My name is Jeff Parker and I am excited to be running for First Selectman. I have served the town of Easton for nearly a decade on the Board of Education, so I understand that a full-time commitment is imperative to effectively lead our town. I have the time to dedicate, and I pledge to make the office of First Selectman my first priority.
I am proud that my Easton heritage can be traced back almost 150 years. I spent my childhood summers on my great grandparents’ dairy farm on Sport Hill Rd, and my grandfather was on the building committee that built what is now Town Hall. So, it was no surprise when given a chance to relocate to any town in Connecticut in 1994, my family and I choose Easton.
My late wife, Joan Parker, was a beloved Easton educator who worked as a special education teacher, then SPED Director and finally as HKMS principal from 2004 until her passing in 2010. After Joan’s death, I was moved to run for the Easton Board of Education. In part to continue her legacy and also to serve our town, as previous board members had done when my two daughters went through Easton schools.
I was elected Chairman in 2013 by my fellow board members and was honored to serve in that role until June of 2020. I successfully led our school board through some challenging times and am proud of the many accomplishments for the betterment of our schools and our town.
Easton is a wonderful, caring, accepting community which welcomes all. I pledge to be a First Selectman who works to continue that proud tradition and unite our citizens and our town.
Bringing our Town Together
Easton has always been a small town characterized by civil discourse, shared values, and a common vision. We focus on raising our families, helping our neighbors and enjoying our farms, open space, and reservoirs. We built an idyllic community with a foundation of respect for one and other.
Political parties don’t matter. What matters is getting back to the Easton we all know and love. As your full time First Selectman, I will reunite our town. The Board of Selectmen will focus on our town’s agenda, not a sociopolitical agenda from Hartford or Washington. I will bring together Easton’s religious and community leaders to help us focus on what unites us. We will have open, face-to-face conversations about who we are as Eastonites, and what we need do to move our community forward. We will bring civility back to our town.
“Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.” — John F Kennedy
Protecting Easton Zoning from Hartford’s Overreach
Easton is subject to recent legislation from Hartford that could change not only our town’s rural character, but threaten the environment and the watershed areas as well. A new law, passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor, is the first step in allowing the State to take control of our zoning regulations. This legislation does allow towns to “opt out” of certain requirements of this bill if action is taken by January 2023 with a 2/3 majority vote of the Board of Selectman. We need a strong voice to stand up for Easton and push back on Hartford’s overreach. Our current First Selectman has been silent on this town-altering law. But as your First Selectman, I will move to “opt out” of this immediately, and allow Easton to remain in control of its own destiny.
Vote “No” to the Proposed South Park Sale
The property on South Park has been a point of discussion for a number of years. The current First Selectman formed a hand-picked committee of interested and knowledgeable citizens to serve on the South Park Advisory Committee to research possible uses for the property. This committee deliberated for 18 months, reviewed multiple options and advised the Selectmen NOT to sell the 18.7 acres to the Aspetuck Land Trust at this time. The committee did not identify an option worth currently pursuing.
Additionally, the financial offer made by the Aspetuck Land Trust, tied to a state grant, would pay us pennies on the dollar of what Easton borrowed — and is still paying off — to purchase the property in 2008. Buying the entire parcel for $6.1 million and selling more than 60% of the land for $470,000 is a poor financial move. A better plan that addresses the entire 29.80 acres needs to be formulated before any action is taken. Fortunately, the recently passed Land Use Ordinance will give the citizens of Easton the right to decide.