We chose to buy in Wallingford in 2004 because of the downtown. In fact, we only looked at “in town” properties. We remained in town when we bought a new house two years ago. Wallingford continues to have tremendous potential, but as we explored our downtown and others in CT, it’s become obvious that it’s also stagnant — a town of missed opportunities and unaddressed challenges — largely due to a lack of creative leadership.
What might real leadership bring? New ideas, like an indoor farmers market in our historic train station. Creating a true town center in Yalesville. Obtaining Main Street revitalization grants. Attracting a year-round community theater group to downtown, an arts council for public art and events, and a children’s museum. A sane, unified parking system. It’s important to remember that some of these come at no or minimal cost to taxpayers. A vibrant downtown tax base will help all Wallingford residents and businesses.
We need genuine, transparent input from businesses, residents and others regarding public and private properties that need improvement. The intersection of Center and Colony is a focal point and entry way. Its current sorry state has remained unchanged in my 15 years here.
What has to happen to get Town Hall to lead? I believe I know … New leadership on November 5th when Jared Liu is elected mayor.
Ray Palermo, WallingfordLiu’s plan for Wallingford
Back in 2017, I campaigned in my neighborhood for Jared Liu. I supported Mr. Liu in 2017; I cannot say the same about his candidacy now. In a recent Facebook post under his campaign page, Mr. Liu stated, “Opening another vape shop or claim adjuster makes up for losing Caplan’s Grocery or Sprafke’s Shoes …” I’d like to inform Mr. Liu that we are not adjusters, but insurance agents who work and live and pay taxes in Wallingford. I have worked with many insurance agents in Wallingford and feel lucky to have someone in my neighborhood. Additionally, as an insurance agent myself, I found the comparison to a vape shop to be tone deaf. We, as agents, undergo training, education, certification courses and ongoing testing to ensure we are up to date on both insurance changes and business ethics.
We are not here to adjust claims but rather compare and contrast coverage for families, individuals, small businesses and the elderly on personal and commercial lines.
We are not paper pushers but members of the community who live, work and interact with other members of the community. I do not take my job lightly but if Mr. Liu feels that we are not important to the community he is attempting to build, I will have no qualms about moving my home and my business to another town. I hear Cheshire is nice to live in, as is Southington.
Jennifer Yocca, Wallingford Schools’ downward trend
I read the Scholastic Assesement Test (SAT) scores for high school juniors that measure their college and career readiness and am disheartened by the continued downward trend happening in Meriden schools. There is accountability and responsibility to go around, from the Superintendent of Schools, to the Board of Education, school principal, teacher performance assessment, parent involvement in their child's educational development, and students’ diligence.
Average statewide scores were 515 for English Language Arts (ELA) and 501 for Math. The threshold scores for students to be college or career ready is 480 (ELA) and 530 Math. Meriden student scores for the year 2018-2019 were 453 (ELA) and 424 Math.
Majority of Meriden students by these scores lack the reading, writing, and math skills necessary to take college courses or be career ready.
Mr. Robert Kosienski, senior Board of Education member, is quoted to have said, "We are in a very good place," "continued focus on success for all our students."
The scores speak of failures to meet SAT standards and the need to address causes for a 17 and 13 point drop respectively from last year's SAT results. If the scores dropping this year from previous year is any indication of being "in a very good place" and "continued focus on success" then it is time for a major refocusing, recognizing low SAT scores are not in "a very good place" nor are these scores a pathway to "success."
Poor SAT scores are an excellent "barometer" of students’ lack of readiness for college and career. What is needed is motivated, creative-thinking leadership, leaders with proven educational successes. End the status quo mindset, have a laser focus on reversing the downward trend of poor student assessment test scores.
Henry J. Krupa Jr., MeridenSupport library expansion
The Castle Craig Adult Learning Center is an outreach program of Middlesex Community College. Over the last 20 years, we have offered a variety of education and entertaining programs and trips to many different places in Southern New England and New York.
When MxCC left West Main Street, we were left without a home. The Senior Center, the Bradley Home, and especially the Meriden Public Library offered us space to continue our programming. At the library we have had increased exposure for our curriculum and our membership has risen. The staff at the library has been most welcoming and accommodating. We have also observed how busy the library is on any given day providing a wide range of services to people of all ages.
The Board of Directors of the Castle Craig Adult Learning Center realizes the need for more room to keep providing the many services it does to the community. We encourage the city to support the $9.3 million plan for renovation and expansion that has been proposed. It is one of the best community resources we have.
Mary Zysk, Meriden, for the Board of Directors
of the Castle Craig Adult Learning Center