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Goncalves blasts Boughton over not agreeing to open debates

Cross post from HatCityBLOG

Gary Goncalves Pressser

Democratic Mayoral candidate Gary Goncalves is joined by City Clerk candidate Eileen Coladarci and 3rd ward candidate Barbara Carey at his afternoon press conference
City Hall 09.25.09

On Friday afternoon, Democratic mayoral candidate Gary Goncalves held a press conference to address Mayor Boughton’s refusal to hold open debates recently proposed by the League of Women Voters (LWV).

As stated in an earlier post, Goncalves announced last week that he’s accepted the LWV’s invitation to a mayoral debate and called upon Boughton to also accept the offer.

Responding in a recent News-Times article, the mayor claimed that fitting a open debate by the LWV would be difficult given his “busy” schedule next month.

As for other debates in the mayoral race, Goncalves said he has agreed to participate in an event sponsored later next month by the League of Women Voters of Danbury.

Boughton, however, said he had not yet received an invitation to the event.

“There are already several events planned for next month,” he said. “Anything beyond that may be difficult to fit into our schedule.”

Noting that the mayor’s comments are reminiscent to the one he gave Helena Abrantes when she made the identical request back in 2007, Goncalves called Boughton’s response “unacceptable” and shows a “display of arrogance and power by the Mayor to the voters and taxpayers of Danbury who have a right to hear the opposing views of the candidates in an open and no-cost forum.”

…the excuses offered by the Mayor were a flagrant slight to the League of Women voters, a storied organization whose trademark is all about fair play in our Democracy, and to the Portuguese Cultural Center, who has offered their facilities to the voters of Danbury free of charge for the debate.

Citing increases in taxes, increase in long term debt, failing grades in some of the school in the area, and the uncertain status of lawsuits against the city, Goncavles further stated that Boughton is giving the impression that he’s afraid to have an open debate regarding issues in the city.

…hmm, I think it’s safe to say that we’re in campaign season now.

After Goncalves gave his formal remarks, he took a wide range of questions from the media in attendance (WLAD, Tribuna, and yours truly).

Here in its entirety, is video footage from Goncalves’ presser at City Hall.