FROM THE NEWS-TIMES:
At 62 square miles, New Milford is the largest town in Connecticut in
terms of land area. The many farms and waterways — most notably the
Housatonic River, Candlewood Lake and Lake Lillinonah — inform the
town’s picturesque character, but New Milford also faces the challenges
of a small city.
Seemingly uncoordinated development along the strip of Route 7,
traffic congestion into downtown, a declining school population and
social service needs also define the town of just under 30,000
Mayor Pat Murphy,
a Republican seeking a seventh term, has ably led New Milford for a
dozen years. She returned civility to town governance and has shown an
ability to represent the town well with the Democratic majority in
Hartford to produce cooperation and grants.
Murphy has not done so well, however, in painting New Milford as a
compassionate place. The perception of her handling of the move of
Loaves & Fishes from the town-owned Richmond Center on the Green
was that it was a thinly veiled attempt to dislodge the homeless from
downtown. Murphy maintains that was not the reality, but many found the
controversy unsettling. In the coming term, the mayor must make efforts
to portray the town as supportive of all its citizens.
the Democratic challenger, is one of the strongest candidates fielded
by the minority party in town in recent years. He is earnest in his
concerns about the future direction of New Milford, including the ripple
effect of closing Pettibone Elementary School.
A practicing attorney, Gronbach asserts he would be a tougher
negotiator to get what the town needs. But that displays a naiveté about
how government works and shows his lack of elected experience.
Gronbach has articulated well the primary areas that need attention —
particularly the sprawl of Route 7 retail development — but this is not
the time for change for the sake of change.
Murphy is working on the traffic problem and we would like to see
substantial progress in the next two years. We believe she should have
the chance to continue leading the repurposing of the former Century
Brass Mills — a key economic development opportunity — and to work with
zoning to control growth along Route 7.
We endorse New Milford Mayor Pat Murphy for another term.