To the editor,
As a community leader and retired career executive fire officer I have followed closely the progression of plans for the Valley Fire Chiefs Regional Fire School. Fire service training can be highly technical and at times hazardous, requiring state of the art facilities to properly train our personnel in a safe and efficient manner. The lack if a local facility requires critical personnel to relocate for this training far from their first alarm districts causing a significant reduction in staffing and the resulting degradation in public safety.
I was pleased when plans for the school resulted in the land being acquired, the architect chosen, plans drawn and contractor hired. The only item between these efforts and a shovel piercing the ground was the receipt of bonding from the state. To my dismay this funding has been pulled from the Bond Commission agenda.
This was done without one peep from our current legislators, despite efforts to have them do so. When there should have been a large and concentrated effort to have this funding passed no efforts were made by those elected to serve the public and protect their safety. It was frankly, appalling.
Now that re-election season is upon us and their jobs are threatened, our current representatives in Hartford including state Sen. George Logan, state Rep. Themis Klarides, state Rep. Lezlye Zupkus, and others have magically discovered this issue and despite having supplied no support in the past, are politically grandstanding with this critical issue, blaming everyone but themselves for the lack of action. No doubt after the November election this will all be swept under the rug once again.
This is why new leadership is needed at the state level, legislators as yet untainted by partisan efforts. Public servants with fresh ideas and a commitment to the people that they have sworn to serve. I urge all the voters in the 17th Senatorial District, the 89th, 104th, 105th, and 114th state representative districts to vote for new leadership with a true commitment to the safety of our residents and elect Jorge Cabrera, Anne Harrigan, Kara Rochelle, Kevin McDuffie and Mary Welander on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The writer is the chairman of the Bethany Democratic Town Committee and a selectman in Bethany.