Legislators call for town hall meeting
Danbury area legislators have sent a formal request to the governor's office to call for a town hall meeting regarding his administration's CT2030 transportation plan.
State Representatives Bill Buckbee (R-67), Stephen Harding (R-107), and Richard Smith (R-108) penned a letter to Governor Ned Lamont Jan. 8 asking that a local town hall meeting be held so that Danbury area residents could have an opportunity to hear details of the plan and express their concerns or ask questions.
According to the representatives, on Jan. 12, the governor held a town hall meeting in Westport to discuss his state-wide transportation plan.
Consequently, there should be similar efforts made by the administration to conduct these meetings in other parts of the state, the representatives said.
“Having a town hall to shop ideas is a wonderful idea," said Rep. Buckbee. “However, conducting a meeting so that only certain Connecticut residents have a chance to hear the plan is not how an open and transparent government operates.”
“That is the exact reason we requested that the governor come to our neck of the woods and explain to residents why implementing trucks-only tolling, or any form of tolling, is a good idea,” he said. “I certainly have questions, and would love the opportunity to engage with him on this issue.”
House Democrats recently held a press conference at the Capitol in order to announce details and a potential session date for a vote on the plan.
Neither were provided during the press conference, which casts further doubt on the general consensus of the transportation plan.
“If the governor and legislative Democrats had the votes to call tolls, then we wouldn't still be in the negotiation stage,” said Rep. Harding. “The fact that Democrats have a majority in both chambers allows them to call any bill at any time, but for some reason they refuse to put tolls up for legislative action.”
“To me, this shows a lack of consensus support on the plan,” he said. “I have not seen concrete details on what the plan looks like today, but a myriad of varying proposals have crossed my desk over the last year. This ever-changing plan should be discussed and I encourage the governor to visit our side of the state to conduct a town hall meeting."
“It is critical that residents in my district, and the surrounding towns, have the same opportunities to ask questions about tolls and the impact it will have on them, as those living in the shoreline districts, especially since Rhode Island’s truck only tolls plan is currently being litigated in Federal Court,” said Rep. Smith.