Episode Information

OTR: First Selectwoman of Portland, Susan Bransfield, and John Elsesser, Town Manager of Coventry
OTR: On the Record
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In this episode:

The Economic and Political Pressures on CT’s Small Towns



On this OTR,

The newsmaker guests are the First Selectwoman of Portland, Susan Bransfield, and John Elsesser, Town Manager of Coventry.

These are stressful times for the CT’s small towns, and decisions like the recent vote to cut the number of probate courts has lead some to question the commitment of the Connecticut legislature to home rule. WNPR’s Anna Sale reported that Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno urged his colleagues to try to stop the bill in the Senate. 

"The only thing we know for certain is if this bill passes, we're going to be faced with considerably increased costs for diminished service from an impersonal court that's going to be very, very far removed from our hometown constituents."

Tom Marsh, the First Selectman of Chester added, "All of the representatives and senators will tell you that the most fiscally accountable form of government is the town meeting, so why would be moving away from that form of government to address a fiscal issue?"

With the bipartisan push towards regionalism, will towns be forced to merge?

The end of the legislative session nears, but there is still no agreement between Gov. Rell and lawmakers on a new state budget and deficit remedy…we’ll explore that issue with Keith Phanuef of the Journal Inquirer on our “Notes from the Capitol” segment.

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