City Notes
Rossi sets second town hall meeting for Thursday

Rossi sets second town hall meeting for Thursday

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2019 — Following the success of last week’s town hall meeting at City Hall, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and her staff are inviting residents to participate in a second town hall meeting Thursday in Allingtown.

The community event is aimed at bringing residents closer to elected officials and promoting transparency between City Hall and constituents, organizers said.

The meeting, sponsored by the mayor’s office, is set for 6-7 p.m. in the Carrigan Intermediate School auditorium, 2 Tetlow St.

Organizers said people can ask Rossi questions as she engages with them on a variety of topics affecting West Haven. Although she will entertain questions about the city as a whole, Rossi plans to focus on the concerns of Allingtown residents.

All members of the community are encouraged to attend and bring questions. The moderator is Allingtown resident Christopher Suggs.

Questions are limited to two, and attendees are asked to keep each one under two minutes so all voices can be heard. In addition, one follow-up question is allowed after each initial question.

Opportunities for participants to submit questions or comments in writing as an alternative to speaking will also be available, organizers said.

For more information, call the mayor’s office at 203-937-3510.


About 175 participants charge in and out of the 35-degree water of Long Island Sound during the 19th annual Icy Plunge for the Cure on Saturday morning at Savin Rock Beach. The breast cancer benefit celebrated the 20th anniversary of the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program. Among those plunging for the cause were former Mayors Edward M. O’Brien, John M. Picard and H. Richard Borer Jr. (City Photo/Patricia C. Horvath)

175 ‘plungers’ brave icy Sound to aid breast cancer fight

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2019 — A colorful array of people plunged into the icy Long Island Sound on Saturday morning to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program.

About 175 participants of all ages, many of them sporting anything and everything pink, charged in and out of the 35-degree water at Savin Rock Beach during the 19th annual Icy Plunge for the Cure, a benefit for breast cancer.

Among the brave souls were Mayor Nancy R. Rossi’s predecessors from the past two decades, former Mayors Edward M. O’Brien, John M. Picard and H. Richard Borer Jr., who dashed into the frigid surf for the worthy cause.

As pledges continue to roll in, the plunge, presented by the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Committee, has raised more than $800,000 for breast cancer research and education, including $33,000 and counting for this year, buoyed by top individual fundraiser Anthony Cordone’s $7,000 and $2,100 collected by the West Haven High School boys hockey team, the top group fundraiser. The team raised the money in honor of two hockey moms who are breast cancer survivors.

Ruby Melton and Gail McAvay, the top fundraisers for non-plungers, raised $10,000 in honor of breast cancer survivors Susan Rodriguez and Lynne Cohen.

Cordone, a local contractor who is the committee’s newest member, has raised about $200,000 for the cause since the inaugural plunge on Jan. 13, 2001, said city Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, a founding committee member.

Joining Sabo on the committee are founders Maureen Blake, Jennifer Cavallaro, Kathy Lucibello, Ronald M. Quagliani, Susan See, Colleen Smullen and Lorie Tamaro.

Proceeds from the plunge have previously gone to the Smilow Breast Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Looking Forward, an education and wellness program for cancer patients at Smilow.

After the event, as plungers thawed out inside the Savin Rock Conference Center, Rossi and the ex-mayors recognized the platinum anniversary of the Breast Cancer Awareness Program, taking turns showering committee members with words of praise and inspiration.

Rossi thanked and commended “the champions of our breast cancer awareness crusade” and presented the committee with a citation for “serving a cause greater than yourself.”

Reading the citation, she said: “Each of you has worked tirelessly to encourage and support breast cancer awareness and has given hope and help to countless individuals and families who have been affected by breast cancer. Your legacy of excellence and selflessness will live on in West Haven!”

The frosty dip was spearheaded by city and police officials under Borer’s administration to increase breast cancer awareness. Their initial meeting, on Sept. 28, 2000, led to the creation of the Breast Cancer Awareness Committee and a series of fundraisers, including the plunge, in support of breast cancer research and education.

The benefits, which included a duckpin bowling tournament, bake sale, pizza taste-off, walkathon and candlelight vigil, were held in memory of Susan A. Ruickoldt, a third-grade Savin Rock Community School teacher who died of breast cancer in 1997. Her sons, Douglas J. Ruickoldt and Councilman Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, D-2, attended this year’s plunge.

In 2003, the committee established the Susan A. Ruickoldt Scholarship Fund, which awards $2,000 to a female high school senior from West Haven who plans to continue her education.

Today, the scholarship fund and plunge are the committee’s remaining initiatives, Sabo said.

The plunge is a celebration of survivors and a remembrance of loved ones who have died of the disease, she said.

Former mayors

From left, former Mayor H. Richard Borer Jr., Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, Breast Cancer Awareness Committee member Beth A. Sabo and former Mayor John M. Picard are all smiles after the plunge in the Savin Rock Conference Center. (City Photo/Patricia C. Horvath)

Mayor Rossi

Mayor Rossi recognizes the 20th anniversary of the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program by thanking and commending committee members and presenting them with a citation for “serving a cause greater than yourself.” (City Photo/Patricia C. Horvath)

Committee members

From left, West Haven High School girls volleyball coach Kate Coldren, Mayor Rossi, and committee members Beth A. Sabo and Susan See get ready for the post-plunge raffle. (City Photo/Patricia C. Horvath)

Bill Slater Retirement Flyer
Community House cited for supporting parent support groups

WHCH cited for supporting parent support groups

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2019 — West Haven Community House Executive Director Patricia W. Stevens, center, receives a wooden “Community Service Award” plaque Monday at the Community House from Robert S. Morton, director of the West Haven Interagency Network for Children, and Viola Waldo, co-chair of WHINC’s Parent Support Group for special needs children.

Stevens was nominated for her continued support of WHINC’s Spanish Parent Support Group and Children with Special Needs Program.

“Her generosity has provided space for both of our support groups and a safe and secure space for child care for parents who attend our meetings,” said Morton, who is also the director of West Haven Youth and Family Services. “Ms. Stevens has also allowed us to use the Community House facilities for our holiday fiesta party, valentine dance and WHINC’s open house and resource fair.”

(Contributed Photo/Kathy Hart-Jones)

Elderly, disabled homeowners offered tax relief in West Haven

Elderly, disabled homeowners offered tax relief in West Haven

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2019 — Assessor Ann Marie Gradoia is accepting applications for tax relief programs for elderly and disabled homeowners.

Residents can apply for the programs, based on their 2018 incomes, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, Feb. 15-May 15, in the assessor’s office on the first floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

The state elderly and disabled homeowners program offers tax reduction benefits depending on income and marital status. To qualify, the applicant or spouse must be 65 or older by Dec. 31, 2018, or permanently and totally disabled as defined by Social Security.

Income limits, including Social Security, are $43,900 for a married couple and $36,000 for a single person.

To qualify for the West Haven senior tax freeze program, the applicant must be 70 by the end of 2018 and have lived in the city for at least 20 consecutive years.

Income limits, excluding Social Security, are $50,000 for a married couple and $35,000 for a single person. Those eligible for the program must reapply each year.

The assessor’s office is also accepting applications until Oct. 1 for additional veterans exemptions. The maximum income is $43,900 for a married applicant and $36,000 for a single applicant.

Taxpayers can appeal property assessments

Taxpayers can appeal property assessments in West Haven

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2019 — The Board of Assessment Appeals will hear appeals of real estate and personal property assessments on the 2018 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 2017 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.

Download an Application.

Applications are also 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.

Mayor Rossi

City adopts resolution to help furloughed federal workers

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 29, 2019 — The City Council on Jan. 28 adopted a resolution instituting a tax deferment program to help ease the financial burden for West Haven federal employees who were furloughed by the 35-day government shutdown.

Initiated by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, the resolution, “Furloughed Employee Tax Deferment,” instructs the tax office to establish a program deferring real estate and motor vehicle taxes for affected federal employees consistent with the West Haven Charter and Connecticut Special Act 19-1 under House Bill 5765.

According to the state statute, enacted by the General Assembly on Jan. 22, an affected employee is defined as “a federal employee who, during the shutdown, is (A) a resident of this state, and (B) required to work as a federal employee without pay or furloughed as a federal employee without pay.”

Rossi said the tax deferment program will give federal employees immediate relief by allowing them to postpone paying their taxes.

The resolution was adopted 8-0, with five council members absent for the vote.

Voting “yes” were Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, D-2; Aaron Charney, D-3; Majority Leader Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5; Peter V. Massaro, D-6; Portia Bias, D-7; Tracy A. Morrissey, D-8; Louise Martone, D-10; and Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large.

Absent were Bridgette J. Hoskie, D-1; Mitchell L. Gallignano, D-4; Sean P. Ronan, D-9; Chairman Ronald M. Quagliani, D-at large; and David C. Forsyth, D-at large.

Rossi thanked the council for adopting the resolution just in time, as the second installment of the city’s tax bills are due Feb. 1.

She also thanked Quagliani for amending the council agenda to include the resolution.

Rossi, in a Jan. 24 letter to Quagliani, wrote: “The (Connecticut) Special Act was passed after the (City Council) agenda deadline, so I am requesting you to amend the agenda for January 28, 2019, to include this additional item as taxes will be due February 1, 2019, and this will be the last regularly scheduled City Council meeting prior to the February 1, 2019, deadline.”

“I am requesting the City Council pass this resolution,” she wrote.

Rossi said an unknown number of city residents who work for the U.S. government were affected by the partial shutdown, which ran from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25.

“We do not know exactly how many furloughed federal workers pay taxes in West Haven,” she said. “Offering a deferment will hopefully help ease some of their financial burdens and make the furlough period a less stressful experience.”

Any federal employee who lives in West Haven can pick up a tax deferment application in the mayor’s office on the third floor of City Hall, 355 Main St. For information, call the office at 203-937-3510.

Memorial Day parade

Marchers sought for Memorial Day parade; applications due April 8

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 29, 2019 — The city is seeking veterans, civic groups, fraternal organizations, service clubs and marching bands to participate in the annual Memorial Day parade, which steps off at 10:30 a.m. May 27. There is no rain date.

Participants must register and list required special accommodations.

Transportation is provided for veterans who are unable to walk the 1 ½-mile parade course, which follows Campbell Avenue from Captain Thomas Boulevard to Center Street. To make arrangements, call the mayor’s office at 203-937-3510.

The parade grand marshal is West Haven Vietnam Veterans member William Benson, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.

Download a Participation Form.
Forms are also available in the mayor’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St., where they are due April 8. Forms can also be emailed to parade organizer Kristen Teshoney at or faxed to 203-937-3705.

City to honor couples married for at least 50 years

City to honor couples married for at least 50 years on Valentines Day

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 29, 2019 — The city will honor couples who have been married for at least 50 years during West Haven’s 29th annual Valentine’s Day party from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.

The couples will receive chocolates and roses from the mayor’s office.

The party, featuring music by the Clam Diggers, will include hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi will recognize the oldest and youngest couples.

For reservations, call Elderly Services Director Sharon R. Mancini at 203-937-3507 by Feb. 12.

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered March 6

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 29, 2019 — The Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from noon-4 p.m. March 6 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.

Second shovel

City issues snow rules for parking

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 17, 2019 — To help crews expedite snow removal, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy is reminding residents and businesses to observe parking regulations during and after storms.

Per the “Severe Weather” parking ordinance under Chapter 188 of the West Haven Code, police will tag and tow vehicles violating the ordinance at the owner’s expense. Violators will receive a $100 fine.

Once snow begins to fall, a parking ban is in effect on the even-numbered side of most roads, unless one is posted with a “No Parking” sign on the odd side.

The ban is in effect for 36 hours after a storm. Residents are urged to park in driveways or designated private lots.

However, during an official snow emergency declared by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, a parking ban will run from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on both sides of Campbell and Savin avenues, Morgan Lane, Elm Street, Meloy Road, Second Avenue from Elm to Beach streets, and Main Street from Savin to Washington avenues.

McCarthy is also reminding residents and businesses to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after a storm or face a $25 fine “for each day that the violation persists.”

According to the “Removal of Snow and Ice” ordinance under Chapter 195 of the West Haven Code, people are given 24 hours to remove snow from sidewalks on and bordering their properties. Violators are subject to the $25-per-day fine, which is enforced by the Police Department, the ordinance states.

To report a complaint, call the department’s nonemergency line at 203-937-3900. Complaints are kept confidential.

McCarthy also pointed out that plowing or blowing snow into city streets is prohibited and violators are subject to a $60 fine for each offense, per the ordinance.

Also, residents and businesses with mailboxes damaged by snow thrown from a plow are the responsibility of the property owner. The city will only repair mailboxes damaged by the striking of a plow blade if there is visible evidence, such as paint or tire tracks.

Snow removal around mailboxes is the property owner’s responsibility.

Residents are also urged to help firefighters keep hydrants clear of snow.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works at 203-937-3585 or visit Public Works.

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