December 13, 2019
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Protect Branford Lands

Published Oct. 24, 2018

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I am writing today in support of the public land conveyance constitutional amendment that will appear on the November ballot. Our public lands should be protected for our recreational use. Outdoor recreation in Connecticut generates $6.9 billion in consumer spending, $2.2 billion in wages and salaries in the private sector, $502 million in state and local tax revenues, and supports 71,000 Connecticut jobs.

We deserve to have input on whether our lands, such as Beacon Hill in eastern Branford (with gorgeous views of marshes and wildlife), are taken from us. Currently, the General Assembly can sell, swap, or give away state parks, forests, and other valuable public lands without any public input. The amendment will require a public hearing and a two-thirds vote from the General Assembly before state parks and forests can be sold, swapped, or given away.

Improving accountability and transparency of public land transactions by requiring public input will make it harder for backroom deals with politically connected developers. I encourage my fellow Branford residents to vote in favor of this amendment (“Yes” on question 2).

Shirley McCarthy