Carson Laundry: Making a Difference in North Haven
Those at Quinnipiac University who are interested in a career in municipal government have the opportunity to garner hands-on experience in that field as part of the school’s Presidential Public Service Fellowship. Carson Laundry, a political science major at Quinnipiac, took advantage of that opportunity this summer and found it to be a valuable learning experience in which he became more familiar with the role of municipal government in North Haven.
“I figured it would be a great opportunity to learn more, and given that I’m not from the area, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the politics of the area considering I’ve lived there for three years,” Carson says. “I’m coming up on my senior year, so I figured it would probably be important in case I end up staying.”
Carson, who is originally from Rhode Island, worked in the North Haven Public Works Department this summer, getting to know the town and the department’s operations alongside its director Lynn Sadowsky. He says that the fellowship was a great way to learn more about town government, especially since he is considering a career in that field later in life.
At first, the kind of work done by the department was not familiar for Carson, since much of it revolves around engineering. However, that unfamiliarity, coupled with the heavy involvement of the department around North Haven, proved a huge part of the appeal for him.
“I thought it was something new. It’s not something that I’ve ever would have thought of... because they do a lot of work with engineering,” Carson said. “They do a lot...They run the show for a lot of things. So, I found that very interesting. It helped me learn a little bit more about how much it takes to run a town or a city.”
A big bonus for Carson’s experience in the Public Works Department was that he got to work alongside his colleague and friend Martin Radeny. Being a part of the town government also allowed Carson to see what it means to make a difference. In the case of working with Sadowsky and the department, some of Carson’s responsibilities included finding ways of making the roads safer for North Haven residents, along with all the careful planning that is involved in coming up with solutions.
“We did a lot of work with crack sealing across the town. We would go to roads that have been paved or re-paved in the previous five years, and we would measure the number of significant cracks in the road, and that ended up being something like five-and-a-half square miles worth,” says Carson. “Now, [the department is] using our data to go forward with a crack-sealing project with an outside company.”
Town property inspection was another major project for Carson throughout the summer.
“We inspected 121 town-owned lands or vacant properties, which was really interesting because they haven’t been inspected for the town’s MS4 stormwater permit in a very long time,” Carson says. “We were able to go to all these town lands or vacant properties. We were able to take notes, take pictures, and then we were able to fill out different reports for each one.”
Some days for Carson involved familiarizing himself with the town roads by constantly visiting them and observing them for long periods of time. While that may not sound like the most exciting assignment, it provided another way for Carson to get to know North Haven, learn his way around, and always have a task at hand.
“North Haven is a very small town, but it was still pretty awesome going into everything and seeing Peter’s Rock Park, which I had never been to before. That was really cool. I really liked it there,” says Carson. “The things I enjoyed the most was I liked the consistency of working and always having something to do. It was nice being able to go in to work every day kind of knowing what I was going to do, or if I didn’t know what I was going to do, I knew I was going to have something to do.”
This fall, Carson is entering his senior year at Quinnipiac, where he is a highly involved individual. Carson is an intramural sports supervisor at the school, looking after referees to “make sure they’re doing a good job, give them any tips.”
“We’re also kind of there to kind of serve as mediators in case anything goes awry and anything goes wrong,” Carson adds. “Being a big sports fan, the job is very much up my alley. I’ve also made so many...lifelong friendships from working for intramurals,” calling it, “a fantastic opportunity.”
Carson is also the co-host of the “Matt & Carson in the Morning” podcast, which broadcasts on Fridays over the student-run 98.1 WQAQ FM at the university. The podcast is also available to listen to on Spotify.
“We’ll talk about sports, movies, the news, politics, stuff going on at school,” says Carson.