Press Pool Story
Democrat Bobby Berriault, has announced his candidacy for City Council in this year’s elections. “I am excited to announce that I am a candidate for the Democratic Nomination for the position of New Britain Alderman,” said Berriault.
In November, Berriault had announced the formation of an exploratory committee to seek local office, a move that allowed him to prepare a candidacy for potentially any city office. His announcement makes him a candidate for City Council, officially called the “Common Council” in New Britain.
“I am running for a position on the New Britain Common Council,” said Berriault, “because I believe we can do much better as a city then we currently are doing.”
Berriault currently represents registered Democrats in the 11th voting district, Democrats who vote at the Holmes School, on the Democratic Town Committee. He was an active organizer and leader in the campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries for President, and he worked for the election of Sec. Hillary Clinton as President in the general election. He has been a leader in organizing protests against voter suppression in the city and against plans by Mayor Erin Stewart and City Council Republicans to sell the Patton Brook Well and strip mine city watershed land.
“The Stewart administration is selling off many our water assets and wetlands such as the Patton Brook Well, Patton Brook aquifer, and watershed land in Burlington which is in large part why we have to purchase our water from the MDC now,” said Berriault, “And we’ve seen a 19.8% decrease in our grand list since 2008 with zero growth in the previous year in our city’s grand list. Now is the time to fix our schools, our tax structure, our infrastructure, our public parks, and our economy.”
Berriault’s candidacy makes him an early entry into the 2017 elections. Offices up for election this year include the office of mayor, city clerk, tax collector, Common Council and Board of Education. Most of those offices are currently held by Republicans.
The Common Council actually consists of two different types of representatives, all with the official title of Council member, five aldermen and alderwomen, are elected citywide and ten are elected by district. Each of five Council “Wards” elects two alderwomen and aldermen to represent them. Berriault says that he will honor the wishes of the Democratic Town Committee, but that his preference is to run by district. That would make him a candidate for the 4th Ward. The two 4th Ward seats are held by Republicans Robert Smedley and Don Naples.
Berriault has been pointedly critical of Republican Mayor Erin Stewart and the Republican-dominated City Council. “Mayor Stewart and the Republicans have no plan for our city. They’ve put forth no proposals to fix our failing school system. They’ve presented no real economic plan to ensure the steady and continuous economic growth of our city. For four years, the Republican leaders only reacted to crises and to the problems that we faced. We need leaders who are willing to go above and beyond and proactively work towards making our community a better place for us all.”
“I look forward to laying out my proposals in the coming weeks and months to come,” added Berriault, “because what our city needs more than anything is forward thinking progressive leaders who always put people before politics. I am excited to be hitting the pavement and knocking on thousands of doors and meeting the voters of this city in the coming weeks and months to come.”