Many involved in making dog park a reality

Recent articles regarding my announcement as a candidate for the 1st District of the Town Council for Stratford included comments about my work as co-chairman of the Dog Park Subcommittee. I am very proud of what the subcommittee was able to accomplish, but I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the work of everyone involved in the subcommittee.

I feel the best way to accomplish this is to republish the acknowledgement letter for our final report dated Jan. 25, 2017, that was co-authored by my co-chairman, Robert Jaekle, the text of which is as follows:

We wish to thank all those who have input in this Stratford Dog Park Location Report. Much time and effort went into the process of fully vetting out the many sites that have been considered since the Ordinance establishing a Dog Park was passed 10 years ago. It took countless hour and work on the part of many of the residents of Stratford.

First and foremost, thank you to the many residents of the Town of Stratford who shared with the Subcommittee your thoughts and opinions through correspondence we received, social media outlets, or in person any of the public forums that were offered at our meetings including the town wide public hearing that was held

Thank you to the many commissions, committees, organizations, and town departments who took the time to hear us, engage with us, and provide your valuable opinions as we reviewed each site. This includes a special thanks to Councilman Wali Kadeem and the members of the Parks and Recreation Committee who allowed us the time necessary to work through this extensive vetting process and who we hope will accept, endorse, and pass along to the Town Council this report along with any recommendations they may choose to make.

We cannot acknowledge or thank enough the yeoman’s work by the members of our Subcommittee. From the time and valued input from Chad Esposito, Supervisor of the Parks Department, Pat Patusky, supervisor of the Recreation Department, or Danielle Stella, president of the Stratford Animal Rescue Society (STARS). To Rachel Solveria, our town Animal Control Officer, whose background, training, and expertise we relied on so heavily in our vetting process.

We must express a special thank you to Paula Lockshier, President of The Stratford Dog Park Action Committee, who did tireless work on providing us with much of the background information, development and presentation of the Power Point presentations that were given at the many joint-committee meeting we held with the various park Commissions, and without her  dedication to this project, this entire process and final report would not have been accomplished.

Lastly we thank in advance the Town Council of Stratford, who we have full confidence in, after reviewing this report, will be able to come to a final conclusion and establish a home for the Stratford Dog Park.

Yes, open and transparent government requires a team effort, especially among the members of the various Town Council Committees and I believe the Dog Park Subcommittee was a perfect example of this fact.

John Rich is co-chairman of the Stratford Dog Park Subcommittee and a candidate for the 1st District seat on the Town Council.

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