Frankly, I have no idea what "Positively Meriden" represents when property taxes continue to go up year after year, big business economic development is stagnant, and I do not include another auto parts store, nor a new car wash as big business development, and SAT scores continue to plummet for Meriden high school students. Here is a sobering revelation made by Mr. Rohde, after his city council election win, when he admitted in candid candor "we pitted 'Positively Meriden' against the mediocrity of Meriden or worse". Contrast that to the astute comment made by Berlin Republican Town Party Chairperson Sandra Coppola who believes voters supported the Republican ticket because "I think they see we're trying to move the town in a positive direction and not increase taxes". Time will tell if "Positively Meriden" was just a catchy campaign slogan to lull voters into voting Democrat, that all is well in our fair city. We continue to read that the schools’ budget is for students’ benefit, yet SAT scores go down, while budgets go up. Majority of a schools’ budget goes to teachers’ pay (Connecticut ranks 6th highest for teachers’ pay), benefits, infrastructure costs. I will rephrase the well known phrase by President Obama about liking your doctor, keeping your doctor. "If you like your property taxes high, you can keep your property taxes high". Watch next year as your Meriden property taxes positively go up. Riddle me this Batman, err, citizens of Meriden how the striking phrase, "mediocrity of Meriden" is no longer apropos since the already Democrat-controlled city council has now increased their majority. Ponder it well, fellow citizens, your wallet, your bank account, your quality of life depend on it.
Henry J. Krupa Jr., Meriden
Save Chauncey Peak
Chauncey Peak must be protected. For two hundred million years, this majestic little mountain has graced what we now call Meriden. But in our brief lifetimes, we are watching it die a death of a thousand cuts.
A November 4th Record-Journal article reported what appeared to be good news. The quarry company owner stated, “We have no intention of removing the trail.” The reporter explained, “The excavation recently expanded in the northwest corner, but Suzio said it will not expand any further in the area to avoid encroaching on the trail. Excavation will extend southward along the trail toward the golf course.” The ribbon of trail may be saved, but the threat escalates for the rest of the mountain, a priceless natural asset for Meriden.
Most of the quarry has been hidden from public view until now because of local topography. But the mountain’s south face, where the new excavation is planned, looks out over Meriden. What happens to the attractiveness of our city, and to the property values of homeowners, when a magnificent landscape is transformed into a quarry pit?
I truly appreciate that the quarry company allows access to hikers. I recognize that it is an important local business that has been passed down through generations. Despite any assurances by the current generation, the next generation will face pressures to continually expand the quarry.
There are federal, state and philanthropic funds available for open space preservation. Our city officials and the quarry owners should seek a win-win solution. They should identify the most precious parcels, in terms of ecological and recreational value, and explore the potential for a conservation easement or outright purchase by the city.
Hopeful promises are not a substitute for legally binding protections. Mountains do not grow back.
Jeffrey Freiser, Meriden