FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2024
Bethel, Connecticut 02/06/24 – Sen. Tony Hwang joined the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, business leaders, and municipal officials for the annual legislative update breakfast at La Zingara in Bethel. The forum provided an opportunity for legislators to hear from constituents on issues impacting them and their businesses, and for legislators to provide an update on the upcoming session.
Bethel Chamber of Commerce Co-President Mohammed Shilleh (Royal Choice Global Transportation) believes that the major issues for small businesses are the increased cost of doing business due to inflation, unfunded government mandates, and health, property, and auto insurance. “Main Street realized that in order to build a better Bethel, we need to build a better Connecticut,” remarked Shilleh, “and the Bethel Chamber seeks to help our Main Street business, by becoming more vocal (with our legislative lawmakers).” “We are not adapting to that growth,” echoed Shilleh, “fire equipment is aging and we don’t have enough police officers, firefighters, or EMS personnel to respond. We have to rely on regional mutual aid to come into town when we need help on the fire side.”
Another major concern of constituents and officials is the fast-paced population growth and increased building density in the town. “It was interesting to hear from the Bethel Board of Education Superintendent, Dr. Christine Carver, on how quickly the community (population) is growing. Bethel is an outlier. Our school system is growing, when neighboring communities are not,” says Bethel Chamber of Commerce Co-President Jesse Raymond (M&T Bank).
“Ultimately it means a lot for Sen. Hwang and our representatives to come and listen to our concerns. He gets to further his understanding of what is happening in the community, how he can help, and then how to bring (these important concerns) to the state and help find solutions” stated Raymond.
Senator Hwang appreciated the feedback and in summation reiterated, “I think this forum provided great insight into the concerns of Bethel residents, business owners, and community & education leaders. It was obvious that the crippling cost of healthcare, which is such a burden to individuals, families, and businesses, needs to be a legislative priority. Then, there is concern over the battle between “over” development and density building, sometimes perpetrated by state land use statute section 8-30g against limited town resources, whether it be traffic and pedestrian safety, water and sewage, or staff shortages. I pledge to take what I learned from the forum and serve to be your voice in Hartford this session, to collaboratively find solutions.”
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