On the evening of October 24, the Waterbury Republican-American sponsored a debate between George Craig and Elinor Carbone at the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre in Torrington. The candidates answered a wide range questions; from economic development and the problems with the city's private tax collector. George Craig told the audience why he is the best candidate for Mayor and what issues he would tackle once he became Mayor. His focus would be on bringing jobs and businesses to Torrington to stabilize the property taxes.
Here's a link to the article in the Waterbury Republican-American
George Craig sat down for an interview with Barrie Soucy of WAPJ on September 3, 2013 at WAPJ's studio located on Water Street in Torrington. George discussed his campaign and his vision for a more vibrant and prosperous Torrington. Here's a link to a recording of the interview.
George Craig won yesterday's Democratic Mayoral Primary and will face Republican Elinor Carbone in November's municipal election. Here is the link to the article in the Register Citizen.
Please contact us if you would like to help out with this November's election. There are many ways to help out, and it is a great chance to meet your fellow Democrats.
The Torrington Democratic Town Committee is seeking candidates
for this November’s municipal election. Torrington residents will be voting for the offices of Mayor, Treasurer and City Clerk as well as for members of the Board of Councilman, Board of Education and Board of Public Safety. Also, the positions of Constable and Selectman will be on the ballot. "We encourage anyone who is interested in being a candidate this November to contact us" says Glenn McLeod, chairman of the town committee. "You don’t have to have experience in
government to serve our city. We are looking for a diverse group of people to run as candidates. We would especially like to have candidates who would bring a different perspective to city government such as recent college graduates, working parents, business owners and new residents of Torrington." The town committee will be endorsing candidates on July 18 so interested people should contact the town committee as soon as possible.
For more information please contact Chairman Glenn McLeod at (860) 482-2267 or e-mail or Vice Chairwoman Deb Brown at (860) 496-7717 or e-mail
At its meeting on January 24, the Torrington Democratic Town Committee unanimously passed a resolution which was approved by the Democratic State Central Committee on January 16, 2013. The resolution was in response to the horrible tragedy that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14. The resolution calls on Congress to pass sensible gun legislation and also calls for enhanced mental health services to prevent another tragedy.
Hello again from Stephen Michna and Happy 2013!
I’d like to continue to talk about what is happening on our Economic Development Commission. Last time, I touched on the website project the Commission is working on as well as my idea of analyzing the actual reasons (based on fact) as to why some businesses have chosen not to come to Torrington. By looking at and understanding those reasons, we can then work towards a solution.
I have heard that people believe businesses will not come to Torrington because the population numbers are too small, or that there isn’t enough money in the area to support certain businesses. I’ve been guilty of believing this too, so I figured I should do some research into it. This perception isn’t the reality; according to the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey, there are 188,789 people living in Litchfield County! That’s 188,789 people that could potentially come to shop or work in Torrington, all within a 20 minute drive.
According to that same Census report, the average annual household income in Torrington was $67,245 (median being $49,903) and over 20% of the population makes $100,000 and up per year. Even more impressive though is that the average annual household income in all of Litchfield County is much higher at $94,185 (median being $69,097) and over 32% of the population makes $100,000 and up per year.
Now there are certainly many people that do not make this amount (me included!), and I’m not ignoring that Torrington does in fact suffer from a high poverty level. But if a business is hesitant to expand into Torrington because they think it isn’t “big enough” or “wealthy” enough, we need to show them that isn’t the case. More businesses equal more jobs for everyone.
Economic Development Commission
I’d like to talk about what is happening on our Economic Development Commission. We’re in the process of developing a website that will be used to promote Torrington to businesses and aid in convincing them to move here. We have a municipal website, but unfortunately it is only built to display meeting minutes and agendas among other things. This particular project is very important to me because I believe for Torrington to succeed in any type of economic development we need to have an online presence. Right now, when one ‘Googles’ Torrington, the town of Torrington, Wyoming (population 6,500) comes up before any of our official city websites. A website that lists the available buildings and properties that potential businesses can move into, important information about our diverse and capable workforce and incentives that the city offers for new businesses will allow us to have a site that ‘rolls out the red carpet’ for new businesses to come to Torrington rather than other neighboring cities.
Another project that I’d like to work on in the long term is a project that keeps track of businesses that were thinking about moving here but then decided to move elsewhere. Looking at these ‘almost-successes’ and analyzing them could help us see why some businesses choose other cities over Torrington. It would also help us determine what future steps we need to take to get those businesses to Torrington! A quick and short example: if companies are saying no to Torrington because “it’s too far away” or because “it only has 36,000 people” we can stop them in their tracks and highlight Routes 8, 202 and 4 and also explain that Torrington is the hub of the entire county, an area of over 100,000 people! These steps will help us promote Torrington in the future and bring companies and jobs to our great city.
--Stephen Michna, Economic Development Commission
It's been one year since I wrote my first submission to this blog regarding my time on the Torrington Board of Education. Much has happened since I was sworn in this time last year, and it has been an exciting journey for me thus far. As of late, the School Improvement Committee has furthered its discussion regarding implementing a school learning community within our high school. A recent survey of current students showed significant interest in the medical field. The administration has begun to whittle down costs to a more exact figure for implementing a yearlong certified nursing assistant program. The latest numbers to come in show an estimate of approximately $1700 per pupil. This number is partially derived from taking the initial high cost of purchasing durable goods the first year and dividing it over an 8 year span. To me, this is money well spent. My wife became a CNA directly out of high school and was able to secure employment with a decent wage and benefits immediately. While working, she continued her education to become a registered nurse and is now pursuing a Master's Degree as an APRN. Her CNA certificate was the doorway to a rewarding career as a nurse. If our district can provide that same doorway for our students, then I feel that we would be heading in the right direction.
This past week, we heard from many instructors in the online learning program at the high school. It's heartening to see how passionate and dedicated these educators are. We also heard a personal story from an articulate honors student who was incredibly grateful for the opportunity the online program provides. She explained that a medical issue caused her to miss a portion of her ninth grade year. Without credit recovery through the online learning program, she stated that she would not have been able to graduate with her class. She shared her report card with all those in attendance, and we were able to see the remarkable grades this student received both online and in the classroom. She explained that the online program challenges her just as much as the traditional setting. As a current student at the University of Hartford taking online courses, I agree with her 100%. Yes, the setting, discipline, and structure are different, but it does not mean a diminished value by any means. I am a strong advocate for online learning, but it's important to note that online learning is not for every student. If that were the case, we could just simply sit every pupil in front of a computer screen all day. Rather, for some, it is an alternative; or better yet, a welcomed addition to the traditional setting. Without embracing this new approach, our district could be left behind as more and more high schools and colleges are adopting this standard.
--Vincent Merola, Board of Ed
Last night Torrington's Warner Theater was host to the first debate between 5th Congressional candidates Elizabeth Esty and Andrew Roraback. Mrs. Esty handily won the debate demonstrating her command of the issues and articulating a positive message for the middle class. While Senator Roraback spent much of his time engaging in personal attacks on her, Mrs. Esty on the other hand reiterated her support of Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act. To check out a video of the debate please follow this link
Uninformed, evasive and programmed are among the words to describe Linda McMahon's awful performance in today's first debate. Chris Murphy was articulate, thoughtful and thoroughly knowledgeable on the issues. You can expect to see a desperate McMahon pour even more millions into her vacuous campaign and make even more false and misleading allegations against Chris and his family before Election Day. Need more convincing? Check out the video of the debate
Moving Torrington Forward