Meet the candidate: Richard Ireland

Richard Ireland

Democrat

Challenger

What do you feel have been successes in economic development for Plainville over

the past two years—or what have been its failures? Explain.

There have been more businesses opening up in the downtown area. Also, the vacated General is now occupied with a thriving business. This means more revenue is flowing into the town. Some failures in my opinion would be the former Chung property on Farmington Avenue and the White Oak building on Main Street. These properties have been vacant for years. Even though more businesses have open in the downtown area, there are still are empty storefronts. The Town of Plainville should meet with the Chamber of Commerce and property owners to discuss how to encourage businesses to not only move to the downtown area but to Plainville as a whole.

There has been a lot of discussion over the past year about Connecticut’s current economic situation, and the proposed reductions in municipal aid. If elected, how would you ensure that taxpayers get the best bang for their buck, given the uncertainty in state revenue?

I would like to see the town departments and Board of Education seek ways to reduce unnecessary waste. They have done this by combining the payroll system. There could be other things that can be consolidated. Some of the schools are now have solar power. We should seek out ways to eliminate wasteful practices to produce savings and increase efficiency. One way would be printing of reports and other things can be double sided the thereby saving money by reducing the amount of paper used. Also, we should see where there are areas where common items can be ordered in bulk. These are just small examples of what can be done.

From infrastructure and park improvements to school building projects to closing the town’s gap in the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, the town has pursued a variety of projects over the past two years. Do you feel that Plainville is a community of progress—or a community that remains stagnant when trying to move ahead? Explain your answer.

The Town of Plainville has made vast improvements in our parks. The splash pad at Paderewski Park and the playscape at Norton are examples of the progress we have made. The two areas where we are stagnant are closing the gap of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail or “Rails to Trails,” and the dog park. The “Rails to Trails” is difficult because of an active rail line in Plainville. The State of Connecticut is willing to work with the town to develop an alternate route. The trail could be a great asset to the town. Persons using the trails could have something to access stores in the town. Southington is a good example of how the trail runs by businesses and by residential areas. I am in favor of a dog park in the Town of Plainville. As with the “Rails to Trails,” this a quality of life issue. The park should be located in safe and accessible location