Outgoing First Selectman Adam Dunsby presented a relic of office, an ashtray, to his successor, Dr. David Bindelglass, on the morning of Dunsby’s last day and Bindelglass’s first day in the first selectman’s office.
They gathered in the Town Hall conference room for breakfast with staff the day after the election. Bindelglass and fellow selectmen Kristi Sogofsky, a Republican, and Robert Lessler, a Democrat, had been sworn into office earlier in the morning.
Dunsby presented the relic ashtray, dating back to a time before smoking was banned in public spaces. The two men met after breakfast to discuss the transition, and then Dunsby was on his way.
Dunsby, a three-term Republican, chose not to seek re-election. Bindelglass, a Democrat, won the first selectman’s seat as only the fourth Democrat in Easton’s history. He praised his “neighbors/opponents,” Republican Wendy Bowditch and petitioning candidate Dwight Senior for doing “an excellent job” in a “hard fought” race.
Following are Bindelglass’s comments and goals for his new administration.
“First let me say that I am honored and humbled to serve you as First Selectman of Easton. It was a hard fought but also stimulating campaign and it brought to life the spectrum of ideas in town. My neighbors/opponents Wendy and Dwight did an excellent job and I think the extremely high turnout in the election show that the town is more engaged than it has ever been as a result of all of our spirited campaigns.
What I learned first and foremost is that there is almost universal desire for more open and transparent government. At my first Board of Selectmen meeting we discussed improving public comment and participation in Board of Selectmen meetings. More open forums will follow and I have reached out to some other organizations in town. Also in terms of communication there are discussions about bringing back the Easton Courier and potentially other print publications. I am also meeting with channel 79 to discuss making more and better content available to Easton.
In terms of town planning, after discussion with Planning and Zoning we have postponed a public hearing on the village District. This will allow time for a more informal and open public forum. On the campaign trail this seemed to be the most contentious issue in our town. Personally, I believe there is a lot of misinformation about what is actually involved, but on such a central issue to the character of our town, I believe that all the town should weigh in.
Because this is such a divisive issue, I believe that ultimately whatever the decision there will be unhappy people, but I am confident that we will come together as a town. The turf field at the Moorehouse fields as well as the walkway on Sport Hill are being looked at as well, and there was impressive participation by our citizens, besides the Selectman at the recent design Charrette.
I am committing to working on our bridge issues as well. I have met with Ed Nagy to discuss the progress (or lack thereof) of the South Park Bridges. I have also discussed our issues with the Lieutenant Governor who has pledged to help us move this forward.
Also I spoke a good deal on the campaign trail about looking for other sources of revenue for the town. I plan to convene a diverse advisory committee on the disposition of the South Park property. I plan to meet with the newly formed chamber of commerce shortly as well. Also I have already met with our Assessor on land valuation issues. And then it will be budget season! As I am still officially a member of the School Board I am acutely aware of how that process will unfold.
All of these initiatives ultimately lead to a single destination which again I believe has universal support. They are all geared to improving the quality of life in our town to make Easton more desirable to people looking to move here and start families which ultimately helps to drive our property values higher.
It is hard to believe that it has only been two weeks but I am excited to be in this role and look forward to your thoughts and ideas as we move forward. “