We live in interesting times, to use a well-worn expression.
But how appropriate that expression is, given the virus outbreak that is unprecedented in modern times. On the Town website last week we read a message from the First Selectman, recommending that we all follow the Governor’s lead on this matter as well as recommendations of the State’s Department of Public Health.
One recommendation is “social distancing.” Which among other things means maintaining a distance of six feet or more from other people. And cancellation of meetings involving more than 100 individuals.
Our intrepid Building Committee has set a great example! They conducted their meeting last week electronically, while voting on important school projects for this summer’s construction season. And draft minutes were provided the very next morning, showing actions taken, motions/seconds, and who was “present.”
It would not surprise me if the Annual Town Budget Meeting, scheduled for April 22nd, is called off this year. It requires a quorum of 130 qualified voters. Voters who must stand in line to sign in by the 8 p.m. start time. And who should then leave three seats unoccupied on either side.
Which brings me to the matter of attendance at other important meetings that are on the horizon. A very notable one is the upcoming public hearing on the new Town Plan of Conservation & Development. It is scheduled for Saturday, April 4th, at 10:30 a.m. in the very roomy Middle School Library. There will have been a 65 day period for submission of written comments prior to the hearing. So my guess is that the recommended 100 person attendance limit will not be exceeded.
I am planning to write a rather long set of comments on the Plan, as it presently exists in draft form. These will appear in part in next week’s column. If you agree with my comments, feel free to copy and paste and add your own thoughts as well!
Comments should be sent to the P&Z Commission’s Chairman. You can find the email address to use in the “Know Your Town Directory” that is prepared and periodically updated by the Weston League of Women Voters. A “KYTD” link can be found here at westontoday.news.
It goes without saying that there is nothing funny about a pandemic. One indication of the seriousness with which this issue is being treated is that the Connecticut General Assembly was “on leave” for a few days, for cleanup of its facilities.
But not before a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (“SEBAC”) was approved. SEBAC is made up of 15 public sector employee unions, representing most State employees, and negotiates with the State on healthcare and pension benefits for those employees.
Legislative leadership praised the agreement, while some legislators admitted it was yet another “kick the can down the road” proposition. It seems that the majority in Hartford never seems to realize that State finances can’t be fixed by simply moving the decimal point or other such sleight of hand.
And don’t bother to read the bonding package that was addressed at the same time. You would most likely find things you don’t agree with. As did one of the Democrats, a representative from New Haven, who voted “no” on the package.
While the XL Center in Hartford is to benefit to the tune of millions of dollars in bonding, her constituents who are in need of financial help as they try to recover from damage cause by past major storms are having repair funding capped by the new administration.
Perhaps the Legislature needed that cleaning. But for sure they could use some of the forthright and thoughtful inputs Westonites typically provide to their local leadership. Last month’s League of Women Voters’ “Speak Up” event being a good example.
“About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.