Input on borough government sought at forums

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NaugyTownHall2NAUGATUCK — Borough residents will get the chance to voice opinions on local government and how it could be changed during two forums this month.

The first will be held Thursday at the Naugatuck Historical Society, 195 Water St., from 7 to 9 p.m. The second will be held March 26 at the same place and time.

“These are forums geared at seeking input from the people who use services and pay for them in the borough,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said. “I don’t think any strategic planning process for a government is complete without input from taxpayers and stakeholders within the community.”

The forums are one step that the borough and Blum, Shapiro & Co., a Westport-based consulting firm, are taking to plan possible long-term changes in borough government. Representatives are also interviewing borough officials and employees and are planning to disseminate a survey on paper and online, Mezzo said.

General discussion points for the forum include the major issues facing the borough today, the direction that government is taking and its strengths and weaknesses, according to Jeffrey Ziplow, the consultant leading the strategic planning effort.

The firm will possibly make some recommendations before a budget is adopted in May about social services the borough provides, Mezzo added.

“The document’s not going to be a magic wand that cures all ills in the borough’s budget or improves efficiency in a wave of the hand,” Mezzo said. “I’m not expecting that there’s going to be a series of recommendations that are implemented within three months and then the plan will live on a shelf somewhere.”