Setting the Record Straight on Connelly Car Giveaway

Neil O’Leary can claim all day long that he told Mayor Mike Jarjura about his plan to give former State’s Attorney John Connelly a car.

What he really needs to explain is why he DIDN’T tell the purchasing office, the motor pool, payroll, the state ethics commission or the Internal Revenue Service about this sweetheart deal.

The FACTS are that no one in the City of Waterbury has the authority to hand out cars to non-employees, and even issuing a car to a city employee comes with responsibilities and obligations.

The FACT is that none of these procedures were followed in the instance of O’Leary’s decision to give John Connelly a car and there were numerous violations of city ordinance and policy, state policy, state ethics rules and possible federal tax law in car giveaway.

** Neil O’Leary traded in a Mercedes Benz to get the Chevrolet Impala he handed over to Connelly. This transaction violates the city’s Centralized Procurement System Ordinance on the liquidation of surplus city property. Regardless of the source of the Mercedes, it was city property and should have been handled as such.

** Neil O’Leary bought the Impala from a local dealership. The aggregate value of the vehicle, including the trade-in value, reached the dollar amount at which the city is required under its rules to receive written quotes from three vendors before making a purchase.

** All non-emergency personnel who are issued city vehicles are required to submit monthly mileage sheets to the Bureau of Central Vehicle Maintenance to document their commutes. John Connolly never submitted any documentation to the City of Waterbury on his use of the vehicle. When Connolly was driving a state issued vehicle, he was required to follow a similar policy.

** The City of Waterbury payroll department never knew to issue a W2 Federal Tax form to John Connolly for the value associated with the use of his vehicle – like the one he received for his state car.

** The car amounted to a gift, which under the state’s ethics policy likely would have been prohibited. Unfortunate as it may be, the State’s Attorney’s office on occasion is called upon to prosecute police officers, and as such, this gift at least should have raised concerns about conflicts of interest.

Mayor’s Podcast #1

Our first interview with Mayor Jarjura is available for streaming and download.  Topics covered in this podcast include:

  • The quality of candidates on the Row B team
  • The expected turnout for this November’s election
  • Why Mayor Jarjura thinks he is the most qualified candidate for mayor
  • Mayor Jarjura’s response to his opponent’s claims that taxes have risen over 200% during his tenure
  • Improvements made to the City of Waterbury during Mayor Jarjura’s time in office
  • Waterbury’s current financial stability vs. the financial state of the prior to Mayor Jarjura’s time in office and what that means for the taxpayers
  • Brownfield remediation, why it is so important to Waterbury and how it plays into attracting businesses to the City of Waterbury

Click here to download (mp3 format)

You can have your questions answered by the mayor in his next podcast.  Submit your questions by emailing

O’Leary Dishonest or Clueless on City Budget

Neil O’Leary, in his recent print media advertising attack on Mayor Mike Jarjura’s record on taxation, is dishonest or demonstrates a lack of basic ability in math.

In print ads in the Waterbury Observer and the Republican American, O’Leary attempts to claim that Mike Jarjura has raised taxes 200 percent during his tenure. Voters should be leery of a man who claims he’s able to run a $400-million corporation and cannot even get the basics of the city’s budget right. Since taking office in 2002, Jarjura has held the line on taxes and the owner of the average single-family home has seen tax increases of less than $75 per year — a rate well below the annual rate of inflation.

“I’m proud of the stability we’ve been able to bring to the finances of the city,” said Jarjura. “Nearly a third of our tax burden is the result of past administrations to fund the very generous pension and retiree medical benefits that Mr. O’Leary is enjoying today. Without those costs, Waterbury would have the lowest tax burden of any city in the state.”

If O’Leary can prove his outlandish claim about Jarjura’s record, he should show his work. The Jarjura campaign is prepared to offer a simple, yet detailed analysis that demonstrates the city’s tax burden kept well below the national cost of living index while still maintaining essential city services and addressing long-neglected capital and financial needs.

When O’Leary fails to support his claim, voters should file it away with his previously documented ignorance on other important issues such as the Board of Education’s nepotism policies and state law on park liability when they got to the polls on Nov. 8.


Hello, Neighbors and Friends:

For the past 10 years it’s been my distinct honor and privilege to serve as your Mayor, and together, we have accomplished a lot. I need your help this November 8 to continue this important work of bringing my lifelong home to where it should be.

When I took office, Waterbury was rocked by scandal, broken financially and the future certainly looked bleak. With a lot of hard work and your support, we’ve accomplished a lot.

These last two years have been an exciting new phase for the City of Waterbury. We have moved past addressing the $465 million unfunded pension liability and completely modernizing the city’s financial operations. Today we engaged in a steady and ongoing program to upgrade the infrastructure that enhances your quality of life as residents and taxpayers.

Take a minute to consider that over the past few years we’ve been making steady and measurable progress on our city parks, including complete overhauls of Fairlawn, East Mountain, Hamilton and Town Plot Parks. Without breaking your budget, we’ve been able to put major investments into Washington, Sloping Acres, Curtin, Huntingdon and City Mills. We’re also working diligently to bring back Fulton Park.

The reopening of Duggan and Gilmartin Schools will have a transformative effect on those neighborhoods and I have high hopes that the new Jonathan Reed School in the North End will have a similar dramatic impact on the neighborhood and your children’s education.

Our efforts to remediate and reclaim the city’s old factory sites continues aggressively and bodes well for our future economic development.

This fall, we will begin demolition at the Waterbury Industrial Commons. This project, funded through the largest federal brownfields grant the city has ever received, will improve government efficiency, but more importantly will create new jobs and the opportunity for growth in our still vibrant manufacturing sector.

Waterbury has a great story to tell. Times are hard, but our city has weathered this Great Recession better than most, and as global and national economy rights itself, we will have clear advantages in the future.

While you’re on this site, take a minute to meet the Row B team we’ve put together to lead us into the future. It’s an exciting and diverse group whose members were chosen for their range of backgrounds and life experiences. I hope I can count on your support for them as well as myself on November 8.

Mayor Mike