Political Capitol

Brian Lockhart covers the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford

Say it ain’t so! Gov’t overreach in GOP Greenwich?!?!

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A pending bill entitled “An Act Requiring the Display of House Numbers” is, at first blush, feeding into the government overreach crowd’s claims the General Assembly is full of tax-raising, freedom-trampling, country-ruining, out-of-touch Democrats.

But consider one of the sponsors is a Republican and the legislation is similar to an ordinance passed in his hometown, that GOP oasis in a blue state known as Greenwich.

“Some people are going to say it’s an invasion by big government. It’s only to help them,” said Rep. Fred Camillo, R-Greenwich.

Camillo said it is difficult for emergency responders to locate homes without numbers or without prominently displayed numbers, particularly in suburban and rural areas like Greenwich where buildings are set back from the road.

“God forbid there’s an emergency … Seconds can be the difference,” Camillo said.

Photo from House Number Shop Blog.

Camillo mentioned Greenwich passed a similar statute. Here are the details.

Rep. Louis Esposito, Jr., D-West Haven, another sponsor of mandatory building numbers, said other municipalities have their own criteria.

“It’s such a hodgepodge,” he said.

The legislation, which for days has been sitting in the House of Representatives, is endorsed by the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, the Connecticut State Firefighters Association and the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut.

In prepared testimony for the legislature, Ted Schroll of the State Firefighters Association agreed with Esposito that leaving numbering up to Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns results in 169 different solutions.

Rob Fish of Bethel, a retired volunteer firefighter and Medical Response Technician experienced frustration over poor numbering while performing those jobs.

“Seconds matter,” Fish said, adding he backs the legislation in Hartford.

Fish also has the perspective of a former takeout food deliveryman who searched for customers at poorly-numbered addresses.

“You shouldn’t have to make laws about common sense,” he said.

Categories: General
Brian Lockhart

3 Responses

  1. AFS says:

    Stamford has a similar ordinance, but the idea that 169 towns are incapable of handling this very local issue so it must be handled by the state is exactly what is wrong with big government. When the federal government decides that this important issue should not be left to 50 states, where will you stand?

    Even if 169 cities and towns came up with 169 different solutions to the same problem, which would be almost mathematically impossible, who cares? If the problem is solved, does it really matter if different people solve it different ways?

  2. Frank Farricker says:

    I suppose you include the sponsor of the bill in that generalization? C’mon John, that’s the reason you get the government you deserve, you pillory the institution, but you’ll vote for your guy because he’s known to you. Only to make a change is to change the cast of characters. Good on Fred for a “great idea”, now vote in someone else, its the only way to make real change in Hartford

  3. John Bowman says:

    This is a great idea and, more important, something the CGA can probably do without screwing up.