It’s budget time in Meriden, so let’s raise the taxes again. Oh, but only a little. Maybe the town and all the departments should learn to tighten their belts and live within the existing budget. We can’t even get new manufacturing to come into Meriden because taxes are so high. Several area chain stores are closing and leaving. Senior citizens in Meriden can’t afford to live here in their own homes with such high property, water and sewer taxes.
Yes, I am “old Meriden” — born and raised here in the Silver City. Over the years, I have seen many changes in the city — many good, and many just victims of the economy. It is not the new streets signs, new traffic lights or inscribed bricks that make this city. It is the people — the families I have grown to love. Now I love their children and grandchildren, their dogs, cats and even their second or third wives.
I especially want to pay homage to Tony and Dan Tomassetti and the bottling plant (it has all been sold now — a personal decision, but one that impacts the entire city). Over the years, Dan and Tony have graciously donated drinks and snacks to just about every nonprofit organization in Meriden. Their generosity never warranted a fanfare, as they just made it happen. I grew up with a weekly visit to the plant on Reservoir Avenue (even lived across the street from it a while). We would go with our Dad, who also owned a business, to visit Uncle Al (Tomassetti). The sites and the smells are forever in my heart; it wasn’t just the soda that came at the end of a sometimes-long visit between the two dads — I loved that they made things happen. The two men discussed methods doing business, their latest investments, their pride in coming back to Meriden after the war, raising their families and getting involved in the community. These traits were not handed down to us. They were instilled in our being; we all managed to continue the path they had planned out. We pass it down to our children and grandchildren with hopes they will be realize the value of the gift of heritage.
Yes, many old, established businesses that made Meriden are now gone. The smells and energy have left, but the memories will not. I hope we can rebuild not only the buildings, but the spirit.
Jane Dubuc-Earnest, Meriden
Cause for pause
As an owner of multiple rental units in Meriden, I am amazed by the generalizations, misinformation and adversarial comments I’ve seen aimed at city landlords over the past few weeks.
I consider myself a good landlord. I appreciate when my neighbor shares that he feels like he “hit the lottery” the day I bought the neglected multi-family next door. I take pride in hearing the city housing inspector thank me for my “beautiful property” and strongly consider his suggestion that I purchase and renovate more properties in Meriden. But, the events of the past month cause me to pause. It is time for City Hall to figure out how to work with the good landlords. It’s time to sit down and open the lines of constructive communication to move Meriden forward.
By encouraging responsible investors to continue investing in the city, Meriden will see more blighted properties renovated and improved property values. I would prefer to see the tax base increase as a result of legitimately rising property values and additional investment in the city, rather than another mill rate increase.
Once budgets are set and necessary services are funded, the next step is to determine if they are being deployed in the most advantageous manner. This is where the power of diverse thinking is most beneficial. Just because Meriden has done something a certain way for many years, it does not necessarily mean it is the correct course of action going forward. As time passes, Meriden’s needs evolve — and every problem must be considered from multiple perspectives to generate the best solution.
Resources are finite. Meriden’s taxes are approaching outrageous. I’m ready to sit and discuss how best to use the resources available (public and private) when the city is willing to approach the conversation with an open mind!