On Saturday, October 24, from 4 to 6 pm, the Newtown Republican Town Committee will host a Candidate Meet and Greet at Newtown Country Club, 2 Country Club Road. Light refreshments will be served. The event is open to all Newtown voters and offers an opportunity to talk to local GOP candidates. Many of these candidates, incumbents as well as newcomers, will be present and look forward to talking with residents. First Selectman Pat Llodra, veteran Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob, incumbent Board of Finance member John Godin, and other candidates will be available to meet voters and interested residents.
Newtown Republicans have issued their latest position paper focusing on the topic of balance this election season. “Our opponents are suggesting that voting for them will return balance to the system, a theme we’ve heard in the past,” the paper states, restating the question: “Is there an imbalance?”
In a pair of recent press releases, local Democrats are coming out swinging just weeks before voters go to the polls. The local candidates and Democratic party leaders are railing against local Republicans they say have dominated local government and its decision making processes for far too long. In an October 14 release, Newtown Democratic candidates are “urging voters to end the one party domination of Newtown government on November 3 by voting in the Democratic slate to add balance, inclusiveness and transparency to the governing bodies. The one party domination has deprived the town of the benefit of the Democratic vision for the future of Newtown.”
For those who are interested in separating food scraps from trash so it can be made into compost, but do not want to do it in their backyard, Newtown residents are being invited to join a new drop-off pro-gram, which will be available in town in the coming weeks. The Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority is expanding organics recycling into Newtown this fall. The program will kick off November 14 at Newtown’s Transfer Station, on Ethan Allen Road. Participants will receive both a countertop and outdoor collection container at no cost, according to the Public Works Department. HRRA is hoping local residents will consider joining the effort to prevent food waste from entering the conventional waste stream and promote a sustainable environment.
The recent T-Mobile and Experian data breaches are a sobering reminder that cybercrimes are a global concern, claiming 556 million victims annually with $100 billion in related costs. Ironically, this latest pair of breaches occurred just as state consumer officials were readying an information campaign for Cyber Security Awareness Month this October. The attorney general is encouraging all Connecticut residents affected by the recent T-Mobile and Experian data breach to take advantage of the free credit monitoring services being offered. Mr Jepsen, whose office recently created a new department called The Privacy & Security Data Department, also offers some tips to help all consumers minimize the risk of falling victim to cybercrimes.
Thirsty? Two new water fountains and a dog fountain will be installed in early spring along the new trail at Fairfield Hills. Walkers and joggers passing by the Victory Garden will be able to quench their thirst there and at another location near Glander field. The estimated cost of $28,000 will come from a Fairfield Hills Authority.
The Newtown PTAs and PTSA hosted an informational forum for Board of Education candidates running for election November 3 in the Newtown High School’s Lecture Hall on Wednesday, October 14.
Republicans Andrew Clure and David Freedman, and Democrat Rebekah Harriman-Stites took turns answering questions both prepared by the PTAs and PTSA and submitted by community members during the one-hour event. Candidate and Democrat John Vouros could not attend the forum, but a statement by Mr Vouros was read near the end of the event.
Moderator and NHS Social Studies Department Chair Gary Franklin welcomed attendees, and introduced the candidates seated before them.
On Thursday, October 15, a demolition crew from BesTech ripped into the first Fairfield Hills “white house” to be razed in the coming days. The next phase of demolition on the town owned campus involves taking down all the deteriorating former staff homes that dot the western corner of the property adjacent to Mile Hill Road South, as well as an adjacent collapsing green house.
The Legislative Council dug into a package of ordinances, and received a brief report on the status of town spending on major planned road and drainage projects during the first meeting of the month on October 7. Public Works Director Fred Hurley informed the full council on the status of Town road projects, including the status of gas line installations at Sandy Hook School and a similar project next year at Middle Gate. He also distributed and discussed a report on projects and costs. Following a public hearing on amendments to the ordinance related to Newtown’s Sustainable Energy Commission, and another ordinance governing local administration of tax abatements to totally disabled veterans, the council acted to pass both.
What do residents want in a community center? The primary appeals during Tuesday’s public forum about a community center included space to house arts, senior activities, a pool, an ice rink, and a general gathering place. But with those interests came questions: could a center be all of those things, and how far will the $10 million gift for center construction from The GE Foundation be able to stretch? Newtown Community Center Commission are using the Q&A forums to help understand the public’s opinion on what should be offered at a community center, which is now in planning stages following a $15 million grant from General Electric in the wake of 12/14. Ten million is intended for construction. The remaining $5 million is to support programming at $1 million a year for five years.