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The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission met on the evening of August 9, in the Municipal Center’s Council Chambers, to make the motion to recommend the memorial design they selected recently, labeled SH37, for the Newtown Board of Selectmen to consider.
After hearing hour-long presentations from each of the top three designers last month, the commission took a vote at its July 30 meeting to eliminate designs SH108 and SH204 from the running and move forward with SH37, which was created by Daniel Affleck and Ben Waldo of SWA Group.
On August 9, SHPMC member and former Newtown First Selectmen Pat Llodra initiated the motion to recommend project SH37, known in its originally submitted documents as “The Clearing,” to the Board of Selectmen.
All members voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Also during the meeting Thursday night, the commission reviewed the group’s mission statement and invited members to make revisions to it if they saw fit.
As seen on the SHPMC’s website, its current mission statement reads:
“The mission of the Permanent Memorial Commission is to make a recommendation to the Board of Selectman for a Permanent Memorial that remembers, honors, and celebrates those 26 [people] who died as a result of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and serves to provide comfort to those who loved and were touched by them.”
There were no updates made to the text, but members did voice the importance of having the mission statement accessible not only for its members to have on hand, but for those wishing to know more about the commission to have at meetings.
SHPMC Chairman Dan Krauss said that moving forward, he will be including the mission statement on the group’s agendas for future meetings. Agendas for meetings can be found on the SHPMC website calendar by date.
The commission also voted on Thursday to add reviewing the group’s Charge to the night’s agenda.
The Charge was approved and given to SHPMC by the Board of Selectmen in September 2013.
“It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s almost been five years,” Mr Krauss said about the time that has lapsed since the original formation of the group.
The document details why the group was initially appointed and what is expected of them by the town.
Key notes include that they are to “solicit ideas to be submitted for consideration and review offers and suggestions received,” engage with 12/14 families as well as Sandy Hook Elementary School faculty and parents, conduct public hearings to help gain community input, and work with town groups for help determining an appropriate memorial location.
According to the Charge, the group was also designed to “recommend to the Board of Selectmen Commission findings related to the nature, location, and funding of a memorial(s).”
SHPMC member Alan Martin said that if the commission is to continue as a group, the Charge will need to be amended.
Ms Llodra recommended the commission ask the Board of Selectmen to keep the commission on as a “formal advisory role” that would involve them through the completion of the project and the memorial’s dedication.
Mr Martin and other members on the commission voiced their agreement for that phrasing.
With that in mind, Mr Krauss said he will work with Newtown First Selectmen Dan Rosenthal to select a date in the near future when the SHPMC can be on a Board of Selectmen meeting agenda to present their design recommendation and their desire to update the Charge.
The next public SHPMC meeting will be on the evening of Thursday, September 13, at the Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.
For more information about the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission, visit newtown-ct.gov/sandy-hook-permanent-memorial-commission.