Wish Granted?


Let’s all congratulate the new Acting Grants Administrator; Heather Habelka!

Someone who has never written a grant application in her life. I’m guessing with her new duties she will be getting paid much more than a mere Mayoral Aide.

Heather B. Habelka, a professional marketing strategist and public relations specialist with over 10 years of experience, founded HBH Marketing Communications, LLC in 2005.

Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Habelka served as Press Secretary on Diane Farrell’s 2004 Congressional campaign. She managed all aspects of the campaign’s public relations strategy. Her efforts played a vital role in raising Ms. Farrell’s name recognition in the fourth Congressional District from 30 percent to over 90 percent within a period of six months.

In 2005, Ms. Habelka was hired by the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) Fairfield, a program that works with teachers and their students (K-13) in an effort to improve writing and literacy and to close the achievement gap. Her government relations strategy was successful in securing state funding to support the program. In addition, her recommendations increased the program’s visibility and built key relationships with area legislators and educators.

Ms. Habelka has also served as Campaign Director for a winning mayoral campaign in the City of Waterbury, has gained legislative experience in Connecticut’s Senate and has strengthened her public relations and client service skills through positions with higher education institutions and a public relations agency.

Ms. Habelka is a published writer whose articles have appeared in Connecticut Magazine, The Progeny – a supplement to the Hartford Courant, The Connecticut Post, Connecticut Audubon Society’s News, Mitchell College’s The Seal, University of New Haven’s The Charger Graduate and Southern Connecticut State University’s Southern News.

Ms. Habelka received her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Haven and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. She has presented to campaign training programs on the role communications plays in campaign strategy.

Ms. Habelka serves on the Board of Directors for the Coastal Fairfield County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and is a member of the Stratford Democratic Town Committee.

Oh, she also has legal experience: SIANO,CHRISTOPHER,J v. SIANO,HEATHER,B

Maybe that’s what she was working on when she disappeared from Town Hall for four months (at full pay).


29 Responses to “Wish Granted?”

  1. 1 jezebel282


    What was that you were saying about the Council not approving appointments?

  2. 2 sudds


    Does anyone actually think that it is a coincidence that this was announced the day AFTER the CRC votes to not give the Council veto authority on his appointments???


    WAKE THE _____ UP!!!

  3. 3 gforrester

    Was this in the newspaper and I missed it?

  4. 4 sudds

    1) “Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Habelka served as Press Secretary on Diane Farrell’s 2004 Congressional campaign.”

    Farrell lost that election!!!

    2) “Ms. Habelka has also served as Campaign Director for a winning mayoral campaign in the City of Waterbury”

    I’m seriously afraid to ask this, but… which mayor?

    3) “founded HBH Marketing Communications, LLC in 2005”

    Now that she has a full time job she’s going to have to close up her business, right? (LOL)

    4) “Ms. Habelka received her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Haven”

    Majoring in??? (fll disclosure: mine is a dual major in Accounting and Business Policy & Strategic Leadership) I don’t see grant-writing on the list: http://www.newhaven.edu/9367/

    5) Mr. Best… can you please let me know how I can start kissing your ____, so I can qualify for a job in 2010?!?!?!

    6) I’ve gotta stop now this topic makes me want to puke!!!

  5. 5 pcsperling

    You have got to be flippin’ kidding me!

    Every day it just gets worse and worse. So, who is going to replace Heather? Let’s see….. I’m sure it’s going to be some friend or relative. Any guesses?

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Mr. Forrester,

    If you want to talk to Ms. Habelka. I suggest you meet her on Birdseye Street. You know, Where the Grant writer works?

  7. 7 1george1

    Please advise us as to the source of the information as in CT POST / STAR
    / BARD, or her WEBSITE.

    The C. R. C. voted early on to hold the right of recision on any decision.
    Since this website is named for the Charter, Jeze may have pull to have a
    C. R. C. member to bring the subject back to the Table.

    Further, GAVIN is chairing BUDGET WORK SHOPS.
    As GAVIN already blogged, there will be more than a few people’s job
    descriptions addressed?
    Based on watching / listening to GAVIN over the last couple of years,
    GAVIN (& some other Town Councilors may have questions related to
    this issue, specifically, WHEN is she ACTUALLY WORKING for the TOWN?

    While the TOWN COUNCIL can not interfer with the day to day operations,
    of the Town, by Town Charter, isn’t there a history of DE-FUNDING certain
    > I know, the Mayor, can simply shift money and titles, yet by taking such
    action, it raises issues which are increasingly transparent. 🙂

    Further, the Town Council can “suggest” to the C. R. C., if it chose to do so.
    Further, the Town Council will vote upon the C. R. C. final draft and can
    review the initial draft, if available before NEXT MONDAY’S T. C. Meeting,
    which GAVIN (or others) are FREE to place on the AGENDA by FRIDAY …


    The Town Council can vote to waive the rules and add an item to the agenda.

    So, JEZE, please document where GAVIN and the Town Council can verify your
    excellent muck raking. 😉

    JEZE, I am gettin JEALOUS ! 8)

    Just imaging IF there were LIVE, REAL TIME WEB CAST (greater demographics
    and coverage) of the Town Council Meeings?

    If PCS, Karen, Sue, David B. and others went to the Public Forum, requesting
    LIVE WEB CAST from their Councilors and raised these issues, where the Public
    with computers could TUNE in to the soap opera > “AS STRATFORD TURNS…”

    Sooner or later, people will understand TOTAL TRANSPARENCY and REAL TIME
    FEED BACK / INTERACTION, is the way of the PRESENT and FUTURE and in the
    LONG TERM BEST INTEREST of everyone! !


    Sudds, how does one make those unique faces?

  8. 8 jezebel282


    Document what? Sylvia’s post?


    Heather Habelka? Just call Town Hall and ask for the Grants Writer.

    Since Heather is working at the Birdseye Complex, I doubt anyone will see Mayor Moron in Town Hall much.

  9. 9 mikereynolds

    Two things about that…

    1. Would Grants Administrator even be a position that would need Town Council oversight based on the debate last night? How far down the food chain do you folks want the Town Council to have approval of? Secretary? Custodian? The line has to be drawn somewhere.

    2. The position is Acting Grants Administrator. Maybe she’s just filling in until someone more qualified can be found. Good grant writers aren’t just hanging around at the unemployment office. Maybe she does well and grows into the job. Everyone has to start somewhere.

    Remember, pretty much everyone here is anti-Miron. Don’t let your loathing of King Miron get in the way future. All these changes the anti-Miron folks want may in the end negatively effect your candidate when he/she becomes mayor. Then you can’t go back and want the charter changed again.

  10. 10 jezebel282

    Anti-Miron? Us?

    Why would you say that, Mike?

    1. Would Grants Administrator even be a position that would need Town Council oversight based on the debate last night? How far down the food chain do you folks want the Town Council to have approval of? Secretary? Custodian? The line has to be drawn somewhere.

    Somewhere is a good idea. Nowhere is where it is now.

    “Maybe she’s just filling in until someone more qualified can be found.”

    Mike? You’re kidding right? You don’t think she’s actually going to do anything other that grant Miron…never mind.

  11. 11 sudds

    “Sudds, how does one make those unique faces?”

    Bookmark it Georgie-boy…


  12. 12 gforrester

    Mike – Just as an FYI up until last year, when the council agreed to add the position of grants writer, each department was responsible for writing their own grant applications. The Town did hire someone but that person left and went to Bpt and the position had been unoccupied for some time now. What I find curious, and this is not being anti-Miron, is that the council was told that the office of the mayor needed 3 people in order to operate, a sec, community or public relations, and an admin assistant. Since Ms. Habelka is assuming another role, even in an acting capacity, how does that effect the functions of the office of the mayor now that it is short staffed? Since we have another individual, Duncan Yetman, who oversees the community development block grant program one could make the argument that maybe he should has assumed those duties on a temporary basis. In either case the addition of the grant writer position was on a 1 year trial basis depending upon grants applied for an recieved so there is no guarantee that the position will remain in the budget come July 1 anyway.

    I also noticed that the position is still being advertised on the web site as of this afternoon so we’ll see if an any qualified individuals apply.

    Stratford Job Openings

    Ass’t Director of Health/Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

    Crossing guards

    Grant Writer

    Part-time bus driver

    Part-time Public Safety Dispatcher

    Public Safety Dispatcher

  13. 13 sudds

    Does anyone know if it would be legal for me to offer $100 to the re-election campaign of any Council member voting to scratch the position from the budget this year??? 😈

  14. 14 pcsperling

    Gavin ~

    I might be confused, but in my office world, an administrative assistant and secretary are the same thing. It seems like the taxpayers are paying an awful lot of money to run just that office.

    So, Jim Miron has, a “secretary,” an “administrative assistant,” TWO “mayoral aides”? Or, is one of the “mayoral aides” also an “administrative assistant”? It’s all very confusing and seems like we, the taxpayers, are paying a whole lot for a great deal of nothing. The staffing issue is something that should be carefully examined.

  15. 15 sudds

    All of which reminds me to remind you all that..

    Jon Best is the greatest man alive!!! I’m anxiously counting the moments until I can vote for him as Mayor in November 2009!!! Anyone with half a brain would join in and vote for him with me!!!

    Psst… Mr. Best… where should I send my resume???

  16. 16 1george1

    Thanks for the FYI.

    Thanks for the book mark,

    More FACT based issues?

    With Jeze moving to muck raking mama,
    Gavin, PCS, (occasionally Cyclops & Kane)
    (where did Tim & OnTarget go?)
    And Sudds’ Jestering,
    and Mike Reynold putting some substance
    (disagree with parts of the latest blogs)

    Oh no! This blog may become respectable?

    If people truly want good government,
    and there is enough bad government to go around
    I congratulate all of you on serious thought and
    communications! I am pleased! 8)


  17. 17 jezebel282


    “Jon Best is the greatest man alive!!! I’m anxiously counting the moments until I can vote for him as Mayor in November 2009!!! Anyone with half a brain would join in and vote for him with me!!!”

    Err…Ben Proto is Jon Best’s guy on the CRC. I think he just lost my vote. More on this later.

    Mr. Forrester,

    Yes, John Fahan did a good thing. And yes, it is about damn time someone recognized the job Duncan Yetman has done quietly for 10 years. You couldn’t find a more hard working dedicated guy. Ooops….Damn! Now Miron’s going to fire him.


    Nearly $1/2 Million for an office that used to cost $150K.

  18. 18 freedomofspeach

    I guess I have to wonder how long Jim and Heather have been together. Does it seem that she became someone during Mirons campaign or was it during the divorce?

    Gavin, than you for the comments about how the position was funded and formed. I guess that the TC just has to un-fund or remove the position in the next budget.

    I wonder when she graduated from SCCU? Might know some people who know some people…maybe they dated her, they were college dems. We shall see.

    I find the whole thing just amazing, its like a train wreck, you just can’t look away.

    But she has an MBA lol.

    Jez, what’s your dislike to Mr. Proto?

  19. 19 jezebel282


    Actually, I had no opinion of Mr. Proto at all before his selection to the Charter Revision Commission. However, upon his selection and learning that he was Jon Best’s campaign manager I became very suspicious.

    Just to be fair, I had the very same suspicions of John Fahan (who was Gavin Forrester’s campaign manager. Right, Gavin?). I also have suspicions of Jim Orlowe who has close ties to Dom Costello.

    When you begin to follow politics in this particular town you learn almost immediately to disregard what these people say and concentrate on what they do.

    So far Mr. Proto has demonstrated what he was supposed to be there to do. Keep the mayor as strong as possible (at our expense) for the candidate he supports; Jon Best. And the way it runs in this Town his payment will be an appointment as Town Attorney. And with this vote, the Council will be unable to do anything about it.

    Once again, it’s not what they say, it’s what they do. Thank you Mayor Moron for teaching us that.

  20. 20 jonbest

    Wow! Be out of town on business and see what happens. I read this blog was appreciative of Sudds’s tongue in cheek support and will accept his resume. But I have a concern. Obviously people who have heard me speak at the Charter Revision would see that Mr. Proto and I have several disagreements on issues. I believe that people do not have to agree on every issue, but can maintain friendships and still work together in order to better the Town. To imply that he is a shill for me is not only wrong but also a leap of opinion that really upsets me. Does and did he work on my campaign and exploratory committee YES and I appreciate his support and respect his political acumen. I think he believed and believes I would be the best candidate for mayor and should I decide to run I would welcome his help. It is clear to me that you do not know me Jeze. I do not operate the way you imply things are going. The people that know me know that I am my own person. Some view that as a fault.

    During the charter revision process I have spoken at both public hearings regarding issues. I have been very clear about the Town Attorney position. I have stated previously on this blog that the process would be open and subject to public comment. There are no promises made of even discussed. At the public forum I have spoken about the Mayor having the ability to maintain other employment and I am against that. I believe that the only job the Mayor should hold is being Mayor.

    I am watching this process by attending the CRC meetings and commenting at public hearings where there are things I disagree with. I am my own person and will continue to be. Some people agree with my opinions and some don’t, but please do not attempt to predict on what I will do. It is not only unfair it is also inappropriate. It is also everything that is wrong with Stratford politics.

    Talk with me regarding my opinions as opposed to predicting the future or making assumptions. I formed an exploratory committee to allow people the opportunity to get to know me and decide if we share the same vision for Stratford. While I respond on this blog to issues on occasion I would like to know who I am speaking to. If you want to speak with me or discuss and issue with me please feel free to contact me. I will not be dragged into discussions when I do not know who I am speaking to. I will assure you of confidentiality if that is your concern.

    Finally I want to believe that the members of the CRC are doing what they believe is right for the future of Stratford. I am not a member of the CRC I am a voter. I have a responsibility to my community to participate in the process. I have no control over any one on the CRC because if I did I would not have to attend the meetings and there are times when I am tired and would love the luxury of not attending. But I believe as a voter this it too important not to be there.

    People need to look carefully at the candidates and make a good decision who should be the next mayor. It is my hope that you all do just that.

    Jonathan Best

  21. 21 mikereynolds

    So who is our new HR Director, Edmund Winterbottom, related to?

  22. 22 jezebel282

    Stratford fills human resources director post
    Article Last Updated: 05/14/2008 12:15:55 AM EDT

    STRATFORD — A former Bridgeport labor relations administrator has come out of retirement to fill the vacant post of town human resources director.

    Two weeks after Tina Burgett resigned from the job, Edmund E. Winterbottom, 66, who retired in June after serving a decade as Bridgeport’s director of labor relations and benefits, has accepted the town’s $85,750-a-year post.

    Winterbottom, a lawyer, is the third human resources director for the town in the past 2 years.

    “I guess I got bored with retirement pretty fast,” Winterbottom said Tuesday in his new Town Hall office. “I’m just spending the first few days getting to know the town and getting my feet wet.”

    Winterbottom, who started Monday, was the runner-up when Burgett was hired earlier this year.

    “We’re very fortunate that one of the finalists from a few months ago was still available and was able to be on the job so quickly,” Mayor James R. Miron said Tuesday. “I am confident attorney Winterbottom’s breadth of experience in human resources and labor relations will benefit all of our employees.

    “His leadership experience for the largest city in the state of Connecticut will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the town’s human resources functions,” he said.

    In Bridgeport, Winterbottom was involved in recruitment, organizational development, compensation, investigations, discipline, policy development, training and payroll, Miron said. He also supervised the city’s workers’ compensation and benefits
    program and was responsible for the more than $80 million benefits budget for the city and its Board of Education. In addition, he supervised all labor relations activities, including negotiations with the city’s 14 unions.

    Prior to working in Bridgeport, Winterbottom was general counsel for the New Haven Housing Authority, the largest housing authority in Connecticut, where he also handled labor relations and human resources functions.

    Winterbottom, who lives in Westchester County, N.Y., just beyond the Greenwich line, also previously worked for the city of New York and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and was a corporate attorney for three Fortune 500 companies.

    Burgett, who was New Haven’s top personnel official for a decade before coming to Stratford in January, indicated in her resignation letter that she wasn’t entirely happy in the post.

    She also said she needed to devote more time to caring for her elderly mother.

  23. 23 jezebel282


    Did we really need another lawyer?

  24. 24 1george1

    Was the USPS MD in New Haven in 1980s of the SAME NAME?

    Union reps claimed there was some sort of malpractice issue,
    for the quack, although I am not 100 % sure = same name.
    My experience was that USPS H. R. did the diagnoses consulting
    with the DR., “PRIOR” to him seeing the future patient??

    For some reason the name Winterbottom also seems to have been
    the name of a character in a play, we studied in HS?

    Another Lawyer?
    Already has 2 strikes against him?
    Maybe they need to hire all the LAWYER they can do to pending…. 8)

  25. 25 jezebel282

    Maybe there is too much actual work involved for Heather? Or will she be working full time trying to get people to believe Miron knows what he’s doing for the next 17 months?

    Town of Stratford

    The Town of Stratford, pop. 50,256, is seeking an experienced professional to assume townwide grant writing and administration. The position works under the general direction of the Chief Administrative Officer in collaboration with the Mayor and Town Department Heads in the area of grant development and coordination. Work involves actively seeking and obtaining new grant sources and funds. Plans, organizes and supervises programs and activities related to specific grant programs and coordinates activities of Town Departments in monitoring, applying for and receiving intergovernmental assistance.

    Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, or some closely related field and three (3) years experience in writing grants, researching grants, development and processing of grant applications, administering, managing and monitoring of grants and grant programs; or any equivalent combination of education, experience and training. The annual salary will be $65,000 plus a comprehensive benefits package. Visit http://www.townofstratford. com for additional information about the Town. Resumes should be sent to:
    The Town of Stratford
    Human Resources
    2725 Main Street
    Stratford, CT 06615
    Resumes must be
    received by
    August 29, 2008
    EOE M/F

  26. 26 starlooker

    Okay…This is the 3rd time I have seen this. Now what does heather do? Does this mean another position being made at 65,000 plus benefits a year? Lets see 3 asst’s, a PR person now a grant writer, 12 more police officers (which I have no problem with). Ummmm what do I see in the future for this Town….BANKRUPCY….. People were laid off due to budget cuts, new positions made with the same salary as those laid off and other new positions made. This is totally unreal.

  27. 27 1george1

    Maybe I should apply for the Grant Writer job?

    But that conjures the vision of Jimmy Stewart and Mr Potter in the
    movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” similar to Rich Weizel.

    I may take a pt job as a stringer for a Newspaper, for experience and
    a little easy revenue. Kinda reverse Linda Goodwin.

    Very, very preliminary discussions.

    I can have fun with this one.
    In many, many ways.

    Devil is in the details.

    However, it won’t be my first time to the Mountaintop.

  28. 28 jezebel282


    Apply for “acting” grant writer. Apparently if you put the word “acting” in front of anything you do not require experience in anything.

  29. 29 1george1

    Something the Town Council didn’t think of or choose to ignore:

    If Shakespeare is NOT an Equity House, there is a strong possibility
    of a “Variety” of highest performers, who will NOT perform there.

    Equity = Democrats
    NON Equity = Republicans = ANTI UNION, unless they are their WHORES.

    Could there be a sub consciou reason that Miron / Burturla “ACT UP?”

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