City Notes
Girl Scout Day proclaimed in West Haven

Girl Scout Day proclaimed in West Haven

WEST HAVEN, March 15, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, second from back left, and Councilwoman Bridgette J. Hoskie, D-1, back right, recognize Girl Scouts of the West Haven Service Unit, coordinated by troop leader Laura Feist-Roche, back left, and unit leader Mary Hickman, on Monday night at City Hall.

During the ceremony, Rossi, a former Girl Scout and troop leader, read aloud a mayoral proclamation declaring Girl Scout Day in the city.

The observance marked the 106th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a national organization founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga.

(City Photo/Kristen Teshoney)

Rossi cites O’Brien as Elks Irishman of the Year

Rossi cites O’Brien as Elks Irishman of the Year

WEST HAVEN, March 15, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi presents a citation to former Mayor Ed O’Brien recognizing his selection as the West Haven Elks Lodge’s Irishman of the Year during a ceremony Saturday night at Lodge 1537, 265 Main St.

O’Brien was honored for his support of and contributions to the local fraternal organization during the past year.

(West Haven Elks Photo/Paul J. Rapanault)

Coleman W. Walsh Jr. named West Haven’s Irishman of the Year

West Haven Irishman of the Year Coleman William Walsh Jr. A second-generation Irish-American, Walsh will receive the “Irish Person of the Year” honor at noon Friday on the Campbell Avenue side of City Hall. (Contributed Photo)

Coleman W. Walsh Jr. named city’s Irishman of the Year

WEST HAVEN, March 15, 2018 — Coleman William Walsh Jr., a goodwill ambassador of the Irish-American community who has dedicated his lifework to carrying on the spirited traditions of Ireland, will receive West Haven’s Irishman of the Year award at noon Friday at the city’s 27th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

The West Haven St. Patrick’s Day Committee will fete Walsh, a second-generation Irish-American, by hanging a green street sign designating City Hall’s Campbell Avenue entrance “Coleman W. Walsh Jr. Square” for a year.

Last year’s recipient, Kelly Canning Ruickoldt, will take home her sign at the start of the ceremony.

The “Irish Person of the Year” honor is bestowed annually on an Irish resident, or couple, who personifies service in the city’s robust Irish-American community.

“I would like to thank the city of West Haven and the committee for this wonderful honor,” said Walsh, grand marshal of the 2005 Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade, who will toast his Irish lineage with scores of his closest friends and relatives, along with an array of shamrock-clad dignitaries and descendants of folks from the Emerald Isle.

“I look forward to the opportunity to make West Haven proud of their choice, and I am excited to be in the company of such fine Irish-Americans who have been given this honor before me,” he said.

Accompanied by Celtic music played by bagpipers and drummers, members of the West Haven Police Color Guard will escort Walsh to the Campbell Avenue side of City Hall for his special recognition.

A corned beef and cabbage lunch will follow in the First Congregational Church of West Haven’s Fellowship Hall, at 1 Church St. opposite City Hall on the Green.

The St. Patrick’s Day Committee, led by Chairwoman Beth A. Sabo, the city’s commissioner of human resources, includes the lifeblood of West Haven’s Irish-American society, such as members of the Irish-American Club and former honorees, as well as former and current city, fire and police officials.

“It is my great pleasure to celebrate one of the many cultures that makes West Haven the diverse city I love,” Mayor Nancy R. Rossi said.

Walsh, 62, executive chairman of the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, hails from an ancestry whose legacy is stitched into the tapestry of the American fabric.

From celestial green shores, millions of fearless Irish sons and daughters set out across the Atlantic Ocean seeking a brighter day in the United States. Alongside a melting pot of other immigrants, the Irish people helped build strong communities like West Haven and forge America’s future.

In 1890, Walsh’s grandfather, William Joseph Walsh, left his home in Lisdowney, County Kilkenny, Ireland, for the promise of America, landing in Derby and settling in his wife’s birthplace of Ansonia.

His grandfather was an iron molder who later served as an Ansonia police officer, while his Irish-American grandmother, the former Mary Ann Coleman, was a homemaker who raised the couple’s three children.

Walsh’s interest in his heritage began in his youth, initially while playing football and shooting darts for the New Haven Gaelic Football & Hurling Club.

His love of Ireland blossomed into a lifelong passion for all things Irish, including a propensity for community service in Greater New Haven’s deep-rooted Irish-American community.

For the past three decades, Walsh has been a member of the parade committee and the Knights of St. Patrick in New Haven, serving as president in 1997.

He has also been a tireless member of the West Haven Irish-American Club since 1991.

Rossi praised the civic-minded Walsh, whom she called “a man of great character, integrity and wisdom,” for his devotion to the Irish-American community.

Rossi will present him with an Irish flag and a mayoral proclamation citing his commitment to “preserving and promoting the vibrant culture of Erin, exemplifying the very best of West Haven.”

Walsh, a native of Hamden who has lived in West Haven since 1990, will also receive a jacket embroidered with his new title: Irishman of the Year.

The rich customs of Ireland touch all aspects of American society, including in West Haven where they continue to prosper because of celebrations honoring St. Patrick.

The New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes & Drums will lead the opening procession, followed by remarks from master of ceremonies David Coyle.

The Rev. Mark R. Jette, pastor emeritus of St. Lawrence and St. Paul churches in West Haven who now serves Sacred Heart Church in Suffield, will offer an Irish blessing. 2013 Parade Queen Fiona Stewart, of Meriden, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Irish national anthem, “Soldier’s Song,” followed by a greeting from Rossi.

Joined by his wife of 27 years, the former Donna Hackett, Walsh will then pull off a shroud revealing the rectangular sign.

His father-in-law, William “Bill” Hackett, will also accompany him at the ceremony, along with siblings and other in-laws.

Hackett and his wife, the late Carol Little Hackett, were West Haven’s Irish Couple of the Year in 1996.

Walsh was born in New Haven in 1956 to Coleman W. Walsh Sr., a Merchant Marine veteran of World War II and an Army veteran of the Korean War who was superintendent of the powerhouse at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, and the former Jane Berry, a homemaker.

Walsh and his three brothers and sister grew up in a single-family home on Hamden’s Bliss Avenue in the predominantly Irish neighborhood of Spring Glen.

The Irish Catholic siblings lived by the same mantra that was instilled in them by their father, just as his father had instilled in him: “Live each day to the fullest, and take nothing for granted. Always work hard and be proud of your work, no matter what the task is, because someday that hard work will pay off.”

The time-honored Walsh mantra transcends what generations of Irish endured in their journey to America, overcoming hardship and strife through the lasting values of strength and sacrifice, faith and family.

After graduating from Hamden High School in 1974, Walsh earned a degree in building construction from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

During a prolific career that has spanned 38 years working for prominent engineering firms, Walsh, a chief inspector for HAKS Engineers of New York City, has inspected the construction of many high-profile Connecticut Department of Transportation contracts involving roads, bridges and structures, including the Mianus River Bridge in Greenwich, the Stamford train station and platforms, and UConn’s Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.

Walsh and his wife live on Bellevue Avenue in West Shore. They have two children, Jane Walsh, 25, of Nashville, Tennessee, and Coleman W. Walsh III, 22, of West Haven.

Clarification issued for Tax Collector’s Demand Notice

Clarification issued for Tax Collector’s Demand Notice

WEST HAVEN, March 15, 2018 — A Tax Collector’s Demand is a delinquent notice informing a taxpayer that as of a given date, the tax office’s records indicate that past-due taxes are owed.

Interest charges on the statement are calculated through the date shown on the statement. Please note that the term “demand” is prescribed by state statute and is not meant to imply rudeness toward a taxpayer.

The 2016 grand list motor vehicle bills were mailed in June 2017 and were due in July 2017 and January 2018.

After the initial motor vehicle bills were issued, the state legislature raised the motor vehicle mill rate cap from 32 to 39 mills. As a result, an additional yellow bill was mailed in December 2017. The yellow bill was mailed with instructions to pay both the second installment of the 2016 grand list bill and the yellow bill.

For clarification, taxpayers can see their tax bills, make a payment, and print their payment history for income tax purposes at Tax Collector. Sewer bills are on the same page but under a separate heading.

Those with questions after reviewing their payment can call or visit the tax office on the first floor of City Hall, 355 Main St. The phone number is 203-937-3525; calls are returned from 4:30-5 p.m. weekdays after closing to the public.

A $5 fee has been added to all accounts reported to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Other fees that may be added include those of a collection agency, an attorney or a state marshal. Costs include a possible “boot” fee, a warrant fee or a lien fee on real estate and sewer delinquencies, as well as any other fees allowed by law.

Taxpayers can appeal property assessments

Taxpayers can appeal real estate, personal property assessments

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2018 — The Board of Assessment Appeals will hear appeals of real estate and personal property assessments on the 2017 grand list by appointment during March in the assessor’s office at City Hall.

The board will also hear appeals of motor vehicle assessments on the 2016 supplemental motor vehicle grand list that received a tax bill due Jan. 1.

Any property owner who wants to appeal an assessment must submit a written application to the board. The assessor’s office must receive the completed form to have it stamped in by 5 p.m. Feb. 20.

Applications are available in the assessor’s office on the first floor of City Hall, 355 Main St., or by calling the office at 203-937-3515.

Download a Board of Assessment Appeals Application.

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered March 21

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2018 — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from 2-6 p.m. March 21 at the Johnson Community Center, 201 Noble St.

The program is designed to help sharpen driving skills, develop strategies to adjust to age-related vision changes, develop hearing and reaction times, and learn about the effects of medication on driving performance.

Participants must complete the class to receive a certification for insurance purposes.

The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers, payable to AARP.

To register, call the senior center at 203-937-3507.

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