Danbury Mayoral Candidate Responds to Pembroke School Playground Funding

DANBURY - Chris Setaro, Democratic candidate for Mayor, issued a statement this week concerning the City Council’s long-delayed approval of funding for the Pembroke School accessible playground.

"I want to congratulate the parents and students of Pembroke School, as well as Leigh Viviano who teaches at Pembroke, on their hard-fought campaign to build a playground accessible to students of all capabilities,” Setaro said. “But I am also deeply concerned that Mark Boughton - 90 days before an election - has decided it's time to fund a playground at a public school after 18 months of parent-organized bake sales and events to raise funds. Our kids deserve better, and they deserve a Mayor that will fight for them year-round."

Past requests by parents for an accessible playground for all students – Pembroke has one of the

largest population of special needs students in the city – went largely ignored by city officials. The existing equipment is in a state of disrepair and is not accessible for the school’s 89 special needs children.

The playground, once constructed, will be the first accessible play space in the city. Students currently must drive to neighboring communities including Brookfield and Ridgefield to find accessible equipment.

“Our children should not have to drive to neighboring communities just to find play equipment that is accessible,” Setaro said.

Parents took on the effort themselves 18 months ago and raised more than $130,000 for the project when the city’s mayor – facing the most competitive mayoral race in years – decided to jump in and fill the gap.