A response in Wallingford
Benjamin Franklin wrote, “...nothing is certain except death and taxes.” I’ll add “...and a periodic op-ed from Steve Knight as de facto spokesman for our mayor.” In his January 8 column (“Factors to consider in an election year”), he essentially blamed the lack of attention to our infrastructure on the Town Council for preventing the mayor from raising taxes. I have to give him credit for creativity and irony. He attempted to attribute the continued deterioration of our buildings and neglect in our parks to two budget years when we revised the budget to prevent tax increases.
He also used the column to attack Republican challengers and Democrats who have “gleefully” joined Republicans in “dogging” the mayor. It’s no secret that I’m seeking the Democratic nomination for the next election. However, we Democrats have no interest in joining or contributing to any shenanigans taking place among the Republicans. They can do as they please in determining who runs in November. We continue doing our jobs, election year or not. I am pursuing the same objectives and working productively with all councilors, as I have for close to 20 years.
Regarding the use of ARPA funds, Mr Knight has blatantly misrepresented things. I suggested from the beginning separating the money into pools, distributing roughly a third each to businesses, nonprofits, and municipal projects, understanding we can revise everything as needs are identified and clarified. But, nobody has suggested using all the money for town projects, businesses and nonprofits be damned, as Mr. Knight clearly implies.
One thing should be clear. The condition of our infrastructure — parks, buildings, sidewalks, is a result of a lack of planning and not setting priorities that can be shared with the departments and employees who do a tremendous job every day. Setting a budget isn’t enough. One has to lead.
Vincent F. Testa, Jr., Wallingford town councilor