Noting that a number of residents are “looking for a gesture from the town,” regarding additional tax relief, Board of Finance Chairman John Kortze stressed that he wanted his board members to have a dialogue during a January 7 special meeting. Could they make a recommendation to the Legislative Council to enact non-income-based relief programs, age-based programs, or other initiatives? Board members and First Selectman Pat Llodra considered several ways to bring added relief to senior taxpayers in Newtown. No formal motions resulted from the discussion, however.
Senator Chris Murphy is calling for the Internal Revenue Service to open an investigation into a Nashville, Tenn. charity formed in the wake of 12/14 that has been unable to account for more than $70,000 it raised through marathon running. On January 10, 26.4.26 Foundation co-founder Ryan Graney said only $30,000 of the $103,000 taken in has been used for the organization’s purpose. That money was presented last January by co-founder Robbie Bruce to the nonprofit NYA, a youth sports center in Newtown. Graney said Bruce was in charge of the organization’s finances but Bruce has cut off contact with her. On Tuesday, January 14, Senator Murphy sent a letter to John Koskinen, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to call for an immediate investigation into the foundation. Graney said she noticed something was amiss last spring, when she discovered suspicious charges to the foundation’s PayPal account. Graney says she filed reports about the missing money with the FBI and local officials after Bruce was unable to explain where it went.
Following a report by Board of Education Vice Chair Laura Roche, the school board voted unanimously on Tuesday, January 7, to allow its Communications Committee to send budget newsletters on behalf of the board. Ms Roche explained the procedure was used last year, but the Communications Committee wanted the school board, with new members, to vote on it for this year. “We’ll be sending letters out on key points,” said Ms Roche. “We’re going to send one out before the budget process starts. Then there is three weeks when we have a total of six workshops, so after each of these we will send a summary on that week’s happenings… Then we would do a summary letter after we finish with the Board of Finance. Then… once the budget referendum is set we’re going to then rely, hopefully, on the PTAs." Once a referendum is set, Ms Roche said, the school board cannot use tax dollars to advocate or speak about the budget. The only information the board can share, Ms Roche said, is the time, date, and place of a budget referendum. Ms Roche said she has arranged meeting with PTA leadership.
After Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Gejda recommended a course of dealing with upcoming state high school graduation requirements, the Board of Education unanimously voted on Tuesday, January 7, to increase requirements for the graduating classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020. During the school board’s December 3 meeting, Newtown High School Principal Charles Dumais outlined possible needs and ways to meet the state’s 2020 graduation requirements...
The first snowstorm of 2014 arrived in Newtown less than 48 hours into the new year, and it left a few inches of powdery snow in its wake. Students were sent home early on January 2 — afternoon preschool students never even went to school on Thursday — when the snow arrived a little earlier than expected. The worst of the storm had passed through town by late Friday morning, An average of eight inches of snow was reported. By Monday, January 6, rain washed away much of the snow and left the region in a record-breaking temperature drop.
After being presented by Business Director Ronald Bienkowski, the Board of Education unanimously approved during its meeting on Tuesday, January 7, a request for the Board of Finance to establish an unexpended education funds account. A public act enacted in June of 2011, Mr Bienkowski said, allows for the use of an unexpended education funds account for school boards...
The Legislative Council was informed January 8 that the town’s last, best offer on two Riverside Road parcels officials hoped would provide an optimal and alternative entryway for the new Sandy Hook School was rejected by the property owners through their attorney.
First Selectman Pat Llodra reported to the council that a $650,000 offer presented with a caveat was turned down by the Oberstadt family who resides at and owns the 12 Riverside Road property adjacent to the Sandy Hook School. Mrs Llodra said she informed the Oberstadts that she could not ensure that $650,000 would receive final approval by elected officials who also have roles in authorizing town spending.
Newtown resident Joseph Draper announced to a group of Newtown officials January 7 his plan to guarantee at least $200,000 to fortify a nominal memorial fund and serve as a challenge to others to donate toward completing a sidewalk loop that will eventually link all but one of Newtown’s schools. Mr Draper, a principal with Ice Energy and Pacific Advantage Capital, met with First Selectman Pat Llodra, Health District Director Donna Culbert, Land Use officials George Benson and Jean St Jean, as well as Newtown Borough Burgess Jay Maher in the council chambers for an extended discussion about the grant.