We have continued to have multiple complaints about Optimum as I have discussed previously. Every complaint that I have received has been escalated to our municipal representative. Even at this level, it is unclear to me that these complaints are being resolved definitively. I often hear that problems have been addressed, and subsequently they reappear. Even with the help of our community representative, we are not getting the level of service that we should expect. The number of complaints is important so I again urge you to report your problems to me at Town Hall.
Unfortunately, we need to discuss COVID 19, as rates in Connecticut are increasing. Easton had 12 new cases in the week ending July 24, and Connecticut is one of 17 states rated high risk. Our main focus has to be on getting people who are not vaccinated to get vaccines. I would also encourage people to think seriously about wearing masks at places of larger social gatherings. It seems that at the very least, vaccinated individuals can become spreaders.
At the public hearing for Planning and Zoning several points were raised. With regards to the pathway, one question was… could the path be made less wide so as to more resemble a sidewalk. Newtown was cited as an example. After hearing the comments, we approached the state as to whether that would be acceptable. The project that was approved and would be funded is for a multi-use path and should have a width of 10 feet. I have attached the appropriate guidelines. There was also a lot of discussion about Public Act 21-29, “An act concerning the zoning enabling act….” There was a lot of hyperbole surrounding the description of the act so I would direct anyone interested to view the act for themselves at https://www.cga.ct.gov/2021/act/pa/pdf/2021PA-00029-R00HB-06107-PA.pdf. There is no substitute for going to the source.
Last night, the Board of Selectman approved a lease to Easton Grows to do a one season trial of growing hemp for industrial use on the town’s South Park Avenue property. We look forward to seeing how this project turns out.
Today, we held a party at town hall for Phil Doremus. Phil has served Easton in a number of capacities for many years. Personally, he has been a great resource, aid and friend to me in my work as First Selectman. He will be missed, but I have already enlisted his help with other projects. He promises to remain very much involved in the workings of the town. We are finalizing the hiring of his replacement. Very large shoes to fill!
Bear 211 had become quite a celebrity in Easton and around the region. In Easton, we value the beauty of our natural and protected environment, and part of that includes our peaceful coexistence with our neighbors from the animal kingdom. I have heard and seen many expressions of sorrow at the loss of Bear 211. Some have asked about the circumstances of his death, which appears to be that he was struck by a car. More than that we do not know, but I have heard multiple complaints about speeding and reckless driving not just in Easton. It appears to be a national phenomenon possibly related to a return from the social isolation of the pandemic. In any event, more of us than ever are out walking and riding around Easton. PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Ironically, we soon will be releasing the report of a road safety audit done by the state department of transportation (no cost to Easton).
Another quick word of caution. To reiterate, there has been a rash of car break-ins and thefts in the area. As I said in the past quoting Chief Doyle, these are almost all crimes of opportunity because the perpetrators chose easy targets where cars were left open with the contents exposed or with the keys in the car. We can take away that opportunity by not leaving keys or valuables in our cars. Protect yourself and you will be helping to protect Easton.
Lastly, this week brings the number one event on Easton’s calendar, the Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival. Particularly after missing last year, the 80th version should be one to remember. Going back to my earlier comment, I am not sure I have strong evidence to make this recommendation, but given the size of the crowds, I think everyone should consider wearing a mask when you are in close quarters with crowds of people at the carnival. Otherwise, it is truly a great event. To those of you who are new to town, it is truly awesome and a great chance to meet your neighbors. Enjoy!!!