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Ordinances Protested At Common Council Meeting

 By Irene W. Yukash

Hoards of people protested outside New Britain town hall Wednesday night around the time of the Common Council Meeting.  The ones that made it into the overly packed meeting voiced their opposing opinions to Mayor Tim O’Brien’s newly placed ordinances.

“Apparently they think another $150 punitive fine on landlords good or bad is the solution and I don’t understand,” said Nicholas Mercier, President of Citizens Property Owners Association.

The ordinance that has already passed requires landlords to pay a $150-per-unit annual fee starting next year.  According to city officials, the ordinance is to protect New Britain from blight.

“What they’re really opposed to is being told they can’t continue driving properties in the ground,” said Phil Sherwood, a spokesman for O’Brien, reported by the Connecticut Post. “Most of them could care less about the quality of life in the neighborhoods. They just want to make sure the rent check is theirs.”

If the ordinance is put into affect as planned, landlords of large apartment complexes could be paying tens of thousands more dollars per year in taxes and fines.  Many argued that the extra money would affect the wallets of not only landlords, but tenants as well.

“They’re forcing us to increase rents on tenants that really can’t afford it,” said Sam Zherka, New Britain landowner.  “By imposing these fines on us it’s going to enforce us to impose these fines on the tenants.”  He led the crowd outside with his megaphone.

“We need a new mayor, vote him out!” chanted the crowd as they waived signs and American flags.  Amongst them was New Britain tenant Yashira Santiago.  Her sign was aimed at the 911 Hot Spot Ordinance passed several months ago.  The ordinance allows excessive callers of 911 to be fined.

“This should be a service, we’re all taxpayers, we shouldn’t have to extra pay for our safety,” said Santiago. “All of these things are going to affect our rent, we need to our full show our support for everything going on,” she added.

Inside the meeting, Mercier alluded to Zherka’s fear on increasing rent on tenants.  “They can’t afford two dollars in increased rent a month, let alone fifteen,” he added.  The over packed room was filled with cheer and applause.

Mercier, along with many other participants asked O’Brien to repeal the ordinances or face difficulties in the next election. But this isn’t the first attempt to fight back, and according to several residents, it’s not the last.  As of Tuesday, several landlords took action to sue the city of New Britain.

“Work with the realtors, work with the Connecticut Property Owners Alliance to put in effective policies that will address blight and will improve quality of life in our city,” concluded Mercier.

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‘Hot Spot’ Ordinance Passed At New Britain Common Council

By Amanda Webster

In a moment of noise-clouded haste, the New Britain common council passed the “hot spot” ordinance Thursday night without any debate from the council.

A special meeting was called by Mayor Timothy O’Brien early on Thursday and he said that the council would be voting on the “hot spot” ordinance along with a new ordinance that will set a flat-rate fee of $150 that will be charged to landlords, which effectively will be passed down to tenants.

Both ordinances can have a direct impact on off-campus CCSU students.  This revised version of the “hot spot” ordinance allows the city to charge every property that receives as few as five police or fire responses in a year the city costs for the properties which receive the highest number of emergency responses, all at the discretion of the police who are called to the scene.

The majority of people at the meeting were there to oppose the flat-rate fee for landlords. Students from CCSU were there showing concern for both ordinances. Some held signs that said, “CCSU Blue Devils are not cash cows.”

The meeting was originally scheduled for Oct. 10. According to the New Britain Herald, O’Brien ordered the change in date and time and let the aldermen know Wednesday afternoon. There are no public hearings during special meetings.

The meeting room was packed with about 200 people, most of whom opposed the ordinances. Some people wielded For Sale signs signifying that if the ordinance were to pass they would consider leaving their property. Others had duct tape covering their mouths to show that the public had no say in what the city council would vote on.

Alderman Jamie Giantonio made a motion at the beginning of the meeting to suspend the normal meeting rules and allow members of the public a time slot of two minutes to speak. After some deliberation the motion was denied, prompting angry-cat calling from the room.

O’Brien had to rap his gavel several times and remind the public to quiet down. Giantonio addressed the outbursts before he began his debate on the issue.

“Comments like that do not help this cause,” said Giantonio. “There are people on this council that you will not agree with tonight and there are people on this council you will agree with. We will disagree but we will disagree respectfully.”

Giantonio was one of four aldermen who opposed the annual fee for landlords.

“This is not just something that’s going to adversely impact multiple families, but it’s going to impact everyone’s value in the city of New Britain,” Giantonio said.

“If we pass this, it may not seem like it’s an awful lot but that is going to be passed down to the tenants,” continued Giantonio. “Some of these people are just barely making it.”

According to the councilmen the landlord fee has been brought up at prior meetings and the public had their chance to add feedback.

The annual fee was passed 11 – 4, causing an uproar in the crowd. Most of the chamber emptied quickly after. During the upset with the public the council proceeded to vote on the “hot spot” ordinance. There was no debate and the ordinance was passed with the same 11 – 4 vote. Giantonio went on the record to show that he also opposed the “hot spot” ordinance.

Aldermen Pabon, Carlozzi and Centeno also voted against the ordinances.

Some CCSU students thought that it was unfair that they didn’t have the right to speak and thought the last minute meeting change was a desperate measure. They were also frustrated that most of the public didn’t seem to realize that the second ordinance was being passed.

Michelle Zohlman, a CCSU student that lives off-campus and an SGA senator, attended the meeting and said she was disappointed in the outcome.

“I did not like the way it was held and that it was a very last minute meeting, which shows how it was meant to be kind of sneaky and to get their way,” said Zohlman. “It wasn’t very democratic of them.”

SGA President Eric Bergenn was also at the meeting and was frustrated with the council and the entire process that the ordinance went through.

“It’s atrocious,” said Bergenn, addressing the last minute nature of the meeting. “It laughs in the face of democracy. They knew how we were against this. They knew it was probably the least popular thing they could do to raise that money but they’re running out of time so they tried to slip it in without anyone noticing.”

Despite the passing of both ordinances Bergenn said that he didn’t think the passing of them would hinder future students from living around campus.

Both city ordinances will go into effect immediately.

CCSU Police Officer Nabs Suspect

By Jonathan Stankiewicz

CCSU Police Officer Phillip Billings pulled over a suspect alleged to be responsible for armed robberies in Hartford and West Hartford.

Billings heard that the West Hartford Police were looking for a taxi cab that was believed to have a firearm in the vehicle. He was patrolling on campus and spotted a taxi cab, with the same cab number as the one reported, pulling into the BP gas station off campus on the corner of Manafort Drive and Stanley Street.

Seeing the Glock 9mm handgun, he called for backup.

New Britain, West Hartford and Hartford Police Departments responded, said Billings.

Hartford Police took the driver into custody and charged him with possession of a stolen firearm, said Billings. He added that there are additional charges pending. The passenger was released.

The driver of the taxi cab is from New Britain, said Billings.

Dispatchers at the campus police department are made aware of potential suspects and emergencies that could affect campus safety.

Stay tuned for a police report on the case.

U.S. House Candidate Talks Politics in New Britain Event


Chris Donovan On The Campaign Trail Photo By Nicholas Proch

By Nicholas Proch

“I’d like to turn over the floor to our next congressman, Chris Murphy.” This sentence was followed by laughter, as Donovan took the microphone. This informal camaraderie was the general feeling of the day, as it was a very small and intimate gathering of supporters.

Chris Donovan is the current Speaker of the House in the Connecticut House of Representatives. He is now running for U.S. Congress, representing Connecticut’s fifth district.

Donovan’s major talking points were about job creation in the state and his track record of doing so. “We’ve raised the minimum wage 12 times, we’ve past-paid sick leave,” he said while listing his accomplishments in the state House.

The Democrat also took the time to address Rick Perry’s recent criticism of the federal social security program. Donovan told the story of his grandfather who came to this country as an immigrant worker and lived to be 93 years old, living off of his earned social security.

Following his quick speech, Donovan took the time to meet and greet the people who took the time on a Saturday morning to come hear him speak.

Donovan also took the time after his speech to talk informally about education and the workforce; both hot plate items for the Democratic Party right now.

“Why are we laying off teachers, when we know people need jobs and we need teachers?” Donovan asked. He continued by saying, “these are not just a job, but a good job with good benefits that people feel good about.”

Supporters of Donovan included Robert ‘Bobby’ Sanchez, state representative from the 25th district. He talked about the most recent budget passed at the state level.

“The good thing about that budget was that it didn’t go into deep, deep cuts which could have affected a lot of other services and education as a whole,” Sanchez said. He then went on to talk about what he thought was possible for state education in Connecticut, a position he shares with Donovan.

“In regards to CCSU, I strongly believe that Connecticut residents here should be able to go to any [public] college in the state, free of charge,” Sanchez said. He believes this would take  a burden off of a number of students in the state.

“No one who is a Connecticut resident should have to pay for an education,” Sanchez continued. “That’s my belief and, I’ve talked to Chris [Donovan] about it, and he believes that is absolutely right.”

Donovan will continue to campaign for support throughout the state. His policies on education and more can be found on his campaign website.

Busway Project Rolls Along

The Map of The Busway

By Kassondra Granata
The New Britain-Hartford busway project has moved from the planning stage and will begin the permitting process.

CCSU held a town hall-style meeting for the busway project on Sept. 7 in Torp Theatre, where representatives from the Connecticut departments of Energy and Environment Protection (DEEP) and Transportation attended to discuss permits.

In August, U.S. Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman announced that nearly $6 million in federal funding became available for land acquisition, site work and professional services for the project.

The busway project will be a new 9.4 mile transit system developed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, linking downtown New Britain with downtown Hartford. The plan is expected to cost over $500 million and will circulate downtown providing a direct connection to major employers and destinations.

The project has been under consideration since 2003 and has experienced fluctuating public support through three governors and the better part of a decade. State Democrats have been largely supportive of the plan as a sustainable approach to public transportation, while opponents in the Republican party have criticized the project as too expensive.

Richard Bachoo, chief administrative officer at CCSU, has a hand in this project with a responsibility for facilities. Bachoo oversees the production on East Campus along with the university representative to the Department of Transportation.

“This project here is a statewide priority,” Bachoo said. “The goal is to start construction at the end of 2012, beginning of 2013; it’s 95 percent completed when it comes to being designed.”

The developers of this project hope to reduce the congestion on the I-84 corridor and bring people in the New Britain and Hartford area back and forth on a regular basis.

“The University spends well over $60,000 a year on transporting people from the Hartford area to the University,” Bachoo said. “The busway would run through part of property that CCSU owns, it’s a perfect area.”

According to the plan, distributed by Capitol Region Council of Governments, the busway would bring life to downtown New Britain and help to provide opportunities to fill housing on vacant and unused areas.

“The busway will reduce the amount of commuters driving and also will ultimately reduce pollution,” said Bachoo.

SGA President Eric Bergenn intended to speak on behalf of CCSU students at a public hearing in August, but was delayed due to the rescheduling of the planned SGA retreat. Bergenn shared his thoughts in an interview with The Recorder.

“There are many students who would take advantage of this bus system,” Bergenn said. “This is a unifier of communities.”

In April, Governor Dannel Malloy aggressively made a statement to pursue the busway project to the next step.

“The busway is ‘ready to go’ with 80 percent federal funding and a commitment from the Federal Transit Administration to sign a Full Funding Grant Agreement,” Governor Malloy said. “The proposed revitalization of the commuter rail line is in the early stages of study and planning. We are working towards a comprehensive multi-modal system that will not only move people and goods more efficiently but, more critically, foster economic growth and an improved quality of life for Connecticut residents.”

According to the Hartford Courant, the DEEP is expected to decide later this summer or in the fall whether to authorize wetlands permits for the busway.

Project Main Street: The New Britain-Hartford Busway

“Project Main Street: The New Britain-Hartford Busway” is the final project of CCSU journalism students in John Dankosky’s “Story in Sound” class.  This thirty minute program, split into three parts, includes reporting from Vanessa Johnson, Jamie Horton, Graig Hargraves, Liz Walczok, Sarah Bogues, Matthew Clyburn and Barbara Gagne.

Click to listen:

Busway Class Final Part One

Busway Class Final Part Two

Busway Class Final Part Three

New Britain Resident Gets Stay of Deportation with Support From LASO, Governor Malloy

By Kassondra Granata

New Britain resident Mariano Cardoso had been facing the threat of deportation for the better part of 2011.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security granted the 23-year-old Capital Community College student a stay of deportation, a result that likely wouldn’t have been achieved without the support Cardoso received from Governor Dannel Malloy, state senators and the local community, including the CCSU chapter of the Latin American Student Organization.

Cardoso arrived in the country from Mexico when he was 22 months old. He spent the early parts of his life growing up in Bronx, N.Y. before calling New Britain home for the last 10 years. Cardoso plans to graduate from Capital Community College in a month with a liberal arts degree and dreams of becoming a math teacher or engineer.

His troubles began in 2008 when he was picked up at his uncle’s house by immigration agents looking for another person. In February, he received a letter warning him of deportation.

Cardoso tried to fight the case alone before reaching out to the community and groups like LASO for help. Upon hearing his case, LASO knew that it was their job to help.

“This is what LASO is here for,” said Molly McLaughlin, vice president of CCSU LASO. “We support them and we’re family.”

McLaughlin said that Cardoso’s situation is the most controversial that she has seen thus far.

“It’s interesting that this is happening in our own backyard and so many people are unaware of this and the DREAM Act,” said McLaughlin. “We’re trying to bring awareness to our community.”

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act, is a bill that was first introduced in Congress in 2001 that would protect undocumented students in the U.S.

“At this time in our constitution and legislation we don’t have any rights that protect undocumented students,” said McLaughlin.

LASO has recently increased their efforts to get this bill passed ever since Cardoso has come in the picture. The group began their efforts by talking to faculty and people around campus. McLaughlin also took efforts of her own by writing a letter to congress in regards to the DREAM Act. So far, McLaughlin has collected over 200 signatures from students and faculty in support of the DREAM Act and is hoping to send it to Congress with a cover letter.

“It’s a letter to the president and Congress to pass the DREAM Act because there are so many other students going through this like Mariano,” said McLaughlin.

All the hard work eventually paid off and media exposure lead to Malloy giving his full support to Cardoso. Malloy went public on April 20 supporting Cardoso’s case in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security.

“For all intents and purposes, Mariano is American,” said Malloy in his letter. “To send him back to a country he has no recollection of and did not grow up in makes little sense, particularly as he is finishing his degree and looking to contribute to his community and this state.”

Malloy also expressed his support for the DREAM Act.

“I strongly support the efforts of Congress in considering the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors that would providence individuals like Mariano the opportunity to apply for temporary legal status and eventually permanent legal status and citizenship,” said Malloy in his letter. “Even if the DREAM Act were eventually approved, however, it would not become effective in time to assist Mariano.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal also called on officials to defer the deportation of Cardoso and to give his support for the DREAM Act. Blumenthal mentioned Cardoso in his statements and stated that he is going to find ways to assist Cardoso in his efforts.

“This decision is right for Mariano – and right for America – in light of his roots in the community and his future contributions to our society,” said Blumenthal in his statement announcing the stay that was granted. “I am thrilled with the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant Mariano Cardoso a stay of removal, renewable each year, so that he can remain in the only country he has ever known. Mariano is a promising young man with a bright future, and DHS’ swift action on this issue ensures that he will be able to continue contributing to his community.”

“I gained support that I wasn’t expecting,” Cardoso said at a panel discussing deportation held at CCSU last Wednesday. “The governor and Senator [Richard] Blumenthal spoke on my behalf and it’s an honor.”

Cardoso expressed his gratitude towards LASO and all of the support he received from students and those who have helped him try to solve this issue.

“So far I have much to learn and my goal is to meet with as many people as I can,” Cardoso said. “I know I have a lot of people to support me and with that in mind, I have something to strive with.”

At the panel the audience asked Cardoso about his experience with immigration and the threat of deportation, the response he’s received from the community and the support he has gained by addressing the public with his issue.

Vivian Nowakowski, a New Britain resident, had a similar story to share at the panel. In 2008, her husband was deported. Nowakowski explained her grief and the efforts that she made to get him back. Her husband was eventually able to return to the country.

“If anyone has a voice and they could help or know anyone else that could they must contact someone because this is a horrible, horrible thing,” said Nowakowski.

The DREAM Act was passed by the House of Representatives towards the end of 2010 with 55 yes votes and 41 no votes, but failed to reach the 60-vote threshold needed for it to pass the Senate.

Off-Campus Party Control Improved, ‘Party House’ Log May Be Published

By Sara Berry

Homeowners around CCSU told committee members at Monday’s Town and Gown meeting that the partying situation has improved around campus and the effort should continue as new students move into the area in the fall.

Jonathan Pohl, Alcohol and Other Drug Education Coordinator, said the number of parties has decreased, as have the number of students who receive multiple violations.

“Some of the students I work with are quite surprised to see that their drinking is much greater than the average student,” Pohl said.

Pohl said the Town and Gown committee has long discussed the issue of publishing a list of houses where large parties occur. The committee reached a decision that may lead to a log being placed on the police department website that would list dates, addresses and the numbers of individuals who received citations at the specific incident.

Nevertheless, New Britain Police Department Detective Michael Cumminskey said that response has been positive as of late, from both students and parents.

“We try to instill in [the students] that we’re not here to make your lives miserable,” said Cumminskey. “This past Thursday, I think every student except for one that I gave a ticket to said thank you. I’ve never been thanked so much.”

CCSU Police Sergeant Jerry Erwin said he has seen an increase in calls from parents of CCSU students.

“The parents are very thankful for being notified,” Erwin said. “Not one of them was complaining that the police were the bad guys.”

One proposal discussed to curb the partying atmosphere on and off-campus is to reach out to students before they get to CCSU.

Cumminskey said that many of the students that he encounters in party situations are from the same general area of the state, and Cumminskey and Erwin expressed an interest in speaking to high school students from towns that make up a large percentage of CCSU students.

Laura Tordenti, vice president of student affairs, noted that Assistant of Student Affairs Ramon Hernandez and the police have plans to reach out to students during orientation.

One of the key programs of the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Education is a social norms campaign targeted at students whose perception is that that majority of their peers are drinking and changing that perception.

The office recently launched the campaign slogan “Dare to be a Blue Devil,” where the positive statistics about the majority of Blue Devil behavior are emphasized, such as the fact that 80 percent of students surveyed have never gotten in trouble with university authorities, most Blue Devils don’t drink and drive and that 75 percent of Blue Devils do not have poor test scores due to alcohol.

“There’s a mindset out there [that] this is college, and for some people, that’s their view of college is drinking and partying and sex and everything that goes with it,” said Jason Powell, chief of police at CCSU.

One of the goals of the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Education is to change that mindset, according to Powell.

Committee members also discussed safety issues on Paul Manafort Drive following two accidents where pedestrians were struck by vehicles on the road bordering campus.

Committee members and members of the community addressed issues such as excessive speeding, deficient lighting and jaywalking students.

Pohl said that one danger is students who cross the streets in dark areas and outside of crosswalks. Five street lights on a stretch of Paul Manafort Drive are not working, according to Pohl, and the university has petitioned Connecticut Light and Power to fix malfunctioning street lights.

One suggestion for increasing safety on Manafort Drive is increasing the number of tickets issues to those who cross outside of crosswalks and put themselves in danger by jaywalking. Another suggestion called for speed bumps, increased signage near crosswalks and the addition of several stop signs.

“We did [ticket for jaywalking] some years back, but as soon as a few faculty members were given tickets for jaywalking, that activity pretty much stopped,” said Erwin.

“Traffic calming is basically some relatively inexpensive engineering solutions that slow down the flow of traffic,” Powell said. “For example, you might…create some bicycle lanes or some parking areas to limit the appearance…that you can go through fast. Or you might, using some graphics, make it appear as there are speed bumps there when in fact there are none. Or some islands…these things were discussed a few years ago.”

While Town and Gown may be able to voice their ideas, Powell said that decisions on how to deal with problems on Paul Manafort Drive will have to be reached in agreement with the university. Any proposals to improve safety on the state road would need to be approved in conjunction with the CCSU Master Planning Committee, facilities management, the city of New Britain and the state of Connecticut.

New Britain Landmark Serves More Than Great Hot Dogs

By Matt Clyburn

Main Street, New Britain is not the bustling byway that most Americans envision of a small New England city.

Storefronts and buildings are in disrepair and a large number of homeless people wander the streets.

Still, one tribute to a bygone era remains, reminding locals of how a great hot dog can bring the people of this fragile community together.

Capitol Lunch is a foodie landmark, one of the very few family-owned businesses deeply rooted in the community it serves. Right in the middle of Main Street, its customers are diverse and come for one thing: great food. Capitol Lunch cooks up between 700 and 1,500 hot dogs each day, served up by an assembly line of vocal cooks, clattering cutlery and the sauce that has all the locals talking.

On the days I visited, customers were parking both BMW’s and shopping carts outside.

“The price is right,” said one resident. “It draws people from all walks of life here, from the top of the socioeconomic ladder to the very bottom. Everybody likes a hot dog, it’s an American thing, like apple pie, motherhood and baseball.”

Gus Ververis, Jr. is the third generation of his family to run the hot dog joint with the famous sauce. And it’s truly a family affair – Gus’s fiancé, brother and father are all behind the counter on most days.

“Their dedication and hard work; really talking to the customers and putting out a really good product at a good price…I think just over the years kind of caught on,” Ververis said. “Their hard work paid off.”

Ververis knows that Capitol Lunch owes much of its success to the diverse and loyal customers that come to the establishment year after year.

“We have older customers that have been coming here for years, we have young and new customers that go to CCSU…[and] kids that come with grandfathers [who came] when they were kids with their grandfather,” said Ververis. “So everybody, all kinds of nationalities, they all love a hot dog.”

And the customers come from far and wide. One hometown girl and current North Carolina resident goes to the restaurant every time she comes home.

“I live in North Carolina so I don’t get to go to Capitol Lunch ever,” she said. “I come to Connecticut, I go to Capitol Lunch; last stop before I leave town.”

A sparkling reputation has even brought the Capitol Lunch name overseas – thanks to a few local fans in the military. Ververis recalls a customer that came in one day after arriving home from a business trip to Japan.

“He said he was in Tokyo at one of the local dining establishments and right on the front of the storefront there was a little piece of paper taped on to the front of the store saying ‘Capitol Lunch is number one,'” Ververis said. “One of the military guys from New Britain or this area over here decided to plant that up here and he shared that story with me, which is wild.”

Capitol Lunch might be an abandoned building anywhere else, but here in New Britain, a community keeps coming back to Main Street for the family-run melting pot that transports them to a time long since past.

“What can I say, we’ve been here 82 years, I hope to be here another 82 years,” Ververis said.

And the delicious hot dogs certainly don’t hurt.

Malloy Addresses Budget Concerns at New Britain Town Hall

By Matt Clyburn

Governor Dannel Malloy made an appearance in New Britain last Tuesday for the fifteenth of 17 town hall-style meetings with the public.

Malloy hoped to gather views and opinions from the public that might improve his plan that calls for $1.5 billion in tax increases, but said that none were innovative enough to solve the projected deficit of more than $3 billion.

“I [have] yet to find somebody who says, you know, that they actually have a way better,” Malloy said.

The governor spent some time at the beginning of the town hall describing features of the budget plan.

“No borrowing of money to cover operating expenses, it’s not good policy, in fact it’s horrendous policy,” Malloy said after acknowledging the unbalanced budget former Governor Jodi Rell gave to his administration in February.

“These types of forums are the heart and soul of American democracy,” New Britain Mayor Tim Stewart said in his introduction of the governor. “I think the governor deserves recognition for taking his message directly to the people.”

Stewart recently lost an election to CCSU alumna Theresa Gerratana in a bid to represent New Britain, Berlin and parts of Farmington in the State Senate. The unsuccessful run came to a close less than a week after Malloy’s budget announcement.

Stewart now faces his own budget shortfalls as the Hardware City’s mayor, though Malloy said last week that he will not pass the state’s financial difficulties on to municipalities.

“We also refuse to balance our budget on the backs of New Britain or other communities by passing cuts in the state expenditure,” Malloy said.

Malloy compared the state to the deep cuts taking place in New York and New Jersey, saying that Connecticut is already too dependent on high property taxes.

“How would our balancing the budget [by raising property taxes] help this community, or for that matter any community in Connecticut?” Malloy said. “We are more dependent on property taxes than any other state in the nation.”

Malloy faced a skeptical audience in New Britain that challenged the governor on issues ranging from government policy to health care.

“I think that you have put a lot of creative thinking in the decisions you’re making related to the budget, but I don’t think that there has been a lot of critical thinking,” one resident said.

Another resident and state employee expressed concerns about the ability to pay in the face or tax increases and concessions.

“I actually believe this is the right framework,” Malloy said. “I know how difficult it is for you and your child in college…I know how difficult it is for me to face people like you.”

Malloy said that there will not be a ‘one size fits all’ budget solution.

“What I think we’re trying to do is find the right way, but if you have a specific cut you want me to be aware…we’ll be happy to take a look at it,” Malloy said.  “I don’t think there’s a perfect way to do it.”

“This is the package. The rudiments are there. We just have to find our way as a state to get there,” Malloy said. “If we do, then ultimately we’ll begin the process of building confidence in our state for the first time in many years.”