The following letter to the editor was submitted by Mark Deming, a member of the Economic Development Commission:
Good things are happening in Simsbury. Anyone who lives, works or owns a business in Simsbury should be excited about the proactive economic development efforts going on in town to grow our tax base. Over 130 new apartments, 20 town houses, and a new supermarket will be added to the Town’s tax roll over the next twelve months!
At the recent Board of Selectmen meeting, the town unveiled the results of Simsbury's marketing study which highlights the tremendous assets Simsbury has to offer to attract new business. Among the highlights are our quality of schools, excellent quality of life, highly educated work force and recreational opportunities which make Simsbury unique. The report also noted Simsbury's model planning, approval process and new zoning codes. Money Magazine recently recognized Simsbury as a best place to live, which is a tremendous marketing asset the town uses to attract businesses and residents alike.
This marketing study, along with other proactive planning around The Hartford’s campus, the Weatogue village area and the north end of town, gives us a long term strategy to promote economic growth and new business opportunities for the future. As chair of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) in Simsbury, I am proud that we are working together to proactively plan for Simsbury's future.
Today I saw a mailer from Nancy Haase, a candidate for first selectman, who suggests that the closure of a few businesses in Simsbury is something that town government somehow could have prevented — in contrast to the nationwide economic slump and rapidly evolving business climate. She goes on to say that “there is a better way,” although she does not say what that better way might be.
Sweeping generalities, like talk and print, are cheap. On the other hand, specific recommendations require careful analysis, thoughtfulness, insight and a clear understanding of your strengths. As indicated above, the Town, the EDC and other boards and commissions have been working diligently and specifically in this regard over the last five years.
Since she has been on the Board of Selectmen, and previously on the Economic Development Commission, one must wonder why she has yet to provide any detailed suggestions about how to attract businesses to Simsbury more effectively. If she has not used her previous roles in town government to propose her specific ideas, why would we believe that she will do so if elected to First Selectman? Where’s the beef!