Letter: Wish Lists vs. Town Needs
I have been a lifelong Democrat, but find myself agreeing with many of the points in Chuck Pyne’s “Other Side of the Aisle” column regarding the town’s priorities. In the February 10th issue, I read how we have hired consultants to improve the business district in order to grow the grand list. Then I read in “The First Selectman’s “column that budget requests have increased by 10% while our grand list has only increased by 1%. Then, we hear about the two different Beecher Road School committees which will be grappling with a number of large and very expensive issues that are coming up.
However, the article driving me to Mr. Pyne’s side of the aisle is the Old Firehouse proposal. I have always thought the conversion of this building to a community/cultural center was completely unnecessary, but I realize most people supported it because it was a state grant that would pay for said conversion. Of course, a state grant is our money - it is not free money. Nevertheless, it is the outdoor amenities proposed that have grabbed my attention and prompt me to write. A heated outdoor pavilion - a bocce court - (more) community gardens - outdoor reading spaces - (you can’t read in your own yard?) - phone charging stations! All these outdoor proposals will apparently - per the article - NOT be paid for by the state grant. Are you kidding? Who will pay for these unnecessary and extravagant extras?
The town leaders need to look really hard at people’s wish lists and decide on what the town NEEDS vs. what might be nice to have.