Friday, October 30, 2015

News-Times: 'We Endorse New Milford Mayor Pat Murphy for Another Term'


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 residents.

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.

David Gronbach, 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.

1 comment:

Brian Keene said...

"The perception of her handling of the move of Loaves & Fishes from the town-owned Richmond Center on the Green"

and the NewsTimes had a very heavy hand in creating that perception...exclusively

more falsehoods to fool the feeble-minded