Regional Planning

Recent Posts

Coventry town manager Elsesser: Connecticut should consider the commercial activities tax

John A. Elsesser, longtime Coventry town manager, has been one of the leading figures in municipal government for nearly four decades. He understands the varied and intensifying fiscal pressures facing Connecticut and its municipalities, recognizes the need to raise revenue; and sees one possible way to do it fairly — a commercial activities tax. Continue Reading →

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GOP offers alternative budget — but has much work still to do

Republican legislators unveiled a two-year budget plan that rejected controversial proposals to pass teacher pension costs onto towns and to expose nonprofit hospitals to local taxation. But the GOP plan, which also would eliminate a program to share sales tax receipts with municipalities, is out of balance by more than $1 billion because of recent, massive erosion in state income tax receipts. Continue Reading →

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Independent living centers at risk from state, federal budget cuts

The five centers provide a wide array of training, counseling and referral services to thousands of residents with physical and mental disabilities, the elderly and the poor. Leaders of the centers have watched state funding shrink by 62 percent over the past year and are at risk of losing the rest this spring. Continue Reading →

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Looney wants half-penny sales tax option for cities and towns

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney of New Haven called Friday for an optional local sales tax increase to help cities and towns control property tax rates. This would add a local surcharge of one-half of 1 percentage point to the existing 6.35 percent state sales tax. Continue Reading →

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Jepsen sees ‘not insubstantial’ risk in casino expansion

Allowing Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes to jointly operate a casino off tribal lands would pose legal risks that “are not insubstantial” to the more than $250 million in slots revenue annually shared with the state, Attorney General George Jepsen wrote Monday in a formal legal opinion. Continue Reading →

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Has regionalism’s time finally come?

While autonomous municipal government — home rule — is the norm and likely to remain so, regional cooperation has been inching ahead. Now with the state and several large cities facing severe fiscal challenges, mayors such as Hartford’s Luke Bronin and others, including the state’s major municipal advocacy group, are pushing for more regional sharing. Continue Reading →

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Griebel on the business climate: ‘Confidence must be restored’

R. Nelson “Oz” Griebel, longtime chief executive officer of the MetroHartford Alliance, has been active in state, regional and city public policy for nearly two decades. He chaired the state Transportation Strategy Board and ran, unsuccessfully, for governor in 2010. Now, as the governor and General Assembly resume debate on the state budget and massively under-funded retirement benefit programs that threaten Connecticut’s fiscal future, Griebel sat down to talk with The Mirror. Continue Reading →

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CCM: Pair sales tax hike, bargaining changes to bolster cities, towns

Connecticut’s cities and towns unveiled a sweeping financial plan Wednesday that included a major sales tax boost to aid communities, new regionalization incentives and collective bargaining changes. The bargaining changes would be designed to ensure new revenue for towns would not be used to boost wages and benefits for municipal workers. Continue Reading →

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Movement to complete state’s trails gaining momentum

For more than two decades, most of the new multi-use trails built in the state were almost entirely the work of local volunteers. In the past five years, however, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his transportation commissioner, James Redeker, have turned that narrative on its head. The state is now including non-motorized trails in its planning efforts and making major investments in them. Continue Reading →

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Bottling plant a wake-up call on state water

For decades, Connecticut residents have taken water for granted. But approval of a water bottling plant in Bloomfield, the coming of the state’s worst drought since the 1960s, and several other water controversies in recent years have put the spotlight on both the state’s lack of an overall water plan and questions about the transparency and accountability of the Metropolitan District Commission, the Hartford region’s big water and sewer agency. Continue Reading →

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Completion of rail trails a test for Malloy and the ‘new DOT’

At the opening of a new 1.8-mile stretch of bicycle trail in Canton, a longtime rails-to-trails advocate welcomed the presence of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his acting transportation commissioner, James P. Redeker, as a milestone in a long struggle. “Five years ago, it never would have happened,” said R. Bruce Donald, the president of the Farmington Valley Trails Council, the non-profit advocacy group that has been both partner and critic of the DOT as it pushed for what is now a nearly complete 29.5-mile loop trail. Work on the long-delayed segment of the Farmington River Trail suddenly began after the DOT redirected soon-to-expire federal stimulus funds to a project that had no other ready prospects for financing. With the contractors hungry for work, it came in under budget at $900,000. A ribbon cutting and a milestone. Continue Reading →

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