In two swift motions with minimal discussion, a new nine-member Charter Revision Commission was unanimously seated and charged by the Legislative Council June 18. The new charter panel consists of two former council members, Jeff Capeci and Dan Wiedemann, who both worked with previous charter initiatives in their elected capacities. George Guidera, Kevin Burns, Thomas Long, Eric Paradis, Deborra Zukowski, James Ritchie, and Robert Hall round out the list of appointees. Councilman Paul Lundquist, who chaired the committee that interviewed and qualified the newly appointed commissioners, told The Newtown Bee that the council and the community are very lucky to have a group with impressive resumes reflecting their experience as executives in the private sector, working in finance, technology, and communications. George Ferguson, who chaired the Charter Charge Committee, said his panel received a wealth of input from town staffers, as well as from many elected and appointed panels. After sifting through the many suggestions to improve Newtown’s constitutional document, he said the charge committee welcomed most of the ideas submitted for consideration.
Up to now, Monroe’s Jen Aguilar has described herself as an active community member and volunteer. But come November, she hopes to take that level of service to new heights as the 112th District state representative for Monroe and Newtown. According to the Monroe Town Clerk’s office, she will be facing GOP challenger J.P. Sredzinski. Currently, Ms Aguilar serves as a commissioner on the Monroe Youth Commission, will shortly begin her term as co-president of the Monroe Parents Council, and serves on Monroe’s EMS Facility Search Committee. She participates with Monroe’s Project Warmth, which provides heating assistance to Monroe residents, volunteers at the Senior Center when it is a shelter and helps cook meals, and previously worked at Monroe Early Learning Center. “I know how to see things through from start to finish,” Ms Aguilar said in a release. “I created trunk or treat in Monroe as a safer alternative for kids on Halloween. [And] I was instrumental in getting the playgrounds for Sandy Hook Elementary and Fawn Hollow Elementary.”
The Economic Development Commission (EDC) has endorsed a zoning rule proposal that would allow the creation of rental apartments located above commercial uses at future development projects at the town-owned Fairfield Hills core campus. Following discussion at a June 10 session, EDC members endorsed a proposed zoning rule that would allow residential uses at Fairfield Hills under certain conditions, and provided that the applicants met the terms of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s (P&Z) special permit review process. The EDC voted 4-to-1 to endorse the proposal, with one abstention, according to EDC records. Although the town zoning regulations which were in effect in the past had allowed various residential uses at Fairfield Hills, the P&Z revamped its rules about a decade ago, eliminating such residential uses from the Fairfield Hills Adaptive Reuse (FHAR) zoning regulations.
The town Public Building & Site Commission (PBSC) has submitted a combined construction application for the new Sandy Hook Elementary School to the municipal land use agency, including an application to the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) and an application to the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z). The project proposed for 12 Dickinson Drive would be constructed at the site of the former Sandy Hook School, which was demolished in 2013 after the December 2012 massacre at the school. The voluminous school application is one of the largest, most detailed such applications in memory, indicating the scope of the project.
Two businesses in the 31 Pecks Lane commercial complex are teaming up to help raise funds to sustain a permanent interactive children’s museum in the community. The EverWonder Children’s Museum, temporarily housed in the complex, will be the beneficiary of proceedsfrom the Pecks Lane Festival & Community Tag Sale. The event is set for Saturday, July 19, from 9 am to 4 pm. Co-organizer and museum neighbor LeReine Frampton of LeReine’s Cuisine, Renee Wilson of Total Performance Sports & Fitness, and Karen Smiley of the museum are still in the final planning stages regarding the family-friendly activities they hope to present.
Market Master Mary Fellows has announced the opening day for the Farmers Market at Fairfield Hills, this coming Tuesday, June 24, from 2 to 6 pm.
Shoppers will find approximately ten vendors selling organic and Connecticut grown spring produce, plants, flowers, and baked goods on the first day of the Market, with many more expected to join the Tuesday afternoon event “as the season grows,” quipped Ms Fellows.
Brenda J. McKinley of Newtown was appointed as the next director of the C.H. Booth Library in Newtown, Wednesday, June 18, following a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees at a special meeting held Tuesday evening, June 17. Ms McKinley’s appointment, effective July 1, was announced to the staff and Acting Director Beryl Harrison, Wednesday morning, by Board of Trustees President Martha Robilotti. An accomplished and longstanding member of the staff of Booth Library, Ms McKinley emerged as the candidate of choice from a highly qualified applicant pool following a national search conducted by a seven-member committee composed of trustees, staff, and community members, who were advised by the Division of Library Development at the Connecticut State Library. “I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead the library, and excited for the future of Booth Library,” said Ms McKinley. “I look forward to working with the board, the staff, and the volunteers.”
With shining white and blue graduation gowns draped around them, members of the Newtown High School Class of 2014 entered the Western Connecticut State University’s O’Neill Center on Tuesday, June 17. The commencement exercises for the roughly 420 students included a bagpipe processional, musical performances by the NHS Chamber Choir under the direction of Jane Matson, and speeches by NHS Interim Principal Jeffrey Jaslow, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, Board of Education Chair Debbie Leidlein, Class of 2014 Co-Presidents Hope McMorran and Mary Joee Rossi, Salutatorian Amisha Dave, Valedictorian Anne Beier, NHS teacher Larry Saladin, and Student Government President Siena Cicarelli.