Newtown Police Department is reminding motorists to “Click It Or Ticket.” As part of a national seatbelt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement just ahead of one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. The current campaign was launched November 23, and will continue to November 30.
Fairfield County Giving Day will return on March 10, 2016. The event is an intense 24-hour online fundraising competition that unites the community around local causes close to the hearts of those who live in or support Fairfield County groups and organizations. Next year will mark the third annual Fairfield County Giving Day effort, a project of Fairfield County's Community Foundation. Sixteen Newtown-based nonprofits participated in the 2015 FCCF Giving Day, raising a combined total of $24,770.
The Town of Newtown has received a number of complaints in recent days and weeks concerning representative from a group called Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) soliciting in local neighborhoods. The Town issued a statement on Friday, November 20, in regard to a number of complaints received by the First Selectman’s office.
“We have received a number of complaints from residents regarding a ‘door-knocking’ campaign underway by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment,” the statement read in part. “Our efforts to stop or curtail the campaign have been disregarded by the organization. Unfortunately, the Town has no legal right to deny the group access to our community. However, we continue to alert them to our concerns and ask that they stop canvassing in our neighborhoods, especially during the evening hours,” the statement continued.
Renowned recovery expert and author Dr Bruce Perry believes that when it comes to individuals — even entire communities — struggling to recover from trauma, healing happens faster and more effectively if those involved don’t try to go it alone. Dr Perry will be the keynote speaker at a pair of upcoming events being hosted by The Ana Grace Project and partners including The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Western Connecticut State University, Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team, Newtown Public Schools, the Resiliency Center of Newtown, and the ChildTrauma Academy on December 2 and 3.
First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several opening on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving. Current openings exist on the Conservation Commission, Commission on Aging, and Sustainable Energy Commission.
After lengthy discussion at a November 19 session, Planning and Zoning Commission members unanimously approved zoning regulations that create an Exit 10 Commercial Design District overlay zone along sections of Church Hill Road, Edmond Road, and Commerce Road, near the Exit 10 interchange of Interstate 84. Among other land uses, the zoning regulations would allow an applicant to seek P&Z approval for a new restaurant which has drive-through window service, provided that the commercial project’s design meets a range of requirements specified by the CDD zoning regulations. The affected area currently has B-2 (Business) and M-4 (Industrial) zoning.
During her last regular meeting on November 4 with the Board of Education, Vice Chair Laura Roche was highlighted by a number of members for her efforts during her tenure. With the new Board of Education members set to start their terms in December, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, also took a moment during the board’s meeting on Tuesday, November 17, to thank member David Freedman for his time with the board. “[Ms Roche] has been with us for four years as a board member,” said school board Chair Keith Alexander on November 4. Dr Erardi, offered Mr Freedman “a personal thank you” at the November 17 meeting. “David is a dad and gave up quality dad time for early morning policy and capital work and late afternoon negotiation work over the course of his stay,” said Dr Erardi. Democrat Rebekah Harriman-Stites and Republican Andrew Clure were elected to the board at the start of this month, while Democrat John Vouros was reelected.
The current Legislative Council accepted a sweeping Charter revision during a final meeting November 18, but pushed a decision on the five-year capital spending plan off to a newly elected panel that will be sworn into office December 1. The council spent about 40 minutes mulling whether to keep or reject a Charter provision that would permit the local Board of Education minority party representation of up to three members, creating a maximum 3 to 4 split between elected Democrats and Republicans. Following a motion to accept a comprehensive overhaul and revision to Newtown's constitutional document, Council member Phil Carroll made a motion to strike the provision increasing the minority split from 5-2 to 4-3, contending that a 5-2 party split gives electors more flexibility to elect school board members.
After deciding to refer two pieces of disclosed board communications to the local Board of Ethics for review and filing an appeal with the Freedom of Information Commission, the Board of Education voted at its November 17 meeting to delay its conversations on the topic until further information is gathered. Board members have discussed at multiple recent meetings an e-mail and a screenshot of a text message recently shared on social media.