Now that the elections are over and a new year is around the corner, the newly-elected Town Council members are excited to hit the ground running.
After each of the three new members are sworn in, they will receive their committee assignments and begin the work they were elected to do — serve the people of Cheshire.
Democratic Councilor to the Second District, Jim Jinks, who ran his campaign on a promise to pursue safer bicycle and pedestrian spaces, plans on upholding that promise as an official member of the Council.
“One of my priorities will be to establish a Bike/Ped Advisory Committee,” said Jinks. “Ideally, this will become one of our Town-sanctioned, volunteer committees. This group would be tasked with establishing a ‘complete streets’ policy for our town as well as identifying neighborhood streets and areas that are most in need of improving bike and walk safety.”
Jinks would also like to see an increase in attendance and turnout for volunteer organizations and committees.
“I really hope to revive many of our volunteer commissions and committees,” he mentioned. “Youth and Human Services, the Environment Commission, Beautification and some others have struggled with attendance and being functioning groups for years. We need these commissions/committees to have robust agendas and engaged citizens. It's important to our sense of community and success as a town.”
Don Walsh, the new Republican Councilor for the Third District, has concerns about the rate of economic development in town.
“My big thing is the economic development at the north end of town,” Walsh explained. “Viron (Rondo Restaurant) has done so much down there and we can’t let it go. People say that Cheshire (residents) won’t show up and support new businesses, but I think they’re wrong.”
Walsh is also concerned about the possible effect tolls on state highways would have on the town.
“Last year, I was very disappointed in the Democratic leadership for not considering this (state tolls) to be an issue,” he explained. “If tolls are added, we can see an increase of people using our back roads in order to avoid those tolls, and with town traffic already where it is, this isn’t something the town should support.”
Republican David Borowy, who was elected as a Councilor At Large after a more than a decade-long hiatus from serving on the Council, has his political sights set on Cheshire’s aging school infrastructure.
“The biggest issue around town is the School Modernization Committee,” expressed Borowy. “I am bringing 16 years of experience to the table and when I was last on the Council we had a modernization committee for the schools then, so I believe I can be of some assistance to that process.”
Borowy also acknowledged that, though he does have extensive Town Council experience, he doesn’t want to downplay the abilities of his fellow Republicans who currently serve on the Council. “(Rob) Oris is a great asset to the Council and the Modernization Committee, with his background in development and construction, and Paul Bowman has an incredible amount of experience with subdivisions. My peers are very experienced and I don’t want to displace anyone.”
Re-elected Republican Councilor to the First District David Veleber, who is about to begin his second term on the Council, is eager to get the ball rolling. “I am excited to share the Council with three new members who will have the best interest of Cheshire in mind,” said Veleber. “We don’t even know some of the things that will be thrown at us by the state this year, and the state of Connecticut always surprises us with something.”