Letter: Everyone has a place in our community

At the last Town Council meeting I voted in favor of Resolution TC26-135: To consider and act upon a resolution which would approve the Old Church Hill Road site, (77 Church Hill Road, 85 Church Hill Road, 93 Church Hill Road, 2 South Edgewood Avenue), and conceptual plans for the proposed Trumbull Community Center. I believe in process, and I believe the process of the Community Center Building Committee has led to a beautiful site and attractive concept building, along with land use. As a councilman, to make a clearer decision I need to have more firm costs associated with the project presented before the Town Council takes a final vote on what can be a vital community asset.

Community centers are not just for seniors, not just for kids, not just for families. They offer an enormous variety of educational, social and recreational activities, tailored to what the members of the community are interested in: Community programs and activities, after school and evening recreation, classes, health, wellness and exercise offerings, crafts, lectures, dances, performance art…to name just a few. I have no doubt that when we reach out to our neighbors and make new friends (or renew old ones), our quality of life is increased.

There are sound philosophical, programmatic, and financial reasons for having a community center instead of a seniors‐only center, a youth center, a recreation activities center, and so forth. Community centers that combine uses in one building help to normalize the aging process and promote inter-generational interaction. In addition, because senior centers and community recreation centers typically have opposite peak programming times, combining the uses in one facility creates the potential for cost efficiencies. I believe community centers benefit those who use them and even those who do not.

Residents enjoy many benefits. Some of these benefits, such as exercise and relaxation, are physical. Other benefits include entertainment. Members of community centers frequently gather to watch organized sports. Community centers offer exposure to the arts that residents might not otherwise receive. Community centers are a place to socialize, as members meet new people, build community awareness and town spirit, and participate in group activities.

For that reason, at this time, the investment in Trumbull’s future is in my opinion a worthwhile one. It is one which says to all our residents we value and respect you. Whether you have children in school, are empty-nesters, or a senior who has chosen to age in place in your hometown, you have a place in our community. Our priorities must be to ensure all receive the benefit of living in a community of choice. A community that does not pit group against group, but rather embraces the diversity of our population in a way which says your choice of Trumbull as your home is a worthwhile one.