It was just another week in Meriden politics, I suppose. When people say ‘this city will never change,’ you just point them to the elected officials. Because things are changing.
Not just in the makeup of the mayor and council, but also the way politicians operate. It wasn’t long ago that most of the council just got along. Things were passed. Oftentimes without discussion.
That can be a good thing or it could be a scary thing.
I’m not sure how I’d explain the current political situation in Meriden to an outsider, but I don’t think it’s a situation most Meridenites would be proud of. And I don’t think it’s a situation that people look at Meriden and express confidence in.
The mayor, Manny Santos, is doing what he thinks is right by “telling it like it is.” Telling it like it is apparently saying that the parks in the city are not maintained very well. He says the city is not business friendly. And he tells a city councilor that “You should find someone to start changing your diaper.”
That same councilor, Brian Daniels, had concerns about the way Santos was talking about the city. He called the mayor uninformed, inaccurate, negative….so on.
This is all through email by the way. It wasn’t for show. I mean, initially it wasn’t. But it was forwarded to the Record-Journal pretty quickly thereafter. Coincidence? Not sure. But I do feel the residents of the city deserve to see groups of elected officials looking like, well, babies.
Then you’ve got Lenny Rich. Lenny spoke about Meriden headed toward the likes of Detroit at a recent meeting. He didn’t say it in a positive way, of course, and insinuated that there may be a problem with Detroit being 90% black. He certainly had a problem with its economy and cited the percentage and the percentage of students not graduating as points while talking about problems in the Motor City. Maybe he should talk to his son-in-law about the graduation rates in Meriden…
This isn’t the first time Rich said or did something that caused an issue. It likely will not be the last. People don’t always like polished politicians, but I’m not sure how many like Lenny’s comments either. While there weer some people defending his Detroit comments on Facebook, I didn’t find many excited about that 90% black statistic. Some said he is racist, some said he didn’t. I’ll let you decide what the comment meant.
The headline says it all” Mayor Santos has gone too far.
I’m not on the editorial board. I have no say what goes into that. We all know Santos has the right to say what he chooses. He can bash the city, he can say the city is wonderful. Whatever. But once you sit in that mayor’s seat or City councilor’s seat, everything you say is under a microscope. Both of those stories were picked up by a statewide media outlet. So now not only are local readers watching, but they have the attention of more people now. Maybe that was a goal, maybe it wasn’t. But now that they have the attention, it is important to choose words even more carefully.