Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lessons Learned From The Cadley House Debacle

There are many lessons to be learned from the Cadley House debacle. At the very least, I hope we have learned to never again empower one person alone with the authority to determine the fate of a historically significant Milford property.

In their resolution, the board of aldermen handed the Mayor the authority to purchase and then sell the historic Cadley House. That authority granted the Mayor power over the transaction and even over building refurbishment, like selecting the exterior paint color. It seems that the aldermen’s intent was to preserve and protect the house, while entrusting this responsibility to the Mayor. However, the process followed by the Mayor was the opposite of what the aldermen envisioned.

The Mayor used the authority to have the historic house demolished, and then sold the house to a developer who had a new home built on the site.

Though possibly well intentioned, the results of the Mayor’s actions have raised many questions about the process. In the future, I would like the fate of our historic properties-whether to demolish, purchase, sell or renovate-to be resolved in accordance with city ordinances and with greater input from our City Historian, whose responsibility is to preserve Milford history. By doing this, the Mayor will not be alone in making the final decision concerning our historic properties, but rather consult and receive input from those that know more about the processes and the historic item.

As your Mayor, I will ensure that this practice is strictly adhered to so that the Cadley House debacle will never be repeated.

As Milford is the 6th oldest City in the State of Connecticut, we need to be more considerate of the historical property that we have, and we certainly need to be even more considerate in the way that we handle our historical property. Once we lose a historical piece of property, we lose it forever.

Peter Spalthoff

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