October 9, 2020
In This Issue:
From Paddi's Desk
CT Agency Corner
Municipal Roundup
PIVOT...What the Heck Are They Talking About?

Anyone else notice that this popular word from back in the late 1700s has found a new life?

We know about the basketball player who pivots to protect the ball by shifting back and forth on foot, and soccer teams which use the term to describe the deepest midfielder who occupies the space between the defense and the midfielder lines. Then in business, pivot means a substantive change to one or more of the nine business model components, in addition to areas like customer segments, revenues, pricing, costs and more. 

And for all you “Friends” fans, in one of the funniest scenes from this all-time favorite TV series, “Pivot!” is something Ross screams when he’s trying to move a couch up some stairs.  

So pivots seem to be good things. Or maybe not.

In politics, could a pivot be defined as a move when the momentum just isn’t going your way and you need to remain true to your values to avoid losing your support? Or is a pivot in politics a strategy that solves a problem of importance for its stakeholders? Seems like either could be the case.

As with the presidential race, there seems to be plenty of pivoting on both sides of the campaign. Senator Harris pivoted away from her primary attacks on Joe Biden and began to be a team player, and she ended up as the VP candidate. The Trump team doesn’t seem to understand the word pivot, even as their polling and hopes of securing another term is now faltering even in those redder than red states.

This week, the Biden team seemed to pivot away from the parts of the platform adopted to bring the Bernie Sanders gang along with a Biden nomination—in terms of environmental commitments and tax policy—with the hopes the Sanders gang will understand that the move was necessary to benefit the whole. Then VP Pence stuck tightly to “the plan“ during the recent debate, leading some to believe that holding his foundation (right or wrong) is more important to him than preservation, aka winning. 

Interesting. 

Now. A pivot—such as in sports—can be an effective tool. In business, it’s a way to grow. But in politics ...not so good. It usually means there’s trouble in River City. 

But in my opinion, one example of a positive pivot might be in CT. Without a gubernatorial race and the recent changes to the positive COVID-19 testing rates, pivoting might be the correct move. Southeastern CT is definitely under fire this week, with positive rates up near 3% while most of the rest of CT is just a hair more than 1%. This week the Governor announced his team is considering a potential pivot to allow municipalities the option of enacting local restrictions on community activities, in the effort to reduce the spread of this highly contagious virus. For months, the Governor has used the “one for all and all for one” strategy. In late summer, he modified that by providing local municipalities the ability to decide what type of “back to school” model fits their community best, but he stuck tight with his “one for all and all for one“ plan regarding sports, large events and bar openings. 

But now, as southeastern CT is under siege, it’s looking like there’s going to be an option for local governments to call more of the shots about how to restore a safe and health community. While several weeks ago Danbury was under siege, it was localized to a small geographic area and the city was able to contain it quickly. Norwich, New London, Windham and other towns are almost at one week with increasing positive infection rates, causing them to return to remote learning to help contain the spread. 

Rumblings are popping up through the media and business organizations that CT may soon experience another wave of large numbers of positive test results. Especially now that the colder weather is hitting us and residents might be getting too “comfortable,” mixing family, neighbors and close friends. 

While it’s not surprising that CT would face a surge, and the situation isn’t one of values, moral foundations or long-held beliefs, pivoting seems to be the best way forward. And one of strength and leadership. 

Maybe we should adopt the adage, “We’re only as strong as our weakest link.”

So let’s get to it. 
Materials Management Work Group Begins Evaluating New EPR Mandates

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has created a commission on evaluating ways to have private companies come to the table with ideas on reducing the waste stream otherwise known as municipal solid waste (MSW).

In Connecticut, there are currently about three extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs that have been implemented which include bottles/cans, paint and mattresses. 

The state is ultimately hoping other items such as tires, batteries and packaging can be included in that same EPR definition. Similar legislation has been filed by advocates in the past but with very lukewarm (at best) reception from the private sector. The main sticking points from advocates opposed to EPR is that the relationship between the business manufacturing a product and the town disposing it never encountered problems with finding end points for where the trash could be converted to energy. However, given the shortage of reusable goods from China's position against buying recycled stream products, the state sees more trash winding up in MSW and increasing costs for towns.

EPR, when first described, presents advantages when describing how companies would submit recommendations to the state on how to dispose of their products. The inherent trust value lies with (1) How much will it cost the companies that are already trying to keep and retain employees in a state that's expensive to do business in and (2) Will the "rules of the road" that are submitted by companies truly reflect the reality of what the state actually implements.

The workgroup is set to finalize these recommendations soon and S&L will maintain updates in this newsletter for those interested. For more information on the work being done you can click here.

Positive Migration!

The New Yorkers are coming! The New Yorkers are coming (among others)! 

As we reported back a few months ago there was a trend happening throughout the state of an outward migration from larger cities into many suburban communities throughout our state. United Van Lans, one of the largest moving companies in the county, put out some information to back that up. CT has made the 4th on the list of “top inbound states for COVID-impacted moves.” 

The numbers keep going up too, many folks started moving in March, but even as early as August there were still about 14% of people surveyed that felt that they needed to move out of the highly populated areas for concern of their health and safety. 

The top 5 outbound areas include: Washington, New York, Nevada, Oregon and Delaware in that order. With many people working from home, our historic and beautiful towns and cities in CT are perfect for people to feel like they can maintain social distancing and have a bit more space between their work areas and living spaces. Welcome to CT! 
October 9, 1936 - Hindenberg Flies Over Traveler's Tower in Hartford

On October 9th, 1936, as a “thank you” to the United States for the warm reception the airship received during its earlier tours, the Hindenburg’s operators scheduled one final tour over the northeastern U.S. before returning to Germany for the winter. The first leg of the Hindenburg’s journey from Lakehurst, New Jersey to Boston included a flyover of four Connecticut cities: Danbury, Waterbury, New Britain, and Hartford. The Hindenburg’s October 9th journey was also known as the “millionaire’s flight” because, in a carefully-calculated publicity move, the ship’s operators invited numerous CEOs and dignitaries aboard in hopes of securing international support and investment in German commercial flight projects. The passenger list included members of the Rockefeller family, the CEOs of Chase Bank and the Goodyear tire company, World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacher, and Mary Goodrich Jensen, the first Connecticut woman to receive a pilot’s license.

Here is a link to the full story
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