My only guess is that Waterbury found its rep as Connecticut Most Corrupt City being eclipsed by, I dunno, Hartford? This is certainly the kind of mid-season pick-up that can revitalize a team.
On a serious note, I cannot imagine what kind of dull-witted, hydrophobic thinking could have produced this move. The mayor would probably be better off appointing the smartest pineapple at his produce company. In fact, he would be better off consulting with a reasonably astute avocado before announcing his own ideas to the world.
The biggest problem is that Waterbury is not a free-standing principality, although there's a lot to be said for that idea. Currently, it depends on state monies. Mayor Binks has effectively flipped the bird to the legislature. How can they possibly justify appropriations to his city. How can Gov. Rell, who called Rowland disgusting, now push bond monies for Waterbury.
As a catalyst for economic deveopment -- as indeed the probable "face" of Waterbury economic development --Rowland is a staggeringly insane choice. Does Waterbury -- just now shrugging off the taint of Santopietro and Giordano -- think companies are looking for corrupt cities in which to relocate? Cities in which the municipal power structure is vulnerable to sudden fluctuations due to state and federal corruption probes? You think some company WANTS that?
As if that weren't bad enough, there's the matter of federal dollars. Rowland was once a fair-haired boy of the Bush clan, but no more. And then, Democrats are a heavy favorite to win back the White House in November. Does the mayor think John Rowland is a great person to send to Washington to shake the tree in a Clinton or Obama administration? Or McCain -- a staunch anti-corruption crusader ever since his own embarassing tumble with the Keating Five -- for that matter?
p.s. Somebody with Courant clip file access -- Paz? -- might want to see what Rowland said when, as Governor, he was calling on Joe Ganim to resign as mayor in Bridgeport. I think one of his points was that the city would have trouble attracting private economic development investments with a compromised mayor. Chew THAT one over.