Saturday, January 26, 2008


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.


WooooSaaaaaaaa said...

Outsider’s perception is very important to the battle we face in Waterbury but as far as the business community in concerned they love the fact that John is back in Waterbury. First of all, John didn't commit murder and he paid his debt to society. For the people who want to prosecute John for his past makes me laugh. Have you ever done anything that you regret and asked for forgiveness? Did you ever need a second shot? If Waterbury did not give Mr. Rowland a second chance then who else would?

I understand both sides of this debate and realize that this rocked the boat but before you bury the former Governor give him a chance to redeem himself and judge him on what he does in the future. As far as development in Waterbury, I believe we will be in a much better place 5 years for now and there is nothing better then proving the doubter's wrong.

Have you ever been to Providence, RI? Are you familiar with former Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci? Historically the pubic tends to forgive and forget if a person performs and this will be the case sooner then later. This will turn out to be the smartest move Waterbury has made in 20 years.

Waterbury Girl said...

If a teacher were convicted of having sex with his students, would anyone ever consider it appropriate to let him teach again? If someone who worked in a jewelry store was convicted of stealing diamonds from that store, would that person ever be trusted in a jewelry store again?

Today's paper reports that Clinton canceled a campaign rally in Waterbury after Rowland's new job was announced. Whether you support Clinton or not, having the rally here would have been good for Waterbury. Rowland, apparently, has cost us that opportunity.

If the many people who have been working on the city's economic development up to this point are so bad at their jobs that the city has to requisition nearly $100,000 to hire someone who is good at the job, wouldn't it be better to get rid of the incompetents and conduct a proper hiring process to replace them? I'm not saying that they are bad at their jobs, but that certainly is the impression given by the Rowland situation.

Blog People of the World said...

It is a matter of standards really, the city known for decades as completely corrupt has hired a former convict to represent it. If these are the standard of the city, why do business there?