Wallingford is ideally situated between two major highways, as well as Hartford and New Haven. From a geographic, as well as business and financial standpoint, we can with well planned and executed effort position ourselves for successful development and financial benefit. A successful business community benefits our residential taxpayers. We are fortunate that many decades ago the citizens of Wallingford had the vision to see the advantages of having an electric division that to this day provides us with reasonably priced power and gives us a competitive advantage.
We have a number of businesses, attractions and educational institutions that draw people to our town (wineries, restaurants, shopping, Oakdale, Choate, historic homes and cemeteries). However, we have also seen the closing of Covanta as a power source and the loss of Bristol Myers Squibb, our biggest taxpayer. We need to change and compete.
Town planning is a key to adapting to this changing economic landscape. We must be business-friendly in a way that protects our homeowners while allowing businesses to grow. The new train station can nurture Transit Oriented Development that can revive lower downtown that has not kept up with ourthriving uptown.
I am a public member of the POCD Subcommittee and a regular attendee at Planning and Zoning Commission as well as Town Council meetings. I see the direction we have been taking as well as the direction we need to go. For too long we have relied on a part time Economic Development position, it should be a full time position. For too long we have underutilized GIS mapping services that are user friendly allowing residents, businesses and emergency services access to necessary records electronically.
Our grand list, averaged out over the last few years, is at best flat. We need to keep up with programs like all day kindergarten to attract new families and businesses. We were one of the last towns in CT to do so. These programs require funding. With business growth the individual taxpayer rather than seeing their tax burden increase year after year would see relief . Though it is easier said than done our town needs to be more proactive to grow existing business, keep them and attract them. We can do it with vision (the POCD and TOD), investment (all day kindergarten and a full time economic position) and with utilizing existing technology (GIS and business-friendly regulations and ordinances) to stimulate growth rather than inhibit it.
We need to be more strategic to keep, attract, and expand our local businesses. With planning our new train station can be a linchpin to revitalize lower downtown.
I will take on that challenge.
Interested in learning how you can help Gina improve Wallingford?
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Copyright © 2018 Gina for Council. All Rights Reserved. Approved by Gina Morgenstein - Paid for by Gina for Council, Cindy Chelcun, Treasurer