This guy Rodgerson brings nothing to the table. No experience, no skills, and a divisive personality. We don't want him trying to extend the reach of government control over our lives. We have already seen how damaging people like him can be. View Comment
Bad things happen to good people who do not vote
Something is seriously wrong with the MD proposal.
WHY THE RUSH?
The timeline for the Miller Driscoll teardown-rebuild project is 39 months.
But the fundamental flaws with the building (walls, windows, roof, HVAC) could be fixed in 6 months without disturbing toxic materials. Why the rush to borrow? There was no rush to fix the roof or HVAC that caused IAQ issues in the first place!
So why are they pushing this teardown-rebuild now? It will be one of the largest capital programs in Wilton’s history. Does it not deserve consideration as part of the Annual Town Meeting? We won’t know the full tax consequences until the ATM. Why is it being proposed in mid-year? There was scant info given to taxpayers in the past three years. To have this plan suddenly foisted on the community without presenting alternatives is disturbing.
Teardown advocates show a chart indicating a reduced tax/debt service burden as existing debt is retired. Someone noticed and said, “this is not right, we have to borrow more.” So they looked around and decided a new town hall campus was a no-go, but MD looked like an opportunity. So instead of fixing the fundamental roof, siding, and HVAC issues, they decided to spend $50,000,000.00! Why? Simply because cutting taxes is not an option for folks in government…
The notion that a $50,000,000.00 renovation will boost property values is a canard. Darien has several much older schools (Hindley, Ox-Ridge) that have been properly maintained and their property values are holding up better than ours. Let’s not burn through $50,000,000.00 and then see another teardown-rebuild for Middlebrook! The best way to increase property values is to reduce taxes.
The $50,000,000.00 project will raise taxes without materially affecting education.
For $50,000,000.00 the town gets 5 new pre-K classrooms (to replace the ones they plan to demolish), a new kitchen (to replace the one they demolish), and gussied up entrance ways. Sensible and informed voters realize there is space at Comstock previously designed for students, that new windows cost $500,000. that new HVAC and roofing costs $3,000,000. as originally budgeted by the town, that new Wi-Fi costs no more than a thousand per room, that new kitchen equipment costs $200,000. So where does the rest of your $50,000,000.00 go? Certainly not to education!
Published literature points to significantly lower construction costs than this proposal. A new elementary school built in Alexandria Va. for $46,000,000. at 97,000 sq. ft. See http://apsva.us/newes1 includes all new furniture, equipment, hard and soft costs. These teardown-rebuild costs much more than that!
A school in nearby Fairfield replaced all of its exterior doors and windows for $502,000.
Even profligate Hartford has done better with a new University science building costing $49,000,000. http://www.southernct.edu/about/construction/new-science-building.html
Wilmington MA built a brand new High School costing $330.00 per square foot.
MA has a program where districts are encouraged to use stock, proven designs. They are also encouraged to tweak the stock design to avoid the cookie cutter look. Cuts down on construction costs while enabling a custom look. Smart thinking that would have, & will save Wilton tons of money if adopted. Let’s educators focus on teaching, not bricks.
Please don’t dismiss this with “we are Wilton, so we must spend more than anyone else!” Wilton has the reputation of spending way too much. Let’s end it now. We prefer hearing we spend wisely to keep taxes below neighboring towns as a way to increase property values!
The Town has told us our concerns with toxic materials are irresponsible. They claim safeguards will be taken but cannot claim with absolute certainty that it is impossible to contaminate. We all know remediation adds costs. We all know toxic materials are not a risk factor when left undisturbed. Why take the chance?
LINE OF SIGHT?
Clearly another canard. Does a clear line of sight make it easier for an attacker? Doing this renovation sensibly will save enough to hire full time guards at the school.
Proponents also disparage concerned residents who “toss numbers around.” Yes, it is easy to toss numbers. The tossing started with a $3,000,000. roofing, HVAC project at MD that suddenly & inexplicably devolved to a $50,000,000.00 adventure in a few short years.
They state doing the teardown-rebuild “piecemeal” would cost $42,000,000.00…where did that number come from? Are there individual bids for the various steps adding to $42,000,000.00?
Is it a guess or a scare tactic?
We know Hoffman estimated $500,000 for the envelope. Let’s double it for new windows too!
The roof and HVAC come in at $3,000,000. (less if the three existing roof warranties were called/enforced).
We do not understand why proponents immediately disparage documented costs from known, completed projects while holding firm to the credibility of their numbers without bids.
Why not understand taxpayers are justifiably concerned with the failure to maintain MD?
Why not understand taxpayers are concerned with a roofing-HVAC project turning into a $50,000,000.00 drain.
Why not consider alternatives to the proposed plan and let citizens vote on other options?
Bad things happen to good people who do not vote.
Vote NO and insist they come up with a sensible plan.
Hello TP. Yes, comments on this board are absurd. No intellectual value, at all. And yes, McKinney never had a chance given his anti Second Amendment stance. Other statist Republicans who supported recent CT gun laws will fall. Any news on David Walker? I am hoping he wins. He is exceptionally qualified but needs more exposure. Would like to see him replace a Senator in DC.
Kind regards. View Comment
Shame on us for voting to keep these clowns in office. We're close to the bottom on every survey. To me, this means it's time to change. Let's do away with "party loyalty" and vote only for individuals who will cut the spending, cut regulations. View Comment
What he forgets or does not know is that tax revenue from fuels etc was originally intended for highway maintenance. But the government decided to siphon off too much of the highway tax revenue for other transportation projects. Mass transit, electric vehicle development, airport development, among others dug into the highway trust fund and our highways were neglected. Then along comes "shovel ready" trillion dollar infrastructure projects that really did nothing and now more money, borrowed from China, to add to the debt. These elected folks are screwing up a once potent nation.
Himes is part of it for not standing for principles. View Comment
Please reduce the burden government places on all of us. That means lower taxes and fewer regulations. You say this new item "helps" but it also means more red tape, higher costs and more taxes.
It is time for republican legislators to get off the big government bandwagon and advocate for citizen rights, not government mandates. Government is twice the size it should be and this extra overhead gives them time and resources to meddle where they don't belong. The cure is to cut and cut and cut government budgets. View Comment
p54, I heard they spent 500,000 for the fiber project so far. Call it 'sunk costs!" I also heard they included another 100,000 dollars in the current year expense budget to prove bonding isn't the only way they can waste money. Now along comes a state grant (more of your tax money) adding to the spending they love to do. I wonder if brennan would have spent us to the poor house if it were his own money! View Comment