‘Wallingford is at a Crossroads’


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To the Editor:

With the next municipal election, Wallingford is at a crossroads. There are a lot of things to be addressed. Even though (over my objection) taxes have been raised almost every year, resulting budget surpluses have been arbitrarily added to the rainy-day fund; only to see taxes raised the following year, and the rainy-day fund grow again. Now the only visitors to Community Pool are mosquitoes, many parks have significant maintenance issues, and our schools are deteriorating.

Wallingford needs vision. In the near, that vision should be to upright the listing ship. In the far, one place to look for direction is the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD). The last time Wallingford updated it was 2016, at a cost of $70,000. I represented the Town Council on the POCD Steering Committee. We had many public meetings and conducted many focus groups. Ultimately the 112-page plan that resulted was approved by the Mayor, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the Town Council. Here is a link.

After approval, a POCD Implementation Committee was created, however I do not think it ever meets. The town’s website has a link for it, but no members are listed, nor minutes posted. Nonetheless, on page 74 of the plan, it says the Parks and Recreation Commission should, “assess conditions and community needs; and recommend appropriate operational and capital improvements, and maintenance practices.”

Unfortunately, in 2022, all the members of this Commission (who then met monthly) resigned due to being “ignored, uninformed and categorically neutered as a functional commission.” The Mayor unilaterally appointed new members, and (also unfortunately) their first order of business was to reduce their meeting schedule to quarterly. Hardly progress in the face of so many issues.

Yes, Wallingford needs vision. One not obscured by rose-colored glasses.

Craig C. Fishbein
Wallingford, CT

Fishbein is a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives representing the 90th District