2019 Mayoral Candidates Top Priorities

Our New Haven reached out to the 2019 Mayoral Candidates and asked each to list the top five issues/priorities they would focus on as Mayor. The goal here is to get a general sense for what each is thinking, understanding that it is still early in the process. As we move forward we hope to be able to share (and compare) specific platforms. The candidate’s unedited responses are below, published in the order in which they were received. Note that we did not ask them to list the issues in order of priority, so you should not assume that #1 is more important than #5. Also, Justin Elicker chose to submit four issues at this time.

Lastly, we’ve turned Comments On. Please be civil and stick to the issues.

Updated 03-10-2019. Urn Pendragon has entered the Mayor’s race.


Hello Dennis,

It would be my pleasure to provide brief bullet points to describe my top 5 priorities.  There are so many layers of depth to the current issues and problems that New Haven needs to overcome in order to grow beyond a near flat line of annual trends over the last 20 to 30 years.  Sure, subjects like low crime rates, fiscal conservatism and political accountability are very important, but by strangling the resources needed to promote and sustain economic growth need to be reinforced and bolstered, not streamlined.

I will expand on my action plans in a future communication, but here are the top 5 ranked areas of my campaign:

1.  Wide-scale equitable, affordable housing so residents can have spendable revenue that can be circulated throughout the city's economy.

2.  Green, renewable and scalable energies to bolster power grid resilience, lower monthly reliance on imported electricity and provide jobs.

3.  Political accountability, by way of an easy-to-access progress report online, so the public can follow along with what the local government is doing.

4.  Centralize and organize all of the non-profits together into a citywide coalition, to provide efficient shelter, food, healthcare and job assistance to those in need, and fund-raise to stock-up needed resources.

5.   An audit of the city's spending and annual budget, to identify expenditures that need to be either streamlined, reinforced or cut entirely.

Everything on my list carries the same weight of concern, but since you asked for a ranked top 5, I did my best to briefly explain them.  Thank you for your time!

Take care and be well,

Urn Pendragon

Wendy Hamilton

Thank you, Dennis.  Of course nothing is written in stone.  I remain flexible as I hear more bad news about the city budget.

I now list top 5 issues:

1. Budget fix

2.House the homeless

3.More $$ for schools

4.Police contract

5.Improve mass transit

Of course I can easily expand and explain the list items at length, if desired.


Mayor Harp

Thank you for reaching out with this opportunity… the mayor’s continuing priorities are listed as highlighted edits to your e-mail below…

 Thank you again…


1. continue improvements in public safety protocol to extend five-year trend of lower crime rates

2. perpetuate New Haven Public Schools trends re: higher graduation rates, higher college enrollment and persistence rates, greater New Haven Promise participation, and lower suspension and expulsion rates

3. add to economic development, jobs creation, and private-sector construction to ensure vibrant New Haven economy going forward

4. maintain fiscal restraint to manage public funds responsibly and judiciously

5. act on additional initiatives to streamline city government, increase interactive capabilities, and make it more efficient in its operations 

Justin Elicker

I'll be formulating something more robust in written form in the future. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks. 


-Provide fiscal discipline to get the city's short and long term finances in order. 
-Focus on achieving real results in our school system and provide stability in planning.
-Implement economic development policy that isn't just about new buildings, but focuses on job creation for all and building our tax base by attracting more startups in New Haven, training residents through a pipeline to existing job opportunities and by growing our industrial base.
-Ensure transparent, honest, collaborative, accountable and accessible government that people trust and can rely on.

Petition to Investigate City Hall!

We need an independent investigation of City Hall. Please sign the petition below.


Many New Haven residents, taxpayers, and members of the media have raised concerns with regards to unusual, and seemingly inexplicable, financial and non-financial developments within our City government. The most recent development is news the New Haven Board of Education signed a $100,000 separation agreement with its COO Will Clark. Some prior developments (the list is too long to include within this petition) include the following:

  • An interest in borrowing $250 million in pension obligation bonds at time of rising interest rates.

  • New Haven Board of Police Commissioner’s long delay in removing an academy cadet with a history of domestic violence.

  • Numerous reports of UNITE Here backed Alders interfering with the progression/approval of development projects that don’t meet UNITE Here demands.

  • Refusal by City Hall to provide invoices supporting unexplained charges on the City of New Haven credit card.

To be sure, it’s possible the issues outlined above are nothing more than ‘politics’, or even incompetence. However, the optics are not good. And the refusal by city officials to provide explanations and respond to FOIA requests serves to magnify suspicions. Therefore, we the people of the City of New Haven call on our State and Federal authorities to investigate City Hall. This is OUR City, and we deserve to know the truth.

Petition can be found here..

Dirt Bike Season Just 75 Days Away!

The below is a comment I made on the New Haven Independent

I'm glad you raised the issue of dirt bikes. Nothing showcases our City's lack of leadership more than it's inability, and perhaps unwillingness, to address the lawlessness exhibited by the dirt bike gangs. Dirt bike season used to be June July August. But in recent years it has started earlier and ended later. I'm guessing we should see our first riders in early April - about 75 days from now.  So, last week during our Community Management Team meeting in Westville I raised the topic with District 2 Manager Lt. Rose Dell.  Lt. Dell has a long history of public service in the City and she's done a great job keeping the residents of Westville informed. She is dedicated, truly concerned with the community, and very professional. I asked Lt. Dell if the City/NHPD had a plan in place to stop the terror before it begins anew this Spring. She assured me the City was looking at new technologies to address the issue.  And at last week's COMPSTAT mtg Chief Campbell informed me that Lt. Jacobson is working on a plan. So, I am cautiously optimistic. However, I do question the City's will to address the issue. 

I say this because a few weeks ago I met with Officer Christian Bruckhart - he grew up and still lives in New Haven and has experienced the dirt bike chaos while on the job and at home in his neighborhood. It is clear from my conversation with him that he loves his job and this City, and we are fortunate to have him on the NHPD; he transferred from the Wallingford PD more than 10 years ago. Four years ago, Officer Bruckhart submitted to the City a proposal to use drone's as PART of a solution to safely track and then arrest the dirt bike riders. Officer Bruckhart researched and authored the report on his own time. The proposal was so good that the NHPD gave Officer Bruckhart an award for his proposal. But it was never put into action - for reasons I do not know. 

Again, I hope the City/NHPD will have a plan in place to stop the dirt bike madness before it begins this Spring.  Perhaps they should revisit Officer Bruchart's proposal. Either way, we plan to follow the topic on our website - it's one of those issues that cuts across most City neighborhoods, and destroys the quality of life for those of us who live here, while sending the wrong message about New Haven to the those who visit. 

The proposal is a few years old and  likely needs to be refreshed, but we have posted a copy on the OurNewHaven.org website Let's hope the City revisits the proposal. Click here for a copy of the proposal  

Separation agreement btw the BOE and Will Clark

We requested the separation agreement btw the BOE and Will Clark via the email below. You can find the agreement here

It appears the agreement does not answer the questions as to why he resigned or why the City decided to provide such a large payout.


Good day Ms. Foster -

The NH Register is reporting that the former chief operating officer of New Haven Public Schools Will Clark is receiving a $100,000 payout. In an effort to understand better the payout, I am respectfully requesting the following information: 

1.    A copy of the separation agreement btw the BOE and Will Clark. 

The NH Register is reporting that the NH Register has already received a copy of the separation agreement. So, I imagine it will not be difficult to fulfill this reuquest. Please confirm receipt of this email, and please let me know when I may expect to receive the documents.

Thank you,

Dennis Serfilippi

New Year - New Name - New Day for New Haven

First, we need to thank you for your interest and patience, and apologize for not providing regular updates. We started from scratch and things have admittedly gone slower than we wanted. The good news is we are now in a position where we can provide more frequent communications – probably two to three times per week to start.

The first update is we have a new name: Our New Haven. We chose the name because these are our neighborhoods, our schools, our children, our parks, our homes, and our tax dollars.  We live here, we own homes here, and we own businesses here. Many of us have grown up in New Haven, gone to school here, have lived here for many years, and plan to be here for many more. And we’re tired of special interests and outsiders taking control of our city. This is OUR City, OUR New Haven.

Our New Haven is going to run a candidate for the Mayor’s seat In November, and we’re also going to run candidates for the BOA.  And we won’t shut down after the 2019 election.  Win, lose, or draw in 2019 …we will have a ‘seat at the table’, and hold whomever wins accountable.  We’re in it for the long run. Likewise, we aren’t waiting for next year’s inauguration before taking action. The time to act is now.

So, where do we go from here?

·         We’re on a listening tour, and want to hear what you have to say. Please invite us to your Community Management Team (CMT), Local Block Watch, Church, Neighborhood Group etc.so we can get a better sense for the issues that are most important to your group. Send us an email here

·         Based on what we hear from you, we’ll build OUR Platform for the 2019 Election. AND we’ll select a few issues important to ALL of our neighbors and begin addressing them NOW. Some suggestions that have been made so far include identifying and targeting slumlords, building a directory of Our New Haven Contractors (contractors who live in New Haven) , and pushing the City to develop a comprehensive plan, ahead of Spring, to deal with dirt bikes so we can take back OUR parks and OUR streets.

·         In the meantime we will be building a scorecard to identify where the Mayoral candidates stand with respect to the issues. And we’ll continue our efforts to force this Mayor and this Administration to be more transparent.