Mayor Malloy appeared on WNPR's "Where We Live" on Monday morning as part of their State of Our Cities series, where they're talking with the mayors of Connecticut's cities.
Here's the show's site: http://www.cpbn.org/program/%5Bfield_episode_cpbi_program%5D/episode/state-our-cities-stamford
To download the MP3 of this episode: Download.
Here are some of the things he discussed:
He expects to see further layoffs in the financial industry, which, as we all know, comprises a large portion of Stamford's business sector. Financial sector employees in CT should be spared the worst of it because the cost savings of being in CT make them less vulnerable than people in more expensive cities like New York London. RBS is still coming, with employees expected to be in the new building on April 1. GE Money will see "changes," though their operations are more centered in London, so we'll see.
He expects the next state budget to be "disastrous" for CT's cities and poorer areas, and criticizes the "lack of leadership in Hartford," specifically targeting Governor Rell's budget projections and her failure to react to this "predicted" financial situation.
CT is last in job production and growth, and 80% of CT's best students leave the state. The host asks how recent graduates can afford to live in Stamford. Mayor Malloy mentions the old "10 percent of new housing must be affordable." (I have to add my two cents here. To qualify for affordable housing, you need to be at or below 50% of the area's median income, which was $75,840 in 2007. That means that you need to earn less than $37,920 to qualify. Granted, there are people who need this assistance more than I do, but even if either my wife quit her job or I quit mine, we'd still make too much. Thankfully, we got a great deal on our current apartment, because we don't make enough to afford Stamford's inflated market rate rents, let alone buy something, even with the current real estate crisis.)
On education: We need to concentrate on math and sciences, where America trails the world, as well as close the achievement gap between blacks and Hispanics and the rest of the students. He'd like it to be easier for people to move to CT and become teachers. He thinks that because so many of the people running CT's educational system are UConn grads, there's a lack of diversity of opinions.
On Obama's proposed new infrastructure spending: How do you prioritize infrastructure projects (needed vs. "shovel-ready")? He advocates direct allocation of federal money to cities, to cut out the state-level bureaucracy. Governor Rell wants the state to get the money, but Malloy says to take a ride on 95 or the Merritt to see how well the state is tending our infrastructure, and that most driving is on local roads, not interstates.
That said, he would also like to see state-level projects such as longer train platforms: the new train cars (340 of them) each hold ten fewer people than the ones they'll be replacing. Some underpasses are over 100 years old, so they make traffic flow difficult. We also need improvements on 95, the Merritt, and Route 1 to create freer traffic flow.
Good question from a caller: How would he close the disparity between the West Side and North Stamford? He mentions a $4 billion remake of the South End (Antares, etc, adding 4000 units of housing, 400 of which will be affordable, and the two buildings on East Main, both with 10% affordable. He says the disparity was much greater twenty years ago.
One interesting tidbit: he says he lives close to the New York border. I thought he lived in Shippan - maybe that BB drive-by incident convinced him to head for the hills.