An image from the state's tourism website. The tourism office has dropped the "Still Revolutionary" slogan from its Internet site, and is awaiting orders from the Capitol on a new brand to promote the $15 billion industry. Photo Credit: Provided
There was a special election in Bridgeport to fill the seat of the late state Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, center, who died in March. Photo Credit: Daily Voice file
Former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was named the 76th Stamford "Citizen of the Year." Photo Credit: Daily Voice file
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton Photo Credit: Daily Voice file

Politics Around The Towns: Stamford Citizen Of Year, Bridgeport Election, Danbury Budget Passes

Former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy isn't history -- yet.

The Democrat was honored as Stamford Citizen of the Year last week at the Crowne Plaza Stamford Hotel.

Malloy became the 76th person to be named Citizen of the Year (COTY). The former governor of Connecticut and longtime mayor of Stamford was born in the city. Malloy said he has attended many COTY dinners, but this marked the first one honoring him.

Dudley Williams, a Board of Finance member and city volunteer who won the 2018 COTY award, said Malloy led an economic comeback for Stamford during his tenure as mayor. Malloy was Stamford's mayor from 1995 to 2009, and served as the 88th governor of Connecticut, from 2011 to December 2018.

Prior to becoming Stamford's mayor, Malloy served on the city's Board of Finance from 1984 to 1994. The graduate of Boston College Law School began his legal career in New York as an assistant district attorney before moving back to his hometown.

Malloy joined J. Walter Kennedy, Julius M. Wilensky, and Thomas C. Mayers as the only Stamford mayors to win the COTY award. Sponsored by Post 142 of the Jewish War Veterans, the COTY honor is awarded annually.

Malloy is the youngest of eight children, all natives of Stamford. He has three sons: Dannel, Benjamin and Samuel. After leaving the governor’s residence,  Malloy and his wife, Cathy, moved to Essex. He commutes to Boston College Law School where he is serving a Rappaport Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law.

Want a Revolution, Drop a Revolution

The state budget isn't the only issue being debated at the state Capitol. Discussion resumes this week over the effectiveness of the state's "Still Revolutionary" slogan, adopted seven years ago when Malloy was governor.

Incoming Gov. Ned Lamont proposed dropping the dated slogan. Earlier this year, a Blue Ribbon Panel on Tourism led by House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat from Berlin, agreed: It recommended the state review its marketing strategy, branding and untimely slogan. 

Connecticut's tourism industry attracts an estimated $15 billion in annual sales. The state's tourism office has dropped the "Still Revolutionary" motto from its website, accessible by clicking here, but the agency says it has not entirely removed the brand. Here's one lingering vestige of the past.

The slogan and other tourism industry concerns were discussed on Wednesday, May 9 during an event at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

House Special Election In Bridgeport

Antonio Felipe, 23, won a special election by 123 votes on Tuesday to replace state Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, who died in March at the age of 45. The 130th House district includes Bridgeport's South and West ends and downtown.

Felipe beat four challengers to win. Finishing second was former school board member Kate Rivera, 41, who was endorsed by state Sen. Marilyn Moore, a Bridgeport Democrat. Moore is challenging Mayor Joe Ganim this year.

Rivera beat Felipe on the voting machines, 290 to 240, but Felipe won based on an unofficial count of mail-in ballots, 226 to 53.

Rivera issued a statement early Wednesday, May 8  in which she accused Felipe of stealing the election "through massive absentee ballot abuse."

Danbury Adopts Budget

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton called it a "good night" on Tuesday, May 7 after the City Council adopted his annual budget with no tax rate increase. Boughton also proposed cutting water rates for the first time in decades.

Chris Setaro, a Democrat challenging Boughton for mayor this year, said, "The city’s budget has ballooned more than $100 million in the last 18 years -- an increase of more than 70 percent."

Setaro said that although the latest budget doesn’t increase the mill rate, it increases spending by more than $4.5 million."

He said more taxpayer money should be spent on schools, improving roads or hiring more police officers. "For the last three years, the city spent less per student than anyone else in the state, 169 out of 169, and our students are suffering," Setaro said.

Lemon Law Rebates Growing 

Connecticut's Lemon Law Program is credited with returning more than $2.6 million in refunds or trades last year for purchases and leases of troublesome new vehicles. That's up more than $300,000, from 2017. The state agency handled 81 Lemon Law complaints in 2018, compared with 64 in 2017.

All Connecticut car dealers are required to post lemon law information in their service departments and give buyers purchase details about it at the time of sale or lease of a new car, truck or motorcycle.

This is new DV Plus column: Please email government or political news from your town, preferably with a local photo, to jcraig@dailyvoice.com