Governor Dannel P. Malloy on March 17 announced that he is selecting Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson to serve as the state’s Under Secretary for Intergovernmental Policy, a position that will be responsible for the streamlining the investments into urban communities and regions in order to maximize their output and extend those improvements across surrounding areas. Mayor Jackson recently served as chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, a 16-member panel that was formed in the immediate aftermath of 12/14. In his new role, Jackson collaborate on behalf of the state with civic, municipal, and industry leadership to determine and prioritize transformational neighborhood revitalization strategies through a range of issues areas such as quality affordable housing, development of community leadership and advocacy, workforce development, early childhood education and academic achievement initiatives, violence reduction, tax and labor policy analysis, and transportation corridor development.
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.
The families of eight people who were killed and also two people who were seriously injured on 12/14 have filed lawsuits against the estate of the mother of the gunman in the incident. Through the two lawsuits, the ten plaintiffs, in effect, are seeking money damages from the insurance firm that provided coverage for the home of Nancy Lanza at 36 Yogananda Street in Sandy Hook. One of the two lawsuits claims that Nancy Lanza exhibited “carelessness and negligence,” resulting in the shooting incident.
At its March 9 budget review session, the Board of Finance heard details of a $300,000 savings opportunity in the town’s self-insured employee heath fund. Employee Medical Benefits Board Chairman Mark Mattioli and board member Jim Loring appeared to answer questions and to amplify significant points in a memo sent to town Finance Director Robert Tait and Newtown School District Business Manager Ron Bienkowski. According to the memo, during the first eight months of the 2014-15 plan year, claims were lower than expected. Mr Mattioli, however, told finance officials that major health insurers experienced higher trends in their books of business in 2014.
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Giving Day, held March 5, raised more than $1 million for nearly 400 nonprofit organizations in a 24-hour period. Donations last Thursday totaled $960,991, while sponsorships from a prize pool added another $105,100, for a grand total of 1,066,091. Newtown organizations raised a total of $39,151
The families of eight people killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school shooting have filed lawsuits against the estate of the gunman's mother. The lawsuits contend Nancy Lanza failed to properly secure the rifle her troubled adult son used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. The lawsuits seek to collect on Nancy Lanza's homeowner's insurance.
The Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) is reviewing a request for sanitary sewer service at an 11.8-acre site at 10 through 22 Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center, where a local builder/developer proposes the construction of a 74-unit multifamily apartment complex known as The River Walk at Sandy Hook Village.
WSA members decided on March 12 that the sewering proposal would be the subject of a public hearing on April 1.
The Children's Department reopened to the public, Friday, March 13, after burst pipes and flooding shut it down for nearly a month. “Yes, we’re back,” said Children’s Librarian Lana Bennison. New carpet tiles were in place, ceiling tiles replaced, and all was “cleaned and freshened up,” she pointed out. Looking over the shelves located near the check out, all appeared as it was prior to the flood. Moving toward the rear corner of the room, though, the loss of 10,000 books to water damage was apparent.It will take time, said Ms Bennison, before gaps in the collection are replaced. She had ordered 1,800 books the day before, but patrons must understand that replacement is a process of many steps.
Newtown residents Christine Rowan and Kerri Williams spoke before the state’s Appropriations Committee on Friday, March 6, sharing concerns, private stories, and fears regarding the proposed 2016 and 2017 state spending plan presented by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on February 18.
If proposed cuts to the state’s Department of Developmental Services Voluntary Services Program are approved in the budget, Ms Rowan and Ms Williams are fearful of the consequences for their families and others who use these services.
The DDS Voluntary Services Program, according to the department’s website, “supports children and adolescents who are clients of DDS and have emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs that result in the functional impairment of the child and substantially interfere with or limit the child’s functioning in the family or community activities.”
Newtown’s two registrars of voters were unable to catch the “Checks and Balances Express,” a bus full of Fairfield County registrars and voting rights supporters, as it carried opponents of a proposal to eliminate elected registrars to a hearing on Monday, March 9, in Hartford. But Democratic Registrar LeReine Frampton and Republican Registrar Joanne Albanesi stood with their colleagues in spirit, while providing written testimony against SB1051, legislation proposed by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill which eliminates the balance of power between two registrars of opposite parties, in favor of an appointed administrator.