The Easton Board of Selectmen held its first regular meeting for the month on Feb. 2. We dealt with routine actions by approving the minutes of our Jan. 5 meeting (the second regular meeting for January was cancelled due to lack of agenda items) and our joint Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance meeting held on Jan. 17. In addition, we approved 10 tax refunds as recommended by the tax collector.
The board accepted resignations from Kevin Oliver, who resigned from the Easton Diversity and Inclusion Task Force; Paul Wizda, who resigned from the Library Board; and Ross Ogden, who resigned from the Planning and Zoning Commission. The board thanked each of these men for their service to the town.
The board unanimously elevated Elizabeth Boyce from alternate to full member on the Library Board to replace Mr. Wizda. Her term runs until Nov. 7, 2023. This created a vacancy for an alternate on the board. We unanimously appointed Diane Parker to fill this spot. Her term runs until Jan. 2, 2024. The board unanimously appointed Nicholas D’Addario to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Ogden on the Planning and Zoning Commission. His term runs until Jan. 2, 2025.
The board unanimously adopted a revised ethics disclosure form as recommended by the Board of Ethics. The original form required all public officials to make various financial disclosures. The new form will only require disclosure if the public official declares on the form that they are associated with a person or entity which has business dealings with the town as defined in the ordinance. This will substantially reduce the amount of information collected and should ensure full compliance by all public officials.
The board unanimously approved release of a driveway bond for property located at 706 North Park Avenue as recommended by the Director of Public Workers and counsel.
The board unanimously approved the lease to Silverman’s Farm for property located on the Morehouse Road/Samuel Staples School grounds. This property has been leased by the town to various local farmers for several years.
The board unanimously approved a resolution to authorize the first selectman to apply for and administer the Neglected Cemetery Account Program. With this action, the town will receive a grant from the state to fund activities of the Cemetery Committee in maintaining such cemeteries in town.
The board unanimously approved the amended agreement authorizing the town to join the Fairfield County Hazardous Waste Incident Response Team. We have been a member of this group for a long time. The only change to the agreement is that it now creates a valid legal entity (called FCHIRT) to be the structure through which the organization can operate, receive funds, and the like.
The following people offered public comment on the topics described:
Regarding clearing of brush from Helen Keller Middle School to the former Easton Village Store along Sport Hill Road: Dana Benson thanked the town for making that happen.
Regarding the conviction of a member of Planning and Zoning and the general notion of removal of public officials from office and modifications to the Ethics Ordinance: Ray Martin, Grant Monsarrat, Jeff Becker, June Logie, Paula Barker, Kristin Falzone and Vivian Hardison.
Regarding issues related to the location of a new Emergency Medical Services building: June Logie, David Antonez.
Regarding the Emergency Medical Service/Fire Department Consultant’s report: David Antonez.
A video recording of the entire meeting can be accessed below and at https://vimeo.com/showcase/easton-board-of-selectmen.