The Board of Selectmen approved five items to be included on the agenda for the upcoming special Town Meeting. The meeting will be held in person on Tuesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. in the Samuel Staples Elementary School cafetorium.
Attendance will be limited based on restrictions set by the state in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols. Town residents will also be able to watch the meeting live on Government Channel 79 and streaming online. First Selectman David Bindelglass asks members of the community who do not wish to speak at the meeting to please watch from home in order to allow all those who want to speak a chance to attend in person.
The board had considered holding the meeting virtually or a hybrid format. Based on experiences of other communities with similar virtual meetings and the increase in state gathering limits, the selectmen decided the best option is to hold the meeting in person. All items on the agenda will be adjourned to machine vote to be held on Tuesday, March 30. Items to be included on the special Town Meeting agenda are:
- Shall the Town of Easton approve the Tax Relief for the Elderly Ordinance as recommended by the 2021 Tax Relief for the Elderly Committee?
- Shall the Town of Easton appropriate the sum of $49,770 to purchase body and dash cameras for the Easton Police Department as mandated by state law?
- Shall the Town of Easton approve an ordinance revision increasing the stipend for our volunteer fire fighters and EMS workers?
- Shall the Town of Easton join the Westport Weston Health District? (Information and related videos)
- As an advisory question, shall the Town of Easton recommend that the town allocate $249,400 to fund part of a multiuse walkway along Sport Hill Road, in addition to federal funding, as was vetted extensively at a design charrette in November 2019?
More information on these issues will be presented in the coming weeks, prior to the special Town Meeting.
Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis in Easton
The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to rescind its resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in Easton, and will now allow voters to decide if the resolution is desired by the community.
The board initially approved the resolution at its meeting on August 20, 2020. You can read the resolution online in the minutes from that meeting.
Selectman Kristi Sogofsky moved to add the resolution to the agenda for the annual Town Meeting at the end of April. It will not be considered at the upcoming special Town Meeting in March because it does not have a budgetary impact.
Recording of Public Comment
The selectmen discussed how public comment is recorded in meeting minutes and in articles for the Courier written by Selectman Bob Lessler and Selectman Kristi Sogofsky. In terms of official meting minutes, the board decided that a person’s name and the specific topic they addressed will be the only information listed. Those interested in reviewing the full comments can watch videos of the meeting posted online. For meeting recaps provided to the Courier, public comment will either be left out or follow the standard set for meeting minutes.
Other actions taken at the Board of Selectmen meeting on March 4 include:
- The board discussed beginning to reopen meetings to the public, possibly holding them in the Easton Library community room to allow for proper social distancing.
- The board accepted the resignation of Lise Fleuette from the Easton Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
- The board appointed Logan Shedd to serve on the Pension and Employee Benefits Commission with a term ending January 2, 2022.