I want to share with you what I found that made me change supporting the Coliseum demolition and the funding. From our Mayor Lee to Guida and the rest of the former mayors and our present Mayor DeStefano, when the first talks in the 1960s about this era of new developments in this city, it was a big debate. The city was trying find out how to get the community to support it. Time passes by. In 1965, the year I was born, a document was written from the Economic Development Office about the contracts then. The lawyers had gotten together the companies that worked towards making this Coliseum a reality. During that time, it happened. It was approved even though there was a really intensive debate as we had in our Committee of the Whole.
We had an understanding that the money that went there wasn’t enough. And you know what I found out as well? That there was a bill in Congress that prevented private investors to buy the building. Through the mayors, the question came back.”
President Perez: “Alderwoman Castro, you’re really discussing why we should demolish the Coliseum or not. That’s not in front of us any longer.”
Alderwoman Castro: “But I just wanted to share.”
President Perez: “I understand that. But you should have shared that with us on Item one.”
Alderwoman Castro: “Yes, but I wanted it to be put in the record that through all the mayors, there was this question when they created the Coliseum. And the question kept arising, because from the get-go, it was a bill with money not to cover the garage. So I see the whole project and what it’s going to bring to New Haven, it helped me make sense to say that even if we have the money to fix it, it wouldn’t be standing the right way, because it wasn’t made during that time the right way.
So, it’s going to make sense to me that we’re going to spend this money, because it’s going to cost in the long run. They went back to the State, they came back to the city, and for all of these years through all those administrations, we had the Coliseum. In all that, we had so many people from the city that grew up and/or raised their kids to come to that Coliseum who really fell in love with it. And that’s been the part that was very difficult for me. Even the people from the suburbs, everybody who got in touch with the Coliseum from the opening on October 1979. Now, we have a debate. It’s time to move forth. So, I welcome the rebirth with the demolition of the Coliseum. I urge the colleagues to support it.”
REPORT ACCEPTED. ORDINANCE AMENDMENT ENACTED.
Upon motion made and duly seconded, said ordinance amendment was put to a roll call vote, which resulted as follows:
Those voting “AYE”: Healey, James, Jackson-Brooks, Perez, Colon, Clark, Addonizio, Mattison, Lee, Ellis-West, Santana, Jolly, Castro, Paolillo, DePino, Edwards, Blango, Jones, Shah, McCormack, Silverman, Voigt, Rawls-Ivy and Goldfield – 24.
Those voting “NO”: Chen, Smart and Gorham-Walker – 3.