Major traffic project on hold again

Newsletter Volume 2 • Number 37

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First Selectman Camillo reneges on campaign promise

Glenville traffic project shelved

Eight years ago, consultants hired to complete a neighborhood improvement plan for Glenville and Pemberwick recommended measures to ease traffic in this highly congested part of town, which sees more than 15,000 vehicles pass through most days. Residents have been expecting relief ever since, and last summer, First Selectman Fred Camillo told them work would commence this spring.

The Glenville Corridor Traffic Improvement Project was spun up to reduce congestion, improve air quality, and add safety measures for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The state offered $2 million to help fund construction. But in 2021, it was put on hold, due to concerns about tree removal and costs.

Then came last year’s election season. A proposal by Camillo to install a Glenville dog park financed by a private donor sparked outrage among residents, furious that a “nice to have” was taking precedence over the long-delayed traffic improvements.

Seeking to change the conversation, Camillo attended two packed town hall events in Glenville, assuring residents that the project would be ready to hit dirt by this spring.  

Yet, at budget hearings last week, BET Democrats (and the editors of this newsletter) were startled to discover there is no funding included for the Glenville project in the upcoming budget. Deputy Commissioner of Public Works Jim Michel explained that the project was too costly.

“I recall from a couple years ago somebody [on the BET] telling me $3 million is as much as you’re gonna get, so don’t come back asking for any more,” Michel said. After soliciting two rounds of proposals, he’d found it simply could not be done for that amount. So the project has been shelved.

How is it that a town of Greenwich’s means, which boasts the second lowest mill rate and richest property tax base in Connecticut, can’t fund an eight year old plan to improve safety along a major traffic corridor? Several pedestrians have been struck and killed. Children can’t walk to the three area schools because of the dangerous intersections.

Why are Republicans on the BET forcing the Department of Public Works to work with magical numbers that don’t match real world costs (like they tried with Central Middle School)? Why didn’t Fred Camillo follow through on his campaign promise? What else has he jettisoned since the votes were tallied?

Pardon the interruption, doomsayers, but the U.S. economy is booming!

While Republicans on Greenwich’s Board of Estimate and Taxation talk down the economy during budget hearings, Bidenomics is putting record numbers on the board.

Not long ago, BET Republican candidates claimed in a letter to the editor that Bidenomics has had “disastrous effects on our economy.” Now, as Republican BET budget chair Leslie Tarkington muses about measures such as closing schools, and delaying the replacement of ancient fire trucks, she’s calling the economy “soft.”

That’s just not true. Let’s look at the facts:

  • Friday, the S&P 500 broke 5,000 for the first time ever on “economic strength,” the Wall Street Journal reported;
  • The U.S. added 353,000 jobs last month, blowing estimates out of the water, and pushing unemployment down to 3.7%;
  • And wage growth has outgrown inflation for months, putting more money in people’s pockets

Demand is sizzling! This has been the fastest rebound from the pandemic of any wealthy economy, and the unemployment rate is only a few ticks away from a 70-year low.

The labor market’s resilience, despite aggressive interest rate increases, has silenced economic naysayers, and excited college graduates entering the job market. The data deniers are MAGA Republicans and party loyalists in perpetual campaign mode, who are wishing for things to tank.

“Former President Donald Trump seems to be rooting for a financial crash this year so that it can help him get reelected,” concluded USAToday.

Let Republicans on the BET know they’re out of touch with the facts. If you have friends who also live inside the MAGA bubble, tell them too! Our strong job growth and rising wages don’t match the doom and gloom.

For your calendar

Throughout February our nation celebrates Black History Month, a time to learn about the achievements of African Americans and honor their central role in U.S. history. See the Greenwich Library’s reading recommendations.


2/21 Wednesday 9:00 am: Budget meeting day 7

2/22 Thursday 9:00 am: Consolidation Day

Meetings can be watched on Greenwich Community Television Channels 24 (Verizon), 79 (Optimum), GCTV on YouTube, or in person at the Town Hall Meeting Room (101 Field Point Road).

PFAS, a group of widely used chemicals linked to harmful health effects, are contaminating water supplies throughout the nation, and Greenwich is no exception. On Wednesday, February 21 at 12-1 pm, the Greenwich Sustainability Committee will host a presentation and Q&A with Anne Hulick, the CT Director of Clean Water Action at Round Hill Community Church.  

Anne will explore what PFAS are, how they affect our water supply and our health, and what Greenwich residents can do to reduce or prevent exposure. Please register here.

Volume 2, Number 37 • February 15, 2024
Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836