Updated Sept. 24, 2021
We have had a very busy week at town hall. As most of you know there was a referendum on Tuesday. First, I want to thank all of our citizens who worked many hours that day so the referendum could run smoothly. I also want to thank our police officers who spent the day making sure that the children at Staples were not disturbed by the referendum. Three ordinances were passed that I am extremely proud of.
First, we passed an ordinance for a tax break for our neighbors with disabilities. For those who require special modifications to their vehicles in order to get around, we exempted those vehicles from auto taxes. We are talking about vans with lifts and things like that which are extremely expensive. This was implicitly the right thing to do.
The second ordinance was a revision of the town’s ethics ordinance. The old ordinance was very general and devoid of any provision for town officials to disclose their interests so that potential conflicts could be identified. The new ordinance is also more specific about penalties. Ethical behavior by myself and other town leaders should be expected and enforced.
Third, we passed the land use ordinance. This is a historic decision for the town of Easton. Attempts to pass an ordinance like this have been made a number of times in the past and have always failed. The difference is that this time the ordinance had the Selectmen’s support. This ordinance gives us, the people of Easton the right to decide through the town meeting whether to buy, sell or lease land. And that brings to all of us a truly awesome responsibility to participate in the decision-making process. It becomes imperative that we all commit to educating ourselves and participating in the town meeting, showing up and voting. I want to leave you with the sternest of warnings. If people continue to be accepting of, and swayed by misinformation in whatever form, if they do not think critically about messages which are sensational or fear mongering or clearly preposterous, we will rue the day that we chose to give ourselves this responsibility and we will do a horrible disservice to our town as a result.
The fourth item that passed was approving the necessary funding to repair the roof at the Old Staples School now ECD.
The fifth item on the agenda was the pathway along Sport Hill Rd. The request was to provide funding for the preliminary design of the pathway. This was defeated. As a result, I have alerted the state that we will not be preceding, so that they can assign the approximately $1,000,000 they had set aside for this project elsewhere.
At the Board of Selectmen meeting, we focused primarily on moving ahead with the sales agreement for the 19 acres of the South Park Ave. covering the property which abuts the Mill River to the Aspetuck Land Trust. The appraisal for this property is now posted on the town website and the sales contract will be attached to the minutes of last night’s meeting. The appraised value is $470,000. Once further surveys are done there will be a public hearing followed by a town vote as specified by the land use ordinance mentioned above as to whether the town should sell this land to the land trust.
The Westport Weston Health District will be holding a flu vaccine (not Covid) clinic on Friday, October 1, 2021 from 8 – 10 am at the Library Conference Room and on Tuesday, October 19th from 4:30 – 7:30 pm at the Library Community room. You can book your appointment at https://book.appointment-plus.com/d61kdj8y/#/ In addition, the Senior Center will be holding an additional flu vaccine clinic on Monday, October 4th from 7 am – 4 pm. Please call the senior center at 203-268-1145 to schedule an appointment.
The Friends of the Easton Public will be holding their annual book sale next Saturday, October 2nd from 9:30 – 4 in the Community room. Masks are required. Come on down and find your favorite books and DVD’s. All genres are available. The library will be accepting donations through Thursday, September 30th.
Last night, I signed a Proclamation designating September, 2021 as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month recognizing the 22,000 women who have struggled with this disease including our own Noreen Forde.
Enjoy this beautiful fall weekend,