Ponders Kent's state political representation
Published 5:36 pm, Wednesday, August 10, 2011
To the Editor:
In the almost 40 years we have lived in Kent, I never gave much thought to the title, "Region One," referring to our school district.
The words meant a big hunk of our annual tax dollars, but since education has always been a family priority, that was fine.
It was only recently, when some civic-minded people in Kent brought up the question of why, since we are part of Region One school district, sending all our money north, our government representation is south, that I gave the matter some thought.
What does "Region One" mean?
Do we belong with our similar neighboring towns in the northwest corner, or with the towns below Candlewood Lake? It turns out the denomination "Region One" has significant historic meaning.
It was in 1937 the state legislature finally authorized the first regional school district in the state, settling a discussion that had been going on for almost 17 years.
The sprawling towns that make up the northwest corner were deemed to need their own rural focus, which turned out to be a 75-acre parcel in Falls Village, a farm at the point where the Salmon Kill and the Housatonic Rivers come together.
Thus, geography and history reinforce each other as defining characteristics of membership in the region.
Now it made more sense than ever that our tax dollars and our political representation should be congruent.
Historically and geographically, we belong with our neighbors to the north: Sharon, North Canaan, Falls Village, Salisbury and Cornwall.
True political representation would be with the 64th State Assembly district and not the 108th.
I hope the team reapportioning the state will understand how Kent's present situation gives us less than full representation.