Message from First Selectman Bindelglass

Update for 9/25/2020

Good evening,           

I am happy to report that the Town of Easton continues to weather the pandemic and unlike so many other districts we have been able to keep our schools open. Our numbers remain good even after Labor Day Weekend with the town party and fireworks celebrations. I continue to believe that it is the diligence of our people that has kept our numbers low. The people of Easton continue to inspire me.

Easton’s Official Drop Box across from the Easton Police Department

The General Election is now less than 40 days away. This will no doubt be a uniquely contentious election. We respect the rights of all people to speak their minds and post their posts and display their signs. At a time where civility is often lacking in national political discourse, I hope that we in Easton can be counted on to be respectful of each other.

The Official Ballot Drop Box for absentee ballots  has been set up across from the Police Department entrance to Town Hall on the far side of Morehouse Road. Some have questioned why it was placed at that location. This was carefully considered by the town. The reasons include:
1. Due to the fact that it needed to be under camera surveillance 24/7 and bolted to the ground, it was not placed out front of 225 Center Road as there are no cameras there and its location would obstruct the parking spaces. 
2. It is not in front of the entrance to the Police Department due to the pavers and there was no location that wouldn’t obstruct the accessible walkway. 
3. It is not closer to the road to discourage people from stopping in the middle of the road to deposit information. 
4. Its location is also near two specifically designated parking spaces and a handicap parking spot where there is no curb to pose a hazard to voters. 
5. Its location also has lighting in the evening for safety and security. 

Please either mail your absentee applications and ballots or place them in the ballot box. PLEASE DO NOT BRING THEM TO TOWN HALL.  The preparation and execution of  this election has been and continues to be a tremendous effort by our Town Clerk office and Registrars of Voters, so a huge thank you to them.

Now that our fields are in use again, there is increased trash around the fields. We are also aware of people dumping garbage in trash cans and dumpsters around town facilities. For those using the fields, please be mindful and dispose of your trash.  Park and Rec is doing their best to keep up with emptying the recepticles however, when those using town dumpsters or trash cans as places to dump personal garbage, it quickly becomes out of hand.  This is unacceptable and those areas are now being checked by the Police Department and Public Works. I suspect a lot of this is coming from out of town so if you see someone dumping you can help us by getting a license plate number and calling the Police Department non-emergency number 203-268-4111 to report it.  For residents, we offer curbside Transfer Station Ticket purchases at the Town Hall, Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for $7.00 per 125 lbs., let’s all do our part to keep Easton clean and beautiful!

There have also been questions about the Morehouse Park Restrooms. They are completed and would have been in use this fall, but we have decided not to open them because we are concerned about meeting the CDC standards for cleaning during the pandemic.  I fully understand the frustration of having to use a port-a-potty with these brand new bathrooms in sight however, current staffing levels of the Park and Rec Department cannot maintain cleaning schedules recommended by the CDC. We will have provisions in place for the start of the spring season.

Several people reported seeing bears in our neighborhoods and streets this week.  Please be cautious when out walking or driving and report any incidents, noting sighting location and if the bear was tagged.

Be safe and enjoy a beautiful weekend!!!

Dave Bindelglass

A Message from First Selectman Bindelglass … Update for 7/24/2020

Good afternoon,
We are in the so-called dog days of summer, but there is still plenty going on. Travel during the pandemic has become a hot button issue within our state. Some of you may have vacation plans to states where the virus is not well controlled. Currently, there are 31 states on the Travel Advisory List so if you are going out of the northeast please double check the list. Pursuant to Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7III, if you travel to an affected state, upon returning to Connecticut you must self-quarantine for 14 days. There is a plan to impose significant fines for failing to follow this mandate. If there is a resurgence of the virus in Connecticut, it may well be brought in from one of these states.  As much of a hardship as this may be, I believe it to be a good idea.  For more details and the executive order concerning travel please go to www.ct.gov/coronavirus. 

We cannot take for granted how well we have done in Easton and we do not want to jeopardize this. I would encourage families to talk with their teenagers and young adults. There is good evidence that in the states where the virus is out of control much of it has to do with the virus being spread by  young people, who are going to social events and establishments (bars, restaurant, pool parties)  and not being appropriately cautious. Even though they are either asymptomatic or only minimally affected, they then help spread the virus to those at higher risk. We do not want our town or state to go back to where we were this spring. We all understand how trying this pandemic has and continues to be but we have not reached a point where we can be cavalier, and the consequences of doing so are obvious in most of the rest of the country. Wear your mask; wash your hands and social distance!

Aquarion has informed us that reservoir levels are falling as they often do in the summer. For those of us who receive public water, the restrictions are not mandatory but voluntary.  For rules and tips see www.aquarionwater.com/conserve.

As many of you have heard, the bear population in Easton is increasing. In June, there were 19 reports of bears entering people’s houses in the state. This is a serious issue. The problem is that we inadvertently feed the bears (bird feeders, open garbage containers, etc.) and they become comfortable approaching houses.  Please be careful. For more info please see https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Wildlife/Nuisance-Wildlife/Living-with-Black-Bears .

This is the first year that we have made it possible for people to pay their taxes online by credit card. This seems to be going extremely well.  For more information, please see the Tax Collectors page on the town website.  This is part of our ongoing effort to make services through town hall easier and more resident friendly. 

Discussions are ongoing regarding the opening of schools. I have weekly meetings with the central office staff. There is still further guidance expected from the state and the school leadership and Boards of Education are waiting for the results of a parent survey.  The start date of school is creeping up on us but, the plans are still under discussion.

Lastly, I am surprised as First Selectmen at the amount of calls I get about neighbors complaining about the condition of another neighbor’s property. Usually this centers on upkeep or storage of materials, machines or vehicles. In general, it is about unsightliness. People complain that their neighbor’s property detracts from the value of their own home or just that they feel they shouldn’t have to look at it.  What follows is the current ordinance of the Town of Easton:

For the purpose of this chapter, the term “nuisance” means any condition or use of premises or of building exteriors or vacant lots which causes or tends to cause substantial diminution in the value or enjoyment of other property in the neighborhood in which such condition or use of premises is located or which constitutes a hazard to health or safety of the general public. This includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
The keeping or the depositing on or allowing the accumulation of or the scattering over the premises of lumber, junk, trash or debris; abandoned, discarded or unused objects or equipment such as furniture, bedding, stores, refrigerators, freezers, cans or containers; persistent pools of stagnant water from storm runoff or subsurface seepage or discharges of water from the premises; and weeds or other unsightly vegetation contributing to higher pollen counts in the atmosphere.
Vacant or abandoned structures not secured against entry by boarding, shuttering, locks or watchmen on premises or on regular patrol.
The keeping, depositing or storing, outside of an enclosed building, of more than two inoperative or unregistered motor vehicles, or the used parts of a motor vehicle, except operative farm vehicles.

We have discussed doing a better job of enforcing the existing ordinance in Easton at the Board of Selectmen meetings. I would like to think that the best solution is that people took pride in the appearance of their own properties and respected their neighbors. This will be an ongoing discussion at upcoming selectmen meetings. 

Enjoy the weekend. There is, after all, baseball to watch on TV!

Be safe and be careful.

Dave Bindelglass