Awards for our youth outreach scholarship #LoCoolGov were presented at CCM’s Annual Meeting and Dinner, along with individual Municipal Excellence Awards for Innovation, Lifetime Achievement, and Legislator of the Year.
• 2018 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM • CCM BOARD ELECTION RESULTS • NEWS FROM MEMBER TOWNS
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OFFICERS President, Susan S. Bransfield First Selectwoman of Portland 1st Vice President, Neil O’Leary Mayor of Waterbury
THE BIMONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE CONNECTICUT CONFERENCE OF MUNICIPALITIES
2nd Vice President, John A. Elsesser Town Manager of Coventry
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DIRECTORS Luke A. Bronin, Mayor of Hartford Robert M. Congdon, First Selectman of Preston Michael Freda, First Selectman of North Haven Joseph P. Ganim, Mayor of Bridgeport Toni N. Harp, Mayor of New Haven Barbara M. Henry, First Selectman of Roxbury Deb Hinchey, Mayor of Norwich Catherine Iino, First Selectwoman of Killingworth Marcia A. Leclerc, Mayor of East Hartford Curt Leng, Mayor of Hamden W. Kurt Miller, First Selectman of Seymour Rudolph P. Marconi, First Selectman of Ridgefield Leo Paul, First Selectman of Litchfield Scott Shanley, General Manager of Manchester Jayme A. Stevenson, First Selectman of Darien Erin Stewart, Mayor of New Britain Daniel Syme, First Selectman of Scotland Mark B. Walter, Town Administrator of Columbia Steven R. Werbner, Town Manager of Tolland PAST PRESIDENTS Mark D. Boughton Mayor of Danbury Matthew B. Galligan Town Manager of South Windsor Herbert C. Rosenthal former First Selectman of Newtown HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS Elizabeth Paterson, former Mayor of Mansfield Stephen Cassano, Selectman of Manchester
Inside this issue... 4 7 8 14 18 20 22 25
CCM Legislative Program Newly Elected Workshops Municipal Excellence Awards Meet CCM’s 2018 Board of Directors #LoCoolGov Awards Convention Photos CIRMA News News from Member Towns
CCM STAFF Executive Director, Joe DeLong Deputy Director, Ron Thomas Managing Editor, Kevin Maloney Layout & Design, Matthew Ford Production Assistant, Joan Bailey Writer, Jack Kramer
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2018 State Legislative Program
CCM identifies key nuts-n-bolts state-legislative issues for 2018, as members work toward January for major priorities announcement
CM is not resting after the tumultuous 2017 General Assembly session. The 2018 session is only a couple of months away, starting in February, and CCM’s municipal leaders have been hard at work developing its 2018 legislative agenda. Below is a summation of some of the nuts-n-bolts issues for CCM’s 2018 State Legislative Program. It should be noted that CCM’s Board of Directors will identify other priorities that are budgetary in nature. CCM’s Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is urging legislative leaders to prioritize state transportation funding on projects that focus on the improvement and expansion of the state’s existing rail, airport, roadway, and deep-water port infrastructure, as outlined by the Department of Transportation’s “Let’s Go CT” plan. The investment and development of these assets will, the committee states, help attract new businesses to our state, spur local economic growth, and facilitate the reduction of congestion along state and local roads. The committee is also asking for more autonomy in allowing towns and cities to implement their own road improvement projects. CCM’s Committee on Public Safety, Crime Prevention, and Code Enforcement has several suggested initiatives for legislators, including developing a sustainable funding stream for Connecticut’s regional fire schools, providing better administrative oversight of local fire marshals by town and city chief executives. 4 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
Additionally, the committee is planning to work with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to develop a more equitable Resident State Trooper program for participating municipalities. Among other priorities, the committee is also supporting efforts of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association regarding policies on the usage of body cameras. CCM’s Committee on Land Use, Housing and Community Development has a number of goals for the upcoming session, including removing the property tax exemption for commercial solar use in the general statutes, allowing municipalities to assess ongoing fees for the use of public rights-of-way, and to force evicted tenants, or their landlords, and foreclosed property owners to be responsible for the costs associated with the removal and storage of their property. The committee is also supporting amending a section of the general statutes expanding opportunities for alternative classifications of property to be included in municipalities’ count towards a moratorium under the affordable housing statute. CCM’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services is concentrating on continuing battling the state’s opioid crisis, by recommending that the legislature designate a state ombudsman for drug abuse and control policy by adopting the Medication Assisted Treatment model (M.A.T.) in opioid abuse rehabilitation. The model combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance abuse disorders.
CCM’s Committee on Municipal Law, Liability & Insurance has several proposals, including allowing towns and cities the ability to collect fees from for-profit companies filing requests for local information that the companies will then sell. The committee is also asking that a municipality not be responsible to pay for the cost of a municipal employee who is subpoenaed to appear in court in a civil litigation case. The party ensuing the action should pay. It is also asking that municipalities only be required to print a summary, but the not the entire legal notice in newspapers. The entire legal notice would be required to be posted on the town’s website. It is also proposing that the use of body cameras by police be a condition of employment, not subject to collective bargaining. CCM’s Committee on Energy and Environmental Management’s proposals include the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reestablish a Pesticide Advisory Council to develop proposals to regulate the use of synthetic and organic pesticides on municipal lands. In addition, members recommended that we add “Herbicides” to the advisory council’s title and change it so that it reads, “Pesticide and Herbicide Advisory Council.” Also that the virtual net metering municipal credit cap for towns, both small and large, be expanded and to increase the renewable portfolio standards to increase the utilities demand for renewable energy. CCM’s Committee on Taxes and Finance’s proposals include prioritizing the adoption of municipal aid within the state budget in order to facilitate the adoption of local budgets. Also, the committee advocated for local tax relief and to reduce the municipal dependency on the property tax as a revenue source by considering: 1) charging a uniform local sales tax enacted at the state level; 2) dedicating a portion of the hotel/
lodging tax and restaurant tax to host municipalities; 3) allowing towns and cities to charge reasonable fees to tax exempt entities to offset costs of providing locally funded services. CCM’s Committee on Education’s proposals include allowing municipalities to implement alternative plans to meet the requirements of unfunded mandates. The committee is also asking the state to provide dependable funding for special education services. CCM’s Committee on Labor Relations’ main proposal is to amend binding arbitration laws to provide needed relief and increased predictability for local government. Key components for CCM’s comprehensive binding arbitration reform package includes: 1) There shall be an irrebuttable presumption that a budget reserve of 15% or less is not available for payment of the cost of any item subject to arbitration under the Municipal Employees Relations Act and the Teacher Negotiation Act; 2) collective bargaining issues pertaining to regionalization of services shall not be mandatory subjects of collective bargaining; and 3) if a local governing body rejects an arbitration award by a two-thirds majority vote, then
the award shall be reviewed by a second arbitration panel and the process must start again. It is also asking the Municipal Employee Retirement system (MERS) be amended to establish a tiered system for new hires that is less financially burdensome on municipalities. Also, three of CCM’s Policy Committees proposed that the legislature increase the prevailing wage threshold to five hundred thousand dollars for the total cost of work for remodeling, refinishing, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair projects. This would be accompanied by a provision that would index the thresholds for new construction and remodeling, refurbishing, rehabilitation, alteration or repair projects for inflation annually. From the list of excellent suggestions put forward by all of CCM’s committees, a final legislative priority list will be formulated over the next few weeks in advance of the start of the 2018 General Assembly session. We thank CCM members for their continued hard work on these very important issues. The work is only beginning and 2018 promises to be another challenging year for us.
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 5
CT leaders help identify municipal issues for federal tax reform efforts
s CT&C went to press, Congressional leaders were still seeking agreement on President Trump’s tax reform plan. Early on in the debate the National League of Cities (NLC) drew a line in the sand on what this means for towns and how the legislation needs to be crafted to best meet municipal needs. First and foremost — eliminating the ability to write-off property taxes paid annually would only place more pressure on the largest tax in Connecticut, making Connecticut’s local economies and tax environment even more uncompetitive. Here are some other key issues that NLC and municipal leaders sought to be addressed in any tax plan: protecting tax exemptions for municipal bonds, including municipal, advance refund, and private activity bonds; retaining all state and local tax (SALT) deductions, including property taxes and sales and income taxes; and sustaining tax credits, including historic tax credit (HTC) and new markets tax credit (NMTC). Municipal bonds remain the main financing tool for towns and cities nationwide, and the tax exemptions allow towns to borrow at lower interest rates and save on costs. On the issue of state and local tax deductions, the House and Senate bills reduced the eligibility of this deduction by capping it at $10,000. NLC also remains committed to protecting key tax credits that help communities spur economic development and build healthy, strong and vibrant communities.
6 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
These include: • the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), which encourages the redevelopment of historic and abandoned buildings. The House bill eliminates this credit; expense eligibility is reduced from 20 to 10 percent in the Senate bill; • the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), increases the the flow of capital to businesses and low income communities by providing a modest tax incentive to private investors. Fully eliminated in House bill. Retailed — for two years — in Senate bill. More than 20 municipal leaders from Connecticut heard a lot about these tax plans and other topics such as economic development, climate change, transportation, leadership development, and more at the recently concluded National League of Cities 2017 City Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The convention, held at the Charlotte Convention Center on November 16-18, was attended by 4,000 city leaders from across the country. Attendees heard from well-known speakers such as Gabriel Giffords, former Arizona congresswoman and advocate and retired U.S. Navy Captain and Astronaut Mark Kelly. Besides taking mobile tours of Charlotte and networking with fellow municipal leaders, the Connecticut delegation also attended workshops that armed them with tools and resources to bring valuable input back home to share with fellow officials and planners in their hometowns.
Staying Vigilant On Teacher Retirement Costs State committee to study, make recommendations on issue
ne issue that clearly isn’t going away is who pays for the costs of teacher retirement.
It was the issue that bogged down budget talks for most of the past year, as CCM and town leaders fought back at attempts to shift the majority of the cost from the state to the town taxpayers. In the end, most of the battle for the towns and cities was won, for this year. But there’s always next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. So, thankfully, the legislature has established the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) Viability Commission to study the issue and come up with a long-term solution. The committee’s charge is to: “develop and implement a plan to maintain TRS’ financial viability; membership consists of the Teach-
ers’ Retirement Board and a global consulting firm with significant experience and expertise in human resources, talent development, and health and retirement benefits and investments.”
bility does not include its ability to raise revenue through new or increased taxes; requires the commission to hold at least one public hearing and solicit input from TRS members in developing the plan.
The legislation also, “requires the commission, in developing the plan, to give significance to the state’s financial capability, which includes the state’s (1) fiscal health; (2) Budget Reserve Fund balance; (3) long and short-term liabilities, including the ability to meet minimum funding levels required by law, contract, or court order; (4) initial budgeted revenue vs. actual revenue received for the last five fiscal years; (5) revenue projections; (6) economic outlook; and (7) access to capital markets.”
Equally as important, the legislation requires that at least one of the Teachers’ Retirement Board members be a municipal chief elected official, an important watchdog for towns and cities.
Importantly, the legislation: Specifies that the state’s financial capa-
The huge funding gap created by the teachers retirement account didn’t happen overnight, so fixing the problem won’t happen quickly or even in a few years. But the spotlight that CCM and its member towns placed on the issue in the past legislative session is a good start.
CCM Workshops For Newly Elected Officials
early 60 newly-elected municipal leaders from more than 30 communities took part in CCM’s early December workshop designed especially for them at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill. The same CCM workshop will be presented there again on January 20. These workshops are provided as a free service to all newly-elected officials in Connecticut. The December 8 session included presentations from recognized experts with lengthy experience covering three core local government subject areas: • Fundamentals of Municipal Government, presented by Matthew Knickerbocker, First Selectman of Bethel • FOIA/Meetings/Ethics presented by Murtha Cullina LLP with Attorneys Kari Olson and Joseph Schwartz • Budget and Fiscal Management presented by Glenn Klocko, Former Comptroller of Bristol
received tailored comprehensive training in each of these critical areas of municipal government.
A special luncheon address was presented by CIRMA on helping to build better and safer communities in which to live, learn, and work.
Local officials in attendance also received credits toward becoming a CCMO — Certified Connecticut Municipal Official! This is CCM’s newest accreditation process for municipal officials.
The subject matter was covered in three rotating sessions so that all attendees, new municipal CEOs, new councilmembers, and new board of finance members,
There is still time to register for the January session. Go to ccm-ct.org/municipal-training-events for more information. DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 7
N I C I PA L U M
2017 Municipal Excellence Awards showcase members’ best efforts
urning ideas into action to improve services, efficiencies, and the day-to-day quality of life for citizens is at the heart of CCM’s annual Municipal Excellence Awards, and this year there was no shortage of ideas. The robust competition among member CCM municipalities was a clear show of enthusiasm and community pride. Judging was based on: • How the project or program was organized, administered, and explained • How well it achieved its goals • How well resources, such as grants, budgets, and staff, were used • Whether the project could serve as a template for other communities
The four winners honored at CCM’s Annual Convention — Manchester, Windsor, Fairfield, and Stonington — reflected a cross-section of our state. From big cities to small towns, each project recognized the importance of being innovative, collaborative, and committed to improving the lives of those who live and work in the community. Fairfield – Topical Entry Winner for Energy Programs (Zero Net Energy Facility) Sustainability Award Fairfield was honored for its creative programs in sustainability. Fairfield’s comprehensive energy strategy produced several initiatives in 2017 that focused on its Water Pollution Control Facility as a target to promote sustainability. The town is in the midst of a $3.4 million plan to dike the site with pump stations, protecting the site from the 500-year flood zone.
First Selectman Michael Tetreau accepted this year’s Municipal Excellence Award for Sustainability on behalf of the Town of Fairfield for their energy programs.
8 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
The Town of Stonington won for their Citizens with Autism Safety System.
Additionally, Fairfield has pledged to make its Water Pollution Control Facilities, going forward, to be more developed with green power, along with other buildings. The town has turned to the private sector for this environmentally friendly project with the goal that Fairfield residents will pay less for electricity 20 years from now than they do today. Lastly, the town committed to developing a microgrid. The town was successful in securing Federal Emergency Management Agency grant funds for the project. The microgrid ensures that the Water Pollution Control Facility will have power when the main grid is down. Stonington – General Entry Winner for Special Needs Activities The town of Stonington is being recognized for working in conjunction with New England Geosystems, developing a map-based application that is accessible via the internet to aid first responders in searching for people with autism who have been reported missing. Dubbed the “Citizens with Autism Safety System” or CASS, the password-protected application is an opt-in system where family members submit a form detailing their loved one’s vital information with a photo and specific conditions related to their autism. This assists first responders when the person is located by informing how the missing person communicates and warns of any specific triggers to avoid. The application may be a key tool particularly in the area of water rescues, as many people with autism are drawn to water. The application addresses that issue when searching on the map and a half-mile radius pops up around the missing person’s last known location, identifying all water features in the area.
Windsor – General Entry Winner for Summer Fun Academy The town of Windsor is being recognized for running its Summer Fun Academy. Back in 2015, school officials understood the need to find a way to save money on summer school transportation costs. Windsor recreation departments worked with school officials to develop a program incorporating summer school into a traditional summer camp. When the program was finally launched it was an immediate success, as the school district saved a total of $65,000 in transportation costs in salaries. 100 children identified as most in need of summer school attended the program for four weeks, free of charge, courtesy of the school district; an additional 200 children benefited from the educational component, helping summer camp revenues hit an all-time high. Overall, the town’s summer camp became more apDECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 9
Windsor was recognized for its Summer Fun Academy.
pealing to all parents, and the result was that 12 more counselors were hired to handle the increase in the number of children attending, providing much needed summer jobs for Windsor teenagers. Manchester – General Entry Winner for Our Parks The town of Manchester is being recognized for its Our Parks entry. A survey in 2015 of 16,000 residents found that although Manchester got high marks for the number of recreational opportunities available throughout the town, the recreational facilities themselves were in dire need of improvements. In response to that survey, the town was motivated to leverage state, federal, and private funding to upgrade existing facilities to meet the needs of the next generation of Manchester residents. The campaign was spearheaded by the Department of Leisure, Family and Recreation but collaboration involved the help of many departments in town, including the Planning and Economic Development Departments, the Engineering Departments, the Field
Services Departments, the Department of Facility Maintenance, and the Town of Manchester GIS Department. The changes began with the upgrading of Charter Oak Park, transforming the space from an outdated facility to a 21st century facility with updated restrooms, redesigned parking, reconstructed tennis and basketball courts, upgraded play space, music garden, public art display, and a Wi-Fi park. But part of the campaign was also to spread the word about the good work being done at the parks, hence the launching of the “Our Parks” campaign. The Recreation Division of the town of Manchester’s Department of Leisure, Family and Recreation came up with the promotional materials to spread the word. The overall result is that daily park attendance has surged, tripled in fact. And groups have begun to engage with the park bringing in movie nights, public art, and other new investments. Congratulations to all the winners! We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!
Manchester won for their “Our Parks” program.
10 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
Waterbury’s O’Leary wins Lee Innovators Award
aterbury Mayor Neal M. O’Leary is the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ 2017 winner of the Richard C. Lee Innovators Award.
O’Leary, the newly appointed president of CCM in the coming year, is being recognized for his groundbreaking work in fighting the opioid crisis that has been plaguing the country and the state of Connecticut the past several years. In 2016 alone, over 900 Connecticut residents died of opioid-related causes. The mayor has provided significant local leadership during the drug crisis, and that leadership has spilled over into helping neighboring communities combat the problem. “Neal’s not afraid to be first, to be out in front on the big, difficult issues,” said CCM Executive Director Joseph DeLong. “He is very deserving of winning the Richard C. Lee Innovators Award and we are thrilled that he’ll be the leader of our overall organization in the coming year.” Outgoing CCM President Susan Bransfield, too, praised O’Leary. “Plain and simple, Neil’s a leader. He’s been one all his professional career and will continue to be one as long as he’s mayor of the fine city of Waterbury,” said Bransfield, first selectwoman of Portland. O’Leary, who because of his prior career in law enforcement and public safety, was well versed in the danger of drug abuse, knew that Connecticut and Waterbury had a serious drug problem. So he acted. O’Leary incorporated the local community, partnering with public safety and healthcare agencies, engaging the attention of state and federal policymakers, and involving leaders from neighboring communities to provide a coordinated response to the opioid crisis plaguing the area. As the crisis worsened, from 2014-2016, O’Leary established the “Mayor’s Opioid Task Force,” which pursued the following strategies to combat the crisis: • Taking the lead to increase public awareness and engagement around opioids, including principles of safe use, safe storage, safe disposal; • Designating a point person on substance abuse prevention; • Encouraging collaboration between municipal departments and agencies; • Developing resource guides for families; • Tailoring programs to meet local needs; • Publicizing Good Samaritan Laws; • Working with school officials to develop anti-drug
Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, CCM Executive Director Joe DeLong, and CCM President Susan Bransfield.
school programs; • Providing first responders with Narcan; and • Providing Narcan training to community groups and the general public. The city of Waterbury has an ambitious goal to reduce the opioid-related deaths by one-third over a three-year period, from January of 2017 to September of 2019. Besides the proactive steps the mayor took by forming the task force, he also filed a lawsuit, along with other municipalities, against pharmaceutical manufacturers who distribute opioids. Solving the drug overdose crisis that is killing, on average, three people a day in our small state of Connecticut is by no means an easy task. But clearly the way to tackle the crisis is head-on and that’s exactly what Mayor O’Leary is doing and why he’s being recognized for his actions with this prestigious award. The Richard C. Lee Innovators Award is presented by CCM to recognize municipal leaders that have developed unique and creative projects and programs to increase the effectiveness of local government. Innovators are individuals in any area of government who address problems common to municipalities throughout Connecticut in new ways.
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 11
A Lifetime Of Achievement Tolland’s Werbner is Joel Cogen Award winner
olland Town Manager Steven R. Werbner is this year’s recipient of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ Joel Cogen Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the award at this year’s annual CCM banquet.
to Deputy General Manager.
Werbner has made significant and substantial contributions to the Town of Tolland, Town of Manchester, his former employer, as well as the State of Connecticut during his 40-year career in local government.
Werbner’s almost three decade period in Manchester saw him make substantial and unique contributions to the community. He served as the town’s chief negotiator and Labor Counsel helping to shape the labor contracts and benefits of all employees. As economic development flourished in Manchester, he was instrumental in strategic planning and managing the growth of town departments, including Information Technology.
“Steve has given four decades of public service to two different towns in Connecticut,” said Joseph DeLong, CCM’s executive director. “He has worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. Nobody is more deserving of this high honor than Steve.” CCM President Susan Bransfield said: “To list all that Steve has done in his career would take too long. Suffice it to say that everyone he has worked with has been impressed with his commitment and dedication to simply get the job done.” After obtaining his M.P.A. from George Washington University in 1976, Werbner began his career in his hometown of Manchester. Starting as a Personnel Assistant, he moved quickly to Personnel Supervisor, then Assistant General Manager and by 1989 was promoted 12 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
During this period Werbner also obtained his J.D. from Western New England Law School. Steve was promoted to the top spot of General Manager of Manchester in 2001 and served in that position until September 2005.
Werbner has always embraced technology as a tool to create efficiencies and community engagement. Steve was instrumental in the idea of using parks and recreation programs not just to facilitate athletic pursuits but as a vehicle for community wellness and involvement. Upon his retirement from Manchester, Werbner didn’t skip a beat. He took up his next challenge and became Town Manager for the Town of Tolland in 2005. From the start, he helped bring the town to a highly recognized level of strong financial management. Under his tutelage
Tolland was recognized as an AAA rated community which has saved substantial funding in debt expense. When he started working for the town, Tolland was rated as an AA-. The AAA rating with a perfect score in financial management is the highest rating that a town can achieve, something that many towns the size of Tolland do not obtain. He developed budgets with low tax and spending increases that still provided high quality services and education for residents of Tolland through innovation. In 2012, he helped the town and the Board of Education save substantial funding as one of the driving forces and in a leadership position of the Eastern Connecticut Health Insurance Program (ECHIP). In 2010, Connecticut passed Public Act 10-174, allowing municipalities and boards of education to join together for the purpose of purchasing employee health insurance. Tolland partnered with other towns and BOEs to form the region’s first public-employee health insurance collaborative to more effectively control and contain rising employee health insurance premiums. He developed a Capital Improvement Plan to address the town’s infrastructure needs while meeting these needs in an affordable manner through the endorsement of a debt management plan.
Werbner was one of the first to believe that the most recent state budget crisis could potentially affect municipalities drastically and had the foresight to begin budget planning early on looking, at alternatives and potential impacts on future budgets. He has taken on a leadership role or been involved in many important regional and state-wide organizations including CCM, CIRMA, the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), and the aforementioned ECHIP. Werbner has testified on the behalf of municipalities before State of Connecticut commissions and committees in the areas of labor law and mandate relief, among others. Werbner was one of the loudest and earliest voices relating to the crumbling foundation issue in eastern Connecticut and again took a leadership position to help create a regional strategy for this difficult problem. His advocacy, among others, was the reason the General Assembly passed legislation in the recently completed budget to help fund the cost of renovations to homeowners impacted by crumbling foundations. The Joel Cogen Lifetime Achievement Award is named after CCM’s first and long-time Executive Director.
CCM Would Like To Thanks All Of Our 2017 Convention Sponsors For Their Support!
Local Actions. Statewide Impact.
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 13
Meet the 2018 Board
CCM elects new officers and Board of Directors for 2018
CM elected its Officers and Board of Directors for 2018 at CCM’s Annual Statewide Convention on November 28, 2017 at its Annual Meeting.
Here are CCM’s officers for 2018: •
Neil M. O’Leary, Mayor of Waterbury, was elected CCM President. He served in 2017 as CCM’s 1st Vice President. Partnership, community building, and improving quality of life have been key to O’Leary’s success in stimulating economic development in Waterbury. He also has been a key player in helping push legislative action on mandate relief at the state capitol.
1st Vice President John A. Elsesser, Town Manager of Coventry
2nd Vice President Michael J. Freda, First Selectman of North Haven
Newly elected to the Board of Directors are: •
Tom Banisch, First Selectman of Madison
Matthew S. Knickerbocker, First Selectman of Bethel
Michael C. Tetreau, First Selectman of Fairfield
John Salomone, City Manager of Norwich
Also serving on the Board of Directors are: •
Luke A. Bronin, Mayor of Hartford
Robert M. Congdon, First Selectman of Preston
Joseph P. Ganim, Mayor of Bridgeport
Toni N. Harp, Mayor of New Haven
Barbara M. Henry, First Selectman of Roxbury
Catherine Iino, First Selectwoman of Killingworth
Marcia A. Leclerc, Mayor of East Hartford
Curt B. Leng, Mayor of Hamden
W. Kurt Miller, First Selectman of Seymour
Rudolph P. Marconi, First Selectman of Ridgefield
Leo Paul, First Selectman of Litchfield
Scott Shanley, General Manager of Manchester
Jayme J. Stevenson, First Selectman of Darien
Erin Stewart, Mayor of New Britain
Daniel D. Syme, First Selectman of Scotland
Mark B. Walter, Town Administrator of Columbia
Steven R. Werbner, Town Manager of Tolland
Matthew B. Galligan, Town Manager of South Windsor; Herbert C. Rosenthal, Former First Selectman of Newtown CCM is the state’s largest, nonpartisan organization of municipal leaders, representing towns and cities of all sizes from all corners of the state, with 166 member municipalities. We come together for one common mission, to improve everyday life for every resident of Connecticut. We share best practices and objective research to help our local leaders govern wisely. We advocate at the state level for issues affecting local taxpayers. And we pool our buying power to negotiate more cost-effective services for our communities. CCM is governed by a board of directors that is elected by the member municipalities. Our board represents municipalities of all sizes, leaders of different political parties and towns/cities across the state. Our board members also serve on a variety of committees that participate in the development of CCM policy and programs. Federal representation is provided by CCM in conjunction with the National League of Cities. CCM was founded in 1966 and it’s marking its 51st year of service to Connecticut towns and cities in 2017.
Past Presidents continue to serve on the CCM Board. They are: Susan S. Bransfield, First Selectwoman of Portland Mark D. Boughton, Mayor of Danbury 14 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
Neil O’Leary will assume the position of CCM President in January.
John A. Elsesser, Town Manager of Coventry, was elected CCM 1st Vice President.
Michael L. Freda, First Selectman of North Haven, was elected CCM 2nd Vice President.
Tom Banisch, First Selectman of Madison
Matthew S. Knickerbocker, First Selectman of Bethel
Michael C. Tetreau, First Selectman of Fairfield
John Salomone, City Manager of Norwich
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 15
CCM names Senator Gayle Slossberg State Legislator of the Year
tate Senator Gayle Slossberg of Milford has been named State Legislator of the Year by CCM. She was presented with the award at CCM’s Annual Dinner Meeting on November 28, at Foxwoods Resort. Senator Slossberg represents the 14th Senatorial District which includes the communities of Milford, Orange, and parts of West Haven and Woodbridge. “Connecticut would not be the great state it is without healthy cities and towns. CCM has been a great partner and advocate for communities throughout Connecticut. I am grateful for this award, and for their commitment to our state. There’s still much to be done, and I look forward to working alongside CCM in the coming legislative session,” said Senator Gayle Slossberg. An early 2017 decision by Connecticut’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) on siting small cell antennas in municipalities across Connecticut now mandates, thanks to Senator Slossberg’s efforts, that companies in this emerging field engage local governments in more advanced consultations and notifications as they consider and propose sites in a community. “Senator Gayle Slossberg is a dynamic leader who exemplifies a lifetime of community involvement,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director. “And Senator Slossberg was a major actor in bringing this pro-municipal decision on the critical small cell-tower issue to the finish line. She addressed CCM’s Legislative Committee on the issue early in the session, and as promised, remained a steadfast supporter of local government throughout
these proceedings. It should not go unnoticed that Senator Slossberg took up the fight on behalf of towns and cities during a time when other issues before the General Assembly were of much higher visibility.”
tor. She is senate co-chair of the General Assembly’s Education and Housing committees and vice chair of the Government Administration & Elections Committee. She is also a member of the Appropriations and Regulation Review committees.
The plan and process for siting small cell antennas and distributed antenna systems in public rightsof-way has been a hot button issue for towns and cities for over a year. The new process calls for greater participation by the municipality where such small cell canister antenna and distributed antenna systems are proposed to be sited.
During her time in the legislature, Senator Slossberg has earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for job creation in Connecticut. She was responsible for developing the first tax incentive program in the state aimed at increasing job growth and enticing new businesses to move to Connecticut. Senator Slossberg’s program became an essential part of landmark jobs legislation passed in 2011 and expanded upon in 2012. As part of this legislation, Connecticut created the highly successful Small Business Express Program. This program provides loans and grants to small businesses to spur business growth and promote job creation.
And given the uncertainty of the 2017 General Assembly session and the incredible lobbying force of the utility industry, this ruling was a big win for residents, because of Senator Slossberg’s efforts. First elected in 2004, Senator Slossberg was reelected in 2016 for her seventh term as state sena-
“Senator Gayle Slossberg is a dynamic leader who exemplifies a lifetime of community involvement,” 16 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
National Spotlight On CT Official Bridgeport official heads national Hispanic organization
ridgeport City Clerk Lydia Martinez has been named president of the Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) group. The HELO constituency group was established by the National League of Cities (NLC) in 1976 to serve as a forum for communication and information exchange among Hispanic local government elected officials and NLC colleagues. Martinez has also served as a member of the Bridgeport City Council, a member of the Bridgeport Town Committee, and a past candidate for state representative from her home city. She is a liaison/teacher in the Bridgeport school system and is also a justice of the peace. Martinez is a board member/founder of Mi Casa Advisory Committee and chair
nry M. Beck, Jr. ric D. Bernheim Mark K. Branse •Ann M. Catino
of the Hispanic Census for the city. Martinez is very active in the community, serving on a variety of boards, including Grow Bridgeport Funds, Lower East Side Development Corporation, the Political Action Committee, and the Luis Muniz Marin Elementary School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Bridgeport, and also received a Masters’ Degree in Bilingual Education. In addition to providing training and information services to its members, HELO provides guidance to the NLC Board and to its policy committees on major public policy issues affecting the Hispanic and Latino communities. In recent years, the issues brought forth by HELO’s Board of Directors have included the education of
•Kenneth R. Slater, Jr. •Ronald F. Ochsner •Michael C. Collins •James J. Szerejko • James J. Perito •Alan P. Curto • Nicole J. Tung • Mark A. Perkins •Duncan J. Forsyth Is proud to announce service•Matthew for J. Willis Roberts P. new •Richard a A. Leone •Michael
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DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 17
CCM’s first-ever statewide student contest posed the question: What is cool about your local government?
he first-ever statewide student contest spearheaded by CCM that posed the compelling question “What is cool about your local government?” saw more than 100 submissions by public school students from Connecticut middle and high schools across the state. For the first-ever #LoCoolGov Youth Scholarship Contest, CCM put out the call to students to submit an essay, poem, photo, video, painting, multimedia project, or any other medium they liked, including three dimensional, that provides a vivid rendering of what makes local government cool! The bottom line was to have fun and be creative. The 2017 statewide winners were: • Jeremy Queiroz, Grade 8, East Shore Middle School in Milford, for his submission: a painting titled, “Local Governments Help.” • Jackson Reed, Owen Pelletier, and Ali Martin, Grade 12, South Windsor High School, for their submission: a video titled, “Why South Windsor is the most invested in its youth.” All entries were judged by a panel of municipal association officials. The winners were awarded a $500 scholarship (the high school winners received $200 18 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
apiece) that was presented at CCM’s Annual Meeting & Dinner during the CCM Convention on November 28, along with an overnight stay with their parents at Foxwoods Resort that evening. “The future of government, local, state, and federal, lies in today’s students,” said Neil O’Leary, Mayor of Waterbury and incoming CCM President for 2018. “It is essential that youth be involved more in civic issues in these critical times we live in.” “High school and middle school students across Connecticut told us in their most creative way what is cool about local government,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director. “We wanted to help inspire intrigue and civic engagement in local government by offering an opportunity for CCM to hear from the voices of Connecticut students about what they think is cool about their own Connecticut municipal government.” The contest was open to all students attending Connecticut municipalities’ public middle and high schools. Participants needed to create their own original work themselves, but could get help from teachers, parents, or friends in the form of ideas. They could collaborate with peers and submit group projects of no more than three people.
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DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 19
2017 CCM Annual Convention
Thanks to all of our attendees, speakers, and exhibitors!
Find more photos from the convention on our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/ccm.forct. 20 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 21
CIRMA Working Together To Create Value For Connecticut’s Cities And Towns
IRMA’s collaborative business model is powering the development of innovative programs and services and tailored coverages to help its members reduce losses, improve their operations, and, from that strong foundation, build better, safer communities. David Demchak, CIRMA President & CEO, said, “CIRMA is unique because we work with our members through our governing committees and Board of Directors, drawing on their professional experience, to develop risk management resources, claims programs, and specialized coverages targeted to municipal and public school needs. This collaborative proactive approach has helped CIRMA members achieve sustained reduction in losses, and, in turn, has enabled CIRMA to deliver low, stable rates, affordable coverages, and our Members’ Equity Distribution program.”
Working with members for their benefit New programs and services this year include CIRMA’s
Cyber-security initiatives, Salary Continuation Financial Model, and its Fire Services Risk Management initiatives. The new programs build on CIRMA’s wide range of coverages and risk management programs and services tailored for municipalities and public schools. The success of this collaborative approach is shown in the sustained multi-year decline in the frequency and severity of losses experienced by CIRMA Members – even as its membership has grown. CIRMA’s six-year average rate indication for both the Workers’ Compensation and the Liability-Auto-Property pool is a mere 0.4% — well below the inflation rate. CIRMA’s low stable rates, coupled with its Members’ Equity Distribution, which now totals $20 Million delivered over the past seven years, means that CIRMA membership delivers outstanding value to its members and their communities.
CIRMA welcomes its newly-elected members: Henry Todd, Canaan Chris Lippke, Canterbury Christine Goupil, Clinton Steven Everett, Columbia Jacqueline DuBois, Eastford Charles Grant, Franklin Todd Babbitt, Griswold Matthew Hoey, Guilford Steven Mattson, Lyme
Ken Kellog, Monroe Kevin Moynihan, New Canaan Pat Del Monaco, New Fairfield Pete Bass, New Milford Daniel Rosenthal, Newtown Matthew Riiska, Norfolk Michael Urgo, North Stonington Peter Nystrom, Norwich Cathy Tendrich, Plainfield
Barney Seney, Putnam Don Lowe, Sherman Eric Wellman, Simsbury David Eaton, Union Chris Spaulding, Weston Ericka Wiecenski, Willington Mike Alberts, Woodstock
CIRMA Task Force creates innovative solutions for Fire Services
hrough the efforts of its recently established Fire Services Task Force, CIRMA is reducing risk and improving the safety of its members’ fire and emergency personnel and volunteers. “Although firefighting is inherently dangerous, CIRMA and its members don’t accept that injuries have to be part of the job.”
With representatives from 14 member fire departments and districts from across Connecticut, the Task Force brings deep professional understanding of the risks and challenges facing Connecticut fire services. Working with CIRMA’s Business Analytics “Although firefighting team and Risk Management department, and CIRMA attorney Collette is inherently dangerous, Griffin, the Task Force has begun to CIRMA and its members identify long-term trends and loss don’t accept that injuries drivers, and to develop best practichave to be part of the job.” es to manage the risks.
Injuries to member firefighters, both paid and volunteer, account for 11% of CIRMA Workers’ Compensation claims costs. Moreover, the hazards that firefighters are exposed to are changing, becoming more significant and technologically challenging.
The newest CIRMA product to emerge from this initiative is the Hot Zone best practice series. Each Hot Zone topic is based on an actual CONTINUES ON 24
22 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
Help guide CIRMAâ€™s direction, Network
with municipal & school leaders, Deepen
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CIRMA CONTINUED FROM 22
incident with recommended best practices. When many fire departments and districts began to use drones for aerial surveillance of fire scenes and search and rescue efforts, CIRMA responded by providing coverage through its Liability-Auto-Property policy available by endorsement.
CIRMA News & Alerts tailored to your role.
“CIRMA, through our new Fire Services Task Force, is developing new resources to help our members’ fire services prevent injuries and reduce risk. Our shared goal is to help municipalities and Fire Districts understand the long-term risks, manage their budgets, and bring every firefighter home safely after a call,” said David Demchak, President and CEO, CIRMA.
CIRMA’s Fire Service Training. CIRMA introduced its four-part Fire Service Leadership training series in 2016. The training program has helped prepare 26 firefighters for the challenges of leadership in emergency and non-emergency situations. The program actively supports the recruitment and retention efforts of CIRMA member municipalities by helping fire departments and districts develop the leadership skills of their staff and volunteers. The Leadership series is complemented by CIRMA’s Regional Training and CIRMA’s E-Learning Center programs for firefighters. CIRMA’s training programs are free to its members.
Now you can select from a range of exclusive CIRMA e-publications designed to help you manage the risks and challenges you face everyday. Subscribe today at CIRMA’s Knowledge Bank at www.CIRMA.org. Free to all CIRMA members!
December and January are CIRMA’s Slip & Fall Awareness Months
IRMA has expanded its Slip & Fall Prevention Awareness campaign to include December, the start of winter weather and the start of the winter spike in the frequency of slip and fall accidents. The season’s icy conditions, shorter daylight hours, and indoor melt water, all combine to cause an increase of almost 62% in the number of slip and fall accidents over the yearly average. Last year CIRMA members experienced a total of 1,667 slip and fall accidents with a total severity of almost $10.3 Million. While the financial cost of the accidents to CIRMA members is high, the personal cost to the injured employee can be higher still, with painful, and sometimes permanent or fatal injuries. Slip and fall injuries are common and costly, but they can be pre-
vented. CIRMA’s Slip and Fall Prevention Awareness programs are intended to build awareness of the simple steps that municipal and school leaders, as well as individual employees, can take to reduce the risk. CIRMA has assembled a number of resources to help municipal
24 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
and school leaders implement best practices in their facilities and train their employees on ways to avoid slip and fall injuries. Visit the CIRMA website Slip and Fall Prevention page to download resources to reduce slip and fall injuries.
Big Win Finally For State Parks Free parking should bring bigger crowds
upporters of Connecticut state parks are celebrating the inclusion of the Passport to the Parks program in the bipartisan state budget.
There will be no more parking fees for state residents, as of Jan. 1, 2018, to use any state parks. This past year the parking fee was $13 for one weekend to Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison and $9 at most other parks, according to Eric Hammerling, executive director of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association (CFPA). Last year budget cuts forced three of the state’s 14 campgrounds to close after the July 4th weekend. Nine other campgrounds were shut down after Labor Day. Only Hammonasset State Beach Park in Madison and Rocky Neck camping areas were open last year between Labor Day and Columbus Day weekend. The free parking for Connecticut residents is expected to be a big draw for the bigger parks, such as Hammonasset, Rocky Neck in East Lyme, and Silver Sands in Milford. To pay for the program, and cover the parking fees, the program adds a $10 charge (or $5 per year) to Department of Motor Vehicle registration two-year renewals. The legislation that would have implemented the proposal originally died in committee, but supporters held out hope the idea could come up as part of the final state budget. Supporters have tried, without success, in previous years to pass similar programs. One of its biggest backers of the program was Rep. Melissa Ziobron, R-East Haddam, who held a press conference earlier in the year with several other legislators and proponents to push the initiative. Hammerling, in a message to supporters, congratulated park program supporters.
“You did it!,” Hammerling said. “Your emails, calls, and personal contacts with legislators made a difference. Thanks to your involvement, the Passport to the Parks is in the bi-partisan 2018-19 budget that was just passed overwhelmingly by the General Assembly.” “Hooray!,” Hammerling added. Hammerling estimated the program will bring in $13.9 million in revenues in the fiscal year 2019 budget. He added that it will be “a new, dedicated, non-lapsing Passport to the Parks Fund with better protection against sweeps or diversions.” In a follow-up interview over the weekend, Hammerling said it’s such a victory because without the program Connecticut state parks are reliant on the general fund for support. He said the only other state in the nation that relies on the general fund for its parks is Rhode Island. “Chronic budget deficits have led to cuts to the parks almost every year for the past decade despite the popularity of parks and their documented economic benefits (a UConn study attributed an annual benefit of over $1 billion and over 9,000 jobs to state parks),” Hammerling said. He said park advocates knew that budget cuts would lead to more campground and park closures in the future without the steady funding stream provided by the Passport to the Parks program. “We’re really pleased that the Passport was approved, and we look forward to a more secure financial future for Connecticut’s great state parks,” Hammerling said. Hammerling added that with no cost for parking involved, one other big bonus of the program might be more state residents visiting Connecticut state parks, which could translate to even more tourism dollars.
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 25
Elm City Launches Bike Program
The bike share program will start with 9 stations, with plans for 30
he city of New Haven, after two years of planning, is launching just in time for the Christmas shopping season an innovative bike-sharing station program designed to get the public around downtown, city schools, and the cityâ€™s parks. At full use, there will be 30 stations around the city, including four at city schools and several at the parks, for a total of 300 bicycles. The mechanism that allows a user to rent one is contained within the bike itself, rather than at the bicycle docking station, which has been the traditional model, said Matt Finelli of P3 Global Management. Finelli said New Haven Smart Mobility LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of P3 Global Management, which was awarded a contract this year to plan, implement, and operate the bike share program. Michael Pinto, city Deputy Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking, said you unlock the bike with a cell phone app or a membership card for those who do not have cell phones. He said the program is essentially a short-term bike rental option. People can opt to have single rides or they sign up for three-month or annual memberships.
26 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
The initial nine stations where the bikes will be located are: Broadway and Elm streets with room for 7 bikes; Grove and Church streets with 8 racks; Audubon and Orange streets with 6 bikes; Chapel and Howe streets; York and Chapel streets in front of the Yale Repertory Theater; City Hall at 165 Church Street; Elm Street past Orange Street in a parking lot owned by the city; College Street in front of Alexion at 100 College Street and South Frontage Road; Church and George streets next to Gateway Community College. Each station will have 5 to 9 bicycles. Instructions on accessing the bikes will be on signs at the docking stations, where there will also be ads to help support it. Pinto said, based on other bike share programs, the average ride is less than 6 minutes and to be functional and profitable, the stations have to be close together. He said the minimum rental is for 45 minutes. Pinto said they will be more spread out into neighborhoods and at such places as near the Farmington Canal when fully implemented in the spring. The remaining 21 stations will stretch east into Fair Haven, north into East Rock and Newhallville, and south into the Hill.
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New Day Dawns For Derby Route 34 project to start
everal abandoned buildings in downtown Derby will come crashing down within the next few months to pave the way for the long-awaited Route 34 widening project. The state Department of Transportation (DOT) is slated to demolish five, state-owned buildings in the downtown area along Main Street, Caroline Street, and Factory Street. Mayor Anita Dugatto is pleased to see further progress being made. “Their removal represents another step forward in the Route 34 reconstruction project,” she said. State DOT spokesman Kevin J. Nursick said construction to the major reconstruction project, which will widen Route 34/Main Street, is slated to begin in spring 2019. In the meantime, the buildings need to come down, and demolition will be handled by the state DOT, he said. Nursick said demolition could happen “as early as December or as late as March.” The buildings due to face the wrecking ball include 140-142 Main Street; 134-136 Main Street; 128 Main Street; 130 Main Street; 34-40 Caroline Street, and 23 Factory Street. Nursick said a fifth building at 176178 Main Street will be used as a field office for the DOT while the reconstruction project is going on, and will be demolished at a later date by the contractor when the job is finished. Nursick said the buildings will be released to the Derby Fire Depart-
ment in December so firefighters can use them for training purposes. Dugatto said Developer Joe Salemme, who purchased the former Lifetouch Studios property at 90 Main Street earlier this year, is thrilled to hear demolition of the vacant buildings is going to happen soon, especially because they’re in close proximity to his property. “The state’s scheduled demolition of the adjacent building will create an attractive development area for retail and commercial tenants,” Salemme said. Salemme had said potential plans for the property include a jobs training facility, a possible hotel, or retail buildings. Dugatto said the demolition of the state-owned buildings is further strengthening the vision for downtown revitalization. She said progress on the “Downtown Now!”
initiative is reaching many milestones, including the latest news about demolition from the DOT, and the city being awarded a $5 million grant to install a street grid, utility infrastructure, sidewalks, and streetscaping associated with an overall downtown improvement master plan. “My administration has been working hard to bring to life the vision Derby residents have for a vibrant downtown that will expand our local economy and strengthen our tax base,” Dugatto said. “This vision was created in collaboration with residents, business owners, developers, and other community stakeholders. The master plan created from this vision took into account site conditions and market trends to ensure it is credible and implementable,” the mayor said.
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 27
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Artisan Fest A Winner In New Milford The silent auction and fundraiser proved to be a big success
merican-made products were front and center at the first Artisan Fest.
Organized by a new Danbury-based nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting American small businesses, the Artisan Fest was held at The Makery Coworking space at 20 Bank St. The event featured more than 80 live and online auction items from 64 different American small businesses, including many from the local area. In addition to promoting the small businesses involved, the auction also benefitted All New American, a nonprofit that gives grants and other financial incentives to small businesses. All New American has awarded space to participate in American Field, one of the largest pop-up venues for American-made products. “We help small businesses become bigger and better,” said Kimberly Reddington, co-founder of All New American. The Artisan Fest featured live demonstrations from several local small businesses such as Litchfield Distillery, 3Dux Design of Fairfield, Luke’s Toy Factory of Danbury, Noteworthy Chocolates of Bethel, and Holley Knives of Lakeville. Litchfield Distillery founders David and Jake Baker were on hand to talk about and offer tastings of the craft spirits they make. “It’s important to see and meet the people behind the brands,” Reddington said. “There’s a power to telling the story behind the brands.”
Noteworthy Chocolates will engrave your messages directly onto gourmet chocolate.
Reddington co-founded All New American with Danbury’s Elizabeth Barek. “We ended up starting something we are both truly passionate about,” Reddington said. Reddington said The Makery Coworking was the ideal place to hold the event as it fosters creativity and promotes small businesses. Tony Vengrove opened The Makery Coworking in late 2016 as a place where entrepreneurs and makers may rent space to conduct business with other like-minded people. “They generously donated the space and we’re excited to be working with them,” Reddington said.
Luke’s Toy Factory of Danbury makes eco-friendly products.
28 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Apartment Boom! And it ain’t just millennials Southwestern Connecticut is experiencing a boom in apartment construction and rentals – and it’s not just millennials creating the phenomenon. Developments such as Building and Land Technology’s (BLT) Harbor Point in Stamford are attracting an increasingly diverse group of tenants. Sure, younger people have helped with the apartment spurt, but BLT Chief Operating Officer Ted Ferrarone said the South End project, which will include 4,000 units when it is completed, has attracted all age groups. And that trend is happening elsewhere in the area. Before completing his 59-unit apartment complex, tucked away on Old Track Road near the Greenwich Metro-North station, devel-
oper John Fareri anticipated The JLofts Greenwich would attract mostly millennials. But the leasing exceeded his expectations after the complex was completed last year. Fareri said the tenants have ranged from millennials, to empty-nesters, to downsizers, to divorcees, and married couples. In Bridgeport, a series of former office buildings downtown in the past decade have been converted to apartments, which have been rented almost as soon as they have gone on the market. While millennials make up a large percentage of the downtown constituency, the neighborhood hosts a diverse group, owners say. Developer Phil Kuchma earlier this year said the age of the majority of renters are between 35 and 60
years old, with that age group often preferred by developers because they are less likely to move around than millennials. Other towns that have seen apartment booms, including Milford and Shelton, have also counted on a mix of younger and retired renters filling units as they become available. The broad base of residents moving into the new buildings is fueling new construction. In Stamford’s Waterside section, the first tower of BLT’s 218-unit Harbor Landing complex on Southfield Avenue is scheduled to open next year. During the next few years, BLT also plans to build about 1,200 units, in six towers, on land just south of its current group of Harbor Point apartment buildings.
Back To Life!
Apartment complex key to New Britain revitalization The City of New Britain and the Chrysalis Center Real Estate Corporation (CCREC) recently held a special celebration for the restoration of a 24 unit one-bedroom apartment complex. The Courtland Arms project entails a historic rehabilitation of the building that was originally constructed in 1925 but has been vacant and blighted for over 20 years. CCREC is a private, non-profit, socially innovative multiservice organization that serves individuals and families living in the State of Connecticut. Through the Connecticut Department of Housing’s Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties Program, the restoration project received $2,300,000 in funding and will require an additional $6 million in non-DOH funding. “This is great news for downtown New Britain. It will be exciting to see this long blighted property come back to life. This project will bring additional foot traffic to our downtown businesses and provide additional housing opportunities to more than 20 individuals,”
said Mayor Erin Stewart. The project falls into the city’s downtown redevelopment plan, which aims to bring affordable housing, new businesses, and a revitalization of Central Park to the downtown area. The apartment complex is less than a quarter mile away from CTfastrak’s New Britain Downtown Station, and lies within the corridor of New Britain’s downtown business and entertainment hub. “It’s very exciting to see plans for this building finally move forward after close to 23 years vacant. It has been an eyesore and a very intimidating building that needs to be taken care of. I give credit to the Mayor and the Common Council for working with this organization. It is a good day for New Britain,” said Bill Carrol, the Business Development Coordinator for the City of New Britain. Sharon Castelli, CEO of CCREC, said they look forward to restoring, “the majestic Courtland Arms to full use as an asset for downtown New Britain.”
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 29
EDUCATION The Education section of CT&C is sponsored by Gateway Community College’s GREAT Center. Learn more at: www.gatewayct.edu/Great-Center
“Paraeducator” of The Year Colchester woman wins prestigious honor
tate Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell announced that Karen Mylly, a paraeducator at Jack Jackter Intermediate School in Colchester, has been named Connecticut’s 2018 Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year. The Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Program, named in honor of a paraeducator who was killed in Newtown, recognizes the important role paraeducators play in supporting student achievement. The program honors one paraeducator who has demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in his or her role, thereby earning the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, coworkers, and parents. Paraeducators assist certified teachers in the classroom and play an integral role in developing students’ academic, social, and emotional skills. Commissioner Wentzell and State Department of Education Chief Talent Officer Sarah Barzee visited Jack Jackter Intermediate School to make the announcement in front of the entire school. “We are proud to recognize Karen Mylly as the paraeducator of the year, and thank her for everything she does to support Connecticut students,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “When students learn in safe, welcoming classrooms, when their educators respect and care about them, they become stronger, more confident citizens. In turn, they are inspired to learn and to respect and care about others. Mrs. Mylly is a great example of this cycle in action.” “The importance of having strong paraeducator support in our classrooms across the state is vital to student success. Their contributions to creating safe learning environments cannot be minimized,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “During the 2016-17 school year, Jack Jackter Intermediate School introduced an innovative special education program and Karen Mylly has played a vital role within its behavior team. There is no doubt that Karen’s dedication to her students, her school, and her community have had a profound impact on the lives of the students she serves, and it is my honor to congratulate her today on receiving this award.”
30 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
L-R Board Chairman Ron Goldstein, JJIS Principal Elise Butson, Karen Mylly, Interim Superintendent Karen Goodwin
“On behalf of our Board of Education and our entire school community, we congratulate Karen Mylly on achieving this significant and well-deserved honor,” said Colchester’s Interim Superintendent, Karen Loiselle Goodwin. “She works tirelessly to make a difference for the students she serves through her expertise, high expectations, advocacy, and collaboration with staff, professionalism, and her genuine love of her work and her students.” The rigorous selection process for Paraeducator of the Year, which includes candidate applications and interviews, was conducted by representatives of the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council, which is composed of former state Paraeducators of the Year, and representatives from educational organizations and collective bargaining. Connecticut’s Paraeducator of the Year is selected from approximately 14,000 public school paraeducators in the state and represents the profession in forums and advisory committees influencing education policy and public awareness of the successes that take place daily in schools, as well as the challenges they face.
Blue Ribbon Schools!
East Lyme, Montville, Norwich, Danbury schools recognized
he U.S. Department of Education named the following Connecticut public schools as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools: East Lyme High School in East Lyme; Oakdale School in Montville; Thomas W. Mahan School in Norwich; Morris Street School in Danbury. All selected schools demonstrated outstanding overall achievement and were identified as Schools of Distinction as measured by Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System. The National Blue Ribbon Program distinguishes schools in two categories — Exemplary High Performing and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing. East Lyme High School and Oakdale School were identified in the High Performing category and Thomas W. Mahan and Morris Street School were recognized for their work toward closing Connecticut’s achievement gap. “Every student deserves the kind of education that allows them to thrive and meet their full potential,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “With exemplary schools like East Lyme High School, Oakdale School, Thomas W. Mahan School, and Morris Street School inspiring a love of learning in our students, it’s no wonder that we have record high graduation rates and students who are among the best readers in the nation. We congratulate these four schools and their educators, students, and families for their collective efforts to nurture school communities where all students are making great strides toward success in college, careers, and life.” “I am pleased to congratulate all four schools for the tremendous amount of work they have done to earn this high honor,” said State Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell. “Education truly is the great equalizer. I am especially proud of the schools in our Alliance Districts that are accelerating academic growth for some of our highest-need students.”
Accountability Index of 91.7, this school placed itself among the top 10 percent of all elementary and middle schools statewide. Contributing to the Accountability Index is an English language arts (ELA) performance index of 83 and a mathematics performance index of 76.8. These scores exceed the state expectation of 75, indicating high overall performance among all students. Principal Jill Mazzalupo credited her staff. “Oakdale School staff prides themselves in taking on new initiatives with enthusiasm and hard work,” she said. “Our staff constantly seek opportunities for new learning to deliver instruction that is relevant and rigorous and keeps students engaged and excited about learning.” Both schools identified as Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing are located within Alliance Districts. Thomas W. Mahan School serves Norwich students in prekindergarten through grade 5. The veteran educators at Mahan use their knowledge and relevant data about every student to identify where students are and ensure that all students are provided the supports and challenges necessary to advance. Each grade has academic enrichment blocks that contain a variety of targeted interventions, including support in small groups, focused 1-to-1 instruction, and enrichment for students who are at or above grade level. The success of their tiered instructional approach is evidenced in their 2015-16 academic growth results. This school demonstrated strong growth overall and was placed among the top 10 percent of all schools for the growth of their High Needs students in ELA and mathematics.
East Lyme High School with its enrollment of more than 1,000 students performed among the top 10 percent of all high schools statewide on the accountability index. The school demonstrates consistently high performance across content areas and provides broad access to courses designed to prepare students for college and careers. More than 85 percent of East Lyme High School students participate in school-sponsored activities, teams, and clubs designed to foster important school community connections. Fewer than 5 percent of students are chronically absent and the most recent reports show a four-year graduation rate of 98 percent.
Morris Street School in Danbury was identified as a School of Distinction last year when accountability reports were released. Morris earned distinction in two categories: Highest Growth for All Students and Highest Growth for High Needs Students. This neighborhood school enrolls approximately 370 students in grades K-5. Half the students are English learners and more than 80 percent are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals. The professionals in this school are committed to encouraging parent involvement, maintaining a positive school culture, and raising student achievement. Morris Street School houses a family resource center, and together they work to strengthen the ties between the school and the families by providing programs, family support, and access to a variety of resources. Additionally, Morris Street School started a volunteer program with the support of local faith-based organizations that has been hugely successful, leading to expansion of the program in four other Danbury schools.
Oakdale School in Montville is a pre-K–5 school that demonstrated top performance in multiple categories based on accountability reports. With an overall
For the Montville, Norwich, and Danbury school districts, this is the first time they have had a National Blue Ribbon School identified in their districts. DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 31
EDUCATION Millions Approved For School Fix-Ups
towns recently received final approval of funding from the state Bonding Commission to get much needed improvement work done on schools.
• Bloomfield, $580,000;
• New Britain, $1,080,000;
• Bridgeport, $2,000,000;
• New Haven, $2,000,000;
• Bristol, $1,080,000;
• New London, $580,000;
• Danbury, $1,080,000;
• Norwalk, $1,080,000;
The work includes improvements to windows, doors, boilers, heating and ventilation systems, communications/technology systems, lockers, floors, ceilings, restrooms, lighting, energy efficiency, entryways, driveways, parking areas, play areas, athletic fields, various equipment, roof repairs, and installation or upgrades to security equipment.
• Derby, $580,000;
• Norwich, $580,000;
• East Hartford, $1,080,000;
• Putnam, $580,000;
• East Haven, $580,000;
• Stamford, $2,000,000;
• East Windsor, $580,000;
• Vernon, $580,000;
• Hamden, $1,080,000;
• Waterbury, $2,000,000;
• Hartford, $2,000,000;
• West Haven, $1,080,000;
• Killingly, $580,000;
• Winchester, $580,000;
The towns received the following grant awards:
• Manchester, $1,080,000;
• Windham, $580,000;
• Middletown, $1,080,000;
• Windsor, $580,000;
• Ansonia, $580,000;
• Naugatuck, $1,080,000;
• Windsor Locks, $580,000
32 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
ENVIRONMENT Air Line Trail Underway Portland linear park project celebrated
he town of Portland recently conducted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction on the first phase of the Portland Air Line Trail, a 2.3-mile section of a linear park trail for recreational use that will connect to the Connecticut Air Line State Park Trail that runs from East Hampton to Putnam, Connecticut. Ultimately, the town hopes to take the trail to the Arrigoni Bridge and Middletown. The ceremony included representatives from various organizations that have supported or been involved in the development of the trail. These include: Jamie Lintner from Eversource Energy, who provided a lease for the land; Rob Klee, State Parks Director for CT DEEP, who provided grant funding for construction; Christie Carpino, CT State Representative, who provided legislative support; Portland First Selectwoman, Susan Bransfield, who directed the townâ€™s involvement for the Board of Selectmen; and Rosario (Riz) Rizzo and Louis Pear, co-chairs of the Portland Air Line Trail Steering Committee that oversaw development of the trail. The section of the trail to be constructed runs 2.3 miles from Depot Hill Road to the YMCA Camp Ingersoll property with a trail head parking area located on the former Keegan property off Middle Haddam Road. Dichello Construction will be doing the actual trail work under the direction of Jacobson Engineering and town officials. Construction is scheduled to be completed and the trail opened for public use by spring 2018.
The first phase of The Portland Air Line Trail will be constructed on land used by the Air Line railroad that ran between New York and Boston between 1873 and 1955. The Connecticut portion of the railroad east of Portland ceased operations in 1968, the tracks were abandoned, and the land between East Hampton and Massachusetts was purchased by the state for recreational use. Since then, it has been gradually developed into the current Air Line State Park Trail. Due to a lack of interest at the time, the land in Portland was sold to private property owners, including CL&P, now Eversource Energy. In 2013, John Hall and John Shafer, members of the Jonah Center, initiated an effort to develop the trail in Portland. This led to the formation of a town steering committee initially led by John Shafer and later led by Rosario Rizzo and Louis Pear. Working with town leaders, including First Selectwoman, Susan Bransfield, and former town planner, Deana Rhodes, the committee was able to successfully negotiate a lease agreement with Eversource Energy to use a 2.3-mile portion of their land for trail use. They subsequently developed a site plan, purchased additional property, and received grant funding from CT DEEP. After 3 years of preparations, construction of Phase 1 of the Portland section of the Air Line Trail is ready to commence and connect to the new East Hampton section.
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 33
ENVIRONMENT Trumbull Blazes “Trail” Town receives $2 million grant
he town of Trumbull has been notified it will receive a $2,050,000 grant from the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program (LOTCIP) to construct a trailhead and trail connector on Church Hill Road leading to the Pequonnock River Trail. The application was reviewed and approved by the MetroCOG Board and subsequently submitted to the state of Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) for additional review and acceptance into the program. The project is in keeping with the 2014 Plan of Conservation and Development, which calls for connecting the Pequonnock Trail to Trumbull’s commercial centers to the degree possible. “In addition to supporting our businesses and providing additional connectivity in our community, the project will enhance public safety
by creating mid-point access to the trail and it will also help alleviate the parking problems in the Tait Road and Whitney Avenue neighborhoods,” stated First Selectman Timothy M. Herbst.
Rina Bakalar, economic and community development director. “The construction costs are covered by the grant. The project can stand alone or be incorporated with the community center if that project is approved in the future. If the community center ultimately goes forward, this grant will reduce the cost of that project by $1,000,000 in hardscape costs,” said Bakalar.
Over 6,000 people a week use the trail during peak season. “The Pequonnock River Trail is an asset for Trumbull and the region. It is a recreational asset and more and more it is a transit way. Millennials want connectivity and they want to access services on foot and by bicycle. This connection will enhance Trumbull and the region and provide economic benefit to area businesses. It is an excellent project,“ stated Matt Fulda, executive director for MetroCOG.
Bakalar also referred to a recent study by the Naugatuck River Greenway that showed trail users spend an average of $14 per visit when using trails. “If you look at 6,000 visitors weekly at $14 per visitor during peak times that is $84,000 of potential investment in our local economy during those weeks. I look forward to meeting with residents and businesses on the details of the project and the benefits to Trumbull,” she stated.
“We will be working through project details in the coming weeks with MetroCOG and CTDOT. Trumbull will support the design as its contribution to the project,” said
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GOVERNANCE The Governance section of CT&C is sponsored by Kemp Consulting, LLC, a National Speaker Service. Learn more at: www.rogerkemp.org
Roger L. Kemp, MPA, MBA, PhD
Hamden joins growing number using mobile app
he town of Hamden has joined the growing number of communities across the nation and the world to utilize “SeeClickFix,” a mobile and web-based application which allows residents to report issues and concerns to town personnel directly from their mobile device or personal computers. In October, Hamden became part of the SeeClickFix family, which originated and is based in downtown New Haven. Public Works Director Craig Cesare said: “SeeClickFix will allow our residents and staff to communicate more closely than ever before. The built-in feedback system will let residents know that the town is taking their concerns seriously, and that our staff members are working hard to positively resolve issues across Hamden.” To use SeeClickFix, residents should down the application from the Apple Store or Google Play Store on their smart-phone devices. SeeClickFix users can then select “Hamden” as their location within the application, which will display an interactive virtual map of the town and all of the outstanding issues or concerns that have been reported by residents. Upon reporting an issue, the user will receive an email confirming their submission and users will then receive further email notifications from the town when their submission has been resolved, or if further action must be taken. Residents can visit www.hamden. com/SeeClickFix to submit issues directly from personal computers.
“I’ve made it a point to work hard on improving the transparency, accessibility, and responsiveness of Hamden’s local government. The launch of SeeClickFix is a major step in this endeavor.” - Mayor Curt Leng DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 35
The High Line in NYC
The American Dream Moves Downtown Revitalizing urban life with both nature and culture may benefit communities and citizens alike in the future by Roger L. Kemp, PhD
n mid-twentieth-century America, the dream was to raise children in a single-family house with a yard, away from the traffic and noise in our downtown areas. And the U.S. highway system stretched out to new residential subdivisions in the suburbs, as homes added more and more garages for everyone’s cars. The Eisenhower Interstate Highway System (EIHS) led to the suburbanization of America, which continues to the present time, more than a half-century after its construction.
Downtown Trends Major trends now under way in U.S. downtowns include: • Restoring and enhancing nature, such as ponds, parks, and even urban farms. • Integrating commercial and residential functions in multistory buildings. • Making public transit available, usually light-rail systems. • Restoring the public infrastructure to favor people over cars. • Combining landscaping with the restoration of all 36 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
aspects of the public infrastructure. • Converting surface parking lots into parks, gardens, and open spaces. • Attracting culture, the arts, and entertainment facilities. • Attracting educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. • Attracting or keeping smaller specialized businesses downtown while bigger businesses relocate in malls or “big-box” sites. • Supporting ethnic and niche stores, such as markets, delicatessens, bakeries, and restaurants. • Providing a sense of “public place” in the core of downtowns to ensure that shared spaces feel truly shared. This trend now is in the process of reversing. The children born in the middle of the twentieth century are now grown, and older parents are relocating to more-convenient downtown areas. Young professionals focusing on their respective jobs, too, head toward inner-city areas, postponing the American dream of starting a family and moving to the suburbs until later in
GOVERNANCE life. Another group of urban dwellers consists of those who would like to live without needing a vehicle. Hence, a new type of residential development has emerged around public transit stations, called Transit-Oriented Developments. The market for condominiums and townhouses located next to public light-rail transit systems has developed rapidly in recent decades. Now the challenge for communities is to make downtowns more attractive, more livable. Government planners at the state and local levels need to advocate for changes that will benefit downtown areas. One model is the high-rise residential area in the Lower East Side of New York City a century ago, where individuals and families lived in multistory residential structures that featured an assortment of commercial businesses located on the ground floor. All of the restaurants, markets, and other types of commercial activity took place at street level. It’s also great for those commercial businesses established on the ground level to have their market builtin above them. Rezoning downtowns to allow more residential units above ground-level businesses is the wave of the future. If you build them, people will come, especially if there’s public transit in the area. In addition to such mixed-use zoning, blending the commercial and the residential, thriving communities should increasingly bring arts, entertainment, and culture back to downtown areas. Some cities have used libraries and museums as tools to stimulate economic development, while others are trying to lure educational institutions and nonprofit organizations back downtown. There is also a big trend to preserve what’s left of nature in urban environments, restoring what’s been removed over the decades. Cities are expanding parks, wetlands, and waterways; they’re enhancing pedestrian access and movement by narrowing the streets and widening walkways, bikeways, plazas, and other public areas, reversing the car-centric planning of the previous century. This trend, too, has facilitated the movement of people back to downtown areas.
When successful, these efforts stimulate the local economy and attract the type of businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations that would benefit from revitalized downtown areas. Additional economic-development incentives would help attract desirable private, educational, and nonprofit institutions to downtowns, but selling local public officials on such incentives requires a clear demonstration of their reasonableness and long-term benefits to the taxpayers and all of the citizens within the community. A nice downtown should serve as a great public place not only for those who live there, but also for other citizens in the area who come to work, shop, eat, or participate in cultural attractions. Prudent economic-development incentives that promote downtown renewal are a wise way to generate revenues without raising taxes and can assist in balancing a community’s budget. Most cities evolved piecemeal over the years and now need to be retrofitted and redesigned for the future. Planning and zoning regulations should be in place to accommodate mixed land-uses, infill, and redevelopment projects. Call it New Urbanism, Sustainability, Pedestrian Cities, Healthy Cities, Inner-City Renewal, or the Green Cities Movement — these practices can be applied to projects of all sizes to promote livability in a single building, on a full block, in a neighborhood, and even an entire community. Roger L. Kemp, MPA, MBA, DPA, PhD, ICMA-CM, is a Professional in Residence, Department of Public Management, School of Public Service, Henry C. Lee College, at the University of New Haven; and a Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Executive MPA Program, at Golden Gate University. Roger was a city manager for a quarter century in CA, NJ and CT. He is also a featured speaker, consultant, and author. He can be reached via e-mail at <email@example.com>.
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PUBLIC SAFETY The Public Safety section of CT&C is sponsored by Emergency Resource Management. Learn more at: http://ermanagement.com
Cyber Crime Meets Street Crime
Bridgeport police offer “Safe Zone” for Internet purchases
he city of Bridgeport is joining the growing list of Connecticut communities to offer its police station as a “Safe Zone” for residents making purchases on the Internet. Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez and Sgt. Joseph Szor from the Robbery and Burglary Division of the Detective Bureau are cautioning residents when making Internet purchase exchanges. “These criminals will offer something that is too good to be true and they will mislead victims to meet in an unfamiliar, dark place. Unknown to the victim, there will be someone else lying in wait,” said Chief Perez. “We are offering the front of our headquarters as a safe, convenient alternative. It is well lit, has cameras, and there is always an officer present.” The Robbery and Burglary Squad of the Detective Bureau have seen a rise in crimes against individuals using “OFFER UP,” “CRAIGSLIST,” “LET GO,” and other similar websites. Criminals are using these sites to lure would-be buyers or sellers of merchandise into locations where they then rob victims who are legally attempting to transact business. The usual pattern is a potential buyer or seller will answer an ad pertaining to merchandise. The potential buyer or seller is then told to meet at a designated address for the transaction. The buyer (if the criminal) will show up and asked to see the item (this can be anything from an iPhone to a dirt bike). Once the item is in their possession the other party is brutally assaulted, while the criminal leaves with the stolen goods. If the criminal is the seller, he /she will confirm the buyer is holding the money and brutally assault the buyer to obtain the cash.
“We are offering the front of our headquarters as a safe, convenient alternative.” - Police Chief AJ Perez 38 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
In an effort to stop this pattern against innocent parties, the Bridgeport Police Department is designating a space in front of Police Department Headquarters at 300 Congress Street, Bridgeport as a SAFE ZONE for persons wanting to legally and safely purchase or sell items. Bridgeport Police Headquarters will soon have a sign in front of the building, distinguishing it as a “Meet Up Spot” for Internet exchanges. Please be advised, although the businesses mentioned above are legal and legitimate, there are those who will use it illegally for their own gain.
PUBLIC SAFETY Body Camera Ready
Stamford latest police force to sign up
fter months of testing and evaluating various models, Stamford Mayor David Martin, along with the officials from the Stamford Police Department, have announced that the police department will be moving forward with purchasing a “full complement” of body-worn cameras. “The City of Stamford is a growing, diverse community with a great police department,” Martin said during a recent press conference. “Many recent events have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between the police and the community they serve, with accountability and transparency as priorities. Bodyworn cameras are a tool that I support and I believe will improve the safety not only of our police, but the community as a whole.” According to the mayor’s office, the city of Stamford applied for the Body-Worn Camera Pilot Partnership Program in May 2015, and was successful in obtaining grant funding from the Department of Justice. The Stamford Police Department field tested three cameras for more than 100 days, ultimately settling
on the Axon Body 2 Camera after a majority of the department’s officers indicated a preference for that model. “Moving forward into the final phase of the Body Worn Camera program shows our commitment to further enhancing our relationship with the community as body-worn cameras have been shown to reduce crime, improve public safety, and improve public trust between the police and residents,” added Ted Jankowski, Director of Public Safety. The Stamford Police Department has partnered with the Stamford Police Association and ten integral community partners, including the NAACP and ACLU, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, to ensure that policies and procedures are in place to address individuals’ rights, privacy, and safety issues. Stamford NAACP President Jack Bryant said, “I applaud Mayor Martin, our Stamford Director of Public Safety, and our Stamford police chiefs for continuing the effort to equip our police officers with body cameras. The concept of police
body cameras has not been easily accepted by all municipalities in Connecticut, but here in Stamford it was accepted from the beginning and Stamford officials have worked with the community to get us to this point.” “The trust between law enforcement agencies and the people we protect and serve is essential to the stability of our community,” said Stamford Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau. “The eventual purchase and use of body-worn cameras will enhance the safe and effective delivery of policing services and will provide the necessary transparency to clear up conflicts and questions.”
Police departments paid for body cameras
welve police departments across the state will be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing body cameras for the cops in their departments and the video storage devices needed to house the tapes.
• Groton Town Police Department, $98,998;
The state Bond Commission recently approved spending $1,768,525 for the reimbursement.
• Naugatuck Police Department, $27,339;
Besides the dozen departments, college police forces at Western and Eastern Connecticut Universities will be reimbursed.
• North Haven Police Department, $84,025;
The following departments will be reimbursed:
• Putnam Police Department, $47,778;
• Bloomfield, $98,061;
• Wilton Police Department, $153,732;
• Darien, $87,142;
• Wolcott Police Department, $32,559
• Middlebury Police Department, $37,463; • Milford Police Department, $222,726; • New Haven Police Department, $790,421; • Orange Police Department, $27,725;
DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 39
SENIORS Older And Safer
Greenwich planning to care for aging population
reenwich is in the middle of a five-year program with a goal of becoming the first town in Connecticut to deliberately create a safe environment for an increasingly aging population. The town’s Commission on Aging is in the second year of a five-year project to create an Age-Friendly Greenwich by evaluating existing programs and services to make sure they are at their most effective. “We know that by the year 2050, half of our residents will be over the age of 60,” said Loria Contadino, director of Greenwich’s Commission on Aging. “That is going to have a profound impact on our community in terms of retirement, housing, finances, health care, leisure, and more. This is a call to action.” The evaluation will have to look at civic participation and employment, communication and information, community support and health services, housing, outdoor spaces and buildings, respect and social inclusion, social participation and transportation. The plan is to focus not only on the private and public programs that aid seniors but to look at how well seniors are integrated into town life as a whole. “A community that’s ‘age friendly’ is a community that is supportive of all residents throughout the life force,” Contadino said. “It’s a community that people not only want to raise their children in but want to stay in and
they want to retire in. They might need some support at the end of their life and it’s a community that is able to provide that.” The goal, she said, was to do more than simply list current and needed services. Suggestions could include extending red lights by three seconds to give people more time in crosswalks or eliminating tree roots in sidewalks that can cause stumbles. “When we look at housing, we’re not just going to say, ‘It would be nice to have more senior housing,’” Contadino said. “We’re not going to say that’s the only answer. We’re going to talk about expansion of At Home in Greenwich and the support it provides that will allow people to age in place at their own homes. That’s something we will want to look at. What enhances the livability factor in the town of Greenwich?” The Commission is planning currently to create advisory committees and develop a baseline needs assessment; gathering information will be the focus of the first two years. Implementation of plans will take up years three and four and the fifth year will be on making sure methods for continual improvement are in place, Contadino said.
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CCM appreciates their support and commitment to CCM and its members. 40 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
Plenty of Parking
Three-level garage now open in Meriden
he Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced that it has opened 225 parking spaces in a three-level garage located in downtown Meriden, an improvement that will make parking more convenient for CTrail Hartford Line Meriden station rail passengers and provide easy access to the city’s new transit-oriented development (TOD) sites.
The Hartford Line service provider, the joint venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts, will be responsible for the management, security, and maintenance of the parking garage, along with the adjacent surface parking lot.
The CTDOT collaborated with the “24 Colony Street” Development Group and the Meriden Housing Authority on the construction of this garage, which began in 2015 and was completed this summer.
Municipalities with train stations along the Hartford Line corridor are engaged in economic development planning, specifically transit-oriented development (TOD), which includes a mix of housing, retail, office space, and entertainment within short walking distance of high-quality public transit.
Construction began on the 96,275-square foot, $8.8 million project in 2015 and was completed in the summer 2017. The parking garage features three charging stations for electric vehicles, seven handicap-accessible spaces, and two elevators. Additionally, the 96,275 square foot garage includes a video surveillance system and Blue Light emergency intercoms for customer safety. CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said, “The opening of this parking garage demonstrates our commitment to providing Hartford Line passengers with superior customer amenities. We are always striving to improve the customer experience.” In December 2016, the Development Group opened 48 dedicated spaces for residents of the “24 Colony Street” mixed-use development and the remaining 225 spaces are owned by CTDOT for Hartford Line customers. The spaces are available to the public on a first come, first served basis. While the parking garage is now open to the public, a new 65-space, station surface parking lot also will be available for use when the station opens later this fall. The parking fees are $7 per day or $40 per month and parking is free on weekends and federal holidays. A discounted parking fee will be offered to Hartford Line customers when rail service begins in May 2018.
Transit-Oriented Development Activity
Meriden’s new rail station has spurred several TOD projects, already, including the Meriden parking garage. It has led to the construction of three mixed-use developments that have a total of 295 new residential units and 31,000 square feet of commercial space, a new transit center, a 14-acre town green, and the demolition of the Mills Public Housing Project and the former Record Journal building. Ongoing public and private investment in Meriden’s TOD projects exceeds $150 million. One of these new developments, 24 Colony Street, was completed in December 2016 and is the first new construction in downtown Meriden in 30 years, just steps from the new Hartford Line train station. “The new parking garage, combined with the city of Meriden’s TOD project, will make driving to and parking at the Hartford Line stations safer, more convenient, and accessible, said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. It will also provide additional parking capacity to support the City’s growing downtown business and residential community. We are eager to see benefits from this dynamic investment for years to come.”
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DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 41
TRANSPORTATION All Aboard!
New train station opens in Wallingford
overnor Dannel P. Malloy joined Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker and numerous federal, state, and local officials to celebrate the grand opening of the newly constructed train station in Wallingford. Located at 343 North Cherry Street, the station will immediately begin providing service to existing Amtrak trains and soon will begin serving trains on the CTrail Hartford Line, the passenger rail service currently under construction and scheduled to launch in the middle of next year that will provide commuters with more frequent train service between New Haven, Hartford, and Springfield. Construction of the approximately $21 million station began in December 2014 and features several amenities aimed at improving the passenger experience for Hartford Line riders. These include high-level platforms on both sides of the tracks, elevators, stairways, canopies covering approximately 50 percent of each platform, ticket vending machines, a passenger information display system, and an overhead pedestrian bridge. To improve passenger safety, the new station features automatic platform snow melting systems, security cameras, and blue-light emergency call boxes. The former Wallingford station, located adjacent to the railroad green at 37 Hall Avenue, will no longer operate as a train station but will remain as a hub for town life, anchoring the downtown community. The existing station building houses several organizations, including the Wallingford Adult Education Center and the New Haven Society of Model Engineers Railroad Club. “The opening of this station is part of a widespread effort to encour-
age economic development and create a more livable and sustainable downtown area,” Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson said. “The Town of Wallingford has adopted a transit-oriented development plan, which encourages dedicated onstreet parking, pedestrian safety, and streetscape improvements.” “We are getting closer each day to launching a commuter rail line between New Haven, Hartford, and our friends in Springfield, and the opening of the new station in Wallingford marks a major milestone in the evolution of the much-needed service,” Malloy said. “Creation of the Hartford Line will provide those working, living, and traveling along this corridor with fast, safe, and reliable rail transportation, providing greater attraction for businesses, stimulating job creation, and improving our overall quality of life.” The new Wallingford station, which replaces an outdated station nearby, is the first of several new stations being constructed along the Hartford Line that has opened for service. Stations that will immediately begin serving the line when it opens next year are located in New Haven (Union Station and State Street), Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor
42 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | DECEMBER 2017
Locks, and Springfield. Additional new stations are currently in the design process for locations in North Haven, Newington, West Hartford, and Enfield. “This is an exciting project that will offer new transit options to commuters and open the whole region to expanded commerce,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “Modernizing our transportation network is critical, not simply because we have among the oldest rail infrastructure in the nation, but it also demonstrates our priorities as a state. Transit systems must move people and goods efficiently, reduce roadway congestion and pollution, and be part of the overall package that attracts business and a workforce. The CTrail Hartford Line will help us do exactly that.” “This new, dynamic station will benefit the community, passengers and the entire region as a whole for years to come,” Commissioner Redeker said. “It is a testament to the dedication and drive of all those who brought it to completion during three harsh New England winters and in the middle of an active rail line. We expect it to attract new visitors and rail passengers as we prepare for launch of the CTrail Hartford Line.”
YOUTH Helping Hartford’s Youth 2nd year of program kicks off
he City of Hartford, the Hartford Youth Service Corps (YSC), and its community partners recently kicked off the second year of the YSC.
The kickoff was held at a playground on Bellevue Street currently being constructed by YSC members, one of more than 400 community-based service learning projects YSC members have participated in during the program’s first year. Overall, more than 200 Corps members have participated in more than 85,000 hours of paid service projects in the Hartford community. Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) is the City’s implementing partner and organizes YSC programming. “Creating the Hartford Youth Service Corps was a personal priority for me from day one, and through the Youth Service Corps we’ve been able to give more than two hundred young people the chance to earn a paycheck, contribute to their community, and put themselves on a path to education or employment, no matter what mistakes they’ve made in the past,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. We’ve been able to fund this program entirely with private contributions, and I’m so grateful to the funders who stepped up last year and again this year to make the Youth Service Corps possible. We should all be proud of the hundreds of young men and women who’ve made the choice and the commitment to work with the Youth Service Corps, to improve their city, and to set their personal aspirations higher.” The YSC creates a part-time, year-round employment opportunity for young people ages 16 – 24. It is designed to give structure, coaching, and paid work experience to young people who face significant challenges including involvement with the criminal justice system, chronic absenteeism or failure to obtain a high school diploma, involvement in gangs, homelessness, and foster care. During the first year of the YSC, members have done a variety of projects including shoveling snow for seniors and disabled residents, cleaning up many of Hartford’s parks, working with young students in after-school programs, and supporting a variety of non-profits in their work. Last year, $2.2 million was raised and this year $2.5 million was raised for the YSC. Funders include: Barbara Dalio and the Dalio Foundation, the Travelers Foundation, the Newman’s Own
Foundation, United Technologies Corporation, The Hartford, the Aetna Foundation, and Key Bank. “OPP is excited to officially kick off the Youth Service Corps’ second year, which is backed by the vision and support of Mayor Bronin and our many generous partners,” said Hector Rivera, Chief Operating Officer at Our Piece of the Pie. “We’ll continue to engage more than 200 of Hartford’s most in-need youth, helping them develop a good work ethic and aiming them towards long-term success, all while building up their ownership and pride in our community.” “We are thrilled by the Hartford Youth Service Corps’ accomplishments realized through teamwork,” said Barbara Dalio of the Dalio Foundation. “Young people have worked hard to make a difference for their community while gaining valuable experience and skills in pursuit of their goals. They are inspirational examples for us all. We are proud to support them.” “The Hartford Youth Service Corps is a unique program, providing opportunities not only for those involved but also for the city, and we’re proud to be part of it,” said Erin Haberman, Senior Program Officer of the Travelers Foundation. “The initiative is contributing to the vitality of our neighborhoods and helping participants build necessary skills for full-time employment.” “Supporting the Hartford Youth Service Corps is a natural extension of the Newman’s Own Foundation’s commitment to empower people and communities, as we continue Paul Newman’s legacy of giving and creating opportunities,” said Bob Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation. “The Hartford Youth Service Corps is a very special way to engage city youth in employment, while at the same time providing experiences and support for their continued development as productive and contributing members of society. We’re pleased to see the success of the program so far, and we’re hopeful that it will be a model for other cities nationally.” “We are excited by the positive influence Hartford’s Youth Services Corps has had in empowering young adults through service opportunities that benefit our neighborhoods,” said Diane Cantello, vice president of corporate sustainability at The Hartford. “The Hartford is committed to building safe, strong, and successful communities, and having members of the Hartford Youth Services Corps prevail is important to that mission.” DECEMBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 43
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Published on Dec 19, 2017