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Llodra is a notable example of how a leader can respect and incorporate community input, provide a clear vision for the future, and unite a town around a new development proposal; however, she emphasized that it was, and always is, a collaborative effort. Without the support and hard work of other officials, departments, local community organizations, developers, and investors, the vision and strategy would be hers when it needed to be theirs too, Benson said “Pat supported this from the beginning and that was key. We couldn’t do it without her support.” He added, “It was never a political thing. We always all worked together.”

Asked what advice she might offer to other town leaders if she was asked, Llodra said they need to know their towns, their demographic projections, understand how the economy and resident needs are likely to shape future demand, and where they want to take the community. Most important, she said, it is critical to partner with various constituents, collaborate with community groups, and seek guidance from experts. 

A Deeper Look Inside Newtown

Next steps - Learn more about planned housing development in Newtown: