To the Editor:

Our community is always evolving and changing. Last week, the Shelton Economic Development Commission (SEDC) held its annual meeting and without a doubt Shelton, especially downtown, will be experiencing even more economic growth to spur our local economy. Older, underutilized and vacant properties will be razed and replaced with new and very modern structures that will house the services and added living spaces Shelton has needed for over two decades. The mix of commercial space and apartments will attract more commerce and the new variety of downtown venues and service will be welcomed by all.

The history of these changes go back in SEDC history more than three decades. Many local citizens, business entrepreneurs, engineers, architects, and politicians deserve our thanks for their long and hard labor to bring about change everyone could agree on, appreciate, and afford. The affordability comes mostly from the enormous private business investments downtown along with the commitment of local, state and federal grants and loans but more specifically cooperation between all entities involved.

Remember as you go about your Christmas shopping and after Christmas bargain hunting to shop locally and support our Shelton businesses now and throughout the year.

Christmas is brighter and better for Shelton as our downtown expands each year. However, the most significant part of the SEDC meeting was the naming of the late Susan Coyle of Real Estate Two to be the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Raymond P. Lavietes Award. Patrick Carey of Carey and Guarrera Real Estate presented the award to Sue's daughter, Jodi Dawley, and her business partner, Linda Schauwecker. Mr. Carey, and later Mayor Mark Lauretti, made it very clear that Sue was not only an advocate for the real estate industry in Shelton but was recognized and appreciated for donating her personal and professional resources, and most importantly, her time to core issues in Shelton and the Valley. Her intelligence and business savoy were always available to anyone who asked for assistance, but what supported and lifted many local service and charity organizations above and beyond any of their expectations was Sue's loving and caring nature that was evident in any program or project she was part of, and there were many. Anyone who knew Sue knew she was an inspiration to all around her. She will be missed by many but never forgotten.

I don’t believe in asking for anything from Santa Claus because the people around our community we live in are always so dynamic and generous when asked to sponsor and donate to worthy causes like the food banks and shelters. And the public is especially generous as we witnessed when catastrophic events happen like the fire in downtown Shelton during New Year’s several years ago. What I do wish for and hope you will join me in is praying for is the safe return of Vanessa Morales, the 1-year old taken from her home in Ansonia more than a week ago. The return of this precious child to her loving family is most important when we think of celebrating the birth of Jesus in just a few days.

Merry Christmas to all and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year in 2020.

Anthony Simonetti