WESTON, Conn. — Dennis H. Tracey III, a Republican who is running for his third term as selectman, says Weston is facing a big challenge as the number of students drops dramatically and the town population ages.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished, including supporting the continued excellence of our schools, improving the Senior Center, developing the Lachat property into a wonderful town farm and keeping a close watch on our tax rates," said Tracey, who lives on Echo Hill Road and has served four years on the Board of Selectmen.
"Now, however, we are at a crossroad, created by a fundamental shift in demographics: We are facing an aging population and a dramatic decline in school enrollment."
From 1990 to 2010, the town of Weston saw a decline of its "child-bearing cohort" from 51 percent to only 19 percent, he said.
As a result, there will be a large decline in the student population in Weston.
"We are projecting a decline of 560 students over the next 10 years – that’s 25 percent of our current enrollment," Tracey said. "Our town is changing, and we need to be ready. The Selectmen you elect in November will need to be ready, too."
The Board of Selectmen has created a Strategic Planning Committee, with 17 members. It will be chaired by Tracey and Jane Connolly.
"The work of this committee is critical," he said. "If re-elected, I will work very hard for a future of Weston that preserves the great advantages we have, while preparing for future changes with fiscal responsibility.
"Above all, I believe I have brought and I will continue to bring to the board an objective and nonpolitical approach that is guided only by what is right for the town that I love."
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