Letter to the CT
Published January 5th 2007
I wrote this to respond to an editrial
where the CT Post called the Derby voters Stingy
resident of Derby for more than 10
grew up elsewhere, I find the average Derby
voter is scared. Having grown up in Springfield, MA
I was a public school student when the city was making a renewed effort
20 year struggle for a new high school.
My following the issues got me published in the local newspaper
sent to the principal’s office on a few occasions.
I decided to follow the issue here in Derby at a bit more of a
city in CT, it has a lot of pride and heart.
bravest – the firemen and EMTs as volunteers offer services with more
dedication than many of their paid counter parts in other cities. We have a number of churches and other civic
organizations which draw people from surrounding towns as well.
voter’s skittishness has deep roots.
For many years the citizens have watched the city’s tax base
with downtown going from looking like a ghost town to a war zone in the
few years. Many of the past projects
for the new school included “riders” – projects that rode on the
the new school. While many voters
have voted for a new school project, knowing the cost overruns would
the multi-project packages scared voters because cost overruns could
Also many voters felt that the former mayor was more concerned with
name on as many plaques as possible rather than the value of each
attended last Thursday’s “heated meeting”.
actually listened to the concerns of the citizens of Derby.
Mayor Stafferi felt that the people should be offered two good
and realized that one of the choices was unacceptable.
the more expensive solution would have
more comprehensively met Derby’s immediate and future needs, the other
was far shorter sighted than previously thought. The
comprehensive plan calls for a
traditionally constructed middle school consisting of grades 6 thru 8
built near the current high school to create a campus environment
two schools. The other solution called
for a modular constructed school containing only grades 7 and 8 as to
for space. The word “modular” raised
many concerns which mayor Staferri heard and voiced himself.
modular construction plan could not be expanded reasonably. While Mayor Staffieri
watching the bottom line,
he is also wants to be sure that any proposal which is sent to the
voters is a
good value now and a good value for the city’s future as well.
seems to realize that the voters’ fears have been fueled once again. While many people have touted the recent
downtown progress as a distant light at the end of a long tunnel, many
like myself, are hearing a train whistle instead. The
citizens of Derby
have suffered three major blows and
have not had a chance to even figure out what the damage is yet, never
recover. Our water company, Birmingham
Utilities recently won its case for a rate hike as did Yankee Gas a
back. United Illuminating’s enormous
rate increase has been approved and is
being phased in slowly – much like when Princess Lea, Luke Skywalker,
and Chewbaka found themselves in the Death Star’s garbage
compactor in the movie “Star Wars”.
most citizens have an idea on the immediate out of pocket expenses will
wait in terror for the next wave of expenses to hit our budgets. We don’t know how much more it’s going to
cost the city to provide its services, costs which will be passed on in
form of tax increases. We don’t know how
much local business will have to increase their prices, that is if they
stay. Further down the tracks, our tax
base could become further eroded if businesses leave the area. Lastly, our downtown could become one big
vacant lot should the developer feel that the cost of doing business in
city is just too high.