Voters Expect Progress
Voters expect progress every two years when you are elected to office. Cathy Iino was elected as first selectman in 2009. After years of discussion to update Town Hall, a referendum was put to vote in 2012 for a $3.5 million addition. The referendum failed, and the Town Hall modulars, originally installed in 2000, continue to deteriorate. At the last Board of Selectmen meeting, Ms. Iino proposed spending $11,000 to re-side these already far past end-of-life buildings. We must move quickly to determine whether to replace the modulars or consider a less-expensive renovation. I will work to identify options and will put forth a plan to update Town Hall to ensure the safety of all those using the facility every day.
Water contamination critically needs to be addressed. PFAS remediation in residential wells has begun with the installation of state-funded filters. However, this remains an issue on town campus, where high levels of sodium have also been an issue since the 1970s. The town has spent thousands of dollars on bottled water instead of seeking to identify filtration solutions to resolve the issue. Our fire department is using sodium-contaminated water to wash trucks and bottled water to clean personal gear.
Much-needed improvements to Fire Hall 1 cannot proceed until this issue is resolved. Fire Hall 1, built in 1971, is no longer large enough to house our fire-fighting equipment. Upon visiting there, the configuration of the trucks reminds me of the game Rush Hour; you have to determine the best way to get the car out, or in this case, the best way to get the trucks out. Our first responders must walk sideways to fit between the trucks.
They deserve better, and we must put together a plan for it to happen.
Republican Nancy Gorski is running for first selectman.