Quinnipiac and the 2017 Hamden mayoral election

By on November 7, 2017

Peter O'Neill
The Town of Hamden had its election for town mayor yesterday, Nov. 7. The current incumbent, Democratic Mayor Curt B. Leng, ran for re-election against Republican candidate Salman Hamid. Leng defeated Hamid and earned two more years as mayor.

Hamid has been a resident of Hamden for over 24 years. He has attended both Hamden middle and high schools and received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Quinnipiac University, according to his website hamidforhamden.com. Among the many issues posted on his website, Mr. Hamid is looking for a fair deal for Hamden, small business success, traffic calming and animal shelter construction.

Hamid said he also has plans for better Quinnipiac-Hamden relations.

“You’ve probably seen it yourself,” Hamid said. “Quinnipiac shuttles are leaving town and they are going to North Haven to shop. As far as I am concerned, that is not healthy.”

In addition, off-campus housing has been a contentious debate for quite a while within Hamden.

“I plan on working with the incoming president, whoever he or she may be, and working with campus security and the Quinnipiac liaison to address the concerns of families who live near students,” Hamid said.

Students have asked Hamid what Quinnipiac could do for Hamden and Hamid was taken aback by this.

Hamid said he hopes to hold events on the Quinnipiac campus so people can see that the relationship between the students and the community is not entirely fractured or broken.

“Quinnipiac can have a positive relationship moving forward,” Hamid said.

Mayor Leng hopes to continue strengthening Hamden’s finances, investing in Hamden’s neighborhood and making Hamden a safer community for all.

Peter O'Neill
Mayor Leng won a Special Election in 2015 after Mayor Scott Jackson resigned to take a position in Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration.

Mayor Leng was unavailable for comment on any new Quinnipiac initiatives that he is bringing to the table this election season. His website, LengForHamden.com, makes no mention of any plans to strengthen Hamden-Quinnipiac relations.

In a 2015 New Haven Register article, Quinnipiac President John Lahey “singled-out” then Assistant Town Planner Dan Kops as being “anti-QU.” Dan Kops, as of August 2016, is the Town Planner for Hamden. Within the article, President Lahey described how the Town of Hamden is not happy that Quinnipiac grew to 10,000 students. The medical school is specifically in North Haven because Hamden would not have approved, according to Lahey.

However, Mayor Leng has reached out to Lahey in the past to address off-campus housing. But, President Lahey believes it raises a privacy issue for those that are living in private, off campus houses and apartments.

Peter O'Neill
Relations between Quinnipiac and the Town of Hamden have been strained since the 1990s, when Mayor Lillian Clayman would not allow any more residential halls on Mount Carmel. Lahey stated in the New Haven Register article that the Clayman administration told him they wouldn’t reach 10,000 students, Division I athletics and add schools — yet Quinnipiac accomplished all of that.

The expansion to North Haven will continue to happen and President Lahey’s office will be stationed there. This is only a result of the stretched and torn relationship between Quinnipiac and Hamden.

Update: This story was updated at 9:55 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8 to include the election results.

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