Calls for North-Oak NRZ head to resign heard at Common Council meeting

Published on Wednesday, 12 June 2019 21:39
Written by Michelle France


NEW BRITAIN - Tensions were high and it was standing room only during Wednesday night’s Common Council meeting when residents addressed the council regarding recent comments made about Mayor Erin Stewart by North Oak-Neighborhood Revitalization Zone President Pablo Rodriguez.

During public participation, Sharon Saavedra, a past school board president, spoke to address the social media “vulgarity” directed at the mayor by a community leader.

“The recent Facebook post was not funny or amusing,” she said. “In the era of the #MeToo movement, with heightened understanding and appreciation for what women go through on their journey to success, that Facebook post was an utter disgrace. Using a sexual innuendo in an attempt to diminish and demean the mayor is totally unacceptable.”

“I ask all of you to be consistent in your outrage and this body to officially call on this said individual to step down. He is no community leader,” she said.

Aldermen Carlo Carlozi, a Democrat, and Kristian Rosado, a Republican, both called for Rodriguez’ resignation Friday after seeing language from Rodriguez on Facebook that they deemed inappropriate. The comment speaks about a “Queen Bee” (referring to the mayor) having Kool Aid and giving hers up to a lot of men, they pointed out.

The language on social media was in reference to the “Queen Bee,” not Stewart directly, Rodriguez had said. He’s never known Stewart to identify herself as the Queen Bee, he said.

New Britain resident Paul Catanzaro spoke at the meeting Wednesday agreed Rodriguez needs to step down.

“The person should definitely step down or be forced down. Period,” he said.

“I’m here as a resident, concerned mother and an offended female,” said New Britain resident Lauren Gonzalez. “No one deserves to be disrespected in that manner.”

“My buddy Pablo, you went overboard,” said Alderman Wilfredo Pabon. “…to help the NRZ you should just resign.”

State Rep. Robert Sanchez also spoke in regard to Rodriguez’s comments.

“It was uncalled for. It should not be happening to any leader of the city particularly the mayor,” said Sanchez. “This is a job that’s 24/7 and it’s not an easy job…whoever the individual is needs to apologize.”

Sanchez also thanked the mayor for her quick response to the recent vandalism at the Borinqueneers monument.

“The mayor was there that same day. She even door knocked with the police to try and find out what went wrong,” he said. “She’s always been a supporter of the Borinqueneers monument program since day one and I want to thank her for that.”

Charles Paullin contributed to this story.

Michelle France can be reached at 860-801-5087 or at

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Wednesday, 12 June 2019 21:39. Updated: Wednesday, 12 June 2019 21:41.