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Westport's Boucher: Bad Bill Resurrected From The Dead

State Sen. Toni Boucher
State Sen. Toni Boucher Photo Credit: contributed

WILTON, Conn. -- The Wilton Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Send signed letters under 350 words to Westport@dailyvoice.com.

To the editor:

Another misguided and costly bill has come back from the dead this session. This bill calls for the formation of a new quasi-public state agency to oversee development of projects within a half of a mile of train stations, bus stops, and any project undertaken in the Governor's transportation investment plan.

With your help, I fought this bill in 2015, and will fight it again in 2016. Last year, it didn't pass because it authorized the state to use eminent domain to snatch properties from a municipality, private organization or a person in those areas.

It also did not give the local municipalities' officials a vote on what this new state Authority was doing in their city or town, and it did not require a memorandum of understanding to begin work on a project. Finally, the voting members on the Authority were all state political appointments.

The 2016 bill brings several of these issues back. The concept remains a slippery slope towards usurping local zoning authority. The governor will make the majority of board appointments to a new costly bureaucracy that will be able to steamroll through municipal development plans and priorities.

This top-down government control is not what Connecticut wants or deserves. Worse yet, while residents and businesses continue to tighten their belts in these hard economic times, the bill calls for spending our tax dollars on new government administrative positions. Many towns already have economic development boards that know and understand local needs and already provide expertise in developing and overseeing projects.

Are you concerned about the State of Connecticut telling your town what to do and how to develop itself? If so, please join me in defeating this costly legislation by sending your testimony to the Chairs of the Planning and Development Committee pdtestimony@cga.ct.gov and cc'ing me Toni.Boucher@cga.ct.gov.

State Senator Toni Boucher, Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee

Boucher represents the 26th District, which includes Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

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