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    Office Of The Mayor
    Mayor's Monday Message

    Dear Friends:

    Last week I joined Police Chief Dean Esserman at the Newhallville police substation to announce that within 30 days walking beats will return to every neighborhood in this city. I also announced that I will be submitting to the Board of Aldermen a budget amendment to increase the size of the Police Department by approximately 50 officers.

    Crime overall, including shootings, is declining in New Haven. But the number of homicides we experienced last year cannot be tolerated. I am committed to providing the Police Department the support it needs, but our police officers cannot eliminate violence alone. We need to restore trust and lines of communication between officers and the community. When you see an officer walking in your neighborhood, introduce yourself. Make sure you know your District Manager. Attend a block watch meeting or a Management Team meeting. We all have a role to play in eliminating crime in our city.

    Applications for tax assessment appeals to the Board of Assessment Appeals available February 1

    Applications for tax assessment appeals before the Board of Assessment Appeals will be available on the City's website, in the Assessor's Office, and in the City Clerk's Office beginning Wednesday, February 1. Per state statute, applications must be received by February 20 or they cannot be processed.

    Applications can be mailed to the Board of Assessment Appeals care of the Assessor's Office at 165 Church Street, dropped off in person at the Assessor's Office, or emailed. In order to submit an assessment appeals form online, applicants must print out and fill-in the form and sign it, then scan the completed form and include it as an attachment and e-mail to NHBAA@newhavenct.net. It is strongly suggested that applicants use certified mail if sending an appeal via the postal service. Per state statute, applications cannot be accepted prior to February 1.

    Once applications are received, hearing dates will be sent to applicants by mail or e-mail, depending on the property owner's preference stated in the application. A list of scheduled hearings will be posted on the Board of Assessment Appeals website. Hearings will be held in March, per state statute. The Board of Assessment Appeals will deliberate in April, and applicants will receive a decision within two weeks after the close of deliberations. Property owners who are dissatisfied with a BAA decision may appeal to the Superior Court.

    Applicants should make sure they bring all evidence supporting their estimated value to the hearing. This includes photographs, measurements, appraisals, or any other evidence that may support the case. Applicants will lose their appeal if they do not attend the hearing or do not present evidence supporting their claim.

    The Board of Assessment Appeals is an independent body, established through state legislation over 300 years ago to resolve property value disputes between municipalities and property owners. Every municipality is required to establish a BAA. Current members include Jeffrey Granoff (chair), Kenneth Janke, Christopher Mordecai, and Cordalie Benoit.

    The Board of Assessment Appeals website can be found at http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Government/AssessmentAppeals.asp

    City offers training for new Community Emergency Response Team class

    The City's Office of Emergency Management is seeking applicants for its second ever volunteer Community Emergency Response Team.

    CERT is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program that helps educate citizens about disaster preparedness and helps train them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, search and rescue, disaster medical operations, CPR, and shelter management.

    New Haven formed its first CERT in 2009, and members from the team have been an invaluable resource to the region during numerous emergencies. CERT members helped staff the City's emergency shelters during Tropical Storm Irene, manned cooling centers during heat waves, and even responded to the Kleen Energy power plant explosion in Middletown in 2010.

    CERT members must go through an intensive ten-week weekly training program, scheduled to begin on March 19. Classes are tentatively scheduled to take place on Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. One Saturday morning training day will also be required.

    Applications are available at www.cityofnewhaven.com, or in the Chief Administrator's Office at City Hall.

    School Change: New Haven Public Schools releases second annual tiering of all public schools

    The New Haven Board of Education has released its second school tiering report, based on performance data from the 2010-2011 school year. I'm pleased to report that the vast majority of New Haven schools improved their performance on many of the measures used in tiering, including standardized test scores, growth in standardized test scores, graduation rates, the number of students on trajectory to graduate on time, and school learning environments.

    School tiering is an important component of New Haven School Change by which each school is categorized according to the performance of its students. Tier I schools are those with consistently high student performance, Tier II are schools with average or mixed performance, and Tier III schools are those with low student performance.

    This year, 10 out of 12 high schools improved the overall rate of students on-trajectory to graduate on time, nine of out 12 high schools improved their graduation rates, and nine out of 10 improved their overall school learning environments. Among the K-8 schools, 24 out of 30 improved the rate of students scoring "proficient" or above on the state standardized test, and 23 out of 30 improved the rate of students scoring "at goal" or above on the state standardized test. Additionally, 28 out of 29 schools improved their learning environments. Although there was good growth in all of these tiering measures, no schools improved enough to move to a higher performance level. One school slipped back one tier - High School in the Community moved from Tier II to Tier III.

    Therapy Dogs help students read at the Fair Haven Branch Library

    Therapy Dogs Rudy and Daisy visited the Fair Haven Library last Thursday to help young students learn to read. While it may seem counter-intuitive, librarian Betsy Goldberg has found that the calm, unconditional love these dogs show helps encourage students who may be too shy or nervous to read to adults or other kids.

    Rudy and Daisy will be at the Fair Haven Library on Grand Avenue every Thursday this year from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Stop in and see for yourself!

    New Haven Resident Job Fair

    The City will be hosting three pre-screening sessions in preparation for a New Haven Resident Job Fair on February 23rd. In order to attend the Job Fair, individuals must attend one of the following pre-screening sessions:

    Thursday, February 9th at 1:30 p.m.-Monterey Place (230 Ashmun Street)

    Tuesday, February 14th at 10 a.m.-Quinnipiac Terrace Community Room (2 John Wilkinson Drive)

    Thursday, February 16th at 3:30 p.m.-Wilson Library (303 Washington Avenue)

    All attendees MUST bring the following: resume and references, photo identification and proof of New Haven residence. Attendees must also be on-time and dressed in appropriate work attire. Each pre-screening session will cover basic interviewing skills, workplace professionalism, and how to overcome barriers to employment. For more information or to RSVP, please call 203-946-7670 or email newhavenworks@gmail.com.

    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-8200


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