Sidewalks, drunks, taxes, litter, it was all part of a meeting Wednesday designed to start people talking about improving Danbury.
Those were the down sides of a description that also included Danbury as one of New England's safest cities, a diverse city, a city with a wealth of historic buildings, a city with fun events, like A Taste of Danbury, the Winter Warm-Up, music on the green and public transit.
Carl Bailey, a Danbury businessman, said when he travels to other cities and other countries and he sees no trash.
"Maybe it seems like a little thing when you're walking around or driving around. You don't see any trash in Germany," Bailey said. He urged the city to ticket people who litter.
Some people are nervous about going to the post office, because of the panhandlers outside. They don't want to be bothered by strangers asking for money.
"You see the same people, day in and day out, standing outside on the sidewalk," said Dave Monte, who manages the Palace Theatre on Main Street. Can't the city do anything about that?
George Korres, owner of Nico's Pizza, 175 Main St., said, "You have to come up with a system, a way to keep our customers from being accosted."
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said the city is going to dedicate one person who will work on those quality of life issues downtown, someone who works downtown hours, not City Hall hours. He said the person will work like the UNIT, trying to make Danbury a better place to live.
The approximately 150 people in the room at Two Steps Downtown Grill seemed pleased so many people turned out for the meeting and that so many people cared about downtown Danbury.
"We need more community conversation," said Emanuela Lima, of the weekly newspaper Tribuna. Lima asked Boughton and City Center Executive Director Andrea Gartner to include the non-English speaking business owners in this revitalization effort.
"That diversity you've been talking about has been holding downtown Danbury together since the Mall came to town," Lima said.