Witt: I will bring ‘best of times’ to Georgetown

Eric Witt is running for First Selectman under the Republican ticket.

Eric Witt is running for First Selectman under the Republican ticket.

Charles Dickens began a Tale of Two Cities with the line: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

I think that is apropos for our tale of two cities here in Redding. On one side, we have a Redding that responded to the rush of development by establishing a planning commission, protecting our water resources and acquiring open space. Public and private efforts led the preservation of more than 33% of Redding as ‘forever green,’ maintaining a country atmosphere in the midst of increasingly urban Fairfield Country. As First Selectman, I would ensure this vision is retained and strengthened.  Our rural beauty is at the heart of what attracted many of us to Redding and is at the core of what we offer as a town.

Georgetown is another part of the Redding story. The award-winning plan for creating a village center out of the old wire mill has stalled. In July, after failing to negotiate a path forward with owners and creditors, the town filed for foreclosure. To bring this project to fruition — one that includes affordable housing, office and retail space, as well as facilities for arts, recreation, and open space — strong leadership and negotiation skills are needed. I have helped save companies more than $1 billion through contract negotiations and managed a country-wide transition for NATO in Afghanistan.

With education and experience in engineering, finance, and the law, I can turn this chapter of the Georgetown story into the ‘best of times.’

 

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

  • Alexander Gray

    Eric,
    While 33% of Redding is “preserved”, as required by federal regulation Redding must have 10% of its land RESERVED for the development of low and middle income housing. You would have known this if you happen to have experience in public administration and not the military. You should also know that Washington has the right and power to come into Redding, reappropriate land owned by Redding, and there is plenty available, and build as prescribed by the law.

    And as I said before, Georgetown is your Midsummer’s Night Dream. Again, if you had any experience in real-estate development, something which you did not have the opportunity to learn while working for NATO in Afghanistan, you would know the basics and that is DEMAND. Nobody build commercial or housing unless there is a demand. There is NO DEMAND for either in Redding. Plenty of commercial real-estate is available in Ridgefield, Bethel and the other nearby towns and Redding is far too expensive for any low or middle-class to want to move in it. Just think, how many servants the rich in Redding can employ?

    Redding doesn’t need irrational and unsustainable dreams of future revenues while they spend right now! Redding needs its expenses cut now, to reduce the current huge taxpayer’s burden! Redding doesn’t need a $2.2M police budget and 17 cops for 9000 people and zero crime. Redding can’t afford cops in schools, unless the parents are willing to pay for the service themselves. Redding can’t afford a $47.5M town budget and Redding can’t afford a growing school budget while the student population is decreasing and projected to continue to decrease for the foreseeable future. And most of all, Redding can’t afford yet another Republican administration after 20 years of Republicans colluding with the police department to support their spending addiction! Redding can not survive another Republican administration after 20 years of colossal mismanagement of the town’s budget and its people.

    • Normnutman

      Since you are an obvious expert in RE development, why don’t you tell us what recent studies have indicated? Maybe you have heard these words relating to inventory? “location, location, location”. Take a look at Stamford off of exit 7. After Malloy destroyed Stamford, like he is the state, BLT came in and transformed the area to a beautiful location in a former armpit of the city. They brought in new housing when the community said there was too much. They brought in restaurants and other businesses that previously was industrial or a dump. Now, it is a destination. If a private investor is willing to invest and transform that area into something beautiful and useful, then by all means do it.
      You want to pay less taxes? Then bring in a commercial base to help pay those taxes. Lower income housing? Ever hear of apartments and condos? I highly doubt the intention is to generate Section 8 housing, but there is a severe lack of apartments in this town.
      You want to cut the budget, then what do you suggest? Ok, assuming you to eliminate the police force since we had no crime. We don’t need them since the crime is zero. Might as well cut EMS and Fire Dept. We don’t have many medical emergencies or fires either. You indicated in a prior post that the budget went from $20m to $47.5m in 20 years. Ok, that is roughly a 4% annual increase. CPI shows that as a bit high, but what about standard of living increases for the employees of Redding? Are they entitled to raises? If so, what is fair? 1%? Please tell me.
      What are your suggestions on the schools? Yes, enrollment is dropping, but not by an amount that would impact the budget. If you drop each grade by 2, 3 or 5 kids, how do you expect that to change the cost? You are not going to fire teachers or combine a grade, but the cost per kid goes up. Bring in younger families via housing then your cost per kid goes down.
      Sadly you are a prime example of a Democrat who has no solutions, just likes to point out the problems for someone else to fix.

    • Alexander Gray

      Reply comment to Mr. Normnutman to be found here: http://reddingnews.info/2015/10/22/mr-normnutman-dont-ass-u-me/

  • Alexander Gray

    A tail of Two Cities … Connecticut production 2015 – http://reddingnews.info/2015/10/18/a-tail-of-two-cities-2015-connecticut-version/

  • Alexander Gray

    Eric, Since you want to be First Selectman of Georgetown, why don’t you ask Ketcham to go up to Meadow Ridge and bamboozle the seniors living there, as she did for 14 years? She can talk those people into anything and they vote for anything she asks. The snail pace Redding took to recover the back taxes Meadow Ridge owes Redding throughout Ketcham’s mismanagement of Redding may not have anything to do with it, I am sure of it … I think. She will talk to them and then, as she did for 14 years, they will spring to life, get into the buses and descend from their high hill, presumably closer to Heaven, down to Redding and vote for whatever she told them to vote for and, bingo! … you will be the First Selectman of Georgetown, literally the very first.

    • Normnutman

      Can you please provide examples of the bamboozlement of the MR seniors you mention? Seems like you are calling the seniors ignorant and easily manipulated – “She can talk those people in anything” . Is that accurate? Seems like you don’t want our seniors in town anymore since “those people” are ignorant, un-informed, and easy to manipulate? Oh, and “closer to Heaven”.

      • Alexander Gray

        Does anyone remember Redding’s attempt to deal with Fuchs’ spending addiction and dreams of a police academy? Do they remember people’s attempt to deal with this problem by creating a police commission? Do the people in Meadow Ridge remember Ketcham visiting and preaching them followed by their bus trips down to the community center to vote against what was needed but not in Ketcham’s and Fuchs’ interests? This is just one of many occasions when Ketcham used those people to fulfill her goals against the interest and desires of the people paying taxes and her salary. By the way, who controls the access to these people or is it a closed community with limited access to the outside and from the outside like Jonestown?

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. The Redding Pilot, 16 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress