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Posted on: May 12, 2021

BRISTOL ESTABLISHES TASK FORCE TO ADDRESS THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu has established a Task Force to address the $28 million that have been allocated to Bristol via President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. “This is an incredible opportunity for Bristol to work with its non-profits, the business community and our residents to create an agenda that could transform our City,” said the Mayor.

“With these funds also comes incredible responsibility to ensure that there is accountability and transparency, especially since it is an Election year,” she continued. “I do not want to be distracted by any attempts by the opposing party to make this political so I have asked a bipartisan group to serve and advise. They include members of City boards and commissions as well as community stakeholders They include:

Cindy Bombard, President & CEO of the Central CT Chambers of Commerce;

Orlando Calfe, who has a MBA in Finance and Real Estate; currently serving as vice chair of the City’s Board of Finance. Calfe works as an Operations and Services Availability Manager with IBM with responsibility to implement business controls, meet financial objectives and delivery of services within contracts;

Eric Clemons, retired ESPN commentator and President of the Bristol Chapter of the NAACP; Clemons is currently hosting programs for Comcast Newsmakers and CPTV.

Michael Dumas, a member of the Public Works Commission, who holds a MBA in Finance and serves as an Audit Manager at People’s United Bank where he is responsible for oversight of risk based operation financial and compliance related audits;

 Mickey Goldwasser, a member of the City’s Economic & Community Development Commission who is the Vice President of Marketing & Chief of Staff at Payrailz a digital payments company; 

Glenn Heiser, a member of the City’s 10-Year Capital Improvement and Strategic Planning Committee who holds a MBA in Finance; Heiser also serves as the Chairman of the Bristol Health Board of Directors;

Malcom Huckaby, a member of the City’s Parks Commission, is the Vice President of Investments at Capital Securities Management, and also serves as a men’s college basketball analyst at ESPN;

 David Maikowski, a member of the City’s Board of Finance and an Investment advisor for 32 years currently serving with Infinex Financial Group.

Thomas O’Brien, an elected member of the city’s Board of Education who will serve as a liaison from that board to the City, ensuring that the Board of Education’s allocation of $19 million in ARPA funds is coordinated with the City’s $28 million allocation to leverage resources for their highest and best use.

Donna Osuch, President of United Way of West Central CT who is responsible for developing common outcomes for local agencies receiving funds from United Way and aligning those out comes to community goals.

City Councilman David Preleski, who a practicing attorney and retired banker serving on the City’s Economic & Community Development Commission;

Susan Sadecki, President & CEO of the Main Street Community Foundation, a non-profit public charity, created by private citizens, serving donors in the region to build permanent charitable endowments to support the local communities.

 Howard Schmelder, vice chair of the City’s Economic & Community Development Commission, and a retired banker who worked for Bristol Savings Bank and then Webster Bank. 

John Smith, chair of the Bristol Board of Finance. Prior to his retirement he served as a teacher, the School Business Administrator for the Bristol Public Schools and Senior Vice President at Bristol Hospital followed by consulting assignments.

“Of the 15 members, 7 are Republicans and 2 are unaffiliated,” stated Councilman David Preleski. “While we do not believe that political affiliation will be a driving force on this panel, we think it is important for the public to know that we have included a diverse group of high level city and community volunteers who have backgrounds that are well–suited for a discussion of this magnitude.”

 “It’s not every day that you are handed $28 million to spend over 3 years,” said Board of Finance John Smith. “The guidance for the Rescue Plan was issued late on Monday, and we will be reviewing it over the course of the next two weeks with the hope of meeting shortly after the City adopts its new budget in late May.”

“Part of the Task Force’s role will also be to keep the public informed of the allowable uses,” said the Mayor. “For example, very little of these dollars can be used for ongoing general operating purposes. 

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