Op-Ed: McGee refutes Anglace's claims on Shelton downtown development

Matt McGee

Matt McGee

Contributed photo

In the recent op-ed, “Shelton Alderman President Refutes McGee’s Letter on Downtown Development,” by Board of Aldermen (BOA) President John Anglace, he claims that my facts are wrong when I asked for the BOA (in a previous letter) to represent the people and stop giving gifts to developers. I would like to set the record straight and then move forward.

The extra $25,000 approved by the BOA for engineering firm Civil-1 to evaluate Shelter Ridge was done after the BOA had already approved funding for a separate, independent study from the firm LandTech for $16,000. The LandTech study found there was insufficient information provided by the developer to approve the Shelter Ridge plan. The request for an extra taxpayer funded study was a blatant attempt to undermine the first because our current city officials are in full behind-the-scenes support of Shelter Ridge.

Sources:

Shelter Ridge opponents say hearing violates state statute, decision required (sheltonherald.com)

Shelton to invest more money in police vehicles (sheltonherald.com) (Article talks about $25,000 approved for Civil-1 separate study)

125 Canal St. was sold to a developer for $4,000 when there was a separate developer willing to purchase the entire 113-125 Canal St. strip for a higher price of $250,000. Mayor Lauretti even admitted this mistake, saying, “In hindsight, that was a big mistake [to sell 125 Canal St. for $4,000].” BOA members are the oversight authority that could have stopped this sale. They did not, and instead 113-123 Canal St. sold for only $100,000 instead. $250,000 would have been a better deal for taxpayers instead of the $104,000 we ultimately received.

Shelton, developers agree on former Chromium Process sale (sheltonherald.com)

267 Canal St. (the former Star Pin Building) was sold to the same developer who previously failed to pay property taxes. Alderman Anglace argues that, “The property was in the process of sale to Primrose Companies at the time of the fire. Primrose never previously owned this property and therefore could never have failed to pay taxes on it.” What Mr. Anglace fails to mention is that the previous owner of 267 Canal St. was Canal Street Associates LLC, which is in part owned by the same developer who owns Primrose Companies. Clearly he just expects the average resident to not know that. Now you do.

I have much respect for Alderman Anglace and his more than 30 years of service to Shelton residents. However, the pay-to-play history at City Hall during his time in office between public officials and local developers is no secret, and it is because of this reality that we see outright gifts to developers like these approved without question by our current BOA. It is long past time that we elect people from our community who are willing to stand up for and represent the concerns of our community, not the concerns of a few wealthy developers.

In short, Mr. Anglace, it is time to speak the truth and stand up for regular people or pass the torch to someone who will.

Matt McGee is the Envision Shelton/Democratic candidate for Alderman, Ward 3.