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Friday, September 05, 2003

Regional Council Idea Gets Mixed Reception

Regional Council Idea Gets Mixed Reception
Westport First Selectwoman Diane Goss Farrell was among lower Fairfield County elected officials who discussed the idea of forming a new council to set regional priorities, according to todays The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk.

It said Farrell and other officials talked about the idea at ThursdayҒs meeting of the South Western Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in Norwalk. Farrell is chair of the MPO. The concept appeared to receive a mixed reception.

The MPO is the federally mandated organization designated by the governor as the forum for cooperative transportation decision-making.

The report did not make clear who floated the notion of a new regional body, but it quoted Farrell as saying,I really do think it improves the statureӔ of the region.

The Westport First Selectwoman told WestportNow today that the idea originated with the staff of the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA), but that she strongly endorsed it.

At least seven councils of government exist in other parts of the state. Proponents say one in this region would allow officials to confront issues, including casino development, housing shortages, the West Nile virus, emergency management and other cross-border issues, The Advocate said.

Farrell said sheӒs noticed that councils of government instead of regional planning agencies ֖ often have a greater say in certain statewide debates, the newspaper said.

New Canaan First Selectman Richard Bond and Weston First Selectman Woody Bliss were among those quoted as saying they didnԒt see a real need to change the present form of regional cooperation.

The Capitol Region Council of Governments is the largest of Connecticuts government councils. A voluntary association of municipal governments, it serves the City of Hartford and 28 surrounding suburban and rural communities.


Posted 09/05/03 at 10:58 AM  Permalink


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