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October 2017

CCM uses Facebook Live as an Advocacy Tool MCS: Executive Search • Point/Counterpoint: The Return of Tolls

OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 1


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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

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

900 CHAPEL ST., 9TH FLOOR, NEW HAVEN, CT 06510-2807

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 9 12 14 16

CCM Annual Convention at Foxwoods Budget Impasse Hurting Small Towns CCM Calls for Pension Reform Commission CCM Policy Committees New CCM Service: Executive Search Point/Counterpoint: Tolls CIRMA News

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

Kemp Consulting, LLC Advancing Excellence in Local Governments

Roger L. Kemp, MPA, MBA, PhD National Speaker (203) 686-0281

Connecticut Town & City © 2017 Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

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Learn more at: www.rogerkemp.org OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 3


Renew, Refresh & Recharge At CCM’s Convention! CCM Annual Convention at Foxwoods

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t’s never too soon to begin thinking about, and mark your calendars for, Together Toward Tomorrow.

Together Toward Tomorrow is the theme for CCM’s two-day 2017 Convention, slated for November 28 and 29 at the number one tourist destination in Connecticut: the fabulous Foxwoods Resort in the heart of southeast Connecticut. More than 1,000 state and local government leaders will gather together. And there will be a fully immersive two-day schedule. Highlights of the two-day event include:

Municipal Excellence Awards CCM’s 2nd annual Municipal Excellence Awards, sponsored by the law firm Halloran & Sage LLP, will be presented at the November 29 networking lunch. The awards recognize innovative projects and individuals that have significantly improved the quality of life for citizens, established partnerships, and built community support. The competition applauds the achievements of leaders and municipalities and encourages others to strive for excellence.

Project B.E.S.T. Breakfast Meeting More than 150 vital Connecticut leaders will convene again on the opening day of the convention on Tuesday, November 28, for the continuation of the previous two year’s Project B.E.S.T. (Bringing Every Stakeholder Together) event. 4 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017

Once again we are gathering a select group of policy leaders and stakeholders across Connecticut from business, labor, education, government, and social services to brainstorm on the best pathways to a brighter economic future for Connecticut. SeeClickFix, a digital communications system company founded and based in New Haven that runs a website and app which assists users (worldwide) in communicating with local governments about non-emergency issues, will sponsor this event. It is a must-attend event and will be a great opening to the two-day Convention.

Sustainable CT Lunch Meeting CCM is partnering with the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern CT State University to launch Sustainable Connecticut. It all began with a CCM task force in 2016, and an advisory committee with various stakeholders hosting engaging workshops, to develop a voluntary certification program that rewards municipal sustainability actions. Now it is time to launch the program! Exciting details will be unveiled at the lunchtime gathering during the convention.

Annual Meeting & Dinner At the end of the first day’s activities on Tuesday, there will be an evening dinner, highlighted by the presentations of the Joel Cogen Lifetime Achievement Award and the Richard C. Lee Innovators Award. This is the second annual presentation of these awards


honoring CCM’s longtime, 40-year executive director and founder, Joel Cogen, and Richard C. Lee, the former mayor of New Haven.

Keynote Speaker The Convention will open the second day, Wednesday morning, with keynote speaker Neal Petersen. Petersen is an award-winning author, round-the-world solo racing yachtsman, international speaker, and global investor. He will share with attendees his thoughts on having the courage to dream, persevere, plan, and accept help from others in striving to achieve his goals.

The All Day Trade Show We will have over 150 companies at the Convention showcasing their products and services all day Wednesday. It’s like a one-stop shop geared toward municipal interests. Stop by the Murtha Law Exhibit Hall and visit with vendors you currently use and meet with new ones. You never know what you can bring back to your town. Breakfast will be available in the exhibit hall. We will once again have a lounge area, sponsored by BlumShapiro, for you to rest and charging stations for you to power up your phone. And we’ll have staff members on hand at the CCM booth to answer any questions you may have.

This Wednesday morning event is underwritten by CIRMA.

Renew, Refresh, Recharge!

Workshops Galore!

You owe it to yourself and your community to be part of CCM’s annual convention at Foxwoods.

Nearly two dozen workshops will be held over the two days. Learn what your colleagues can share about navigating the challenges of working in local government, with interesting topics ranging from: •

Municipal Fraud Prevention

Collective Bargaining

The Opioid Crisis

Difficult Labor Cases

Managing Different Generations Of Workers

Crisis Communications

Local Government Ethics

much, much more.

CCM believes that Connecticut’s towns and cities offer the best framework for citizens to live, work, play, raise families, and eventually retire. We work daily to improve everyday life for all Connecticut residents and businesses. And nobody knows more about the inner workings, challenges, successes, and achievements provided by government than YOU! Come meet with friends old and new and learn from your colleagues! We look forward to seeing you on November 28 and 29 at Foxwoods!

Hotel Rooms

Don’t forget, attendance at the Convention earns you three Certified Connecticut Municipal Official (CCMO) credits! For more information on CCMO, visit http:// www.ccm-ct.org/ccmo.

And, don’t forget to book your room! The discounted room block closes on November 6. For registration information, the two-day agenda, to book your overnight room, and to see the list of sponsors and exhibitors, visit: http://www.ccm-ct.org/2017-convention-attendeeinfo.

CONVENTION SPONSORS: Thank you for your support!

Sustainable

CT

Local Actions. Statewide Impact.

OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 5


CCM Professional Development Training Free workshops on today’s municipal workplace topics offered

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f you or a member of your staff needs new training or a refresher course on topics ranging from grant writing to drug and alcohol testing to economic development, CCM offers a series of workshops on a variety of timely topics. CCM provides no-cost training for member municipalities’ staff members and elected and appointed officials. CCM’s Municipal Training program provides practical information at the cutting edge of municipal management and intergovernmental relations. The sessions also help you stay well-versed in the innovations, issues, and requirements affecting job performance and service to local residents and businesses. Over the next few months, workshops, in addition to the ones mentioned above, will be held on: how to run legal and effective public meetings; ethics, accountability, and conflicts of interest; and the Freedom of Information Act.

Are you working on your Certified Connecticut Municipal Official (CCMO) designation? Don’t forget that all of our workshops are worth 3 credits toward your certification! For more information on CCMO, visit http://www.ccm-ct.org/ccmo. CCM members are also invited to submit proposals for possible

workshop topics and/or to host a workshop at your town/city hall. Look below for a list of upcoming workshop topics. For more information, email ccmtraining@ccm-ct.org or visit http:// www.ccm-ct.org/municipal-training-events.

OCTOBER 2017 Friday, Oct 20 Understanding Municipal Personnel File Management South Windsor 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Town Hall Thursday, Oct 26 How to Run Legal and Effective Public Meetings Madison 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Town Campus

NOVEMBER 2017 Thursday, Nov 2 Drug and Alcohol Testing for Supervisors Windham 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Town Hall Friday, Nov 3 FOIA for Boards, Commission, and Committee Members Bethel 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Town Hall

DECEMBER 2017 Friday, Dec 8 Newly Elected Workshop Rocky Hill 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Sheraton Tuesday, Dec 12 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

FOIA: Social Media & E-Communications

6 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017

TBD


Budget Impasse Leaving Small Towns In The Lurch Scotland dips into reserves to pay bills; Deep River in tightening bind

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cotland is one of the smaller towns in Connecticut that is being hurt by there not being a state budget in place. Scotland First Selectman Daniel D. Syme used one simple word when asked what the state budget impasse has meant for his town, “nightmare.” He said it was a nightmare because Scotland, like other towns, has had to dip into its budget reserves just to keep day-to-day operations going. Currently, Syme estimates the town’s budget reserves are down to just over $450,000, and shrinking every day. Syme said Scotland could run out of money in the coming months, as soon as the upcoming spring months, if the budget impasse isn’t broken. With a tax rate of 38.68 mills that is largely dependent on a residential tax base that is not growing, Scotland is in trouble. And Syme doesn’t think it’s fair that the state is adding to the town’s problems. The first selectman added: “Putting fiscal mismanagement on the towns’ backs is an atrocity.” Syme said it isn’t Scotland’s fault that the “candy store is broke and empty.” He added that while he’s empathetic to the plight of the state’s bigger cities, it is unfair to penalize smaller towns that have been fiscally prudent over the years. “You can’t have vibrant urban areas at the expense of smaller suburban areas,” Syme said. Another smaller town, Deep River is also feeling that impact, big time. Deep River First Selectman Angus L. McDonald, Jr. in fact has no trouble admitting he gets “very frustrated” by the tenor of what he hears coming out of leaders at the State Capitol. McDonald said smaller communities like Deep River may suffer propor-

Left: Scotland First Selectman Daniel D. Syme Right: Deep River First Selectman Angus L. McDonald, Jr.

tionately bigger budget cuts when and if a final budget is in place. He explained: “We get about $1.6 million in education funding per year. That’s 10 percent of our overall (both school and town) budget of $16.8 million.” Right now Deep River is going without that education funding as the budget impasse stretches out week after week, month after month, and the state budget is being run by Executive Order of the governor. Not that McDonald, who has only been in office approximately 18 months, isn’t taking steps to try and mitigate the damage. “We’ve had a spending freeze on,” he said. “We’ve put a hold on our road improvements programs. We’ve put a hold on all overtime. Nothing is spent without it being approved by my office first,” said McDonald. But Deep River and McDonald face

another obstacle that most municipalities don’t, namely that they are part of a regional school district. What that means is that the town doesn’t have control over its own education budget. It is controlled by regional referendum. “We don’t have a voice,” McDonald said. “We get our share of the bill and we have to pay it.” McDonald said he’s held off as long as he can, but he’ll soon likely be forced to send out a supplemental tax bill to continue funding Deep River’s portion of the education bills. “I don’t want to overtax our citizens,” said McDonald. “The citizens here pay enough already. But I likely won’t have a choice.” The first selectman said what Deep River, and all the other 168 towns in the state really need is a resolution. “The biggest difficulty is trying to plan with so many unknowns,” said McDonald.

OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 7


No Municipal Teachers’ Retirement Contribution Until Study

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CM called on Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly in early October to establish a new Pension and Retirement Benefits Reform Commission and not transfer any teachers’ retirement costs to towns until the commission assesses all funding issues and determines the best pathway for sustainable pensions for state and local governments. “Recognizing the deep financial burden that current public employee pension systems have placed on the state and the need to give this matter the benefit of thorough analysis by all stakeholders, CCM’s Board of Directors is requesting that the FY 18-19 state budget proposal establish a Pension and Retirement Benefits Reform Commission,” said CCM Executive Director Joe DeLong in correspondence sent to Governor Malloy and state legislative leaders.   “The Commission would examine state and municipal employee pension matters, including the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF); funding strategies, tier levels and other matters, as well as the sustainability of other post-employment benefits,” stressed DeLong. “The Commission would propose recommendations to the Governor and state legislators by February 1, 2018, for consideration and action by the 2018 General Assembly. No municipal contribution to the TRF should be included in the agreed-upon budget proposal until the review and resulting recommendations have been completed.” Here is the complete text of the letter Dear Governor Malloy: Recognizing the deep financial burden that current public employee pension systems have placed on the state and the need to give this matter the benefit of thorough analysis by all stakeholders, CCM’s Board of Directors is requesting that the FY 18-19 state budget proposal establish a Pension and Retirement Benefits Reform Commission.    The Commission would examine state and municipal employee pension matters, including the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF); funding strategies, tier levels and other matters, as well as the sustainability of other post-employment benefits. The Commission would propose recommendations to the Governor and state legislators by February 1, 2018, for consideration and action by the 2018 General Assembly. No municipal contribution to the TRF should be included in the agreed-upon budget proposal until the review and resulting recommendations have been completed. A matter that impacts such a huge part of the state’s economy and large number of public employees deserves and commands this methodical approach, where empathy and compromise may meet. Distressed communities like Waterbury have engaged in the kind of fair pension re-structuring that has helped put the city on a more sustainable economic path. Hartford is also currently engaged in this activity. CCM and its membership stands ready to work with the Governor’s office on the organization and operational objectives of the proposed Commission. We are eager to work as partners, to address challenges so that our state can be the economic and social engine that it’s meant to be. Sincerely, Joe DeLong CCM Executive Director 8 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017


Looking Ahead

CCM committees devise action on legislative issues for 2018

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CM has nine different policy committees that are critical to the development of CCM’s legislative priorities. They discuss and act on recommendations made by the general CCM membership and committee members, and forward their recommendations to CCM’s Legislative Committee for possible inclusion in the 2018 State Legislative Program. Each member municipality is entitled to make one appointment to these issue-area committees. Here are the committees and the CCM municipal chairs and vice chairs for each: • Education: Elinor Carbone, Mayor of Torrington, is Chair of the committee; Catherine Osten, First Selectman of Sprague, is Vice Chair. • Environmental Management and Energy: Pat Llodra, First Selectman of Newtown, is Chair of the committee; Garry Brumback, Town Manager of Southington, is Vice Chair. • Land Use, Housing and Community Development: Mark Walter, Town Administrator of Columbia, is Chair of the committee; Robert E. Lee, Town Manager of Plainville, is Vice Chair.

• Labor Relations: Steve Werbner, Town Manager of Tolland, is Chair of the committee; Anthony Salvatore, Town Manager of Cromwell, is Vice Chair. • Municipal Law, Liability, and Insurance: Catherine Iino, First Selectwoman of Killingworth, is Chair. • Public Health and Human Services: Don Stein, First Selectman of Barkhamsted, is Chair of the committee; Rudy Marconi, First Selectman of Ridgefield, is Vice Chair. • Public Safety, Crime Prevention and Code Enforcement: Susan Bransfield, First Selectman of Portland, is Chair of the committee; Richard Matters, First Selectman of Franklin, is Vice Chair. • Taxes and Finance: Michael Milone, Town Manager of Cheshire, is Chair of the committee; Scott Shanley, General Manager of Manchester, is Vice Chair. • Transportation and Infrastructure: Matthew Knickerbocker, First Selectman of Bethel, is Chair of the committee; Lisa Heavner, First Selectwoman of Simsbury, is Vice Chair.

Who Pays To Educate Kids? State Supreme Court to decide

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t hasn’t garnered the attention, yet, that the state budget impasse has, but a current Connecticut Supreme Court ruling is likely to have a bigger impact on the future of education funding in the state than anything that happens in Hartford. The Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments in a long-awaited case dealing with education-funding inequities between municipalities. In September 2016, in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell, Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher issued a ruling declaring the state’s method for distributing education aid was “irrational and unconstitutional.” The judge said the state legislature had recently stripped away $5 million in education aid from some of the neediest school systems, transferring funds to wealthier districts The judge imposed a six-month deadline on the state to develop a plan to overhaul its education-funding distribution system. The state appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case and temporarily put the

deadline on hold. Originally brought on behalf of 15 students and their families in 2005, CCJEF v. Rell is being heard by the state’s high court. The general consensus is that whenever the court case is decided it will be the state’s poorer cities that will benefit most from the ruling. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been consistent in his stated position that he believes it is his, and the state legislature’s responsibility, to better fund the educational districts in poorer cities, such as Hartford. But not everyone agrees that it is the responsibility of better off towns to foot the bill for the education costs of towns that aren’t as well off. Towns in a better financial position argue they shouldn’t be penalized because they’ve managed their finances better over the years than others have. Now it is in the hands of the state’s highest court to decide. Stay tuned. OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 9


Embracing Social Media As An Advocacy Tool CCM members use Facebook Live to shape state budget for towns

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ith events, and the impact they have on municipalities and their leaders changing by the minute, it is more important than ever to use social media to communicate with your constituents to help them stay up-to-date on what is going on in your communities and the state. CCM recognizes that fact and has been using Facebook Live as a cutting-edge vehicle to broadcast our advocacy message during the hectic state budget impasse. A couple of examples of the effectiveness of the tool are: Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser’s recent use to get out important messages. First Selectman Mike Tetreau used Facebook Live to transmit CCM’s position regarding the shift of teachers’ retirement funding onto property taxpayers. His analysis received very favorable community engagement on social media. His video was viewed over 7,000 times! And guess what? A few days later, a state representative from the Fairfield area broke with party ranks on the budget amendment and voted for a plan that did not shift teachers’ retirement funding onto the backs of towns and cities. Many political observers said the push by Tetreau on social media swayed that legislator’s opinion on the matter. The budget problems — and the impact they have on municipalities and their property taxpayers — are not going away anytime soon. Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser focused his video on the budgetary process and an emphasis on the ECS formula, or lack thereof, the Teachers’ Retirement contribution cost shift, and the ramifications of operating a town under the Governor’s Executive Order. In each instance, he pointed out the system is broken and is badly in need of structural reform. Woodbury First Selectman William Butterly effectively used CCM’s Facebook Live recently to urge Governor Malloy to not punish small towns that have been fiscally responsible. Woodbury has a $3.8 million surplus because of fiscal responsibility, Butterly said, and the state wants to raid the fund. Thousands of people have viewed his Facebook Live video. The Democratic mayor of Waterbury and the Republican first selectman of Southbury also, sitting together, both used CCM’s Facebook Live video to stress that the state’s budget crisis has an impact on big cities such as 10 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017

Waterbury and smaller towns such as Southbury. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary used Facebook Live to tell legislators to “recognize the crisis” big cities and smaller towns are in without a state budget. Southbury First Selectman Jeff Manville echoed O’Leary’s thoughts. “We need to work together and we do that with CCM,” said Manville, stating legislators from both parties need to do so — to resolve the budget crisis. So it is important for CCM municipal leaders to continue to use Facebook Live to communicate fast-breaking developments at the State Capitol in order to educate their residents and influence their legislators. CCM’s overall plan is to continue taping Facebook Live events with other members until a budget is enacted. Afterwards, we will continue this effort, but will adapt the messaging to reflect the budget and implementer changes. To view examples of town leaders using Facebook Live to advocate on behalf of towns and cities and to fight attempts to shift more costs onto the property tax, visit the following link: http://www.ccm-ct.org/dontmiss. If you are interested in participating in our Facebook Live initiative, please do not hesitate to contact Brian O’Connor at 203-804-4658 or boconnor@ccm-ct.org.


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Helping You Hire The Best

CCM Municipal Consulting Service can help members recruit

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he job of being a municipal or school executive has never been busier. One of the more time-intensive — but critical — functions of a leader is recruiting new talent. That’s why CCM is excited to offer a new service program for you to use: Municipal Consulting Service (MCS) Executive Search. With this new service, CCM is expanding our member service offerings by providing executive level recruiting for our member municipalities, school districts, and local public agencies. CCM wants our members to think of MCS Executive Search as your “Go To” service agency for help in filling critical high-level positions as well as providing an interim solution with the Municipal Consulting Service. For information about MCS, visit our website at http:// www.ccm-ct.org/mcs. Our goal is to minimize the cost and time required of our members in obtaining top quality applicants for important positions that can dramatically impact your communities. Let us do that initial process for you by finding your candidates, and vetting for your final perusal before any actual hiring is done. We know that many towns already use search teams to find qualified candidates, but we also know that these firms are costly and in these days of every penny counting, CCM is here to do the same work at a fraction of the cost. We envision this service program being an enhancement of the already-in-existence Job Bank managed by CCM. We will use our in-house knowledge, experience, and expertise to be that skilled recruitment service provider you are looking for.

We also can draw exceptionally strong applicants by exploiting CCM’s 50-plus years of experience serving Connecticut municipalities, which has given CCM a widely recognized brand that will attract highly qualified professionals looking to advance their careers. So, the bottom line is simple — this new service is a winner for all of the 165 towns and cities that are CCM members. We will bring you strong job applicants, although the final decision on hiring the right person will always remain with you. We will do it all for much less money than municipalities that outsource recruitment currently pay. So what are you waiting for? Contact Andy Merola at 203-498-3056 or amerola@ ccm-ct.org for any questions about MCS Executive Search and/or to sign up for the service today. You can also can visit us at the CCM Convention on Wednesday, November 29th. To register for the Convention, visit http://www.ccm-ct.org/2017-convention-attendeeinfo.

Plus we already know each other. We know your town, your population. We know Connecticut.

LED May Cause Sticker Shock Conversion can lead to rate hikes

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unicipalities authorizing Eversource to install LEDs might be surprised that their resulting electric rate costs go up, not down.

bill) will result, but the Eversource charge to municipalities actually goes up!

For a typical overhead municipal HPS luminaire of 118 watts, costs increase from $7.73/month to $8.30 or $8.38 for an equivalent LED.

In fact, it’s the opposite.

Energy savings on generation (the non-Eversource portion of the

No such increase occurs for municipally owned streetlights. For a typical overhead municipal HPS luminaire of 118 watts, costs decrease from $7.73/month to $.70 or $.79 for an equivalent LED, plus energy savings.

12 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017

We understand that not every municipality wants to own its streetlights, but given available incentives, energy savings, rate savings, long life and low maintenance costs, investigating municipal purchase of streetlights and conversion to LED not only makes sense — it makes cents, which can add up to big bucks.


Offering a dedicated and experienced team to meet the needs of our municipal clients Murtha Cullina is proud to serve as General Counsel to CCM

MUNICIPAL LAW

Kari L. Olson Co-chair kolson@murthalaw.com 860.240.6085 Alfred E. Smith, Jr. Co-chair asmith@murthalaw.com 203.772.7722 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

MURTHALAW.COM

Michael J. Martone* mmartone@murthalaw.com 860.240.6109 *Not an attorney

BOSTON + HARTFORD + NEW HAVEN + STAMFORD + WHITE PLAINS + WOBURN © 2017 Murtha Cullina LLP. | This material is intended for general information purposes only

cdmsmith.com OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 13


Point / Counterpoint Issue: The Return of Tolls Electronic Tolls Now By Antonio “Tony” Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Newington, House Chair of the Transportation Committee

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e need electronic tolling now. Why?

decaying.

Our roads and bridges are

We don’t lose a single dollar of federal funds. Connecticut residents would get a discounted rate. The gas tax would drop. The electronic tolls I am proposing are not your parent’s tolls...or even your older sibling’s. Electronic tolls no longer present a danger to drivers. They are overhead electronic toll gantries – today’s electronic tolls are fast, easy, and safe. Electronic tolls are simply transponders on the road that communicate with a transponder in your vehicle. You drive by the transponder, at highway speeds, and you are charged a toll. If you don’t have a transponder in your car, a photo of your license plate is taken and you will be billed by mail. The fact is, our roads and bridges are decaying and the money in the state’s Special Transportation Fund (STF) is drying up. The STF was established in July 1984 after the collapse of the Mianus River Bridge. The bulk of STF funding comes from motor fuel sales (gasoline excise tax, diesel excise tax), the sales tax, the sale of petroleum products, and Department of Motor Vehicle fees, but the gas tax is the biggest chunk. And gas tax receipts keep dropping. Cars are more and more fuel efficient and we have seen an increase in hybrids and electric vehicles. STF will be insolvent in 3-5 years. 14 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017

Over the course of 30 years, electronic tolls on our highways could raise $22 billion – and that’s after factoring in the cost of installing the gantries, equipment, and software. With electronic tolls we could have a dedicated revenue stream to lock away in the STF and ensure funding for our roads and bridges for decades to come. And it would be locked. The federal government requires funds from electronic tolls to be used for transportation infrastructure. Cars and trucks drive straight through our state every day. Thousands of vehicles from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and on and on – they just drive through. They don’t fill up with gas (gas tax). They don’t stop at our stores (sales tax). They just drive through. More than 30 percent of the vehicles on our highways are from out of state. Shouldn’t these out of state drivers pay for the roads they are using? Meanwhile, if you drive into New York or Massachusetts or New Hampshire or New Jersey, you will pay tolls. Let’s take the simple example of a roundtrip to JFK Airport in New York; it will cost you $20.50 in tolls ($1.75 each way on I-95 and $8.50 each way on the Whitestone Bridge) – and none of that money goes to fund Connecticut roads. Connecticut is the only coastal state from Maine to North Carolina without tolls. With electronic tolling, Connecticut would go from having one of the highest gas taxes in the nation to one of the lowest. The revenue would mean a 2.5 centper-gallon drop in the gas tax. As we all learned from the Mianus River Bridge tragedy, Connecticut must invest in its crumbling roads and bridges and be proactive rather than reactive. We don’t want to look back on this moment in time and say “If only...”


Tolls are a bad idea for Connecticut and Connecticut taxpayers By State Senator Toni Boucher, CoChair of the legislature’s Transportation Committee

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ne of the Connecticut Business Association’s economic development policy priorities for 2017 was transportation. It called for the dedication of public and private resources to ease congestion and improve the state’s transportation infrastructure connectivity.

Certainly, anyone who’s driven Connecticut’s roadways can attest to the congestion and poor road conditions. The big question is: How do we pay for the crucial transportation improvements our state needs? Some of my colleagues in the General Assembly believe tolls will solve our problems. I wholeheartedly disagree. Connecticut already has some of the highest taxes in the nation, including a 25-cent gas tax and an 8.1 percent petroleum gross receipts tax. Most states with tolls don’t have the taxes and fees motorists in Connecticut must pay, such as car property taxes, an income tax with almost no deductions, a gift tax, a real estate tax, and even a yoga tax. In fact, we have the highest combined taxes in the U.S. Additionally, money collected from motor fuel taxes, motor vehicle receipts, and license and permit fees go into the Special Transportation Fund to pay for state transportation needs. Unfortunately, over the years, the legislature regularly diverted money from the Special Transportation Fund, which resulted in a lack of money for state transportation projects. Proponents claim money collected from tolls will be treated differently. It will go into a transportation

“lockbox” so it can be used only for transportation projects. That was the purpose of the Special Transportation Fund. Instead, it nearly has been depleted for General Fund expenditures. Can we really trust that toll receipts won’t fall victim to other budgetary needs? Connecticut taxpayers are taxed enough already. Tolls would be another tax on top of what we already pay. No legislative proposals for tolls that I have seen eliminate or meaningfully reduce fuel taxes and fees. Despite assertions that tolls will help the state finally collect money from out-of-state drivers, Connecticut residents will be the majority of drivers impacted. This is because the state cannot erect tolls only on the borders. Prospective maps have shown tolls placed at nearly every exit on Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway. Tolls simply amount to a cut to Connecticut workers’ paychecks. This is especially true of proposals for congestion pricing. Most workers cannot choose their schedules. They will have no choice but to drive during peak congestion times subjecting them to the most expensive tolls. Tolls also will result in more wear and tear on local roads as drivers detour through neighborhoods to save money. This will lead to more congestion and, potentially, more accidents. My last point is that building electronic tolls is another expense the state cannot afford. The capital outlay for this project will have to be made long before Connecticut sees a single cent from toll collections. We also don’t know how long it will take before the tolls pay for themselves, let alone pay for any transportation projects. Tolls are just another bad idea for Connecticut and Connecticut taxpayers. OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 15


CIRMA Working Together To Create Success, 2017-18

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eamwork creates success. There is no better example of this than CIRMA and its members, working together in partnership to build stronger communities. CIRMA’s mission is off to another great start in 2017-18 with a $5 Million Equity Distribution delivered to members, a 98% renewal rate, and tremendous growth in financial strength. David Demchak, CIRMA President and CEO said, “CIRMA’s financial strength supports the development of important new programs and provides members a solid foundation on which to build Connecticut’s future. When CIRMA members take full advantage of our programs, they not only reduce their own cost of risk, they also help improve the results of the entire pool, helping CIRMA deliver low, stable rates and affordable coverage year after year.” To that end, CIRMA has recently introduced a range of new programs. Its new Employment Practices Liability Helpline program completed its first year of operation on October 1st, answering questions from almost 70 CIRMA LAP pool members on dozens of employment-related topics, helping them avoid liability and providing guidance on tough employment issues. CIRMA has expanded its new Roll Call for police, and introduced the Fire Services Hot Zone Series and the Cyber Security newsletter.

Enhanced coverages for 2017-18 include CIRMA’s nocost Volunteer Firefighter Accident Insurance (VFA) Program, which provides accident, death, and disability coverage to thousands of volunteer firefighters and EMTs of CIRMA Workers’ Compensation pool members. CIRMA’s Contract Review services identifies contract language that may transfer risk and makes recommendations, to help protect its members’ interests.

Continued Growth CIRMA’s innovative services help CIRMA and its members grow. CIRMA’s premiums increased to $97.7 million for 2017-18, a new high and a 4.6% increase over a year ago. With aggregate rate need below zero for both pools, CIRMA’s premiums increased as a result of new member premium and growth in exposures. CIRMA’s Members’ Equity has grown to $130 million, up a stellar 13% from last year. New growth, new services, and increasing financial strength means that CIRMA can help make our communities better and safer places to live, learn and work in. For more information on CIRMA’s programs and services, please visit CIRMA.org.

CIRMA quantifies the “What ifs?” of salary continuation costs

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IRMA, a leader in developing powerful risk management analytical tools, has added a new proprietary risk modeling tool to its portfolio of risk management resources. CIRMA’s Salary Continuation Management Tool quantifies the total costs of salary continuation for an individual employee, department, or the entire entity.

What are the “What ifs?” CIRMA’s Salary Continuation Management Tool provides salary continuation cost projections at a keystroke, so that municipal and school leaders have a clearer understanding of the potential costs of salary

continuation benefits under a range of options. The Salary Continuation Management Tool provides a range of potential costs for different levels of benefits and durations, allowing municipalities and public schools to see the potential costs and outcomes before they sit down at the negotiating table.

help CIRMA members make more informed strategic business decisions.”

“Users can visualize the entire range of possible outcomes of salary continuation costs.”

CIRMA recommends that municipalities and public schools identify their voluntary salary continuation programs and use this tool to better understand the total costs of Lost Time claims. Possible loss mitigation efforts may include negotiating the reduction or elimination of Salary Continuation benefits.

David Demchak, CIRMA President and CEO, said, “By helping municipalities and public schools understand how salary continuation costs will impact expenses, the Salary Continuation Management Tool will

The Salary Continuation Management Tool program will be available in December 2017. Interested CIRMA members should contact their CIRMA Risk Management Consultant for more information.

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CIRMA

Knowledge is power.

Become empowered today! Build your understanding of today’s risk management issues and emerging trends by subscribing today to CIRMA’s Knowledge Bank at www.CIRMA.org. You’ll receive news and alerts tailored to your role, including our Employment Practices News, Cyber Security Tips & Alerts, Property Protection alerts, Training & Education updates, and more! Free to CIRMA members!


CIRMA Fraud Prevention Symposium CIRMA partners with State’s Attorney

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IRMA, in partnership with the State’s Attorney’s Office and financial fraud experts, is presenting a Symposium on Fraud Prevention on November 15, 2017 in Rocky Hill.

steps to lower the incidence. The session is presented by a panel of experts including John DeMattia, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney and Attorney Jason Dodge, of Strunk Dodge Aiken Zovas LLC.

The best way to prevent fraud and to stop fraudulent activity as quickly as possible is through education and awareness. CIRMA has made this important symposium free of charge and open to all Connecticut municipal and school leaders. CIRMA’s mission is to help its members reduce losses, including losses arising from fraud, and preserve public assets and trust.

Employee theft can be one of the most difficult crimes to detect and the most costly. Stephen Pedneault, CPA/CFF, CFE of Forensic Accounting Services, LLC, a leading forensic accountant and author of four books on financial fraud, will discuss ways to spot employee theft and implement controls in the second session, “Employee Theft & Embezzlement: Have You Identified the Risk Areas?”

The first session of the symposium, “Is It Worker’s Compensation Fraud or Abuse?” presents the ways municipal leaders can identify the subtle signs of Workers’ Compensation fraud and abuse and take

The symposium will be held at the State’s Attorney’s Office in Rocky Hill. To register, please visit www.CIRMATraining.org.

Attracting The Best New CIRMA staff

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s a risk-management partner for its member municipalities and school districts, CIRMA staff provide broad expertise and consultative services to members, helping protect valuable public resources. They deliver daily on the promise CIRMA makes to its members. CIRMA welcomed two new employees this summer. Ashley Reda joins CIRMA’s Underwriting team as a Senior Underwriter. Ashley, a resident of Branford, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Fairfield University and has over 14 years of experience in commercial underwriting.

Ashley Reda, Underwriting

Kerena Gentles, CIRMA Receptionist

Kerena Gentles will be working with Betty Ju-Ronson as CIRMA’s receptionist. Kerena is a resident of New Haven and a recent graduate of Porter & Chester Institute where she received her certification as a Medical Assistant.

MS-ISAC’s Annual Self-Assessment survey has begun!

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ctober is Cyber Security Awareness month and the start of MS-ISAC’s annual Nationwide Cyber Security Review (NCSR). The self-assessment is a free, anonymous, annual survey based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework and funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the MS-ISAC.

of malware infections, phishing attacks, and several distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). The good news is that although the number of critical vulnerabilities still grows, local governments are continuing to improve their cyber security through faster vulnerability patching.

Last year’s survey revealed that local and state government computer systems were subject to high levels

Participants in previous years have used their individual results to justify cybersecurity investment

Why take the survey?

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and to measure their year-to-year improvements. The assessment is a valuable and respected tool for communicating cyber security issues to stakeholders. The Department of Homeland Security uses the aggregated results of the review to deliver a bi-yearly anonymous summary report to Congress providing a broad picture of the cybersecurity maturity across U.S. state and local governments. For more information and a link to the survey, please visit CIRMA’s Cyber Security Risk & Alerts web page.


CIVIC AMENITIES

Open For Business New court opens in Torrington

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he new Litchfield District Superior Courthouse in Torrington is open.

Previously housed in Litchfield, the new 183,000-square-foot building will be known as the Torrington Superior Courthouse and it will replace Litchfield Superior Court, Bantam Superior Court (GA18), a Family Services office moving from Litchfield, and Torrington Juvenile Court. The new courthouse is located at 50 Field Street, Torrington. At the end of business on Friday, August 25, Litchfield Superior Court, 15 West Street, Litchfield, closed. At that time, all matters pending in that facility were transferred to the new Torrington Superior Courthouse and all new matters in the Litchfield Judicial District must be filed in the new Torrington Superior Courthouse. At the end of business on Friday, September 8, the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters at 410 Winsted Road, Torrington, closed. At that time, all matters pending

in that facility were transferred to the new Torrington Superior Courthouse, and all new matters to be filed in the Torrington Juvenile Venue District must be filed in the new Torrington Superior Courthouse. At the end of business on Friday, September 15, Bantam Superior Court (Geographical Area 18) closed. All matters pending at that facility were transferred to the new Torrington Superior Courthouse, and all new matters to be filed at Bantam Superior Court GA18 must be filed in the new Torrington Superior Courthouse.

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blumshapiro.com OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 19


EN TE AV

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NEW HAVEN TERMINAL, INC.

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The Economic Development section of CT&C is sponsored by New Haven Terminal, Inc. Learn more at: www.nhterminal.com

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORPORATE

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Entertainment Mecca

Bridgeport’s Harbor Yard being reinvented

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ridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim recently announced that Live Nation, the world’s largest and most complete live entertainment company, along with the local owner of SportsCenter of Connecticut, Howard Saffan, have partnered to create “Harbor Yard Amphitheater, LLC” and have been selected as the developers and operators to bring entertainment to Bridgeport’s Harbor Yard with the development of a state-of-the-art amphitheater. The ownership of the amphitheater will be retained by the city and will be developed at the investment of approximately $15 million dollars through a public/private partnership. Mayor Ganim stated, “Bridgeport is excited and ready for this next step in revitalizing our city with positive development and providing music entertainment by bringing in a partner and company like Live Nation. “We’ve enjoyed 20 years of successful entertainment with Bluefish Baseball and all that the Bluefish and owner, Frank Bolton, have done for our community. This next chapter of Bridgeport’s future is bright with the benefits and experience of a world known entertainment company like Live Nation, and the historic success of Saffan as a venue operator, to bring in concerts and shows that will certainly put Bridgeport in the forefront as a destination place for family and friends,” Ganim said “This is a great boutique amphitheater for Bridgeport. We are looking

forward to bringing great artists to Bridgeport,” said Jim Koplik. “It is an honor to be awarded the RFP. Harbor Yard Amphitheater will be a “game changer” for the city of Bridgeport. The thought of hosting 25 concerts per summer is incredibly exciting for both the local business community as well as the concert goers from near and far. To have a partner like Live Nation insures the success of our state of the art venue,” said Howard Saffan. Live Nation Entertainment recognizes and appreciates the importance and popularity of venues in the marketplace and their value to the local communities and operates venues that are the cornerstone of successful developments.

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Live Nation Entertainment is one of the world’s leading artist management companies based on the number of artists represented that range from “up and comers” to veteran superstars like Elton John and Lady Gaga. In 2016, Live Nation promoted almost 26,300 music events that were attended by nearly 71 million fans. Thomas Gill, Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development (OPED), stated, “This is an exciting opportunity to further enhance what is happening in Bridgeport’s downtown. Live Nation is a nationally owned company that will be able to bring entertainment to be enjoyed by Bridgeport and surrounding towns throughout Connecticut.”


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Downtown Makeover Branford looks to attract millennials

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large part of the demolition of the former Atlantic Wire factory building in Branford has been completed.

Demolition of the multi-building, nearly century-old factory began in the summer and is now in its final stages. Once done, work will get underway on the new Atlantic Wharf, mixed-use residential and commercial development at 1 Church Street. A 205-unit residential and commercial mixed-use development, Atlantic Wharf will be built on the former factory’s 7.5 acres of former industrial land overlooking the Branford River. Developers and town officials have described the new Atlantic Wharf complex as one they hope will draw millennials and others seeking high end homes, and as a keystone project in what they hope will make downtown Branford a draw for young people. Atlantic Wharf’s location puts it within walking distance of the popular Stony Creek Brewery, bus lines, and the town center as well as the newly-expanded Amtrak rail station. Atlantic Wharf has become a key part of the discussion during Branford’s workshops to help plan for a new Transit Oriented Development (TOD) near the Branford rail station.

Atlantic Wharf will also include a residential, underground parking garage with 195 parking spaces. The complex will also install a new road on the side of the development facing the Branford River, to be accessed from a realigned Meadow Street and Church Street intersection and a new four-way intersection at Montowese Street and Pine Orchard Road.

Promoting “Fairfield County Five” Towns join together to promote projects

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ive lower Fairfield County towns are joining together to promote the commercial and residential appeal of Lower Fairfield County. The towns of Westport, Fairfield, Stamford, Greenwich, and Norwalk, known as the “Fairfield County Five,” are teaming together to educate those outside the region about the business and residential environment within the five localities. The goal is to attract service, marketing, and emerging technology businesses that will benefit from as well as enhance Lower Fairfield County with their presence. The group’s first business recruit-

ment showcase is in New York City on November 2. The objective of this NYC area showcase will be to promote Lower Fairfield County to businesses that may be seeking an opportunity to relocate or expand to a more desirable, economically advantageous location. Governor Dannel Malloy and State Economic Development Commissioner Catherine Smith will speak at the event. There will be a brief presentation about the five communities’ business and residential attributes, including cost, talent, innovation, transportation, and quality of life. There will also be testimonies from

businesses and small start-ups who can speak to the attendees about their experiences with Fairfield County. “By forming partnerships with and strengthening communication between our municipal neighbors, the five towns are poised to collaborate on promotional activities and to apply for regional economic development grants,” said Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe. “This effort will be an important step in keeping Westport and Lower Fairfield County competitive in the commercial marketplace,” Marpe added.

OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 21


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Forever Young UTC efforts to keep millennials paying off

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ince 2005, UTC and its companies have retained 60 percent of program members as permanent employees. Corporate leaders say that’s an accomplishment given the state’s declining millennial population. UTC’s success with millennials comes as Connecticut is struggling to attract and retain young workers. In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that more than 39,000 young adults in the 20-to-34 age group moved out of Connecticut, an increase of more than 20 percent from 2007. In Hartford, the number of people in their 20s is projected to fall 0.8 percent between 2015 and 2020, and another 3.8 percent by 2030, according to the state. Connecticut, with 3.6 million people, was one of eight states that lost population in 2016, according to a Census Bureau estimate. UTC offers six development programs in finance, communications, human resources, digital technology, operations, and environment, health and safety, as well as divisional leadership programs for undergraduate and graduate students hoping to embed with a particular company. Associates get professional development and mentors and spend several months immersing themselves in three or more different divisions or companies. The concept launched in 2001 with the finance and digital technology programs and grew over the years until human resources was added in 2010, according to Laurie Havanec, vice president of talent at UTC Corporate.

But the programs, which recruit nationally, may be particularly helpful in 2017 as Connecticut’s population growth continues to trail the U.S. average. The state is expected to grow just 0.4 percent between 2015 and 2020, compared to 4 percent nationwide, according to data from the University of Connecticut and the U.S. Census Bureau. Statewide, millennials made up a quarter of the state’s 3.5 million residents in 2016, though their numbers had fallen half a percent since 2010, according to political magazine Governing, which pulled data from the Census. That ranked Connecticut as the 11th largest population loss of millennials in the country. Still, UTC had more than 1,000 interns this summer along with 208 leadership associates rotating throughout the corporation and its four subsidiaries, which have locations in 17 states and employees in 78 countries. Ninety-three of those associates came on board in 2017, according to Lori Connors, senior director of talent development. And over the last two months, 80 associates graduated into full-time roles in the business.

Boost For New London Condo complex planned for city center

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ity and state leaders are praising a planned condominium complex on Howard Street in New London as one of the first steps in a major boost to the city’s urban center. A ceremonial signing of a development agreement for Shipway 221 was held recently at the Fort Trumbull conference center. The phased development, with construction expected to start by spring, will start with 70 units and is expected to later grow to 200 units with prices

starting above $200,000. The $30 million project, on long vacant land owned by Renaissance City Development Association, is being developed by New London County Realty with project manager Tony Silvestri and financial backer Louis Tagliatela of the Franklin Construction Company. The project will have amenities that include an all-seasons pool, outdoor theater, rooftop gathering area, gym, climbing wall, and pub.

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Shipway 221 is one of two developments planned along Howard Street that will take advantage of the growing number of employees at the nearby General Dynamics Electric Boat facility. A.R. Building Co., now working to complete a $14 million, 104-unit apartment complex on Mansfield Road, has proposed a $17 million, 90-unit apartment complex at the corner of Bank and Howard streets on land known as Parcel J.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Harbor Can Be Hot Spot Big plans for future development in New Haven

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n a few short years, New Haven officials are hoping it will have a harbor that competes with the big-time major shipping centers up and down the Northern Atlantic Coast. The project has been in the works for over two years under the auspices of the New Haven Port Authority, which has been working to prepare a study for perusal and approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps has already held a meeting on the plans and there will be more to come, with the goal being to have a draft of a project footprint by early in 2018. New Haven’s port is already a strong, financial engine, handling about 9 million tons of cargo annually and ranking in the top third of all ports in the country. But New Haven and other local officials are thinking even bigger. It will come at a price, however. The cost of increasing the dredging of the harbor another seven feet, as well as proposed alternative uses of the materials, is high. It is in the $40-$50 million range. But the financial impact for the already busy harbor is immense. Officials state that if the 42-foot channel depth is approved (from the current 35-foot depth) it will put New Haven in a competitive range of ports such as New York and Boston. Simply put, the deeper the depth of the channel, the larger the boats that come into that channel can be.

The larger the boats, the more cargo and goods they can carry. All that translates into money. Part of the details of such an expansive project is figuring out how to do work in deepening the harbor without harming the shellfish beds in the harbor. Also, the Corps is being asked to ensure that the harbor project take into account the potential for harsh weather, such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene. And lastly, if the harbor depth is increased by seven feet, there will be millions of cubic yards of dredged material that will need to be moved. Officials said they will take all environmental, and other factors into account in preparing their final recommendations. One of the existing businesses, New Haven Terminal, Inc., is in a great position to capitalize on these improvements. The 21.7-acre facility strategically located between two of the country’s major cities and right next to Interstate Highways I-91 and I-95. Its strategic location is 75 miles northeast of New York City, 120 miles southwest of Boston, and 120 miles southeast of Albany. The facility handles fuel oil, diesel, and kerosenes. The site also houses hundreds of thousands of square feet of warehouse space and has a bulk liquid tank farm, with plenty of room for growth.

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EDUCATION The Education section of CT&C is sponsored by Gateway Community College’s GREAT Center. Learn more at: www.gatewayct.edu/Great-Center

Hartford Gets Boost From UConn Campus in state capital lauded

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Conn Nation” is now on full display in the state’s capital city with the opening of the downtown Hartford campus at the site of the former Hartford Times building. “This is the most historic day in the 136-year-old history of the University of Connecticut,” UConn President Susan Herbst said at a recent ceremony unveiling the new campus. “UConn has come to Hartford.” The campus, which was relocated from West Hartford, consists of the renovated and expanded historic former newspaper building, additional classroom and office space at nearby 38 Prospect Street, and shared space in the Hartford Public Library. More than 3,300 students are enrolled in classes for the fall semester at the Hartford campus, which will also be home to more than 200 full and part-time faculty and staff. Herbst predicted that the students and faculty “will bring great energy to downtown Hartford.” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said the campus coming to Hartford was a win-win for the state and the capital city. “When our cities are thriving, our state will thrive,” Malloy said. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin called the campus “not just a victory for Hartford but a victory for our entire state.” “We can turn this great city into a greater place,” Bronin added, stating that the influx of students, faculty, and staff will help revitalize not only the UConn-Hartford campus area but also surrounding businesses, such as restaurants and theaters. The campus includes a new, attached, five-story building while retaining the facade of the nearly 100-yearold Hartford Times structure. The move returns UConn to its roots in Hartford, where it had been located from its opening in 1939 until it moved in 1970 to West Hartford. In keeping with the neighborhood campus concept, the building will have an exterior courtyard open daily to the public, and retail stores on three sides of the building to encourage public visits. 24 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017

In all, the campus will comprise about 217,000 square feet between the Times anchor building, a nearby building that UConn is purchasing at 38 Prospect Street, and space in other nearby buildings in partnership with those neighboring entities. UConn’s nearby Graduate Business Learning Center also will be consolidated with the other programs at the new campus, including the Department of Public Policy and School of Social Work. The University also will add a master’s degree program in engineering at the campus, along with expanded public policy, urban studies, and education programs. Parking for UConn employees and students will be available at nearby garages. UConn-Hartford will have its own CTtransit stop at campus, and, on August 13, a bus started running hourly between the main campus in Storrs and downtown Hartford. One of the UConn Hartford students checking out the campus was 18-year-old Kirill O’Neil, a freshman from South Windsor. He was touring the campus with his father and both said they were “really impressed” with what they had seen so far. O’Neil said he believes the campus “will bring a lot of attention to Hartford and the community as a whole.” He said he was looking forward to spending time walking around and getting to know the neighborhoods around the campus better.


EDUCATION

Brand Spanking New

New Canaan middle school gets makeover

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iddle school students in New Canaan this year came back to a renovated Saxe Middle School.

School started August 30 and Saxe students immediately reaped the benefits of the newly completed $18 million project, which was in construction since the close of school in June of 2016. Students now have access to a two-story addition with nine more classrooms, four art rooms, three science, technology, engineering and math rooms and a STEM lab, as well as a new auditorium. Saxe, originally built in 1957 to serve as the town’s high school, was made to accommodate up to 1,100 students. In the 1970s, Saxe transitioned to a middle school, growing to one of the largest in the state. The current population of 1,300 exceeded the space, requiring the addition of a new wing. Prior to the new wing, many rooms at Saxe meant to serve as offices were converted to classrooms to accommodate a growing student population. Many closets were then converted into office space leaving

little room for storage. Partitions were also added to alcoves in hallways to create makeshift classrooms. Now with the addition, teachers have more storage space. The hallways also have “breakout spaces,” alcoves with furniture or seating for small-group work. A courtyard created in the center of the addition serves a similar function, as well as adds natural light to the school. In addition to the new wing, the Saxe project also included a renovation of the 710-seat auditorium. The auditorium has improved lighting and acoustics, as well as new audio visual equipment for students to learn how to program lighting and sound for school productions. The original seats from when the school was built in 1957 were refurbished, a nod back to the school’s roots. The auditorium will be used for assemblies, speakers, choral groups, panels, meetings, and as a swing space for music classes. For example, the chorus class will use it while renovations are being done on the existing music rooms to add practice space and storage for instruments.

What’s Next?

CTNext and free training

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onnecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, CTNext, recently formed the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee consisting of educators, serial entrepreneurs, and active students. The newly formed committee will begin working to plan and deploy available funds that will support the mission of the Higher Education Initiative, which is to foster collaboration within Connecticut’s public and private higher education system and ultimately strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship, and the state’s economy.

to incubate and support them and ultimately attract investment dollars that can transform a fledgling business into mature company that employs an educated workforce.”

classroom. Establishing this advisory committee is a good next step toward bringing more awareness to our mission and the great work that is currently being done.” The Working Group ultimately created a master plan whose goals include establishing collaboration and partnerships, engaging in the 21st-century economy, educating an innovative workforce, and expanding infrastructure to support knowledge sharing and technology transfer across the state’s higher education system.

“The state’s higher educational institutions have demonstrated their commitment to enhance the state’s innovation ecosystem, and great work is already under way,” said Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext. “That said, we will achieve so much more by improving collaboration among these institutions, not only to spark ideas but

Collaboration has already begun with Gateway Community College’s GREAT Center. CTNext provided a grant to offer free information technology courses with the goal of creating a talent pool to fill the region’s growing demand for highly skilled IT professionals in software development, programming, graphic and digital printing, networking, and website development. “The members of this advisory committee represent some of the best educators, leaders and students in higher education from across the state,” said CSCU President Mark Ojakian. “Connecticut has a legacy of amazing entrepreneurs, and one of the goals of the committee is to preserve that legacy by focusing on where many ideas develop, the

The goal of the program is to build a more robust community of entrepreneurs and to accelerate startup growth by providing access to talent, space, industry expertise, services, skill development and capital to foster innovation and create jobs for people in Connecticut. CTNext launched in 2012 and has more than 1,500 members in its network. To learn more, visit www.ctnext.com.

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ENERGY Fairfield Goes “Electric” Cars and bikes on display

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airfield once again marked National Drive Electric Week recently with its own special showcase of electric cars and bicycles.

Hosted by the Fairfield Clean Energy Task Force (CETF) together with the Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition and the Southwestern Connecticut Clean Cities Coalition, the third annual Electric Vehicle (EV) Showcase was held on September 9. The event brought together local car dealers, electric car club members, many local EV owners, and the public to view the newest EV models and learn about the current state of the technology. National Drive Electric Week, September 9-17 (www. driveelectricweek.org), is a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks,

motorcycles, and more. First Selectman Mike Tetreau said, “Supporting vehicle owners who have decided to ‘go electric’ is a vital part of our Town’s commitment to making Fairfield a more environmentally sustainable community. We’re proving that commitment by offering the highest density of electric vehicle charging stations in southwestern Connecticut with more installations planned.” He continued, “We want to encourage residents to take advantage of this fun opportunity to see many of the innovative EV models now available, talk to EV owners and dealers, and learn more about all of the compelling cost and environmental benefits of electric vehicles.” “Electric cars are economical, good for the environment, fun to drive, and more affordable than ever,” said Scott Thompson, CETF chairman.

Modern Farming

Four Connecticut farms to improve energy systems

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arms in East Canaan, Guilford, Franklin, and Hebron will develop renewable energy systems and improve their energy efficiency under new federal grants awarded recently. U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Joe Courtney (CT-2), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture for awarding $368,000 in Rural Development grants to help Laurelbrook Farm in East Canaan, Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, The Plant Group in Franklin, and Mapleleaf Farm in Hebron develop renewable energy systems and improve their energy efficiency. “These four Connecticut farms will now be able to invest in clean energy projects that will cut their costs and make their farms more energy efficient,” said the members of Connecticut’s federal delegation. “We’re working hard in Washington to make it easier for Connecticut farmers to grow their businesses and

create jobs, and they deserve all the federal help we can get them. We’re excited to see these grants put into action.” Laurelbrook Farm in East Canaan will receive $37,919 to install 300 high efficiency LED lighting to all farm buildings. The project will realize over $21,000 per year in cost savings and reduce the electrical needs of the farm by over 146,400 kwh annually, which is enough to power seven homes. Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford will receive $224,238 to purchase a 357kW ground mounted renewable energy system. The project will realize over $75,000 per year in cost savings and offset the farm’s energy needs by 70 percent. The system will generate almost 471,000 kwh annually, which is enough to power 43 homes. The Plant Group in Franklin will receive $85,843 to purchase and install a 140kW roof mounted solar renewable energy system. The project will realize $15,880 per year in cost savings and offset

26 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017

the business’ energy needs by 126 percent. The system will generate over 169,400 kwh, which is enough to power seven homes. Mapleleaf Farm in Hebron will receive $20,000 to purchase and install a 71.4kW roof mounted renewable energy system. The project will realize $15,000 per year in cost savings and offset the farm’s energy needs by 100 percent. The system will generate 90,100 kwh annually, which is enough to power eight homes.


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

National Speaker

Battling Drugs

Oxford appoints committee to fight crisis

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ust like other towns and cities in Connecticut, Oxford has been hit hard by the opioid and heroin deaths in the state. At a recent Board of Selectmen meeting, the selectmen appointed an Opiate Crisis Steering Committee to “address the opioid crisis here in Oxford and the state of Connecticut and make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen.” First Selectmen George Temple said the opioid crisis was “a real problem” in town, stating young people in their

20s were being lost to opioid addiction and overdoses. He said in recent years seven young people had died from overdoses in town, stating “Oxford has one of the highest rates” of overdoses for a town its size in the state. Statewide, officials who monitor statistics say that Connecticut is tracking to have more than 1,000 deaths from drug overdoses in 2017. There were more than 900 deaths in 2016.

Temple said he does not know if government can do anything to stem the problem but he wanted to try. The committee appointed includes law enforcement, healthcare professionals, D.A.R.E. officers, and the First Selectman. Those appointed, besides Temple, were: Rev. John Donnelly, Laura Denslow, John Kerwin, Officer Thomas Gugliotti, Susan Schiavi, Jo-Ann Persson, Officer David Ives, and Sgt. Dan Semosky. Oxford recently held a vigil for opioid addiction awareness.

OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 27


GOVERNANCE Op-Ed: Fair Share

State should give municipalities a greater share of sales taxes

by Roger L. Kemp, PhD

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ost states collect the sales taxes, and rebate a portion of them back to cities based upon where they were generated from. When I was in California, the state rebated 1 cent of the 6 cent sales tax back to municipal governments.  Our state, Connecticut, keeps 100% of the sales tax.  Ditto for the hotel/motel room tax. Most states collect this and rebate it back to their municipal governments based on where it was generated from. Our state keeps 100% of this tax too. 

Most citizens in our cities and towns do not like their property taxes increasing from year-to-year, and they have to pay them even though they are not making any money/revenue from their house. Again, the property tax is a tax on unrealized wealth, and it is not a fair method of taxation to finance our State’s local governments.

This is why we have a 98% reliance on the property tax to finance our local governments.

Our State should help local governments diversify their revenue sources so they can decrease their reliance on the property tax. For about one-half of the states in our nation, the property tax is relied upon for up to three-quarters of the revenues to finance municipal operations — not 98%, like in our state.

When CCM did their study a couple of years ago, local governments in Connecticut had the third highest reliance on the property tax of any state in the nation (only New Hampshire and Maine were higher).

Connecticut should help local governments diversify their revenue sources so they can decrease their reliance on their primary source of revenue, the property tax, a tax on unrealized wealth.

Also, keep in mind that our state and federal governments are primarily financed from the income tax, a tax on realized wealth. Local governments, on the other hand, are financed primarily from the property tax, a tax on unrealized wealth. You don’t make any $$ on your house unless you sell it!

Roger was City Manager of the City of Meriden from 1993 to 2005. He was formerly a city manager in California and New Jersey, and is now President of Kemp Consulting, LLC, and a National Speaker (www.rogerkemp.org).

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Narcan Training

HEALTH

Stamford, others get help dealing with crisis

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aloxone, a prescription drug sold under the brand name Narcan, reverses opioid overdoses, which killed hundreds last year across Connecticut.

The state medical examiner said the state is on track to reach 1,000 overdose deaths by the end of 2017, a new record. There have been five overdose deaths so far this year in Stamford. Most of the deaths statewide are the result of mixing opioids, which include heroin, a natural opiate derived from the poppy plant, and synthetic opiates like oxycodone and fentanyl. Silver Hill Hospital, the addiction and mental health treatment center in New Canaan, and Communities 4 Action, a regional coalition for substance abuse education, led a Narcan training session at the Stamford Government Center recently on International Overdose Awareness Day. Similar training sessions have been held in communities all over the state in recent weeks. “These numbers are scary,” said Ingrid Gillespie, executive director of Communities 4 Action. “We’ve never seen numbers that look like this.” For years, advocates have tried to make Narcan more available to addicts and their families. Unable to be abused, Narcan only has an effect on those who have taken an opioid, since it is specifically designed to block opioid receptors in the brain. Six pharmacies in Stamford, including CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, now have pharmacists trained to give out the drug, which at $120 a box for Narcan and more than $600 a dose for injectable antidotes, is prohibitively expensive for many unless covered by insurance. In Connecticut, an average of one or two people die each day from opioid overdoses, Gillespie said. Many

recent overdoses have involved fentanyl, which can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Meanwhile, the relapse rate for people trying to kick drugs is 40 to 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Some research suggests the rate is even higher among opioid abusers. People at the Stamford training session learned about the ways an opioid antidote can be administered, either through an injection or a nasal spray like Narcan. The latter was handed out to those who sat through the presentation. The Narcan packages each contain two doses. The second is supposed to be given two to five minutes after the first if the person does not wake up. But even if the person is roused, the antidote only stays active for 20 to 90 minutes, so the users must always be brought to the hospital for treatment.

OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 29


PUBLIC SAFETY “Young” Top Cop Honored East Haven’s police chief singled out

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ast Haven Police Chief Edward Lennon was recently recognized in Police Chief Magazine in its “40 under 40” section.

Lennon, who is 37 years old, has led the East Haven Police Department in its transformation from a deficient department, operating under a Department of Justice agreement for effective and constitutional policing, to a leader in not only the state of Connecticut but a regionally and nationally recognized agency. The settlement agreement required the department to undergo a multitude of changes, and Chief Lennon ensured that the department went above and beyond the mandated reforms, making East Haven Police Department a model for agencies working to make similar changes. For example, during the 42 months that Chief Lennon served as compliance coordinator, his department rewrote its entire policy manual. They also implemented

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PUBLIC SAFETY Citizen Cops

Danbury, many others, teach residents

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ike many other towns and cities in Connecticut, Danbury’s Police Department runs a Citizen Police Academy. The Citizen Police Academy is offered twice a year, the first session in the winter/spring and the second session in the summer/autumn. There is no participation fee associated with attending the Citizen Police Academy. The course is intended to give individuals the opportunity to learn more about the operations of their police department, police procedures, and to foster enhanced understanding and cooperation between the police and the community they serve.

It is not intended to make citizens into police officers but rather to heighten awareness of both the public and police in an effort to develop a partnership between both. The Danbury Police Department’s objective is to provide interactive instruction in many basic police department tasks as well as provide an opportunity for individuals to roleplay and have hands on experience with the tools of the police trade. The Citizen Police Academy course requires a commitment of one night per week for eleven weeks. The Academy covers topics such as Laws of Arrest, Penal Code, Patrol Procedures, Crime Scene Investigation, and Defensive Tactics. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Based on the positive results thus far in the program, Danbury officials believe that completion of the academy will result in the following: improved relations with the citizens; breakdown of barriers between the police and the public; enhanced police/community relations; and long lasting support and understanding from the community.

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PUBLIC SAFETY Citizen Firefighters

Meriden launches inaugural academy

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any towns and cities offer their residents an opportunity to enroll in what is termed “Citizens Police Academies.”

In Meriden, the city is taking it a step further this year, as it has just started its inaugural Citizens Fire Academy. Classes began on September 6 and will run for eight weeks. The Meriden Citizens Fire Academy is open to anyone 18-years-of-age or older who either works or lives in Meriden and has no felony convictions. Classes are limited to 20 students. All classroom sessions are being held in the Station 1 classroom. The full course schedule is listed below: • September 6 – orientation, department structure, mission and history

• September 27 – CPR

• September 13 – Engine Company operations, classroom

• October 11 – Technical rescue operations

• September 20 – Ladder Company operations, classroom • September 23 – Practical skills day, engine and ladder company operations

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• October 4 – Hazardous material awareness • October 14 – Practical skills day, technical rescue • October 18 – Fire Marshal overview, fire extinguisher training • October 25 – Graduation

Nine Connecticut towns make top 30 list

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afewise, a website that ranks home security systems, has ranked the 30 safest places to raise a child in the United States and nine Connecticut towns made the list. The nine Connecticut towns are Greenwich, Fairfield, Ridgefield, Southington, Westport, Simsbury, Cheshire, Milford, and Glastonbury. Safewise analyzed violent crime data from the most recent FBI Crime Report, along with sex offender populations, state graduation rates, and school rankings. The agency also looked for unique programs that were kid-friendly. Cities with fewer than 10,000 residents were eliminated as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI. https://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-to-raise-a-child/

32 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | OCTOBER 2017


PUBLIC SAFETY Cops To Hamden: “How We Doing?” Residents surveyed on police response, other issues

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n ongoing survey finds that Hamden residents are strongly supportive of bicycle patrols, walking patrols, and police substations in the town’s neighborhoods. About 66 percent of the respondents have “very favorable” or “favorable” opinions about the department’s Police Bicycle Unit. About 58 percent have a “very favorable” or “favorable” view of the walking patrols. More than half, or about 55 percent have either a “very favorable” or “favorable” opinion of the impact police substations are having on neighborhoods. Forty percent of the respondents have “very favorable” or “favorable” rankings of the two newest substations in town, in the Highwood and Mount Carmel neighborhoods. More than 1,000 people have responded to a survey grading the town’s police department on how it is doing. Other findings in the survey find respondents believe

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the most important aspects of the police department are, in order by percentage: criminal investigations, traffic enforcement, crime prevention programs, alcohol/drug enforcement, assisting motorists, accident investigation, victim services, park patrols, community service officers, school resource officers, senior citizen safety, and employment fingerprinting.

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SENIORS Wethersfield Remembers Its Seniors Town offers many programs for elderly

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Health Insurance Options (C.H.O.I.C.E.S.)

Those programs include: Elderly Outreach and Case Management for seniors is a program for those with financial need who require assessment, referral, or coordination of services to remain in their homes. This includes many options, among them: obtaining home health services, loans of medical equipment, coordination among service providers, and referral for other services (e.g., chore services). The goal of this program is to allow seniors with some needs to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible in their own homes.

Friendly Shopper And Friendly Visitor

he town of Wethersfield does as much as any town in the state to reach out to its older citizens.

It has a number of programs to help and assist the town’s older population.

Transportation (Dial-A-Ride) Provided through a contract with Curtin Transportation, this program is available to those 60 and older and those with disabilities under 60 who need transportation within the greater Wethersfield area. Priority is given for medical appointments. Any senior is eligible regardless of financial status, and there is a yearly registration cost of $78. Dial-A-Ride ID cards are sent to all registered riders.

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C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is a program for health insurance assistance, outreach, information and referral, counseling and eligibility screening. “One stop” information and preliminary screening are provided for state and federal benefit and support programs which may assist Connecticut seniors.

The department coordinates and supervises the Friendly Shopper and Friendly Visitor programs which serve homebound seniors. Friendly Shoppers will do grocery shopping for those who need assistance and Friendly Visitors provide social contacts and a friendly face to visit on a regular basis.

Tax Preparation Assistance This program, run by AARP, provides tax preparation assistance to low and moderate income residents who need help filling out the federal and state income tax forms. The program runs from February to April each year. Appointments for assistance are booked through the Department of Social and Youth Services and the assistance is provided by a trained volunteer at the Community Center.

This program provides rent subsidies for seniors and disabled who qualify.

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VOLUNTEERS Giving Back

Madison football players help Special Olympians

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ugust is always a busy month for Daniel Hand High School athletes as they put in preparation for another upcoming sports season.

But this year has been especially busy as in addition to prepping for sports, several of the athletes and coaches have been doing volunteer work in the community, notably Special Olympics Connecticut. The players and coaches participated on August 12 in Wallingford, and participated again on September 10 in North Branford, at two Special Olympic events. The efforts have been coordinated by head football coach Dave Mastroianni, who has overseen community involvement work by the student athletes. Also helping is Daniel Ives, a special education teacher and volunteer football coach at Hand. Ives said, “We are proud of our players’ commitment and hope to share their contribution to help inspire youth in our community.” Of Mastroianni’s commitment, Ives said, “He has put an emphasis this offseason on finding community service opportunities that are emotionally meaningful and providing our players with a chance for self-development, particularly with empathy and compassion. “His (Mastroianni’s) goal is for us to take the many blessings we are provided with and share them with others. Although we coach them in football, our main goal is to help them become better men,” Ives added. Several of the players took the time to share their thoughts about the experience working with Special Olympics.

most meaningful part of the experience “was seeing the joy it brought to the athletes while playing.” He added that what gave him satisfaction was “interacting with people who aren’t given the same opportunities.” Jack Hughes, a 10th-grade football and lacrosse player, who worked as an announcer at Special Olympics, added “the most meaningful part of this experience was communicating and connecting with the athletes.” Michael Gravino, an 11th grade football player, said of the Special Olympians: “They didn’t care about the score, rather they enjoyed doing something they loved without being judged.” Gravino set up and helped serve lunch to the athletes. Kevin Hughes, a 12th-grade football and lacrosse player, kept score during the Special Olympics. He said the experience was rewarding “because we got to see first-hand how our contribution helps others.” Eleventh-grader Brandon Busco, a football player, worked on food preparation and helped unload sports equipment at the event. He said “the most meaningful part of volunteering was being able to see how happy the athletes were when we would talk with them.” Joe Thomas, a senior who plays football, helped out everywhere during the Special Olympics. He said what he liked about the experience was “I saw that whether someone messes up or not that their team will still cheer them on.” Maden McDonald, an 11th grade football and lacrosse player, timed and called the games, said just seeing “how much fun the athletes were having under circumstances that make it harder for them” was fulfilling for him.

Matt Maxwell, a senior at Hand who plays football and basketball, was an umpire at the event. He said the

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OCTOBER 2017 | CONNECTICUT TOWN & CITY | 35


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Connecticut Town & City - October 2017  

Inside: - CCM Annual Convention at Foxwoods - Budget Impasse Hurting Small Towns - CCM Calls for Pension Reform Commission - New CCM Service...

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