Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Impatient McCoy

Letters to the Editor
Journal Inquirer
November 29, 2010

Vernon Mayor McCoy says he wants a very large building built on Reservoir Road to add to the tax base.

But big stores also increase the town's expenses. More police are needed, roads have to be paved more often, more sewers must be maintained, nearby streams and lakes have to be dredged more frequently, etc.

If development really helped reduce taxes people would be moving to Manchester.

Mayor McCoy is ambitious and wants the personal political benefit he thinks will come with a big development.

This month he personally asked the Planning and Zoning Commission, which he appointed, to remove an environmental safeguard which limited the size of what could be built on a piece of land on Reservoir Road. Not surprisingly, most of his appointees did as he asked.

Mayor McCoy refuses to support the hard, tedious work needed for steady improvement in the Rockville section. He moved the planned Rockville transportation hub to Exit 65. He eliminated the town's financial support for the Rockville Downtown Association. Rockville Hospital's birthing center is being shut down and Mayor McCoy gave it up without a fight.

Mayor McCoy wants the quick, dramatic victory. He asked the state if a lucrative toxic waste dump could be located in Vernon. He wanted a huge store in an environmentally sensitive area which would have filled the four-foot deep Tankerhoosen Lake with silt. He wants that large development on Reservoir Road.

Mayor McCoy's ambition and lack of patience make irresponsible development in Vernon a real possibility.

He will use the town attorneys, town staff, his appointees, and the Republican majority on the Town Council to get his way.

Those who favor responsible development face difficult times ahead.

Michael Winkler