There are deep political divisions within our country and our city concerning a multitude of issues. People talk at one another and not with one another. Social media is a playground of insults, accusations and innuendo. Alas, no one is listening.
Therefore, Boardman brought together under one roof all of Bristol’s elected officials at the state and municipal level to start the process of listening.
The meeting was held as a light rain fell on a Saturday afternoon at Parkside Café after hours. The waiter, food and a round table made it a luncheon.
A buzzer, like is used at the debates, was included so answers would not run long.
Below is a transcript of the conversation.
Henri Martin State Senator (R-31)
Whit Betts State Rep. (R-78)
Cara Pavalock-D’Amato State Rep. (R-77)
Chris Ziogas State Rep. (D-79)
City Council and Mayor’s Office
Ellen Zoppo-Sassu (D) Mayor
Greg Hahn (D) District One
Joshua Medeiros (D) District One
Peter Kelley with an e (D) District Two
David Preleski (D) District Two
Mary Fortier (D) District Three
Dave Mills (R) District Three
Town Committee Representatives
Jeff Caggiano (R) Chairman Republican Town Committee
Deane Kilbourne (D) Chairman Democratic Town Committee
Egor (?) spokesperson for the former mayor and a political operative
Senator Martin let’s start with you. You have served in Hartford for four years, and have not brought any money back to Bristol. So-
My bid is $550 Alan.
No, wait. This is not the Price is Right.
SENATOR MARTIN ABRUPTLY EXITS
Jeff, what was that about?
Hey, you got to go, you got to go. Or, he thinks he overbid.
Greg Hahn. Why do you think there is such political discord not only in Bristol, but the country as well?
Greg Hahn (pushes back his chair, stands and casually begins to walk around the table with a hand in his pocket):
Ya know. In the beginning there was nothing. But then man discovered fire and then Netflix.
Ah Cara. Glad you are here. You have a ninety-three percent approval rating from the NRA. So, we know where you stand on the second amendment, but where are you on any of the other amendments such as-
Hang on I have to take this. It could be Tony (her husband). Hello?
Jeff what do you make of this?
Jeff Caggiano (putting his phone away):
Hey if you get a call you get a call.
Mary Fortier. You are Bristol’s first female acting mayor, and your tenure in this post was recently extended. Has this duty placed an additional burden on you?
Ya know Alan I am glad you asked me this question, but first I would like to remind everyone that you can pay your water bill online. It is so easy that even-
Sorry Mary you are out of time.
Why does this always happen to me?
Egor. Unlike the previous administration where city council meetings were full of anger and chaos, current council meetings have no drama. Why is that?
Rrr. Her (motioning to Ellen) be a queen tell what to do.
Alan if I may. I have written a 32-page report, properly annotated with a vocab page too, outlining how I am not a queen as defined by Webster’s Dictionary Eleventh Edition. The report also has my inaugural address in case you have not read it, and an essay I wrote when I was six about the structure of municipal government. Take one and pass the rest down please.
Mr. Mills. A voice of reason here. Any thoughts?
Grab, grab, grab. What we need is a seal here and a seal here, and we can run this play in the alley.
As you know he was a football coach so sometimes he uses his inner Vince Lombardi to convey a thought. Translation, let’s get something done together.
My vote is yay and I have an announcement. The Youth Kids Club has created a club within in its club geared towards kids and they meet-
This is not a city council meeting.
I am so sorry. I am just so use to voting yay and making announcements because it’s all I do and-
Has anyone scene Councilman Peter Kelley with an e? Dean Kilbourne, where is he?
DEAN KILBOURNE shrugs his shoulders
Alan, if I may. That is called the Waterbury fade.
The Waterbury what?
He left after Mary ran out of time…again. Consequently, I wrote a 32-page report, properly sourced with a bibliography and a copy of my inaugural and the Virginia Declaration of Rights, for good measure. Take one and pass the rest down please.
Oh, hey look everyone, 2017 Write-in candidate Rick Kriscenski is here, thank you for joining us today.
I see you are wearing your Humpty Dumpty was Pushed t-shirt. Do you have anything you care to offer?
REMAINING ATTENDEES GET UP AND LEAVE IN UNISON
Alan, if I may. Do you know why they left?
No but I suppose you are going to tell me that you wrote a thirty something page white paper with a syllabus and study materials.
Ellen (eye roll):
Thank God. Hey let’s go get an Iced Coffee.
I don’t drink Iced Coffee; you know this.
Oh that’s right I forgot.
I figured you would so I wrote a 32-page report about it with a…