Mayor Mark Boughton’s statewide stature to increase in 2016 as the president of the 158-member CCM
Danbury News Times Monday, December 28, 2015
By Rob Ryser DANBURY
Expect eight-term Mayor Mark Boughton’s statewide stature to increase in 2016 as the president of the 158-member Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Boughton, a leading Republican candidate for the 2018 governor’s office, was elected to the state’s largest nonpartisan organization in mid-December after serving as the group’s first vice president.
His election comes at a time when lawmakers in Hartford are struggling with a budget crisis, including a $370 million deficit in the current $20 billion state budget that ends June 30.
“It is important for us to have a veteran urban leader like Mark Boughton in 2016, because it is going to be a challenging year,” said Kevin Maloney, director of communications and member relations for the CCM organization. “The state budget is in a difficult situation, and we need to defend the state aid coming back to our towns,” Maloney said. “Mayor Boughton is well aware of the issues and will fight hard to protect the interests of the towns.”
Boughton, who was an early candidate for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2014, has criticized Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state legislature for excluding towns and cities from financial discussions that affect them. “The leaders of the cities and the towns are on the front lines of government,” Boughton said. “But we are not viewed as equal partners, and we are not at the table when these decisions are made, yet we are the ones who have to clean up the mess after them.”
Boughton said he will use the CCM office to advocate for the city, as well as for greater Danbury, and for the organization statewide. “Obviously this will be a very important (legislative) session for all cities and towns” the mayor said. “I will be actively engaging the issues that affect Danbury the most about funding and about where these cuts are going to come from.
It is our responsibility to be proactive at the beginning of the process and work closely with the legislature.” Boughton was elected on Dec. 15 along with 24 other members of the board of directors. The board includes newly-elected Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim and veteran Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi, both Democrats.
Marconi said the CCM president was more than a figurehead. “You are there leading the rest of us into policy and to address our concerns, so in that respect it is very important,” Marconi said.