I would like to keep your readers informed of the Town Council’s accomplishments in its first 6 months, which include:
- Addressing the $5 million hole in last year’s budget. Because of our work, so far, the town’s bond rating remains solid;
- Passing a balanced and responsible budget which funds the town’s pension obligations and improves education;
- Passing capital improvement and capital equipment budgets. The capital improvement Budget includes funding for street paving, sidewalks, and the replacement of Bunnell High School’s roof;
- Passing of the allocations of the Community Development Block Grant;
- Thoroughly vetting the Stratford High School project by holding a public information session, bringing together the superintendent, architect, Board of Education, finance director, the council and the public. After vetting, this council passed all necessary project resolutions;
- Appointments of numerous citizens to committees and commissions; and
- Oversight of town spending and departments.
Currently, the near-term special projects the council is working on include:
- Shakespeare Theater– through the council’s Building Needs committee, there is a Shakespeare subcommittee that is actively working on re-establishing the theater;
- Creating a Dog Park– the project has been reverted back to the Parks & Recreation Committee so it can recommend potential locations;
- Vetting the Center School project to determine whether the administration’s plans to replace both the Board of Education and (new) Center School buildings with a parking garage and 20% affordable housing represents the town’s long-term best interests; and
- Continued prodding on the Stratford Army Engine Plant project. This is the project that would be a game-changer for the town.
All on the council are concerned about the town’s long-term vitality. Smart economic development, high quality education, a stable bond rating, and getting the Army Engine Plant revitalized, along with continued oversight will result in lower taxes and make all of the town’s districts more desirable. I look forward to continuing our work.