Great news on the Covid-19 front! Easton has had no new cases in the two weeks ending May 20, 2021. That is a first since last year and it bodes well for our finishing our school year. The new Executive Orders this week deal with meetings and mask wearing. Starting Monday, we will change our policy regarding Town Hall. We will open Town Hall to the public on Monday, May 24, 2021. However, one of the things we have learned during the pandemic, is that we are more efficient and provide better service to our residents if they make appointments and we are prepared to see them. I would prefer that we continue that way. People who walk in will be taken care of but, people with appointments will have priority. If folks are not vaccinated, they will be expected to wear a mask.
The Executive Order concerning board, commission and committee meetings was extended to June 30, 2021. The Board of Selectmen will allow the public to attend in person and will also keep meetings on Zoom. Other boards and commissions must provide a virtual option unless all commission members are comfortable attending in person.
With the passing of Anthony Ballaro, our Easton Building Inspector, we have been working with a collection of inspectors from other towns who have volunteered to pitch in and do the inspections at this unusually busy time. My goal is to make us a responsive town which is user friendly to our residents who are building or updating their homes and properties. I hope that there will be no hiccups while we look for a new inspector.
Last night at the Board of Selectmen meeting, we discussed proceeding with a demonstration project to grow hemp on part of the South Park Avenue property. After receiving input from the Board of Finance and South Park Advisory Committee, we did not approve the project. I would like to ask the people of Easton to consider a suggestion that I derived from the comments of one of our residents, Dana Benson. While he had publicly voiced his disapproval with the Resolution on Race as a Public Health Crisis, he stated that he had come to realize that there were inequities in the health of different segments of our population and his personal action would be to donate money to health-related charities in our region. I thought this was a great idea and so would suggest this for people to consider. Since I have personal ties to some healthcare organizations, I would ask the EDIT Task Force to come up with a list of health-related charities that people could donate to. We also named Doreen Collins our Town Representative to the Westport Weston Health District.
On Wednesday, I was invited by State Senator Tony Hwang to participate in a panel discussion on affordable housing with Representative Ann Hughes and leaders from other towns in his district including Ray Martin of our Planning and Zoning Commission. I was struck by the unanimity in our approach to this sensitive issue. We were uniformly in agreement with the fact that decisions with regard to affordable housing needed to be made at the local level. Each of our towns, and all the small towns in our state, have unique features that need to be taken into consideration. We vowed to continue to work together. Thank you to the Senator for organizing this thoughtful, as well as fruitful, discussion.
Work on the South Park Avenue bridge is proceeding nicely. Please remember to drive responsibly when detouring around the area.
This week we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Easton EMS and Emergency Medical Services week. Easton EMS also received a special award from Bridgeport Hospital for service excellence. Congratulations!
We also recognized five new Eagle Scouts, all of whom did projects to enhance our town. We are proud of them and grateful for their efforts.
Lastly, our prayers go out to Val and Derek Buckley who are both hospitalized following a scary automobile accident last evening. Both are doing well and we look forward to their speedy recovery.
Have a great weekend.