Newtown Finance Director Robert Tait calls them "horror stories." He is referring to endless news reports from states and cities including Connecticut and many of its 169 municipalities, about the horrible condition of public employee pension plans. But he said in a snow bound February 5 interview with The Newtown Bee that neither Newtown pensioners nor taxpayers should be too concerned about the state of Newtown's retiree pension system. And he reminded taxpayers that every year, they benefit to the tune of "millions, possibly as much or more than a million a year," because several years ago, Newtown chose to install a caveat tied to the payouts it provides retired town employees.
LATEST (1:30 pm) All of today's Parks & Rec programs have been cancelled. || Groups, organizations and businesses that need to announce change of events of hours of operation due to today's weather are encouraged to contact The Newtown Bee to get the word out. Additional announcements will be posted as they are received.
For the second workshop meeting in a row, the Board of Education discussed security measures in the school district on Tuesday, February 4.
Tuesday’s meeting marked the next-to-last budget workshop meeting for the school board. It is scheduled to adopt its 2014-15 budget on Thursday, February 6.
Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed presented his budget on January 23. The superintendent’s proposed operating budget for 2014-15 totals $71,580,034, which reflects a $534,730, or a 0.75 percent, increase over the 2013-14 fiscal year.
During its meeting on Thursday, January 30, the Board of Education heard a report about potential security costs. Dr Reed explained the school district has been asked by First Selectman Pat Llodra to find an alternative to a continued police presence at the schools and to add costs associated with that alternative to the school district’s budget, rather than in the selectmen’s budget.
WASHINGTON – With Congress opposed to even the most modest efforts at gun control, activists are pressing a sympathetic White House to make gun ownership a public health and safety issue, and they're lobbying the Obama administration to pour money into public information campaigns and gun research.
Some groups contacted did not want to discuss details of their lobbying strategy.
“As you might imagine, those are conversations that we aren't ready to speak to the media about,” said Erika Soto Lamb, spokeswoman for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group formed and funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
But others, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they are hoping the president will direct the Department of Health and Human Services to launch a public safety campaign about the dangers of gun ownership, much like the agency did about the dangers of smoking. Gun control advocates are also pressing President Obama to spend more money on research about guns and gun ownership.
With an average of six inches of new snow thanks to Monday’s storm, Newtown and the region are preparing for another storm to arrive on Wednesday, February 5. Superintendent of Schools Dr John Reed has already announced the cancellation of school for Wednesday. Groups and organizations that need to postpone or cancel events planned for Wednesday, February 5, due to the weather are invited to contact Newtown Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks to get their word out. In addition, businesses that decide to close early — or even open late — are encouraged to contact Miss Hicks with those details. Announcements will be posted on The Bee’s website, and also sent out through social media, as they arrive.
Groups and organizations that need to postpone or cancel events planned for today due to the weather are invited to contact Newtown Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks to get their word out. Businesses that decide to close early — or even open late — are also encouraged to contact Miss Hicks with those details. Announcements will be added to this page, and sent out through social media, as they arrive.
Newtown's roads are slippery today. Fred Hurley has had crews out working since 4 am, but 10 hours into the storm, the public works director says the roads are "slick." Snow began falling around 5 am Monday, and has continued steadily since.
The National Weather Service (NYC) had issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the entire southern portion of Connecticut, to be in effect from 5 am until 7 pm. A graphic posted at 3 pm Sunday, February 2, predicted 2 to 4 inches of snow to fall across Fairfield County by 7 pm Monday, February 3. By 9:47 am, NWS had upped its predictions to a "moderate to heavy snowfall event today. " Accumulations had been increased to between 3 and 6 inches of snow in northern Fairfield County. "At this point in the storm, unless you're on a road that's been plowed off, or has heavy traffic, they've very slick," Mr Hurley said shortly after 3 pm. "This snow is very slick."
After requesting developers for the Lexington Villages complex off Church Hill Road return to the Economic Development Commission to further discuss a pending business incentive tax abatement that was hastily approved earlier this month, the Board of Selectmen seemed momentarily taken aback January 29 when developers and economic development officials returned requesting the original three-year, 45 percent abatement be extended to seven years. Following a special meeting one day earlier, Economic and Community Development Director Elizabeth Stocker said the EDC had a much better opportunity to examine and discuss the pending development. Ms Stocker said the commission examined the package of improvements and permanent public benefits that will result from the mixed-use retail/office development, and determined that an extension to the original request was justified.
Printed bound versions of the 2014 Town Plan of Conservation and Development and the 2013 Fairfield Hills Master Plan are now available at the town Land Use Agency office at Newtown Municipal Center at 3 Primrose Street. The published volumes are the product of lengthy planning projects by the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) and by the ad hoc Fairfield Hills Master Plan Amendment Work Group, respectively. The documents are intended to serve as general guides for the future development and conservation of the town, and the town-owned section of Fairfield Hills. The price of the documents is $25 for the 171-page town plan, and $10 for the 34-page Fairfield Hills plan. Both documents are also available for public review on the town’s website on the Internet.