David Heim, candidate for Oxford First Selectman, submitted the following press release in response to a list of economic development achievements published by Economic
Development Director Andrew McGeever.
The press release that McGeever published recently is full
of misinformation and fantasy. He and First Selectman George Temple are using
this publicity to try to take credit for development projects begun years ago
under former First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers. Here is a partial list of
McGeever’s errors, omissions, and fabrications:
McGeever says: “It is estimated that over the next 10 years, some 10,000 jobs will be located within the [airport development] zone and will net Oxford and its neighbors millions in tax dollars.”
Fact check: It took eight years for employment in Oxford to grow by fewer than 900 jobs—from 1,639 in 2000 to 1,766 in 2008. Does McGeever really think it’s possible for the town to add 1,000 jobs a year, every year for a decade?
McGeever says: “The town currently has 18 projects in the works that are either complete, about to be completed, or shovel ready.”
Fact check: Every single project he lists was begun three to six years ago, long before the present administration had anything to do with economic development. For example, the Roller Bearing Corp. development McGeever puts at the top of his list is a six-year-old project. Temple and McGeever inherited a list of 22 projects in development from the previous administration. They have not added one single project to that list and there is no evidence that they have done anything to get those 22 projects moving.
McGeever says: “Our current economic conditions are based on the previous administration’s last two years in office.”
Fact check: The current administration is the only one responsible for Oxford’s economic stagnation. In the last two years under Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers, the total industrial Grand List grew by 15 percent, from $115.9 million to $133.2 million. That is an enviable performance by any measure. Under the Temple administration, the total industrial Grand List has dropped by 2.7 percent, from $218.3 million to $217.7 million.
McGeever says: “Economic development in Oxford is alive and well, but has been slowed by the 18-month delay in approving the airport zone.”
Fact check: From 2006 to 2012, the town’s total Grand List grew by 9.3 percent, from $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion even without an Airport Development Zone. Since Temple took office, the total Grand List has grown only 1 percent. Clearly, Temple’s inaction is solely responsible for economic stagnation in Oxford.
McGeever says: “During a recent trip to Ireland, McGeever met with the Prime Minister there about establishing an international base for foreign countries in the new Airport Development Zone.”
Fact check: The people of Oxford paid McGeever hundreds of dollars for this junket. Oxford Airport currently has only international charter service but no international passenger or cargo traffic. It is far-fetched to believe that Ireland would set up a base in an area with limited international air traffic.
First Selectman Candidate