April 3, 2020
Our collective efforts to protect ourselves and our community from the Covid-19 virus continue. The latest Department of Health data indicates there are 5 positive cases identified in Easton. Comparatively speaking, that is a good number when looking at surrounding towns.
I believe strongly that we are entering a period where we need to be even more diligent and double down on our efforts to social distance, limit interactions outside our homes and practice good hygiene. We can “flatten the curve” with concerted and community wide effort. You may remember that one of my greatest concerns were the grocery stores and I am happy to see that most stores are now taking steps to make social distancing easier.
Our Agricultural Commission is working with many of our farms and farm stands in town to make sure that they too make themselves safe for their shoppers. As we get further into spring, Gloria and I have always taken delight in the fact that we can live largely on food produced here in Easton. I hope you will similarly take advantage of our farm resources, especially under the current circumstances. Please continue to support our wonderful restaurants and small businesses in town that have also made efforts for the safe pickup of their delicious foods and produce.
The Board of Selectmen met last night and discussed how best to conduct further meetings electronically. We reviewed the efforts of our town employees as they continue to work mostly from home. The Boards of Finance and Education have posted the first budget proposal online which can be found via a link on our homepage at www.eastonct.gov . Email comments can be sent to BOF@eastonct.gov . Comments will be accepted for 30 days, and then addressed by the Board of Finance. How the final budget will be presented to the town and method of voting is still under discussion and will be influenced by how the virus situation evolves.
The Governor has also issued several new Executive Orders which may influence how taxes will be calculated and what provisions will be made for people who find themselves unable to pay their taxes because of the overall economic situation. Boards and commissions and committees continue to meet electronically at the Chairman’s discretion.
Prior the Covid-19 pandemic, there were several issues being discussed in town which had sparked interest. There has been no further discussion on the development of the Morehouse Property in conjunction with Sacred Heart University. Given the economic hardships all colleges and universities find themselves in, I do not expect further discussions at this time. Easton’s proposal to join the Westport Weston Health District is temporarily on hold. The health, safety and welfare of the public are now the focus of the WWHD.
Easton wishes good bye and good luck to Police Chief Tim Shaw. We will be swearing in Captain Rich Doyle as our new Chief of Police and I am very excited to work with him. Rich has been doing an amazing job during the last month not only as our Police Captain but as our Emergency Management Director.
A great positive I see is the number of Easton residents reaching out to volunteer to help either as a group or as individuals. Below are some ideas for ways to help. We will also post resources for individual and small businesses affected financially by the pandemic.
Don’t forget Easton Rocks; paint a rock ~ leave a smile! And the Cowbell Challenge at 6:30 pm on your front porch, in your front yard or at the end of your driveway!
Be well and continue doing what we all need to do to keep not just ourselves, but each other safe.
Have a great weekend!
Contacts to volunteer:
Val Buckley, Senior Center Director firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of children from surrounding towns have written notes to the nurses and doctors at Bridgeport Hospital. These are appreciated even more than food! If your children wish to write a note, please drop them in the blue drop box in the lobby of the Police Department and I will personally see to it that they are delivered. Please also see the recent Easton Courier article regarding donating supplies to our health care workers at this critical time.
- View and download the Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
- Learn more about the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program or a short-term emergency loan that will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Read a summary of the Coronavirus Relief, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or CARES Act and FAQs from Senator Chris Murphy’s office.
- Get information regarding unemployment insurance and FAQs pertaining to workers or employers by The CT Labor Department.