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Stamford Reps Debate Value of Redevelopment Board

STAMFORD, Conn. — The value of Stamford’s Urban Redevelopment Commission was once again called into question when William Arnone stated the case for eliminating it to the Board of Representatives Land Use and Urban Development Commission on Wednesday night.

“I told them, ‘to present your case to me and I will do my best to make your case to the task force,'” Arnone said of his conversations with the employees of the commission. After hearing their case he felt he couldn’t endorse keeping the commission because he felt other city departments can handle its responsibilities.

Arnone was one of eight people put on a task force last fall by Mayor Michael Pavia . Its job was to examine the city's 40 boards and commissions to determine whether any could be disbanded or merged without harming services.

Stephen Osman, a member of the Urban Redevelopment Commission, defended it, saying it is valuable and necessary. He said he was not sure how contracts and other plans would continue if the commission were disbanded and a new one put in place. “Why go through all of this brain drain?” Osman said, furthering his point of keeping the commission intact.

The task force recommended that 10 commissions and boards be disband or merged. The mayor supported the recommendations and sent them to the Board of Representatives to decide. Of the 10 cuts or mergers recommended, only the Urban Redevelopment Commission is active and not mandatory by state statute, Arnone said.

The committee will meet again next month and continue its discussion on disbanding the Urban Redevelopment Commission.

Do you think Stamford needs the Urban Redevelopment Commission? Share your opinions below or send them to reporter Anthony Buzzeo at tbuzzeo@TheDailyStamford.com .

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