Editor's note: Links to related content have been added to this letter to the editor.
By Stratford Mayor John A. Harkins
With the holidays now upon us, and so many things happening in Stratford, it's a good time to both take a look back at 2011 and to look ahead to the New Year.
The last year did not come without its share of challenges. The , coupled with tested our town's preparedness and responsiveness. I'm very proud of the way our public safety, public health, and public works employees handled themselves both during the storm, and the clean-up. The town remains engaged with FEMA to assure maximum incurred during and after Irene.
In a continuing effort to think outside-the-box and to find efficiencies within municipal government, my administration worked with the to on an initiative that will result in the upgrade of a number of town buildings and create a significant energy cost savings to the town, a win-win for the taxpayers of Stratford.
My administration also continues to work with municipal labor unions to find common ground on contractual issues such as pensions. Working together, we can develop a fair compensation package that is also fair to the taxpayer.
My administration continues to be mindful of and . The Stratford community has much to offer prospective business owners and developers, especially a Fairfield County address and . Combined with our excellent schools and quality of life, Stratford can become a destination for business growth. We must continue to build our grand list and to diversify our tax base.
To that end, I am happy to report that some new job opportunities will be coming to Stratford. on Stratford Avenue in the coming year. We are looking forward to having the company operate in Stratford, and we also look forward to the 70 jobs expected to be created.
Long-ignored issues like the (SAEP) and the effective are also priorities for my administration.
My office has been in frequent contact with our federal legislative delegation to make sure we are speaking with one voice and vision on how to best redevelop the SAEP site. I expect to meet once again with the Army to help push the movement of this property, as it is a key to Stratford's economic future.
I remain cautiously optimistic that we can together foster an agreement that will be beneficial acceptable, and I continue to meet with and seek viable developers of the site.
Working with the grassroots group Save Stratford, we have contacted the EPA to discuss newer technologies now available to remediate and satisfactorily mitigate Raymark waste. Most importantly, we are not waiting for the EPA to come up with a solution, instead we are offering possible solutions in an effort to get some degree of closure on this long-standing issue in town.
There is no shortage of activity as we work together to get Stratford turned around and pointed toward a better tomorrow. I'm looking forward to what 2012 will bring to Stratford.
I'd like to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year.
To submit a letter to the editor, email Stratford Patch editor Jason Bagley at firstname.lastname@example.org.