This past summer, we had flooding and storms like never before. People in the Cove who've lived here for 30 years had flooding in their homes for the very first time. At the same time, the city has not been very good at cleaning and repairing storm drains. We have to look at this in addition to enhancing and continually reviewing our storm management plan. We're going to have to work intensively with federal and state authorities in order to obtain grants to update our infrastructure (like the sea walls) . At the same time, our city should work on becoming greener so that we can mitigate the effects of climate change.
I'm currently a member of the Long Term Facilities Committee and Chair of the BOR Education Committee. As Chair of the BOR Education Committee, I've invited key members of the LTFC, along with the Board of Education, to share the process that goes into the "Master Facilities Plan” at one of our committee meetings. Essentially, the city is in the process of having outside architects and engineers review the state of every one of our school buildings. They've rated them on a scale of "Good" to "Poor," in order to help us make decisions going forward. SLAM (the firm hired to do this report) will share their findings in mid-November. This makes sure we're in compliance with state standards and helps to build trust in the decision making process. SLAM is also planning on holding public meetings to get citizen input on what people would like to see happen with the schools. On top of this, we need to aggressively advocate for enhanced funding from the state of Connecticut and the federal government for school renovation and construction. We send a lot of money to Hartford and Washington, and we should be getting more back in the form of support for our schools. We also need to improve our maintenance procedures, and make capital improvements in a more timely manner, or else we could be in the same situation all over again.
One of the biggest frustrations about the pandemic is that it made it harder to go out and talk to people. Community organizations are just beginning to hold gatherings again for the first time in awhile. While knocking doors this time around, I'm going to ask people if they'd like to get on an e-mail list so that I can send out updates from time to time. Sometimes, I post on Nextdoor. I've also called constituents (when a phone number is available) in regards to important meetings. I called constituents about a meeting about traffic on Willowbrook, in coordination with a local resident who knocked doors about this issue. I also made hundreds of calls to seniors over 70 during the beginning of the pandemic in order to check in on them.