Topping off a list that includes unemployment, urban violence and struggling schools, computer troubles can now be counted among New Haven’s woes.
Voluminous spam emails clog up inboxes. Correspondences officials need to make decisions about the city’s wellbeing often go into their junk mail instead. This chaotic portrait of Elm City government emerged Thursday evening at a special Board of Alders meeting where the discussion digressed to the topic of city’s inefficient email system.
The meeting itself was a result of miscommunication. The Thursday session was called to pass a piece of legislation that was supposed to be passed Tuesday, but had been stalled by an alder who said she wasn’t properly cued in on relevant issues. On Tuesday, Ward 28 Alder Claudette Robinson-Thorpe blocked the speedy endorsement of the City and Town Development Act, which authorizes the city to modify the collection of taxes on a case-by-case basis.
On Thursday, it passed unanimously with her support — and now is set for referendum on Election Day, Nov. 4. She said her objection was to the process, not the substance of the measure. She said she was never briefed on the legislation.
“All too often we are contacted in a short period of time to make critical decisions that affect the life and financial wellbeing of our constituents and city without full information and opportunities to have input from those we serve,” she said.
But Jeanette Morrison, alder for Ward 22, said the special meeting was “wasting [her] time.” She said Board leadership was briefed on the legislation the week before the vote, and that she emailed out a newsletter to colleagues based on that meeting.
Robinson-Thorpe fired back, saying she doesn’t receive those newsletters, speculating that her junk mail may be swallowing them up.
“Half the time the city email doesn’t work,” she said.