Update for 3/19/2021
The news on Covid is mostly good. The state continues to vaccinate more and a wider range of people. The CDC says that small gatherings of people who have been vaccinated can be done without masks. In Easton for the second week in a row the rate of infected per 100,000 people has edged higher. For the week ending March 13, the rate is 18.1 with 352 positive cases overall in town. This coupled with rising rates in parts of the country and the images of crowded beaches filled with spring break party goers should still lead us to be cautious.
For my time as your first selectman, the coming weeks will be significant. Next week the BOF will be holding their budget public hearing on Monday March 22. It will be held at Samuel Staples Elementary School at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Channel 79 and YouTube. The agenda is posted on the town website under agendas and Board of Finance. The budget presentation is posted under government, then finance and then budgets. The budgets for the town, the Easton Board of Education, and the region 9 Board of Education will be discussed. After public input at the hearing, the Board of Finance will begin reviewing individual budgets March 24, 25, and 31, all at 7 p.m. and all virtually. Links will be posted.
The special town meeting will be held on March 23 at Samuel Staples Elementary School at 7 p.m. Again, the agenda is posted online under agendas and town meeting. You should have all received a post card describing the town meeting in the mail as well. For those who are interested, the postcards were printed through the Connecticut Council of Municipalities for $267. While these were printed in color, the town could have saved $100 by doing black and white which we will consider next time. Postage cost $552.57. After the questions are discussed, there will be a machine vote on each of the five questions which will be held on March 30, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at SSES.
Due to state Covid regulations, both the town meeting and budget hearing will be limited to 80 persons from the public in addition to those on the panels. This will be first come, first served as it always has been. As a courtesy, if you do not plan to speak please watch the proceedings from home. Also, if you have spoken and others are waiting outside, please allow them to come in and speak. That is a simple courtesy which I hope all will show to their neighbors.
Again, I will stress that every citizen of Easton will have the ability to vote on the issues at hand. That is what democracy is all about. Democracy also is not free, and it asks of its citizens to be informed and to participate. In a small town like ours it is critical because we are the legislators of the town. Please educate yourself about the issues. Information, particularly for the health district and the Sport Hill path, has been public for months and is readily available. Most importantly, come out Tuesday March 30 and make your voice heard. If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After much discussion and input, we have decided to leave the dog park open for residents and non-residents. Eastonites were split and other towns were almost universally open to residents and non-residents. Policing is near impossible. The Board of Selectmen and director of Park and Recreation reached this decision acknowledging that people in town were divided. We will post signs and hope that people can police themselves in terms of picking up after their dogs and keeping them under control.
We have a busy week coming up. Be involved and participate. Until then have a great weekend!