Commentary: Thanking veterans, and city budget progress

Our military forces and our veterans deserve your support year-round, not just on the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.Our military forces and our veterans deserve your support year-round, not just on the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.

They continue to provide each of us with the freedoms we hold dear to us, which are not available anywhere else in the world but in the USA.

We are blessed to have so many who have given of themselves selflessly so that we can prosper, grow and feel safe each day.   Remember to thank them and pray for their safety so that they will return home to their loved ones from wherever they are stationed.

City budget brings progress

Shelton has been hurt by the actions of politicians both in Hartford and Washington, D.C. over the past five years because they cannot prepare a balanced budgets as we have done every in Shelton.

This is our fifth consecutive year without a tax increase. Not surprisingly, there will actually be another down-tick in the mill rate for upcoming fiscal year 2013-14.

This accomplishment and many more come from Mayor Mark Lauretti’s dedication and 22 years of service to our city along with his Republican administrative team and the support of the Shelton Republican Town Committee.

Mayor Lauretti has taken on and spearheaded many programs that have added to the quality of life for our city residents and visitors, and that support other Naugatuck Valley communities.

The Shelton parks we enjoy for sports and in our leisure time, including children's playscapes and a place for our canine pets to run, are part and parcel of the achievements that are not always noted as important.

One of Shelton’s most recent achievements is our new garbage and recycling system that is progressing well and on budget.

Shelton’s fire department will purchase new trucks specifically built for the type of events they need to be prepared for, along with plans to continue to purchase new personal protection equipment for our fire department’s dedicated volunteers.

And the Board of Aldermen recently kept Shelton a safer place by rejecting a big brother gun ordinance that would have only affected responsible gun owners.

Our school system has seen many new additions, repairs and replacements to their properties and has started new programs. These are highlighted in the May 15 public hearing minutes on the city’s website (, denoting the extensive progress that has been made as the result of cooperation between the Board of Education and the Mayor’s Office.

We also can proudly look at the addition of heavy equipment and training for our Highways & Bridges Department personnel over the last two years, which has  given our city crews the capacity to remove old warn pavement and the flexibility to resurface our streets at a fraction of the cost we would pay a contractor.

I reviewed the list of roads Alderman Finn offered in his editorial last week and agree those streets need consideration from the city as well as some others.

We also learned this winter that our communications with residents, especially during Storm Nemo, was not effective. The Board of Aldermen, after much research, has purchased a new state-of-the-art system that will be able to contact citizens not just by phone but through almost any electronic media they may choose, including email and texting.

This system will not only be utilized to give emergency instructions but to provide you with information regarding road work delays and closing details, and utility outages.

Summer arrives

The summer has finally arrived — it’s now over 60 degrees for more than four hours a day.

I hope you will take advantage of our wealth of trails and other opportunities to participate in the many programs and activities throughout Shelton that have made this a place, along with a solid tax base, where families can grow and prosper.

Working together, we can ensure the economic safety of our homes and businesses continues to be a priority at Shelton City Hall.

Anthony F. Simonetti is the chairman of the Shelton Republican Town Committee and serves on the Board of Aldermen.