Last week at a Town Meeting, voters approved an ordinance establishing an Economic Development Commission in New Fairfield. Many residents have expressed concern about empty storefronts in the center of Town and I share that concern. State statute provides for the establishment of such commissions for the promotion and development of the economic resources of municipalities. The Commission is charged with conducting research into the economic conditions and trends in the municipality, and makes recommendations to the BOS regarding actions to improve economic conditions. It is my expectation that the Commission will gather information from local business owners, commercial property owners, residents and developers with the goal of an action plan for the Board of Selectmen. The Commission would be comprised of residents with expertise in areas such as business, marketing, planning, real estate and finance and would be empowered to conduct public opinion surveys, study and investigate the conditions affecting current businesses and commerce in Town, and take active steps to encourage businesses to locate in town. Economic Development Commissions have proven successful in many of the 140 towns that have established them. I believe that this is the first step towards better supporting current businesses in New Fairfield, determining what types of businesses are a good fit for the Town and identifying how we may attract new businesses. The Commission has an advisory role and does not have the authority to expand the business/commercial zone nor to determine what type of businesses may choose to open in New Fairfield.
We are currently accepting “Letters of Intent” from residents interested in becoming members of the Economic Development Commission. We are seeking candidates with backgrounds in commercial real estate and/or development, business ownership or management, finance, marketing or municipal planning. If you are interested, please send a Letter of Intent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org detailing your background and experience. Commissioners will be expected to attend one to two meetings per month, as decided by the Commission.
– Pat Del Monaco, First Selectman