Connecticut’s planning regions are about to be reorganized. While this may not seem like earthshaking news, alarm bells are sounding in western Connecticut, where many municipal CEOs are deeply concerned.
Because Connecticut has no county government, planning regions have provided a way for municipalities to work together on matters like transportation and economic development. They’ve also received certain types of state and federal funding that are available only to regional entities. Before two recent voluntary consolidations, Connecticut had 15 planning regions with relatively light administrative structures. A law requiring the governor’s budget office (OPM) to present a plan to consolidate the regions by Jan. 1, 2014 has been on the books for several years. While individual “border” towns can appeal OPM’s final plan, it is essentially a mandate under the law.