There is a certain subset of Newtown inhabitants who don’t need signs or maps to identify Church Hill Road. They see the churches from stone steps to spires, and their own heart rates and respiration tell them it is a hill. They are sidewalk walkers. We see them every day from our office perch on the eastern slope of Church Hill within earshot of the snap of the town’s famous flag — just below where the sidewalk ends. Unfortunately, it is not the magical and poetic place made famous in every child’s imagination by Shel Silverstein.
After many, many hours of work by Legislative Council Ordinance Chair Ryan Knapp and his colleagues, several information forums on the proposal, and a sparsely attended public hearing, the full council unanimously approved an upgraded senior tax relief program May 7.
On April 2nd, the Legislative Council unanimously approved the budget put forth for our consideration by the Board of Finance. This budget represents a zero tax increase while taking into account the need for a solid school security plan, proper coverage of our health insurance funds, money to repair our roads as well as a reduction in staffing in our schools in response to declining enrollment.
Please join us on Tuesday, April 22nd, and vote yes at the Middle School on Queen Street from 6 am – 8pm.
It may have been one of the shortest budget public hearings the Legislative Council has hosted, but its four participants brought the same degree of passion and advocacy for the school district budget proposal as dozens have in previous years.
The four residents, plus Interim Superintendent John Reed, spent a total of about ten minutes Wednesday evening relating their support for the district’s spending plan, and calling for the council to move the budget request to referendum with no further reductions.
A piece last week in The Newtown Bee centered on prevailing wage laws applicable to public construction in Connecticut. [“Town Attorney Reviews Prevailing Wage Implications With Council.”] Unfortunately, Newtown Town Attorney David Grogins’ attempts to educate town officials on the subject was incomplete and, in part, wrong.
The Legislative Council is in the preliminary stages of initiating a new charter review process.
Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob reported to her colleagues February 19 that she is issuing a letter to all town boards, commissions, and departments soliciting input regarding issues in Newtown’s constitutional document that may need to be revised, amended, or struck, as well as any issues that need to be considered for addition.
Snow and ice have been repeatedly blanketing Newtown since late fall, pushing the Public Works Department’s winter maintenance budgets into the red in recent weeks. But a transfer of $116,106 that is expected to be approved by the Legislative Council February 19 will put those well-tapped budget lines back in the black according to Public Works Director Fred Hurley.