OPINION: Facing difficult decisions in Wallingford

OPINION: Facing difficult decisions in Wallingford

Editor’s note: Mayoral and council candidates were invited to submit columns about their campaigns.

My name is Jaime Hine. I am seeking your support for a seat on the Wallingford Town Council.

For those of you who may not know me, I have lived in Wallingford since 2005. I am a partner in the law firm of Mulvey, Oliver, Gould & Crotta in Hamden, Connecticut. My practice focuses on civil litigation and trust and estates. I am married to Myklyn Mahoney, who is also an attorney working for Connecticut Legal Services, a legal aid organization located in New Britain, Connecticut. We have a six-year-old son whom we are proud to be raising in Wallingford.

I was first introduced to Wallingford politics when Town officials proposed purchasing an empty lot next door to my home to expand the parking lot for Pat Wall Field. As you might expect, I was not keen on the prospect of having a parking lot within five feet of my property line. Although I tried, I was unable to muster any support from the Town Council, and I was left on my own to defend my family, my home and my neighborhood.

Thankfully, as an attorney, I had the training to conduct my own investigation. I reviewed the plan, questioned Town officials and demanded answers. By doing so, I was able to gather the necessary information to demonstrate that the Town’s plan was ill-conceived and unnecessarily expensive. With the help of other residents, such as fellow candidate Gina Morgenstein, I was able to persuade the Town to look at alternatives. It soon became clear that there was an alternative which would provide the Town with the necessary parking without having to purchase the lot next door to me. Even better, the alternative plan cost close to $200,000 less. In the end, by conducting the investigation that no one else was willing to do, I saved my home and my neighborhood, while at the same time saving the town close to $200,000.

Wallingford will face a number of difficult decisions in the coming years. For example, it will need to decide how to: 1) respond to state funding cuts; 2) limit future tax increases; 3) expand our tax base; 4) use the new train station to encourage development in our lower downtown area; 5) incorporate technology to make Town officials and services more accessible to residents; 6) renovate Community Pool to guarantee its future success; 7) promote our parks and nature trails; and 8) improve our school system to make Wallingford more desirable to young families.

Wallingford is going to need Town Councilors who will address these issues head on. It will need Town Councilors who will investigate the issues, ask difficult questions and demand answers so they can make informed decisions. I have already shown that I have the training, experience and knowledge to do just that.

I thank you for your consideration, and I respectfully ask for your vote for Town Council on November 7, 2017.

Democrat Jaime Hine is a candidate for town council in Wallingford.

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