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Some may say that it’s time for the Coliseum to be demolished, and that’s not the question right now that I’m wondering.  The question that I’m wondering is: What are we going to put there, and will what we put really serve the people  in the City of New Haven?

So, I suppose my vote tonight on the first item reflects the situation that there really is no way to support Gateway and Long Wharf.  There is no way to separate out the three items.  If you want to see some of these things go forward, you’ll have to vote to approve all of them.  Unfortunately, my colleagues had made a motion to separate out the items, which hadn’t passed on the committee level.  

I think overall this plan is flawed.  My vote on the Coliseum project obviously will be more of a reflection of my opposition to what’s going to be going there, although we have already approved going forward with the project.  My concerns mainly lie with how we’re serving our city and our taxpayers.  

Gateway is a great idea.  It will bring more opportunities for people in the city by having a college in the center of downtown.  So many young people who will be walking the streets are going to see a college and be inspired to enroll or seek higher education.

My discussions with the staff at Long Wharf give me great hope that we’re going to really bring the arts to areas of the city.

On the Coliseum, there has been intense opposition, and I hadn’t seen any of the many, many suggestions incorporated or any remote compromise, although this room had been packed with many people with many ideas.  And I think that is really a shame that we solicit input and none of that was truly considered.  And so that’s why I will be voting against that project tonight.”

Alderman Voigt:  “I’d just like to respond to my colleague from the 2nd Ward.  She actually made the argument of actually why we should knock it down.  We talked about who would be coming in and be using it as a conference center, bio-medical companies, the things that we are trying to bring into the city to take our tax base and move it forward.  Industries like Winchester and U.S. Repeating Arms and places like that are having less impact of keeping people with jobs.  I think it’s important to this city that we take the alternative in bringing in and finding other forms of employment, such as the bio-medical aspect of it.  I think it will be an asset to the City of New Haven and to the taxpayers in New Haven.  I think it will increase the tax base.”

Alderman Lee:  “I do support the amendment for the bond of $6 million. I differ with my colleague from the 2nd Ward.  I think these items are separated.  They are not together.  So, I think she needs to read the resolution and she will see that they are separated.  We need to move forward because we already had agreed to accept this.  So, it’s just a matter of continuing what we’re doing here today.

I would like to see us to go forward with Gateway.  I think it’s going to be great for this town.”

Alderwoman Castro:  “I spent a lot of time, approximately about six and a half hours, for the information that I got in the Committee of the Whole in reference to the Coliseum. At that time, it didn’t make sense to me.  It wasn’t clear to me.  However, the time I spent with it did make me walk through it and understand.

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