Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Marmer and projects

The Reader's Forum
Journal Inquirer
October 16, 2007

I was very disappointed to read "Project comparison" (John Anderson letter, Oct. 5), which attempts to discredit Mayor Ellen Marmer for the success of the Vernon school building projects and inappropriately blames her for delays in the Central Park project.

While I commend the Vernon Board of Education for progress on school construction, it was Marmer who delivered on the promise to get the school projects on the table. She also did it with a favorable state reimbursement of 69.9 percent, saving local taxpayers considerable dollars. Without her leadership, there would be no school construction projects and no School Building Committee for John Leary to chair, since Marmer appointed him. So, if one is to give kudos for a job well done, Marmer should be at the top of the list.

As the one who acquired the $250,000 state grant for the Central Park project, I have spoken with Marmer and know she has been working diligently to alleviate the legal problems at hand.

Major delays with this project started with a decision to incorporate a federal transportation grant acquired by former Republican Mayor Diane Wheelock that was to be used to refurbish the Citizens Block building. Upon discovery that the approved grant was for outdoor use only and could not be used for the Citizens Block building, the "ill-fated" federal money was redirected to the Central Park project, requiring major and multiple changes in project design and scope. If not for this change, the Central Park project could have been completed based on the original design years ago at considerably less cost. Since this was a problem that was inherited from the prior administration, Marmer and the entire council should be given kudos for due diligence in working to fix it.

Anderson should do his homework and get the facts straight. As former chairman of the Vernon Republican Town Committee and current campaign committee member for Marmer's challenger, it appears that he is manipulating two important projects to fit his personal political agenda.

Claire Janowski

The writer is the state representative for the 56th District.