Editor's Note: Joanne Pelton, aide to first selectman George Temple, sent this response to Oxford Patch after Temple's opponent in the upcoming election, David Heim, posted a story to the Oxford Patch "speak out" section this opinion letter titled: Temple Fabricates His Record on Economic Development. -- Paul Singley
Webster’s New College Dictionary defines Economic Development; as relating to the development, production, and management of material wealth for business enterprise; development of resources from existing businesses and the creation of new business.
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. Economic development can also be referred to as the quantitative and qualitative changes in the economy.
Such actions can involve multiple areas including development of human capital, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, and other initiatives.
I’d like to shed light on some grossly erroneous statements from an article appearing on the Oxford Patch on October 21st, 2013. After fact-checking these statements the following points need to be clarified:
*Oxford Greens: Has been in Oxford for 10 years, Phase 4, “Fairview” was marketed since the spring of 2013, the development of Phase 4 construction began under the current administration. When this development phase is completed the town will realize an additional $850,000 in taxes with minimal impact on services.
*Cavalry Brewing: has been a business in Oxford for several years, Cavalry has expanded its square footage in the past 2 years
*United B. International: Another member of the Oxford Community has an agreement for an additional lot in the Fox Hollow Industrial Park to build an additional 25,000 square foot brewery. This development is in the final permit stage and will more than double the size of the brewery.
*Xenon Arch Lighting: The project was approved in 2007; however the additional square footage that has been added began in the last 18 months.
*New Roller Bearing Corporation: RBC has been in Oxford for many years, RBC is currently completing an additional 28,000 square foot building for the Roller Bearing Corporation’s World Headquarters. They purchased property in Middlebury and were seriously considering moving to that location and through my efforts we were able to convince them to add the new building of world headquarters in Oxford.
*Farrell Pomini: has added an additional 6,000 square feet now enveloping the entire building.
*ADZ (Airport Development Zone): was declared in August 2013 by Gov. Malloy through the efforts of Sen. Rob Kane and the ED Director who have worked diligently for these past 18 months. Plus, a personal letter was sent from me to the governor about the new zone.
*Oxford Airport New Hangar: This hangar has been talked about for many years, however only since the Connecticut Airport Authority was established in July 2011 have the plans seen fruition for the development of the hangar for the many corporate jets that fly in and out of Oxford Airport daily. This will add some 35 jobs to the area.
*Balfour Industries Inc.: Officially moved to Oxford from the Bronx in mid-2012, the final decision to come to Oxford was through the ED Director’s efforts and a close relationship he built with the purchaser. They are extremely happy they chose Oxford.
This administration has never claimed to be responsible for the early stages of the above mentioned projects however is has been during this administration and the diligent efforts of George and EDC that they were able to get these projects off the ground.
Economic Development is a term used regarding growing the tax base of the town, not a political tool. It is the vehicle to add additional tax dollars to the tax base and reduce the mil rate in the future.
As far as the 2.7 decline mentioned, the Town had revaluation in 2010, taking effect in 2011 and 2012, in 2012 and 2013 there was a slight increase in the grand list which would have been more had there not been a revaluation.
My opponent’s comments bring to light a very important observation. First I was struck by his desire to not only attack the content of our flier but to engage in the lowest form of mudslinging by calling me a liar. Oxford has had this type of politics in the past and it resulted in political name calling and mudslinging. Nothing was accomplished because everyone was at each other’s throats. It was a time that the town was embarrassed by the actions and words of a few self-serving politicians. In the past two years, the town has moved away from this infighting and Oxford came together.
Another observation I had is when he stated in a separate article that Oxford Greens had nothing to do with economic development. Oxford Greens collectively is our biggest taxpayer. I certainly appreciate this fact and I have attempted to show Oxford Greens residents that I support them. I have put money in the town budget for flushing hydrants and cleaning catch basins in our entire over 55 communities. When we get complaints about the roads or the traffic on Riggs Street, we addressed them. To minimize the economic importance of Oxford Greens to the Town is not only insensitive but unrealistic.