EDITORIAL: 6 things we liked this week, 2 we didn’t



We liked this week

School officials in Southington intend to use federal pandemic relief funds to hire eight new educators to help student’s mental and behavioral health. School Superintendent Steven Madancy recommended hiring three social workers, a school psychologist, two board-certified behavioral analysts, a special education teacher and a program behaviorist. Some urgency is felt in making the hires because of a shortage of school workers.

Meriden’s City Council approved changes that will allow a former nursing home on Westfield Road to be converted into market rate housing. Plans are to convert the long-idled former 120-bed nursing home for residential use. It’s part of an effort to reuse properties in the city that have been neglected.

An essay contest created by state Rep. Craig Fishbein, who is also a town councilor, is part of an effort to involve young people in Wallingford’s 350+2 Jubilee celebration. A winner among four finalists will be chosen and announced during the History Day breakfast June 20.

Meriden’s City Council allowed a $500,000 loan to Thompson Brands to move forward, by approving a resolution to issue $218,000 in bonds to fully fund the loan. One of the oldest companies in Meriden, chocolate-maker Thompson plans to use the money to modernize and expand production facilities. The agreement still needs to be finalized.

Southington officials are taking steps to consider adjusting plans for the $17 million public library voters approved at referendum last year. The concern over shortages and surging costs for materials has prompted the idea of doing more with less. One concern is $1 million in state funding the town does not want to risk by changing plans too much.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona gave the keynote speech during graduation ceremonies at Maloney High School in Meriden, and was a proud parent of eldest son, Miguel Jr., who was one of the graduates. It was one of many highlights of graduations across the area.

We didn’t like this week

A story from the Connecticut Mirror highlighted a growing crisis in Connecticut when it comes to nursing, where a shortage of nurses was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic. Steps that are needed to counteract this worrying trend include a new state law calling on the Office of Workforce Strategy to expand academic programs and other educational opportunities.

Meriden officials are working to make changes after the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Community Planning and Development determined the city had failed to disclose two city councilors’ conflicts of interest before a block grant applications hearing earlier this year. A complaint by a resident had brought the conflict to the agency’s attention.

 

 



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