OPINION: Governing Wallingford just like parenting

OPINION: Governing Wallingford just like parenting

Someone once said, “Decisions are made by the people that show up”...


In 1670, 126 people got together and settled in what we now know as Wallingford. 126 people picked up their lives, sought something better than what they had, and chose to be a part of something bigger. Look where we are today, because a few people showed up.

We have one of the strongest municipalities in the state. Compared to the other area towns, we have reasonable taxes and the cheapest electric rates in the region. We have an incredibly effective police and fire departments making us one of the safest towns in Connecticut. Our public works and utility employees and volunteer community work with pride and a sense of ownership for their town.

I have met a ton of people over the past couple of years while working on the Town Council. I still knock on doors, chat with people at events like Celebrate Wallingford, youth soccer games, or at the grocery store. I seek very real, personal interactions ... and a lot of people say to me, “You’re a young guy, with kids, why are you doing this?”

I am 37 years old. I have been involved in some sort of service my entire life.  For over 15 years I have served in various posts — Inland Wetlands Commission, the Board of Education, the PTO, cub scouts and boy scouts, and in my second term as a town councilor I was elected as vice chairman. The beauty of serving is getting to be a part of a team looking to make our town more than just another town, but a community.

I have a record of fiscal responsibility — cutting added lines out of the budget, not being afraid to say ‘no’ to some spending requests but still supporting programs and spending to keep our town healthy and safe. If the council has one job, it is to pass a budget.

I have a record of being responsive to neighbors’ needs, working on issues such as blight in our neighborhoods and voting against eminent domain.

I have a record of keeping things moving and focused on what is best for the town, whether it is voting with the members of the other party to sell the American Legion or with my own party to move the issues along and keep us from getting bogged down in unproductive issues and investigations.

I believe in choosing to govern rather than make controversy. I have learned the fastest way to get someplace is to take the straightest possible route. I have found the fastest route to productivity is usually the quietest route.

Governing, just like parenting, is a tricky thing —  if you do it right, it will appear to be seamless, people won’t be sure you did anything at all...that is until they reach a point of appreciation or reflection...like every November.

Please show up and vote November 7, and I hope you’ll humble me, with your support.

Incumbent Republican Tom Laffin is a Wallingford town councilor.


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