It’s yet to be seen what the actual “change” will be, but with 24 hours in the books, the new mayor, Manny Santos, has certainly brought change.
Last night’s swearing in and council meeting was one for the ages. Last year, I saw a fight in City Hall during a council meeting and long-term, that may take a back seat to what transpired last night.
You can watch the video above and check out the Record-Journal YouTube page for more video of the meeting, but it was clear everything was different.
Santos, for one, is dealing with a learning curve, but that is to be expected. There were plenty of long pauses of silence and people speaking out of order. That can be worked out.
But the nature of the meeting was something unlike Meriden has seen in a long time. I heard the name Abe Grossman about a dozen times. I heard the words “circus” and “chaos.” Then again, I also heard plenty of support for Manny and the Republican-WTP caucus.
So maybe there will be some chaos going forward. Then again, who knows? The first meeting came with a lot of pettiness and 12 people looking to appoint themselves to various roles. You might get some egos and arguments.
That’s over with though. Unless the mayor tries to fight back, of course, with a veto or taking the City Charter issue to court. I’m not ruling that out yet.
But there are much bigger items to deal with and it will take some working together to make it happen. Council committees will be looking into nepotism in the city, in addition to excessive use of force by the police department, neither of which are small issues.
As interesting as it would be to write about chaotic meetings and a non-functioning government, I’m not sure that’s what people want. But they do want change, I think.