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From Another Point of View: 6/28/17

Before my election to the Board of Selectmen, I spent 20 years serving on the Woodbridge Conservation Commission, where my mission was to protect the natural resources of our town.  As a Selectman for the past two years, my focus has remained consistent.  Woodbridge is unique as the only town in Connecticut that borders a major city but feels like a rural community.  In my view, our open space is a precious, finite natural resource that supports the value of our properties.  It is central to the quality of life in our Town.  It must be preserved, not frittered away to satisfy short term finances.

My tenure as a Selectman concludes on June 30th.  As I sat down to write this final column of the term, I took a look back over those published over the last two years.  The obvious theme was the amount of time and energy spent discussing the Country Club of Woodbridge.  It is surprising and disappointing to me that eight years after its purchase, we still have no plan for the future of this property.  Indeed, the former First Selectman had four full years in office and was not even able to bring a proposal to the townspeople for a vote.

The only tangible progress that has been made at the Country Club is the remediation of the “Significant Environmental Hazard”.  This happened only because of the public exposure in this space that the town knew about the contamination since 2009 but had made no effort to clean it up.  I consider this environmental cleanup to be my most meaningful contribution as a Selectman.

My hope is that the new First Selectman will focus on creating a long term plan for the CCW property.  I hope that she will take a lesson from the failure of her predecessor, who seemed to view the CCW as an albatross around her neck that she wanted to be rid of as quickly as possible.  Instead, I hope the new First Selectman will view the CCW – as many Town residents do – as an asset.  In addition, I hope the new First Selectman will seek out more public input.  Woodbridge residents are smart, creative, and thoughtful; they have much to contribute to the discussion on the CCW.

It has been an honor to serve the town of Woodbridge.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have written this column “From Another Point of View” during my tenure and I thank the Woodbridge Town News and Editor Rocky Salperto for working with me.  I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Woodbridge Republican Town Committee for its support.

I encourage all of my readers to maintain an active interest and voice in directing our town and I thank all of you who spoke or wrote to me about topics covered here.  I will continue to be active in town affairs and look forward to hearing your opinions and witnessing your good works.

By Maria Cruz Kayne

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