Monday, May 27, 2024

This Week’s Election Question

Share

This week’s Question:  Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

Some candidates chose not to respond at all to the final sections of the candidate questionnaire, or responded only to subjects that directly concern the office for which they are running**.**

The Stratford Crier Editorial Staff

Town Council Candidates

Rachel Rusnak
Democrat
Town Council, District 1

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

The issues of flooding in Town must be addressed comprehensively, and in concert with State and Federal partners. Stratford has immediate needs, with regular flooding particularly in the First District. Working to address existing flooding while planning for the future and identifying opportunities for mitigation will position Stratford at the forefront of these issues. There are tangible social and economic impacts associated with flooding, and Stratford deserves informed elected officials, poised to make informed decisions and take effective steps to ensure our resilience.

Chris Green
Democrat
Town Council, District 2

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

Looking at our current 100-year-flood lines, the risk of coastal flooding seems obvious- but we need to be cognizant that coming risks are even more dire as those lines are very likely to move inland over the next few decades. The Coastal Resiliency Plan written by the town in 2016 is echoed and overlaps with similar efforts at regional planning, as well as our recent POCD which shows there is a good amount of planning and actual work already being done in this space, including efforts to fortify the Water Treatment plant and the Bruce Brook area. However, the high cost of these types of projects and property ownership constraints remain barriers to more aggressive mitigation efforts. On the Council, I will work to spread awareness of these significant risks, and push for us to be forward-thinking in our plans and aggressive in our pursuit of state, federal, and any other available avenues for funding and partnerships to help us get this important work done.

Gavin Forrester III
Republican
Town Council, District 2

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem? 

As the former Councilman for District 2, I was able to work with the other members of the council to approve and allocate capital improvement funding to the master drainage plan, and reduce the catastrophic commercial damage that was being caused by major flooding in the center of Town. We now must face the reality of a changing climate and the rise of coastal water levels which increase the changes for flooding in our town. With the Mayor’s leadership with regards to Bruce Brook, the Town obtained a State of Connecticut grant that supported the town’s efforts to reduce flooding by engineering and constructing improvements to the Bruce Brook network of pipes, culverts, and channels. The area to be improved by the proposed project is a densely populated, residential, and commercial area that is well known for having suffered property damage from severe flooding for decades. I will support the continued efforts to obtain State and Federal grants to protect our community from the rising tides.

Alvin O’Neal
Democrat
Town Council, District 3

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

We need to look at the results of this flooding plan that was put forth in 2016 and begin to fund and implement the necessary improvements to get the results of the plan that was paid for.

Anthony Owusu-Afriyie
Democrat
Town Council, District 5

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

Heavy rainfall combined with tidal activity, often floods our community especially along Surf Avenue, the Seawall, Birdseye Dock, Main Street by Sikorsky Airport and Short Beach. As a community we must look to projects such as Resiliency City Park in New Jersey as a guide to address this issue. By replicating solutions that other communities have implemented we can identify, plan, and implement innovative, equitable, and sustainable solutions. We need green infrastructure in Stratford that not only provides defense against rainfall flooding, but also incorporates a multipurpose use.

Rafael Irizarry
Republican
Town Council, District 5

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

I wanting Federal level. Funding and fix the problem.

Phil Young
Democrat
Town Council, District 6

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

The coastal mitigation plan was put out in 2016, it should be looked at and revised if it needs to be. The town engineer should give an update and options if there are changes needed.

Kaitlyn Shake
Democrat
Town Council, District 7

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

We ought to implore the Army Corps of Engineers and DEEP to work with modifying and implementing our plan. It is imperative that our Plan of Conservation and Development be taken seriously and enforced. The fact is, our environment is changing, and we must protect those in flood zones and be prepared for inclement storms sooner rather than later.

Jean Marie Sutton
Republican
Town Council, District 7 

Large parts of our town are at high risk of flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish the risk. How would you address the problem?

As stated in the question, the plan was adopted in 2016. This plan sets forth guidelines that should be followed as development occurs in vulnerable areas throughout town. I will encourage a cooperative approach amongst Public Works, the Planning Commission, and the public to ensure property is protected from the danger of floods. Further, much has happened since 2016, so we should review it and make sure it is up to date with the latest data and best practices to protect all our people.

Note:  Candidates running for Town Council that did not respond were: Rene Gibson, Democrat, District 4;  Ed Scinto, Republican, District 4; Joe Bertone, Republican, District 3;  Kerry Whitham, Republican, District 6;  Alan Llewelyn, Republican, District 9;  Mark Juliano, Democrat, District 9;  Paul Aurelia, Republican, District 10; and Kathleen Callahan, Democrat, District 10.

Land Planning

Paula Sweeley
Democrat
Zoning, Zone 1

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

Follow the plan that was put forth. The architects of that plan were knowledgeable and created a means for addressing this issue. We need to aggressively address this very serious situation. Avoidance and action delayed is a recipe for disaster

10 steps are outlined in the plan. Here are the first 3:

STEPS TO IMPLEMENT THE STRATFORD RESILIENCY PLAN

Step 1: Adopt Plan

Step 2: Establish Coastal Resiliency Team

Step 3: Prioritize proposed Plan projects

Christopher Silhavey
Republican
Zoning Board of Appeals, District 4

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

The risk of flooding in Stratford is great since we have one of the longest shorelines in Connecticut, facing both Long Island Sound and the Housatonic River. We also have a substantial network of streams, ponds, and wetlands that can easily flood during weather events. As a member of the Planning Commission in 2016, I supported the development of Coastal Resiliency Plan. There are many areas in Stratford that are at risk especially in the southern part of town. Zoning’s responsibility will be to closely follow the recommendations presented as each petition is evaluated and ensure that any new applicants are aware of how best to protect themselves against the threat of flood.

Joe Gerics
Democrat
Planning Commission

Large parts of our town are at high risk for flooding. A plan was put forth in 2016 to diminish this risk. How would you address the problem?

As Stratford residents, we enjoy a beautiful waterfront that presents multiple opportunities for recreation and enjoyment. But along with these benefits comes some risk. While we may debate whether climate change is caused by human activity, we can’t deny that the climate is changing. The sea level of Long Island Sound is rising, and rising temperatures contribute to more severe weather.  Sometimes we think that the danger of a devastating storm is remote, since there’s only a 1% chance of a 100-year storm in any given year. But that means there is a one-in-four chance of a 100-year storm within the next 25 years, even apart from the potential for increased destruction due to sea level rise and rising temperatures.

Note:  Candidates running for Land Planning that did not respond were: Ed Kingston, Republican, Planning Commission, District 1;  Ed Scinto, Republican, Planning Commission, District II; Maxwell Dulin, Democrat, Planning Commission, District II;  Rich Fredette, Republican, Zoning Commission, District I; Linda Manos, Democrat, Zoning Commission, District I; Caz Mizera, Republican, Zoning Commission, District II; Elwald Joseph, Democrat, Zoning Commission, District II; Michael Carroll, Republican, Zoning Board of Appeals, District V;  Karen Tracy, Democrat, Zoning Board of Appeals, District V;  and Shawn Kelemen, Republican, Zoning Board of Appeals, District 1 to fill a vacancy for 2 years.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read more

Local News