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The Winsted Journal Editorial

Municipal elections: November is not too far away …

This year is, for many of the towns in our coverage area, the year when a municipal election will be held in November.

A municipal campaign is more than politicians grandstanding at parades and festivals, shaking people’s hands and kissing babies while they try to win votes.

It is also much more than a chance for people to show off fancily designed signs on their lawn.

A municipal campaign is really a chance for a town to determine its future direction and to elect people who they feel will lead them in that direction.

P&Z was right to deny health center application

After two meetings and several hours of presentations and residents’ comments during two public hearings, the Planning and Zoning Commission decided against granting a special use permit application to convert the Winsted Super Saver IGA, located at 372 Main St., into a medical clinic for Community Health and Wellness of Greater Torrington.

It was a very tough decision for the commission, filled with emotion on all sides, with many residents sad to see grocery store owner John Dwan announce his eventual retirement and closing of the grocery store.

Town is right to take its time investigating Lambert Kay bid

The long saga of the former Lambert Kay building, which started 15 years ago when residents at a town meeting approved its purchase of the building for $1, continues on into 2017.

The next chapter in the saga comes in the form of a bid submitted in early March for the building by Parker Benjamin Real Estate Services in Unionville.

Volunteers: Save town tradition

The Laurel Festival is a longstanding Winsted town tradition. This year, the Laurel Ball will be held on June 9 at Crystal Peak Ballroom, while on June 11, the Laurel Parade will be on Main Street.

The tradition of the Laurel Festival, along with crowning a Laurel Queen, dates back to 1934, while the new tradition of crowning a Laurel King started last year.

As per tradition, the all-volunteer Laurel City Commission is organizing the festival.

Proposed budget must fully address infrastructure needs

On Monday, March 20, Town Manager Robert Geiger presented his proposed budget for fiscal 2017–2018.

The budget, as presented by Geiger, is $33,438,506.

Geiger’s budget proposes an increase of $337,332 from the town’s fiscal 2016–2017 budget of $33,101,174.

If passed, Geiger said that the mill rate will remain the same from last year at 33.7.

As part of the budget, Geiger is proposing $1,956,412 in capital improvements, including $1,441,000 in road repairs.

IGA closing would be huge loss for town

The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing for a proposed change of use for the current location of the IGA Super Saver grocery store on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The grocery store, located on 372 Main St., has been owned and operated since 1981 by John Dwan.

If the change of use is approved, the grocery store will shut down and Community Health and Wellness Center,
located 115 Spencer St. since 2011, will move into the
location.

NCCC threatened by Governor’s proposed budget

State and local representatives all across the board are still reeling from the potential ramifications of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget.

Malloy proposes to cut state aid to many towns and cities, along with reducing Education Cost Sharing funds and making municipalities pay for a portion of teacher pension costs.

Gov. Malloy does right for transgender students

Despite all of the bickering and bashing of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy over his proposed biennial budget, it’s more than about time that we praised him for something his administration has done.

And that praise goes to an executive action that was announced by his office last week.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the administration of President Donald J. Trump withdrew federal protections for transgender students.

The protections were instituted through a directive back in May 2016 by the administration of then-President Barrack Obama.

Open and transparent government is important

Toward the end of the Board of Education’s budget workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 15, Winchester School District Receiver Freeman Burr asked board members to email him recommendations and suggestions for the district’s proposed fiscal 2017-2018 budget.

While the board does not have any authority to vote on or determine a proposed budget because of the state’s receivership of the school district, Burr said that he would take budget recommendations from board members into consideration.

Immigration made this nation

On Jan. 27, President Donald J. Trump signed a presidential executive order banning refugee admissions and people from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

As per the order, all travelers who are nationals of those countries are not permitted to enter the United States for 90 days unless they are issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

The end result of this executive order has been chaos, both throughout the world and here in America.