Peter Tesei Offers a Tribute to State Representative Livvy Floren

To the Editor:

The Town of Greenwich, City of Stamford and the State of Connecticut were served exceedingly well by State Representative Livvy Floren. Livvy is a legendary State Representative, friend and trusted advisor.

During my tenure as First Selectman and Board of Estimate & Taxation Chairman, Livvy served as an effective partner in achieving important outcomes for our diverse constituency.

She was an early and avid supporter of the successful public private partnership that produced the fully refurbished Bendhein Western Greenwich Civic Center. She supported keeping the Glenville Elementary School open and advocated for its total renovation.

Livvy secured funding through the State of Connecticut STEAP (Small Town Economic Assistance Progam) grants to address critical life safety priorities in Greenwich. The installation of dry hydrants and cisterns for backcountry Greenwich improved fire safety for thousands of residents and contributed to their paying lower homeowner’s insurance premiums because of improved access to water resources.

The funding for installation of a generator at the Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center permitted it to be effectively used as an Emergency shelter. This shelter proved essential with the series of storms from 2010-2015 that caused flooding and evacuation along the Byram River in Pemberwick.

The public health laboratory at Greenwich Town Hall also benefited from Livvy’s advocacy. She secured needed funding to fully refurbish and modernize a facility that is responsible for water quality testing, tick testing, radon testing and a host of other environmental health related needs.

The 9 acre Cos Cob Park which opened in 2015 was initially intended to include 15 units of non-market rate public housing. Given the adjacent public utility electrical infrastructure and limitations for public park use, Livvy worked with me to gain approval from Governor Jodi Rell’s Administration to meet this housing requirement elsewhere in Town so we could accommodate the playing field, playground, pavilion and walking trails we all enjoy today.

When I decided to establish a Veteran’s Council to bring together the individual Greenwich Veterans organizations for the purpose of coordinating annual events and advocating for Veteran’s needs, Livvy was the first person who stepped up to join the Council. Through her compassionate leadership she not only honored these Veterans
but assisted them with their vital service requests.

I was the fortunate recipient of very early morning emails from Livvy with her valued comments, personal best wishes for events in my personal and public life and of course a good dose of humor.

Over the years, Livvy made several nomination speeches for me and they always included her signature use of “Yogisms”. Well in closing, Livvy, thank you for your legendary service to this Town and State. When the 2021-2022 Connecticut General Assembly convenes this Wednesday without you, in the words of your beloved Yogi Berra “The future ain’t what it used to be”.

Godspeed Livvy.

Peter J. Tesei
Greenwich First Selectman, 2007-2019