The Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST) needed to speak out on the Governor’s proposed budget to voice the concerns of small towns from across the state. The task called for a representative able to speak effectively and yet concisely to convey all of their concerns within a brief speaking opportunity.
COST turned to a key member, an officer of their executive committee on the Board of Directors, Mr. John Elsesser. The same John Elsesser that acts as the Town Manager for Coventry became the voice of all small towns in Connecticut speaking before the Appropriations Committee in our State Legislature.
Steering clear of a total endorsement of the Governor’s proposed budget Elsesser said, “COST applauds Governor Malloy for continuing his commitment to maintaining current levels of funding for the Town Aid Road Program (TAR), Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP), Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP), Main Street Investment Fund and Clean Water Fund.” These programs are considered vital for small towns across the region struggling with budget challenges in weak economic times.
Mr. Elsesser called attention to the deteriorating infrastructure of bridges when he stated that, “over a third of Connecticut municipal bridges are considered either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete”. He challenged the members of both the House and the Senate to better address the problems of deteriorating bridges. He called for “the various state agencies to streamline the permitting process since it can take up to five years to gain approval to proceed, adding unnecessary costs and jeopardizing public safety”.
Five years to study and approve a bridge project is longer than the time we spend to educate a teacher. It can take longer to approve the repair or replacement of a bridge in Connecticut than it took the entire country to win World War II. This is an example of the foot dragging, boondoggling foolishness in government that is unacceptable, wasteful and a risk to public safety. It must be stopped.
A salute to Mr. Elsesser from the Opining Quill for shedding light on this waste of taxpayer money fostered by mandates and inefficiency of government. Unfortunately and perhaps restricted by his role at the time Elsesser only asked for lawmakers “to help nudge the various agencies”.
NUDGE! Are you kidding me? It is time to tell them to get off the chair, get to work and get the job done in a timely fashion! The taxpayers have had enough of tax, spend and waste.