NEW BRITAIN - Tensions were high and it was standing room only during Wednesday nightâ€™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 â€śvulgarityâ€ť directed at the mayor by a community leader.
â€śThe recent Facebook post was not funny or amusing,â€ť she said. â€śIn 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.â€ť
â€śI 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,â€ť she said.
Aldermen Carlo Carlozi, a Democrat, and Kristian Rosado, a Republican, both called for Rodriguezâ€™ resignation Friday after seeing language from Rodriguez on Facebook that they deemed inappropriate. The comment speaks about a â€śQueen Beeâ€ť (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 â€śQueen Bee,â€ť not Stewart directly, Rodriguez had said. Heâ€™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.
â€śThe person should definitely step down or be forced down. Period,â€ť he said.
â€śIâ€™m here as a resident, concerned mother and an offended female,â€ť said New Britain resident Lauren Gonzalez. â€śNo one deserves to be disrespected in that manner.â€ť
â€śMy buddy Pablo, you went overboard,â€ť said Alderman Wilfredo Pabon. â€śâ€¦to help the NRZ you should just resign.â€ť
State Rep. Robert Sanchez also spoke in regard to Rodriguezâ€™s comments.
â€śIt was uncalled for. It should not be happening to any leader of the city particularly the mayor,â€ť said Sanchez. â€śThis is a job thatâ€™s 24/7 and itâ€™s not an easy jobâ€¦whoever the individual is needs to apologize.â€ť
Sanchez also thanked the mayor for her quick response to the recent vandalism at the Borinqueneers monument.
â€śThe mayor was there that same day. She even door knocked with the police to try and find out what went wrong,â€ť he said. â€śSheâ€™s always been a supporter of the Borinqueneers monument program since day one and I want to thank her for that.â€ť
Charles Paullin contributed to this story.
Michelle France can be reached at 860-801-5087 or at email@example.com.