Norwich native John Perry III
remembers walking as a young boy from his
East Great Plain neighborhood into downtown on Thursday nights because the shops were open late. He
recalls being a Cub Scout, marching in downtown parades and listening to trucks rumble over the hills on what was once called Route 52, now known as Interstate 395.
spearheading the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation's multimillion-dollar golf course project in North Stonington and working to improve relationships between the tribe and surrounding towns.
In a recent interview with the Bulletin, Perry
provided a glimpse into the life of a member of the largely secretive Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, which oversees the day-to-day operation of Foxwoods Resort Casino
, one of the largest casinos in the world.
Tribal elections are today, and while Perry
is not up for re-election, he
wants people to know he
will continue to work to make eastern Connecticut a better place to live and work.Perry
was elected to the council a year ago.
Official duties As a tribal councilor, he has helped create laws, policies and other legislation for the tribe while overseeing many projects and serving on several committees. He
hopes to help improve the relationship between the tribe and the three towns surrounding the reservation.North Stonington, Preston and Ledyard have been fighting a court battle for years to prevent the tribe from taking additional property into trust.
Tribe and town officials held talks in the spring and summer of 2001, but could not resolve their differences. Perry
is hopeful a resolution can be found.Perry
believes the Lake of Isles golf course development will help improve the tribe's relationship with neighboring towns by keeping lines of communication open with town officials.
The project also has enabled him to implement values instilled in him as a boy growing up in Norwich.
"This project is excellent for me," he
said."It reaches all my core values.This site will connect people with nature." Perry
said it is important for him to be environmentally conscious.He
said the tribe has spent hundreds of thousand of dollars bringing the former Boy Scout Camp property up to code and has established a lake management plan to nurse the 90-acre lake back to health.
The project not only will preserve open space, but protect environmentally sensitive areas such as a 73-acre preserve with vernal pools, he
As a teenager at Norwich Technical School
began an early career in the fire service with the East Great Plain Volunteer Fire Department.He
studied plumbing in high school, which laid the foundation for future career goals.He has a master's license in forest protection in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He
spent many years working on fire suppression systems before joining the tribal council.He served in the Mashantucket Tribal Fire Department from 1994-2001 and worked his way up to chief, a position he held from 1997-2001, when he was elected to the council. Perry
said it pleases him that as a councilor he
is able to make a difference and improve the region's natural resources as well as the economy. As a councilor, he oversees the Administrative Support Committee and serves as vice chairman of the Utility Authority that oversees the operations of the Preston Plains Water Co.
It maintains and supplies water to a small section of Preston. Perry
life to the evolution of Norwich and said he
hopes the values and sense of community instilled in him as a young boy have not left other families through the city's evolution.
"When I go back to where I grew up, it's hard to connect with how things used to be," Perry
said."It's so different there now.It's so busy."
EnlargeJohn Perry III, a Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council member, stands by one of the entrances to the two 18-hole championship golf courses being built at the Lake of Isles and scheduled for completion in the fall of 2004.
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