To the Editor:
Here’s a solution to the Hoyt Street sidewalk debate:
Why not let those few dozen neighbors who so dearly want sidewalks form a “special taxing district,” assess themselves the pro-rata charges to cover the $1 million cost, and pay for the sidewalks themselves? We should let those who’ll benefit most by sidewalks (with increased property values, pedestrian safety) pay the cost, not the town.
We do the same thing all the time in our schools where interested parents pony-up for playground equipment the town can’t afford. Or consider our sewer taxes, shared by those who use the sewers and not paid by those who don’t benefit.
Why should this handful of Hoyt Street neighbors rise to the top of the town’s sidewalk priority list? Simply because they complain the loudest and longest? There are any number of other neighborhoods in Darien more deserving of sidewalks. What we need is objective criteria for deciding who gets sidewalks first: things like housing density, proximity to schools/parks, pedestrian safety, cost etc.
The Board of Selectmen shouldn’t be bullied into spending town money on sidewalks benefiting only a few.
The writer is a member of Representative Town Meeting District 4.