Giddings for Cheshire Town Council

As I bike or walk door to door, residents have mentioned several issues of concern. The major one is the POOL.  Opinions as to what should be done range from "fill it in" to "permanent cover even if it costs $6 million."

This issue is important and all delays are costly. If the pool subcommittee of the Council makes a recommendation to the full Council, which takes that recommendation to referendum, but the referendum is not passed, we will be in the same place we are now.  Time will have passed with no decision and the bubble will have continued to push humid air toward the rebuilt lockers/office building. We have suggestions, but no plan. I think the Council needs to know whether the voters want a permanent cover, want to continue with bubbles, or want the pool to become a "summer only" pool with no cover. 

Although I personally do not use the pool, I supported all the pool referenda. But, the majority of voters did not at first support the proposals for a community pool. We need to know what the majority of the people want now. Whatever type of solution the  majority of the people want is the type of solution we need: permanent cover, bubbles, or summer only. 

I am in favor of providing any information needed by the public in order for citizens to make their individual decisions. Although the meetings of the pool subcommittee at which proposals were examined were long meetings, they provided a great deal of information, with opportunity for questions from Council members and the public. I was able to attend the first meeting and found it helpful in understanding the first two proposals.

The Sewage Treatment Plant is another issue of concern to voters. The state has given Cheshire a requirement to reduce phosphate emissions. This will be extremely costly, with estimates in the range of $10 million. Financing that, along with other needed capital expenditures (road repair, bridge repair, police/fire equipment, etc.) will add significantly to our annual capital expenses. Handling sewage, however, is definately a "need" and not a "want."

Turf vs. Artifical Playing Surface is another issue. Voters are concerned, as I am, that we have information regarding the Total Cost of Ownership, something that was not accurately predicted when the pool was proposed and planned. I am concerned about user safety. If artificial playing surfaces are safer for users, that would be an important consideration for me. Judging "safer" includes informaiton comparing user injuries on both surfaces and potential or actual hazardous chemical effects on users. A comparison of replacement and maintenance needs and costs for both surfaces is also necesary.

A few voters have mentioned plans for open space purchases. They are interested in what plans have been made for the property already purchased by the town, particularly Boulder Knoll Farm and its barn.  Since I live next to this farm and I have knocked on my neighbors' doors, I have heard this concern from many of them. I have heard it from voters living in other areas of town, also. 

I am not a member of the Friends of Bulder Knoll, although I volunteer for this group and my husband is the vice president. I get a lot of information about their activities. I applaud their efforts to educate the public and to provide organically grown produce. This grass roots, volunteer effort has made excellent use of a small portion of the farm and plans to expand their organic vegetable garden next year. The group has funded their efforts; they have not received any town funding.

These issues point out the importance of planning for all activities undertaken by the town, and the need for accurate information. We need to compute the total cost of ownership when purchasing real estate or materials. We may need to spend more time than has been spent in the past in order to be sure that we understand the ramifications of our actions.

As a retired citizen, I have time to spend to gather information, consider alternatives, communicate with the public, compute ownership costs, and to plan. 

Website Created by Anne R. Giddings, Ed.D.