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Regional Planning Agency Seeking Merger With Southwestern Planners

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Ridgefield Mayor Rudy Marconi are not happy their regional planning agency is probably merging with SWRPA.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton dislikes the idea of merging regional planning agencies in Connecticut.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton dislikes the idea of merging regional planning agencies in Connecticut.
In a move strongly encouraged by state officials, the Housatonic Regional planning agency, HVCEO, is seeking a merger with the planners operating in southwestern Connecticut.

"It absolutely doesn't make sense," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "HVCEO is probably the most highly functioning planning region in the state."

Boughton said this is an example of the state trying to fix something that isn't broken.

Both Boughton and Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi said the state is forcing regional planning agencies around the state to merge, probably because the federal government doesn't want to deal with 14 regional planning agencies. It would rather Connecticut do what other states do, use county government.

"We don't want county government," Marconi said. As of 1960, Connecticut abandoned county government. Connecticut is divided geographically into eight counties, but unlike counties in most states, there is no county government, no county legislature, executives, or taxation.

Despite that, the state Office of Policy and Management and the state Department of Transportation are working on combining or reducing the number of regional planning agencies in Connecticut down from the current 14.

Members of the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials, (HVCEO) agreed last week to seek a merger with the Southwestern Regional Planning Association, which represents the towns of Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Wilton, Weston and Westport.

HVCEO represents New Milford, Bridgewater, Sherman, New Fairfield, Brookfield, Bethel, Danbury, Ridgefield, Redding and Newtown.

"We have much more in common with the towns to the north," Boughton said.

law September 23, 2013 at 05:07 PM
The regions to the north did not want to hook up with HVCEO because they wanted to stay rural. More money was available to them if they stayed rural. Merging with HVCEO would add too much population, and they would loose their rural designation. This is being forced on the regions because the state Legislature voted to force the issue and get us down to eight regions or less. The carrot is money to merge, and so much a head for each head in the populated regions. The stick was if you don't do this of your own free will, they will merge the regions with someone they don't want to be with. Once the merge takes place, you won't be bothered for the next 20 years. That is our government! It does not matter what is working, just do what we tell you to do!
law September 23, 2013 at 05:09 PM
where did my comment go? I left a long one concerning this merge. LAW

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