As most people know, the Chamber of Commerce has now hired former-governor and ex-con John Rowland at a salary of $95k/year--money that will have to be taken away from something else, since the job was created just for Rowland. Rowland's job will be to market and sell Waterbury to prospective businesses, to try to convince those businesses to move to Waterbury.
An article by Steve Gambini in today's paper describes a 2005 situation assessment of the city by Baltimore consultants McDearman Associates. The report, according to Gambini, states that most potential new businesses will disqualify a move to Waterbury in part because of the city's poor image--one of Waterbury's greatest weaknesses was cited as "political corruption."
In other words, someone who is known throughout the state for being a corrupt politician is getting paid $95k (in a job that looks a lot like a kickback to outside observers) to convince potential new businesses that there's no political corruption in Waterbury.
I'm torn between laughing at the absurdity or crying over the blow to the city's image. I had been so proud of the work I had done to help get Ken Burns to promote a positive image of Waterbury to the nation, and now we're right back where we were four years ago. I had actually dared to hope that Waterbury's political corruption was in the past, but Jarjura and the Chamber of Commerce have brought it back to life. Image is everything, and our image is corrupt.