about, a small child who runs down the steps every few minutes, and a television reporter standing behind me trying to figure out how to plug in his microphone, to no avail. We’ll be indicating which one of us is posting by timestamps and brackets. I would explain this further, but doing so seems unnecessary.
T-minus 7 minutes to start. Keep an eye on this post – updates below the jump.
The Wesleyan Democrats want your help in supporting Democratic candidate Dan Drew for Middletown Mayor:
Looking for a way to really give back to the community that has so nicely taken all of us in during our college years? This November, Wesleyan students will have that chance at the voting booth. Middletown has seen four years of ineffective Republican leadership with Sebastian Giuliano in the Mayor’s office, and this year, the Democrats are behind city resident Dan Drew as he runs for mayor to bring in new ideas and new leadership. WesDems will be distributing and collecting voter registration forms around campus in the coming weeks, making it as easy as possible for Wesleyan students to get to the polls on November 3. The bottom line is that even in 2005, Seb was elected by only a few hundred votes, which means that we can make a difference in this race—but it won’t happen without the campus coming together to get our city’s leadership back on track. For more information: