.

[UPDATED] Mazzucco: Capone Administration Had 'Secret Agenda' for 200 Tyler Street

East Haven Republican Town Committee Chair Ben Mazzucco "demands answers" from members of former Mayor April Capone's administration regarding a request for proposals for the old high school site published several weeks prior to last fall's referendum.

Update at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday

This morning former Town Finance Director Thomas Thompson confirmed for East Haven Patch reports that the request for proposals posted by the Capone Administration for 200 Tyler Street several weeks prior to last fall's referendum was for informational purposes only — and not a "secret agenda" to develop the property as alleged by RTC Chairman Mazzucco in yesterday's statement to the press.

The .

Original Post (Tuesday at 3 p.m.)

The following is a press release submitted by the East Haven Republican Town Committee. The release, which includes copies of the proposal and legal notice referred to in the statement, are attached to this post.

East Haven Republican Town Committee Chairman demanded answers today from former town officials regarding a “Request for Proposals” for which the former Finance Director and prior Mayor published on August 25, 2011 — 85 days before the residents ever voted on a use for the property in the 2011 referendum.

The "RFP" indicates that the Town, through former Finance Director Tom Thompson, was accepting proposals “from development teams for the development of 200 Tyler Street.”

It goes on to state that “[w]e feel the town should seek a contractor who would be interested in the purchase and development of this property.” It explains, “[b]eing in a residential area this building has the potential for rental apartments or condominiums.”

The RFP, which was geared toward attracting condominium developers, called for developers to submit plans which would include the number of units proposed by property, a development budget, and a detailed project schedule.

Mazzucco explained, “The publication of the RFP by the prior administration eighty-five days before the referendum took place is a slap in the face to the people of East Haven who thought their voices were being heard in the referendum. Instead, the former Mayor and former Finance Director took it upon themselves to push a secret agenda to peddle the property for condominium development.”

Mazzucco continued, “More so, the discovery of this RFP calls into question the recent push by several current and former Democratic town officials to discuss a plan for senior housing and condo development at the property.”

Former Town officials who have recently criticized Mayor Maturo regarding the 200 Tyler Street property have praised the prior administration for its supposed transparency and for listening to the voice of the people on this issue.

Mazzucco explained, “This RFP, which was never announced via any press release or explained to council members, directly contradicts that sentiment.”

Mazzucco concluded, “The ‘200 Tyler Street Reuse Committee’ was formed to explore three options for the property – but it appears from this RFP, and from the arrogance demonstrated by the publication of this RFP before the referendum, that the prior administration had only one use in mind all along. However, moving forward, the Town and Mayor Maturo have demonstrated a readiness to engage in a meaningful conversation about the future of the property – something which is sorely needed in light of the discovery of the dealings of the prior administration.”

(Editor's Note: East Haven Patch will be seeking comment from former Mayor Capone as well as Mr Thompson for an upcoming follow up story to this press release.)

Bob Fawkes August 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Typical Republican claptrap; Deny everything, make counter accusations. People of East Haven: Ignore the bipartison obfuscation and FOLLOW THE MONEY. OVER $5 Million Dollars of town owned property is at stake here. Don't let these cronys give it away.
Matt Lyons August 28, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Can't wait for the zombie apocalypse!
CAjones August 28, 2012 at 08:46 PM
People of East Haven, Ignore this loony hack. Get this piece of property on the tax rolls where it belongs........ The building is a mess, the land is where the value lies, the tax revenue is what we need most, NOT another spend and bond fiasco....... Don't let this idiot or any of his many alter egos deter your good sense.
CAjones August 28, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Great when they get here, they can eat the leftovers at the high school cafeteria............yummmm yummmm yummmm!!
Anthony M August 28, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Funny all you have in response is name calling. Children do that.
CAjones August 28, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Anthony..... all I have is "name calling?" REALLY? Did you read everything I wrote? I said: " Get this piece of property on the tax rolls where it belongs........ The building is a mess, the land is where the value lies, the tax revenue is what we need most, NOT another spend and bond fiasco......." You only see name calling?
Julie Weisberg (Editor) August 28, 2012 at 09:28 PM
A comment from Michael Riolino via Facebook: "I believe that RFP was issued to substantiate the third option of the referendum- to see what price the property could yield."
No more condos August 28, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Demolish the building and make a nice residential community. Maybe a small road ending in a culdasac. Prob fit couple dozen new homes. That would increase property taxes and value to surrounding homes.
Matt Lyons August 28, 2012 at 09:40 PM
hat ever happened to the statute of April that was rumored to be in progress in West haven? I thought they said it was going down by the splash pad? Another political ploy?
Dave Hausler August 28, 2012 at 10:02 PM
What is the Republic Chairman's point in bringing this up? To try and cast the current administration as the one willing to engage in open discussion about the use of the property, by painting the previous administration as engaging in shady deals? Mayor Maturo and his Republican administration have been trying to sell the property for private use for ten years. Lest we forget, it was the Maturo-led Republican administration, in its first installation, that proposed the sale of 200 Tyler Street without consulting the public first. At that time, the many community users of the building came forward to express their concerns, and the proposal was dropped. Here's an article from the New Haven Register from 2002, in which Mayor Maturo proposes using the property for senior housing: http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2002/12/09/import/6323366.txt?viewmode=fullstory The line of the article reads, "The old high school might also be eyed as an affordable and/or assisted living facility, Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. said." Memories are not that short...
cheryl August 28, 2012 at 10:45 PM
i am so sick of the politics in this town, the ppl just dont care what is best for the town just who can top the other in their political vendettas against each other,,i can not wait till i can move out of this town and im sure im not the only one who feels this way
Richard Poulton August 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Voters(small amount anyway)wanted building kept for community use, such as governmental consolidation, etc.. But what the voters were not told was the cost of such renovation. It was estimated at one time to exceed 30 million dollars. Where does that cost, which is much greater now and we all know it will increase in time, come from? Comes from bonding - thats where. Bonding paid for by future generations. Is it worth it? This all comes down to one thing, the democratics pushed this vote last November to do nothing more then throw a wrench into the wheel in case Maturo won,feeling he would be stuck with the vote. We, the voters, should be told what such cost will be to maintain the building as tax exempt, making it to what-ever. Led us decide if the cost to the next generation of tax payers is worth that cost. As time goes by cost will get higher. But the town charter is not writen as such, calling for a referendum when it comes to such spending of tax payers money. That building should have been sold off when it was abandoned years back and new HS built. Come out on Sept 4th and speak your mind to town council, otherwise you will have no say.
Rosie August 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I am at the point now where I could care less what they do with the building. It is obvious that neither side cares what the taxpayers want, and no matter what side makes a deal, the taxpayers lose and they win. I am so over the politics in this town. Republican or Democrat, doesn't matter, either is useless to us.
Michele Antisdel August 29, 2012 at 01:09 AM
What a farce. My guess is that there is much more to this story than we know. My bet is that there is a very valid reason why a Request for Proposal was sent out but this is an attempt to draw attention away from Maturo so he can continue to do as he pleases with the property without looking so bad. We are not stupid, we see right through this ridiculousness.
Gene Ruocco August 29, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Michele you are right there was a valid reason for the RFP, it was a request from the third option committee to get info on the cost of their proposal, the Mayor tried to get them the info they needed through the use of the RFP. No "Secret Agenda" here just Mr. Mazzucco up to his old games trying to show everyone how much he knows, which in this case is very little. Come to the hearing on Sept. 4 and see for yourself. The truth will be told. It is sad that Julie does not seek the truth before she lets everyone post a letter like this. Shows little respect for our town which I feel seems to be the norm since last November.
Dave Hausler August 29, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Richard- The bonding would not be repaid by "future generations". It would take less than one generation to pay off the bonding required to renovate the old high school to restore to its original purpose. The state would cover most of the cost of the work. When the work is done, we could close more of the existing school buildings we pay to operate today. Failing to do so WILL cost future generations millions, year after year. If we are short-sighted and let this property go, we will lose an opportunity to truly save future generations millions. Some times you have to spend money to save money. I agree with you that people should come out on the 4th to speak, and also to listen to the facts. Then, when we have all the information, we can make a decision that is in the best interests of the town, not one party or the other.
Ann Della Camera August 29, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Gene, as to Julie she is doing a fine job, you are the fly in the ointment. We all know that the school old and needs a lot of work. At the meeting I would like to find out what the cost would be to restore it. In my mind I am sure it is going to be way to high to even consider. Its a landmark this i agree on, but like anything else time has to move forward and no more bonding, that puts the future children in this town in debt. If and I say if,,,,, it must be sold to help the tax rolls then its looking at the future. However, if selling it is what it comes down to, I for one would hope the people insist that it become senior housing, and only senior housing. No section 8, no hud, no low income. I would want to see this as a mandate of any sale done by the town. We have many seniors waiting for housing and they worked and supported the town all their lives, now its time to give back to them something they can be proud of. It would be nice if part of any agreement leaves the pool open to the residents of East Haven for their use to swim and exercise for their health. I will be at the meeting, listening and asking question. hopefully there will be a good mike system so all in the room can hear what is being said. See you there Gene
ASmith August 29, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Yeehaw, haw haw haw haw. This here big old phoneyzucco is a real laugh. Now wasnt he a democrat a way back when Bob Norman was a mayor. Wasnt he always bustling round town runnin down desorbo and crowd as bein corrupt, etc., etc., didnt he have a big ole hand in what happened with that there brand spankin new high school, and people gettin this and that...hasnt he a been lookin for a town job so he could get them there medical benefits for years....wasnt he one of the ones behind the big phooey headlines of the lady mayor playin hanky panky with her assistant that embarrassed this entire town and brought out every major lady politician in this here whole state down his a throat...why this boy cost finkle the election with his silly nonsense and spewing garbage from his mouth.....phoney baloney...he is one of the biggest ones. the last rep tc did nothin. this one is the biggest joke out there. phoney babaloney...he jes lookin for somethin for hisself. maybe he gots friends/relatives who is involved with this behind the scenes scheming. he is one poolitician that cant look ya in the eye. mr. gene may do dumb things some times, but this here fella is a total political failure. did he ever get hisself a town job? heard mr. pete gots hisself one. yup back in my hometown we a call him a no' count. produces nothin jes causes a lot of useless ruckus and a big headache. this here dumb statement will put lots of chicken eggs on his face.
ASmith August 29, 2012 at 04:48 AM
If you are looking to keep out section 8, hud and low income missy anne then there will be no state or federal funds goin to this project and there aint no private developer out there today that would undertake this large scale a project without some time of government help....so if they tells ya that is what is gonna happen...they is a liein to ya. in every financing document signed with ole goverment funding....that stuff gots to be included...its the law....and nobody out there can do a deal like this without the help of the good ole usa....so your buddies will lie to ya and tell ya what you want to hear jes like they lied to people when they built messina drive...they think you are a dumb ole lady and can pull the wool over your eyes. they figure you hate the democrats so much that you will listen to whatever rose colored glass story they tells ya so long as they bash the democrats to make ya happy. sure did like that Mrs. Romney tonight. Now thats a lady who would make a mighty fine first lady. romney may be a bit school glueish, but his wife and kids are kinda nice.
ASmith August 29, 2012 at 04:48 AM
If you are looking to keep out section 8, hud and low income missy anne then there will be no state or federal funds goin to this project and there aint no private developer out there today that would undertake this large scale a project without some time of government help....so if they tells ya that is what is gonna happen...they is a liein to ya. in every financing document signed with ole goverment funding....that stuff gots to be included...its the law....and nobody out there can do a deal like this without the help of the good ole usa....so your buddies will lie to ya and tell ya what you want to hear jes like they lied to people when they built messina drive...they think you are a dumb ole lady and can pull the wool over your eyes. they figure you hate the democrats so much that you will listen to whatever rose colored glass story they tells ya so long as they bash the democrats to make ya happy. sure did like that Mrs. Romney tonight. Now thats a lady who would make a mighty fine first lady. romney may be a bit school glueish, but his wife and kids are kinda nice.
Ozzie August 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM
What the Town should do is rehab the building and make it a school again. If anybody hasn't noticed D.C. Moore is a health hazzard and full of mold.New haven just rebuil their 36th school in 14 years.
Bob Fawkes August 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM
A lot of opinions bandied about here on the Patch. Excellent comments by Mr. Hausler in particular. But it's all just pissing in the wind if nobody but the usual cast of characters bothers to show up on Sept 4th and voice their outrage at this blatent GIVEAWAY of town property. $5.3 MILLION dollars worth of town property... Wasn't the BOE hard pressed for classroom space recently, going so far as try to buy portable classrooms? Well here is a school building right under your nose, sitting vacant. What is wrong with this picture? What will it take for the majority of the people of East Haven to wake up to what's going on behind their backs? I've tried my hardest to wake people up with my comments. A slap in the face to some, but it was what I personally felt was needed to wake people up. In the long run, I realize now that many just don't care and can't be bothered. East Haven, unless you speak out, you deserve what you get with Maturo and his cronies. Bend over and spread wide....
Not pointing fingers here but it sounds like someone's a little paranoid when they start speaking of "Secret Agendas"
Julie Weisberg (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Everyone: After talking to former Town Finance Director Thomas Thompson about the RFP, I just posted my follow up story. You can find that here: http://patch.com/A-xvNn.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »