Message from First Selectman Bindelglass, Update for Aug. 1 Weekend

First Selectman David Bindelglass released the following statement about the state’s pandemic response, July tax collections, police accountability legislation, the Westport Weston Health District, and school reopening guide lines:

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Fortunately, we continue to do well as a state, all the more so, because as you know most states are not fairing nearly as well. Currently, there are 36 states that are high risk. Staying in the northeast is probably the safest way for you and our community to stay disease free. For that reason the Governor has issued executive orders requiring 14 days of quarantine for travel to one of these high risk states. Although the method has not been made clear, there will potentially be fines of up to $1000 for violations. Many companies will not allow workers to claim sick time or be paid for the quarantine time as travelling for vacation to one of these states is a choice. More action from the state may be forthcoming.

July is tax collection month and the Town appears to be doing well on two fronts. First the process for paying including our new online payment method and the controlled access to town hall to pay in person are going well. Second, despite the economic issues our country is facing, we are seeing very good rates of collection in Easton. Thank you on both counts.

Many of you may know that both houses of the Connecticut legislature have passed police accountability legislation. I want to let you know that I meet regularly with Chief Doyle to review our policies and procedures. There will be a process for implementing the new regulations arising from this bill once it is law. This is the highest of priorities for the police department and for the town. I greatly appreciate the Chief’s efforts.

The Westport Weston health district has hired a new sanitarian that will be responsible for Easton. He will be located in our Easton office two days a week with similar hours to our current sanitarian, Polly Edwards. We will delay our association with the health district for several weeks  until he is fully on board. Again, Polly and Dr. Chris Michos have agreed to hold on for a few more weeks to see this transition through, and we thank them, yet again, for their service.

In regards to schools, on Thursday the state issued new guidelines for not only opening schools but for indications to transition from full classes to hybrid to distant learning based on metrics for the virus, i.e. rates of hospitalizations, test positivity and case growth. Even as we get closer and closer to a potential opening day, there are so many questions. I can only urge patience. Our central office staff and Boards of Education are working feverishly to plan in an ever changing landscape. I view major league baseball as a cautionary tale. It took one whole weekend to affect everything that had been planned for weeks. Hopefully, we will do better, but there will be more information that continues to come out.

Have a great weekend. Be safe and be careful. For are young adults especially, keep up the good work. You are a tribute to our community and have played a great part in keeping us all safe.

Dave Bindelglass

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