Lundeen offers cooperative and reasonable approach
To the Editor:
Although I have been a longtime registered Republican, I believe that the partisanship that characterizes the national debate rarely belongs in a small town like ours. Thus, I have been upset by the lack of both transparency and a cooperative attitude in the outgoing Darien administration. Its approach seems to reflect an influential part of the local party, but hopefully not a majority of Darien Republicans.
The results have been discouraging: too little progress has been made on a host of pressing issues. More notably, an issue that had been acceptably vetted before (35 Leroy) was sent back to the drawing board. The tightly controlled process that ensued led to the confusing and bizarre shuffle plan. The complexity of the plan and back room tactics embraced in the approval process are reminiscent of what went down with the recent national health care bill.
I am concerned that, since Jayme Stevenson and Dave Campbell are merely switching positions in the prospective administration, they will continue the style and communication practices of the past two years. I urge moderate Republicans to send a message to their local party by supporting John Lundeen, who promises a more open, cooperative, and reasonable approach to governing.
What truly is the rush?
I am dismayed and I am aggravated. Our current administration’s potential lack of fiscal responsibility and use of our town monies is disappointing.
Like most people in Darien, I agree that we need a new senior center. I also agree that debt is cheap and now is the time to do it. However, building a new senior center does not need to turn into a $12 million dollar project that requires “shuffling” people, departments, and buildings. Debt might be cheap, but tax revenue and the ability topay for our debt are also declining.
Also, the real capital expenditures that our schools are going to require to accommodate the ever-growing child population need to be considered. Is it ok to go so deep in debt that the real issues that exist in our schools cannot be addressed? Where are these administration's priorities? Why is it not sufficient to build a new senior center at the existing site, leave the Board of Education where they are, and sell the old library property?
The cost of a “non-shuffle” would be incredibly less by only undertaking one capital project and not three. The town could receive upwards of $4 million for the old library property if sold and either build town homes/condominiums or build additional commercial space — both of which would bring in additional tax revenue and bolster our existing downtown businesses.To not utilize the old library space more effectively is simply irresponsible. I would hate for Darien to have at least an additional 4 million dollars to perhaps build sidewalks, bury electrical lines, deal with flooding, bring languages to our schools, or hire more teachers, thereby reducing our classroom size.
What certainly is the most disturbing about all of this is that the current administration is bent on forcing this issue through. Why is a special meeting of the Representative Town Meeting being called to vote on this “shuffle” project before the general town election? Darien citizens need time to educate themselves and decide how we would like to see our town monies spent. What truly is the rush?
14 Shipway Rd.