Uncategorized | 11:18 pm | May 23, 2011 | By Alon Harish

Calder creates controversy in Ward 2

Frank Douglass, a candidate for Ward 2 alderman, spoke to current alderwoman Gina Calder on their way out of City Hall Monday night.
Frank Douglass, a candidate for Ward 2 alderman, spoke to current alderwoman Gina Calder on their way out of City Hall Monday night. Photo by Alon Harish.

A political controversy is brewing in Ward 2, home to many off-campus Yale students.

Current alderwoman Gina Calder ’03 EPH ’08 announced May 3 that she would resign from the Board of Aldermen July 1, the first day of the next fiscal year. Because of rules in the city charter, had Calder chosen to resign one day earlier, the ward would have had a special election to fill her position. Instead, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. will have the power to appoint an alderman out of a list of three names submitted to him by the Ward 2 Democratic Committee to serve the rest of her term.

Calder explained to a meeting of the Dwight Community Management Team that she wanted to “see the budget process through” before leaving office; the deadline for the city to pass its budget is June 30. But with the Board of Aldermen having passed the budget Monday night, Frank Douglass, a cook in the Trumbull dining hall who is running for her seat, is gathering signatures from Ward 2 residents on a petition asking Calder to resign immediately.

“I would like to see democracy done,” Douglass said.

Douglass followed Calder out of City Hall Monday night as she left the Board of Aldermen’s annual budget meeting early. As the two were crossing Church Street, he implored her to resign immediately in order to let Ward 2 voters decide for themselves who would represent them.

Calder replied that she would be open to discussing the issue tomorrow with Douglass, who is a co-chair of the Ward 2 Democratic Committee.

Back inside City Hall, Douglass said he was not satisfied by Calder’s response, and that he doubts she will agree to resign before July 1.

“She’s leaving us hanging as a ward,” Douglass said.

Douglass said his petition to Calder has at least 100 signatures from Ward 2 residents.

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