August 8, 2020
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Votes Determine Direction

Published July 15, 2020

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The need to hire a qualified director of economic development in East Haven has never been greater. Surmounting debt, falling bond rating, audit findings, and pending land development lawsuits hold back progress. Deficits on current boards and commissions affect the attractiveness of new business. Lack of accounting and finance knowledge to foresee capital expenditures in town planning were apparent at the Board of Finance and Town Council workshops held in May. A recent ordinance vote will refinance old bond debt to a longer time period, costing our children more money. A wave of 18 firefighter plus municipal retirements require contingency funds and fiscal responsibility shared in Town Charter: mayor, Board of Finance, Town Council, town attorney, and town treasurer along with interim finance director. Our votes determine direction.

Healthcare, insurance, security, biotech, and information science businesses are established in Branford, North Haven, and New Haven. A comprehensive vision and amicable zoning regulations can bring business here. Catering to commercial models that produce in smaller spaces is innovative growth. In January, I was able to visit a health benefits e-commerce site using two rooms with eight individuals making more than $4 million a year. Our established large companies need support to promote growth. We need to keep what we have and grow what we need. Financial shortcomings will impact education and public services. An intelligent choice will bring revenue.

One untapped source is Tweed-New Haven Airport. Online nostalgia of the area pointed out a restaurant as a local visiting spot. Airport expansion was approved and East Haven has the three hangar buildings as tax revenue. How can East Haven capitalize on Tweed-New Haven Airport location and offerings? This is contentious, with mounds of conflicting history. State representative and senate candidates in both parties remain silent. Perhaps, let the next administration decide.

Lorena Venegas
East Haven