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Ask the Economic Development Coordinator

We're meeting with Art DeSorbo, East Haven's economic development coordinator, tomorrow afternoon. And we want to know what questions you want us to ask him.

Economic development is an important issue in .

Whether it's empty storefronts or news of companies like to another area, the need to enhance and re-energize the town's business climate is a frequent topic among residents — including right here in the comment threads on East Haven Patch.

And so, we're sitting down with Art DeSorbo, East Haven economic development coordinator, Tuesday afternoon to review his office's priorities and plans for the near future.

In addition, we want to know what questions YOU would like East Haven Patch to ask the coordinator. What are the important areas you would like Mr. DeSorbo to address when it comes to improving economic development in town?

Post your questions in the comments section below, and we'll be printing them out and bringing them along with us to ask during our interview with the coordinator.

Then, we'll be relaying DeSorbo's answers in a follow up article.

So: What would you ask the economic development coordinator? Let us know below!

Richard Poulton March 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Let me ask you this one question. Why didn't you ask those same things when Capone brought in Hongo? At least Mr. DeSorbo resides in EH and didn't run across the Q bridge to go home. Mr. DeSorbo has a vested interested in EH just as any other tax payer. Can Hongo say that? I don't think so. As for E.D. all Mayor Capone did was hire a part-time, wet behind the ears, 20 something, whose only claim to fame was a food fair. Wow. Let's open all those new business doors with that.
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Another victim of politics.
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Big box stores do not "Require" a little tax incentive to come into a town. If the prospects are good, they will come without tax incentives. The fact of the matter is that towns like East Haven don't hold the cards, so to speak; they have nothing to offer except tax breaks. Big boxes use their leverage to secure tax incentives and then proceed to drive competing small local businesses out. It's a miracle the Goody's has been able to survive this long with Home Depot around. It speaks well for Goody's outstanding customer service and the loyality of the townfolk who see these parasites for what they really are and continue to patronize Goody's and other local small businesses.
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Mr. Poulton, Mr. Desorbo resides in East Haven and doesn't have to drive over the Q bridge? So what? My questions for Mr. Desorbo are addressed to him and I, as a citizen and taxpayer of East Haven, expect him to answer my questions. All of them. DeSorbo is a longtime political insider who, in case you haven't heard, is well known around town for strong arming town Commissions and Boards. He is a Republican Town Committee member who supported the non-endorsed Republican candidate Joe Maturo. If that didn't raise a Red Flag for you, I don't know what will. Answer the people's questions DeSorbo. All of them.
CAjones March 13, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Mr Jacobo I believe Mr. Desorbo will address everyone with a personal response in writing. He will have it delivered by US Mail to every East Haven citizen asking. All that is required is for you to ask the question, his staff will than find your address in the town data base and send it off to the Arbenz residence. Please Mr. Desorbo answer ALL the questions raised by DEAD PEOPLE after all, for years they were the majority of absentee ballot voters for the democratic party......
Gene Italiano March 13, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Well seems Ms. Julie is gonna be real busy today. We got questions from one Democrat without a commission, one West Virginian without a dictionary and one dead president without a country. ALL REAL CLASS ACTS.
Lise Cavallaro March 13, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Looks like there's very few that know how to ask an intelligent question.
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Mr. Desorbo should answer all questions raised here on the Patch. If he feel's the need to send out letters to all residents, he isl free to do so but he should do it at his own expense. I don't expect the Town to have to foot the bill for printing and mailing costs. Our representives need to be qualified for the positions they serve in and held accountable for their actions, good and bad. All questions raised here by myself and others are legitimate and should be answered by Mr. Desorbo. A couple of more questions for Mr. Desorbo: 9) Many smaller business locations around town remain vacant. What will he do in the next two years to bring in smaller businesses to fill these vacancies and to help existing small businesses survive and thrive in this economy? 10) Mayor Capone was involved with starting the wonderful Farmers Market during the Summer and Fall months. Will the town continue the Farmers Market this year and perhaps expand it?
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Pity, isn't it?
Richard Poulton March 13, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Lets see now, Jacobo thinks he deserves and demands an answer from someone not holding an elected position and has no requirement by the way to do so. He has accused him of strong arming members of B's & C's. I demand from him to show proff of such. Again I will tell him in my 12 plus years on one such commission I had no contact with Mr. DeSorbo regarding any application under review. And don't you just love his last remark. "Answer the people's question" Ya right!
Captain Blood March 13, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The first call he needs to make is to Home Goods,Ask why they are leaving East Haven? It seems that no one what's to start a business or keep a business in this Town. Lets not hear that it is about the lease or another event. Its all about perception of the Town and will we be able to make money. Is tax relief a selling point to get a suitable business into our Town, Then go for it but be up front with the Residents. Sometimes you need to think out of the Box Meet with other surrounding Town Leaders see what they do to attract a new business
CAjones March 13, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Mr. Jacobo, those last two questions are actually worthy of an answer, unlike that previous batch of obviously politically driven pot stirring. But I'm afraid like I said Mr Desorbo will answer questions from actual taxpayers, who like Ms. Becki likes to point out, are those who use their (real) full names. So, if you expect an answer to your questions bucko, man up or shut up. Oh by the way the question pertaining to his credentials probably would have been better if asked in 1986 when this guy did his first six years in the role, I think he gots that "on the job" training he needed, if not then the ten years under Maturo's previous term probably solidified his credentials. Unlike the Capone "part time" answer to economic development he has a proven track record, look it up.
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Down Fido. Let Desorbo answer the people's questions. Surely the man can speak for himself and doesn't need leashed barking dogs to stifle questions and comments as to his qualifications for the job, and his action plans going forward.
CAjones March 13, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Yes sir, just like the Capone administration did, right? I hope we ain't cancelling "restuarant week"..... eeewww Big contribution!
CAjones March 13, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Yeah Good luck there jacobo....I'm sure he'll BOW to your WOW! Hey I hear maybe Haiti will accept you, if you bring the rum!
Richard Poulton March 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Good morning Captain. I think if you re-read the news story about Home Goods closing up shop it is all about the lease and being unable to come to an agreement between the land lord and themselves
Richard Poulton March 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM
See, more name calling from someone without guts to show his true identity. Now he is calling me a dog. Great job Julie in controlling these type of posts.
Lise Cavallaro March 13, 2012 at 02:41 PM
All politics aside, to be quite blunt, business in East Haven sucks. That's the issue here. A few quality stores and restaurants will make all the difference between having a nice town to live in or a ghetto. That's the point. Someone needs to make it happen. End of story.
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Mr. Poulton, Ms. Weisberg asked for questions. I and others responded with questions. You responded with digs at Capone. What's the problem really? If you can't add anything to the conversation except digs and insults, stay out and let the man answer the questions. Trust me, Desorbo can handle himself. He doesn't need you barking at people. Raises Red Flags, you know?
EH Resident March 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Why can't everyone just stay on topic? As stated in the article by Julie above "we want to know what questions YOU would like East Haven Patch to ask the coordinator. What are the important areas you would like Mr. DeSorbo to address when it comes to improving economic development in town?" I have a couple of questions: 1. Have you contacted BIG Y as to what their plans are for the ROUTE 80 land they purchased when A & P moved out? IF so, please elaborate. 2. Is there any state grants that the town can apply for that can help support the small business to open in our town? 3. We have no fast food restaurants on Rte 80 except for in the New Haven area. Have you contacted fast food restaurants such as Wendy's, Apple B's, TGI Friday's,etc to join our town? If so, then what was their reason as to why they didn't join our town? If not, then I would hope you would consider bringing those restaurants to RTE 80 so it will "HELP" thrieve the area. GOOD LUCK!
Lise Cavallaro March 13, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Yes! It would be nice to not have to go to Branford, North Branford and/or North Haven..or all the way down North High Street (again) - especially for us Foxon residents.
Lesley Ferguson Simoni March 13, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I agree - does every single topic have to turn into political mud slinging? This is where we are now, who cares how we got here, what can we do to improve/fix it?
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Mr. Jones, the man needs to answer the questions; all of them. Unless, of course, he has something to hide. Provided tax breaks to bigbox outfits that drive out existing small business is a net loss for this town, in fulltime jobs, taxes, social structure. Where's the beef? Don't threaten me with this bs about real names, Mr fakename. I am a resident of East Haven and a tax payer. If Desorbo has a pair and doesn't have anything to hide, he'll answer ALL of my questions.
EH Resident March 13, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I would love to see more intelligent questions asked that would address the purpose of this article. Put aside the rest and post your questions for patch to ask on our behalf. Please show your support for the good of our town and think of what we as a community can do to make a difference. I look forward to the update article to the questions I am asking when PATCH addresses them to the coordinator. Thank you Julie
CAjones March 13, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Like I said, GOOD LUCK. I don't think Desorbo needs to hide, especially from a dead guy. So if I were him, I'd only answer questions from actual taxpayers how have "a pair" to post in their own name. Everybody else, tough. SO once again Patti, GOOD LUCK!
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Home Goods is part of TJX corp which also operates the TJ Maxx store on Frontage Road. I wonder if the TJ Maxx store will be next go if they can't line up a favorable lease agreement when their current lease ends. Does Mr. Desorbo know when TJ Maxx's lease ends and if so, how will he keep them in East Haven.
CAjones March 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Well one way he can't do it according to YOU, is to offer any tax incentives. Because those would be reserved for Mom & Poo MAXX..... Maybe you can get a job as advisor.......LMAO
Bob Fawkes March 13, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Mr. Jones, why do you feel the need to speak for Mr. Desorbo and tell him which questions he should answer, if he were you? He is not you, at least I don't think he is you, so he'll man up and answer the questions. Being Joe Maturo's "right hand man" does NOT qualify one to be the town's Economic Development Coordinator. Answer ALL the questions Mr. Desorbo. Thank you.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) March 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Everyone: Thank you to those who took the time to post some thoughtful questions for Mr. DeSorbo. I'll have the follow up article posted sometime tomorrow. And so, this post is now closed to further comments.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) March 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Everyone: Just a quick update to let you know that I will be filing the story from my interview with Mr. DeSorbo tomorrow morning. There is actually quite a bit of activity to report on — so stay tuned!

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