During a Crisis Government Must Take Great Caution Not to Overreach, or Appear to Overreach, During a Crisis
To the Editor:
We extend sincere thanks to all town officials for your efforts at this difficult time. That being said, it is critical that amid this pandemic our leaders do not rush into long term decisions that will affect the town in major ways for years to come. Government officials must take great caution not to overreach, or even appear to overreach, during a crisis. Major town decisions should be put on hold until we can proceed face-to-face with deliberation, accuracy, and inclusion of the entire town. The public relies on our Board of Selectmen to safeguard the public interest and the legal authority of the legislative body, The Town Meeting.
There are three major issues that are underway during this pandemic: the annual budget, the disposition of the South Park property, and whether or not Easton should join the Westport Weston Health District (WWHD). Only the budget is essential. Regarding these issues:
- The budget process should be slowed to the greatest degree possible.
- The South Park discussion should be completely paused until the pandemic is behind us. This property has been an issue in town for years. On June 17, 2008, the town voted to purchase the South Park property “for preservation, conservation, and land control purposes…” Any changes to that decision need to be discussed widely, and over enough time to assure effective communication to all Easton citizens.
- The Westport Weston Health District is a brand-new conversation that should not be rushed. Private citizens have very quickly been able to locate an interested applicant for Easton’s retiring Director of Public Health and another for our retiring Health Officer, both highly qualified and able to develop and run our town’s health department. Municipalities everywhere are going to be reevaluating their health services over the next year. Our town should take time to do the same, allowing for proper research, public discussion, and deliberation on this critical issue.
Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG) was founded by Easton resident Bud Jennings over 30 years ago and is the oldest PAC in CT. For many years the group acted as a tax watchdog. In more recent years the mission has broadened, and CRG works to protect and sustain the traditional processes of Easton governance, the Town Meeting, by raising awareness regarding important town issues. To see our most recent publication, Important Easton Issues, visit our website at https://www.eastoneye.org/ .