We've only just begun

ORANGE - Standing on the front steps of town hall with a banner waving behind him reading "Re-elect Mitch Goldblatt," the first selectman announced his decision to seek another term.

"It is with great pride, humility and deep abiding faith, that I hereby announce my candidacy for reelection as first selectman of the town of Orange," Goldblatt said.

The first selectman said his campaign would continue on the same theme that won him the top seat two years ago - challenges and opportunities.

Many challenges have been met during his tenure, he said. By creating the committee to study the commercial uses of the Boston Post Road the early results are already apparent. Such as the recent openings and announcements of Best Buy, Burlington Coat Factory, the relocation of Staples, Applebee's and CVS.

One of the biggest challenges during his tenure has been the battle between Orange and West Haven over the proposed commuter rail station.

"There has been the ongoing challenge of convincing the local community, the regional community, and the State of Connecticut that the best location for a new commuter rail station along the Metro North line is in the town of Orange," Goldblatt said.

Goldblatt took the opportunity to remind taxpayers that under his watch the last remaining parcel overlooking the Housatonic River was purchased. In addition, the DEP felt so strongly about acquiring the parcel that Orange received the largest matching grant ever given by the department.

The first selectman spoke of the increased passive recreation offered with the new walking path circling HPCC and the challenges of moving it from its original proposed location at Fred Wolfe Park. He reminisced.

"When Orange Little League looked for an innovative way to finance and pay back for significant field improvements, we made it happen. When there was an opportunity to provide for outdoor basketball courts, we made it happen. When people wanted a regular summertime concert series, we made it happen. When HPCC was being renovated, we recognized the need to expand the fitness center to twice its size, once again, we made it happen."

Goldblatt touched on the cigarette vending machine win, providing gunlocks to residents, and upgrading the town web site.

He also took an opportunity to take a jab at his opponents. Pointing out the tax increase reflected in tax bills comes from a Republican controlled Board of Finance.

In conclusion, Goldblatt spoke of the Democratic approach to open government and running an open administration.

"I have filled all but a handful of positions on boards and commission with people who genuinely want to participate and make a difference. Our volunteers continue to welcome the opportunity to serve their community," Goldblatt said.