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It is only fitting that the 2017 celebration of Newtown’s most treasured citizens is not only being held in the heart of the Borough of Newtown, which was so well stewarded by honoree Jean St Jean — but in the Edmond Town Hall’s Alexandria Room, which is enjoying a renaissance thanks to the meticulous dedication of honoree Jim Juliano.
The public social event is open to all, and especially those who know and have benefited from the work of Mr Juliano and Ms St Jean over their many respective years of service to the community. It is being held Sunday, October 8, from 3 to 5 pm, with a tribute and speaking program commencing at about 3:30 pm, according to organizers.
As in year’s past since its inception, the event will be led by First Selectman Pat Llodra who supported creating the annual activity several years ago. Since then, the community has honored the late State Representative Julia Wasserman, former State Representative Mae Schmidle, Dr Robert Grossman, Dr Thomas Draper, former School Superintendent John Reed, and former First Selectman Joe Borst.
The event is supported by the staff of the Newtown Municipal Center, Newtown Health District, and Newtown VNA, and will feature light refreshments.
While Mr Juliano may not be able to attend, organizers decided it would be most appropriate to locate this year’s event to the Alexandria Room in Edmond Town Hall, a facility that he played such a huge role in helping restore and renovate.
Besides his longtime leadership of the Town Hall Board of Managers, Mr Juliano served on the town’s Economic Development Commission, and played a significant role in a number of other more recent municipal capital building projects as a member of the Public Building and Site Commission. As past chairman of the local Democratic Town Committee, his experienced guidance of many successful veteran and aspiring local political leaders cannot be understated.
According to biographical information compiled by event organizers, Mr Juliano and his wife, Nancy, have lived in Newtown for more than 40 years. Besides his local service, Mr Juliano also served on the Bridgeport and Danbury chapters of Habitat for Humanity, the Northwestern Workforce Investment Board, the State of Connecticut Codes and Standards Committee, and the Fairfield County Labor Council.
He was formerly on the executive board of the State Building Trades, the Board of Directors of the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County, and volunteered as president of the Danbury Central Labor Council. The Rotary Club named Mr Juliano a Paul Harris Fellow, and The Mary Hawley Society included Mr Juliano’s name on a plaque to be displayed in the Edmond Town Hall in recognition of his coordination and supervision of the renovation of the kitchen.
But that is far from the only thumbprint he left on that esteemed facility. He recognized that the ETH was a jewel that needed some polish, and helped oversee numerous projects at the ETH; a new elevator, theater seating restoration and renovation, digital technology conversion, the boiler replacement and of course, one of his shining accomplishments — the Alexandria Room kitchen that was renovated and updated.
Thanks to the watchful and educated oversight of Ms St Jean, the borough and the entire Newtown community have enjoyed the benefits of her work for more than half a century — whether they know it or not.
Over the course of her entire career, and a decade-long return to the field after her initial retirement in 2008, Ms St Jean has helped craft and uphold local land use regulations, first as a Borough staffer for the Borough Zoning Commission and Borough Zoning Board of Appeals, and later as town staffer to Newtown Zoning Board of Appeals, where she handled both administrative and enforcement duties.
Over more than 50 years, Ms St Jean has played a role in, or been witness to, decades of changes the Borough and all of the town have endured, including the conversion of the Ruwet Sibley tractor and power supply store to the police station on Main Street; the Eaton Centers and Grand Union to Caraluzzi’s Newtown Market and Barnwood Grill on Queen Street; the Yankee Drover Inn to the Dana-Holcombe House on Main Street; The A&P plaza to the Big Y Center; the White Birch Inn to 14 Church Hill; as well as the expansion of the Cyrenius Booth Library, the Newtown Ambulance facility’s relocation from Mt Pleasant Road to its new home at Fairfield Hills, the Village at Lexington Gardens developed, and the St Rose of Lima Catholic Church expansion.
She was also an instrumental presence as construction of sanitary sewers in town commenced, as sidewalks were installed and improved in the Borough, as many, many food services opened, and as the new Hook & Ladder Firehouse was developed on Church Hill Road.
Through it all and then some, Ms St Jean has maintained a great sense of history and has always been known to be tough but fair. Her job title at retirement was zoning coordinator and liaison official, but it didn’t really matter what the words say, as organizers learned that Ms St Jean did anything and everything that needed to be done.
For information about the upcoming event, contact co-organizer and Health District Director Donna Culbert at 203-270-4291, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.