Making good sense
I moved to Wallingford in 2016 and love this community. So I want to see the town present us like the gem we are. I recently heard some of Jared Liu’s ideas and they make good sense to me. Why isn’t there signage along the highway advertising points of interest? This seems like an inexpensive way to draw people to Wallingford and help businesses thrive. Once downtown, accessing parking is a challenge, due to the one-way streets and confusing signs. As a new resident, I found that parking issues really hindered my discovery of restaurants, stores, and services. I’m puzzled that our town developers are not applying for Main Street grant programs that would beautify streetscapes and shops. Friends tell me how nice it looked at the holidays and with mature trees lining the streets, too. Great job to Center Street Brewery who’s made that area a destination. Now can the town come up with a plan for Wooding-Caplan and Brother’s Restaurant? I’m fine with taking properties off the tax roll, but only with a plan for what we’re going to do with them. In fact, didn’t Wallingford know about the new train station for as long as Meriden did? Meriden has been able to further development with a nice appearance and likely increased tax dollars generated as a result. I simply don’t understand why our property taxes increase every year, with no improvements to show for those extra dollars. I appreciate that the mayor has cared for this town since 1983, but it’s time for someone who will work with all of us to highlight Wallingford’s treasures while improving and growing our town in cost effective ways. Please join me in electing Jared Liu to be the next mayor.
Cindy Chelcun, WallingfordInsult of the month
I was intending to comment solely on Larry Morgenstein’s recent Readers’ Opinion and his so called Ashlar Village (“Ashlar”) “privilege.” Although, after reading Jared Liu’s recent editorial, I risk being labeled a proxy for expressing an opinion he may take issue with. Liu claimed support for open discussion and respect for honest disagreement. However, after individuals expressed their opinions on his plan for Wallingford or corrected inaccurate information in his plan and editorials, he played the victim card claiming he was slandered and personally attacked. He and some of his supporters attempt to misdirect the discussion by characterizing those individuals as “usual suspects,” “minions,” “surrogates” and the new insult of the month, “proxies.” So yes, Liu struck a nerve with me as he and others appear to believe only they possess independent thought and those challenging Liu’s plan do not have that capability. I doubt Eleanor Roosevelt or Oscar Wilde would consider that a tolerant approach to open discussion or an example of “going high.”
Concerning the Ashlar “privilege,” in April 1987 the Town Council approved an agreement, negotiated and recommended by then Town Attorney Vincent McManus, resolving a tax appeal filed in Superior Court by The Masonic Charity Foundation of Connecticut (“Masonic”) against the Town. The appeal arose from the Town’s assessment for property taxes and its denial of exemption from property taxes on Ashlar. Masonic claimed Ashlar was exempt from taxation as the property was used for charitable purposes. Rather than going to trial and risk losing, the Town entered into an agreement requiring Masonic to pay tax on Ashlar based only on the General Government portion of the Town’s budget. Those are the facts based upon my research. Feel free to correct me, I can handle it and will not consider it a personal attack or slander.
June Seichter, WallingfordGet to the root cause
I found the article on the Meriden survey results, 7/22, interesting and the comments were not surprising. As someone who has done both employee and customer surveys for over 25 years in my previous life, the problem with survey results were amplified by the comments. First rule — read the results with an open mind. Second — don’t blame people. Third — ask “why” to get to the root cause.
The comment was made that it was a surprise that 72 percent of respondents said they would not go downtown. The comment was, “I just can’t wrap my head around that thought process.” “Residents … can help by being open to visiting downtown ...” Not the right answer. You need to ask “why” did they respond this way? What drives that perception? Don’t assume — ask!
Surveys are only as good as the actions that happen as a result of them. It appears more research needs to be done to truly understand what the public had to say.
BTW — are the survey results available for the public to read, especially any comments that were made? My experience tells me there are probably some golden nuggets of information that can lead to true opportunities to improve Meriden if the results are looked at with an open mind.
Michael Rusate, Meriden