FFH Authority Elects New Chair, Reflects On 2013

The final Fairfield Hills Authority meeting of 2013 indicated changes to come for 2014.

The role of chairman has passed from James Bernardi to authority member Thomas Connors.

Noting his “last night as chair” at the December 18 meeting, Mr Bernardi said, “I’ve got to thank you all for being volunteers dedicated to making the campus better for our town. You do it because you are dedicated, you donate your time, and I am proud of the work you all do.”

He ended his chairman’s position with a “hearty thanks to all who work so hard.”

Two unanimous votes supported the nominations for the new chairman and continuing Vice Chair Michael Holmes.

Recalling the year’s accomplishments, Mr Bernardi said, “I think the campus is achieving goals slowly but surely.”

He mentioned donations and grant funds that have made certain projects possible, and noted that Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Association has broken ground and started construction for its new facility.

He said various groups such as the Everwonder Children’s Museum and Newtown Cultural Arts Commission have expressed interest in the campus or have conducted community activities there. Of both groups, which hope for a more permanent presence on the campus, he said, “I hope they will accomplish their ventures.”

That night, the museum president and founder Kristin Chiriatti gave the authority an update about the group’s future fundraising goals and plans to occupy Plymouth Hall.

The authority moved to reserve Plymouth Hall for the museum through April, and asked Ms Chiriatti to come to a February meeting with updates.

Among other developments this year was a proposal from a contingent of Chinese investors who had expressed a desire to establish a nursing school at Fairfield Hills. Mr Bernardi said that discussion was ongoing.

Demolition work for Danbury Hall is also “moving ahead,” he said.

He spoke of the many community activities that brought people together at the campus in the past year saying, “All this could not get done without volunteers.” He also nodded to Director of Economic and Community Development Elizabeth Stocker, and secretary Christal Preszler who have done their jobs “ably, competently, and well.”

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