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Fairfield Letter: Professional Project Manager Needed For Penfield Program

 Penfield Pavilion
Penfield Pavilion Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Please send letters to fairfield@dailyvoice.com .

To The Editor;

There was absolutely no need for the Board of Selectmen (BOS) to set up a building committee for the disposition of the storm-destroyed Penfield Pavilion other than the fact that the BOS was afraid to make a decision on a set of performance specifications for the project. This is not a school project, which would require a building committee for state education reimbursement.

For a full year after Sandy subsided, the BOS held numerous meetings on the project with the town staff presenting their preferred, but faulty, alternatives. As Selectman Kiley reminded everybody recently, the committee was only established after that exhausting, but not exhaustive, political process by our top elected executive board failed to produce a defined project. The BOS just punted.

The committee was then established without the BOS giving the building committee a set of performance specifications or a budget. Under our bloated political bureaucracy, those specifications might have originated out of the Parks and Recreation Commission. Parks and Rec certainly was allowed to decide on its own not to rebuild the refreshment shacks at Southport and Sasco Beaches. Parks and Rec did not think the refreshment revenue was there, so they just built two over-size lifeguard shacks in their place If the revenue wasn’t there to rebuild those refreshment stands, rest assured the revenue does not exist to rebuild Penfield the way the committee wants to rebuild it.

I could go on about this some more but suffice it to say, this Penfield thing is fouled up beyond all recognition. The first objective at Penfield should be to protect the beach district from storm damages. The second should be to provide basic services for town beachgoers. And the overall approach needs to be to lower out tax burden on this, not raise it as continually proposed.

The committee needs to be thanked for its time but disbanded after an accounting of its expenditures is compiled. The elected BoS needs to make a decision on what needs to be done at Penfield. I suggest they place my stated objectives before them. The RTM needs to then review and approve it. Then, a project manger needs to make it happen.

After all both Candidates for First Selectman last election promised these projects would be run better with a professional project manager doing the soup to nuts.

Jim Brown

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