What is the Biggest Threat to Fairfields Character and how should it be Dealt with

Sometime after the 1950s, Fairfield, Connecticut became the Mecca for young families looking for homes in a nice, affordable neighborhood. Certainly there were the Greenfield Hill mansions and the large expensive waterfront homes in the beach area, but most of Fairfield was composed of moderately priced, family homes, and wonderful Ozzie and Harriet type neighborhoods filled with moms and dads, children and pets.

As the number of school age children grew, so did the education budget and the schools themselves. More teachers were hired, more money was spent on resources and more and more people moved to Fairfield to take advantage of this charming community with the school system that had earned the reputation of being outstanding.

This rapid cycle of growth made the town more attractive to residents and those people hoping to buy a home in this friendly town.

Prices of homes went up, taxes went up and so did more and more homes as people renovated small houses into big ones and builders scanned every square inch of the town looking for possible building lots.

If there is a monster waiting in the shadows to destroy the town of Fairfield it’s hyper growth and that is exactly where Fairfield is now.

It’s truly bursting at the seams in all ways. There is no more room to build houses, the schools are at maximum student capacity in most cases; the taxes have become eye-popping high and people have reached their limit for paying exorbitant salaries like the over-the-top salary of Superintendent of Schools, Ann Clark, who was paid $ 220,689 plus perks back in 2006.

What draws people to Fairfield could very well be the same thing that will have them packing up and moving.

So what can be done to keep Fairfield from losing its charm, residents and reputation?

Education salaries have to be pulled in line with neighboring towns which means a pay cut for the next superintendent of schools and perhaps some adjustments to lower salaries when each over paid administrator retires.

Fairfield Public Schools must remain excellent with a low pupil per teacher ratio, additional classrooms and teachers who are more interested in teaching young minds than collecting a fat paycheck.

Certainly Fairfield is a rich town but even rich people are making changes to their lifestyles to accommodate the current economic situation which still doesn’t look good. Taxes have to be held at the current level or reduced.

Planning and Zoning has to keep a better eye on the building and development of the town and leave some breathing room between homes, businesses and commercial buildings.

Homes don’t have to be three stories tall when they’re built on postage stamp properties. Fairfield has to think less is more.

If not, Fairfielders will be taking off to other areas where growth and development hasn’t become a monster and where their children can go to school in a nice friendly, affordable neighborhood just like Fairfield once was.