Gov. Dannel P. Malloy accepted the final report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission on Friday, somberly and profusely thanking its 15 members while offering no support for further restrictions on firearms and ammunition.
The commission’s findings and recommendations, including a call for significant investments in an “underfunded and fragmented behavioral health system,” comes as the legislature considers deep budget cuts proposed by Malloy.
“I do think the elephant in this room is the cost of this document,” said Wayne Sandford, a University of New Haven professor and former public safety official who served on the commission. “I know it couldn’t come at a worse time.”
Due to a heating issue in the church building, all services have been cancelled at St Rose of Lima Church today. This includes Stations of the Cross, at noon and 7:30 pm; and First Friday Adoration, which would have been offered until 4 pm. The heating issue is not affecting St Rose School, nor will it cause an issue with tonight's scheduled Friday Fish Fry.
Over the course of its last two meetings on February 25 and March 2, the Board of Finance continued its review of the municipal and school district budget proposals, and continued its attempts to define possible additional areas of taxpayer savings. During the February 25 review of the municipal budget request of $40,203,958 — which includes $10,110,702 in capital debt service for town and school projects — the finance board heard an extended presentation from Technology Director Al Miles regarding adding a staffer to his department. That meeting also included a discussion with Public Works Director Fred Hurley who qualified his request for additional funds exclusively in the roads budget as a means to get the town back on a sustainable plan for maintaining and replacing road surfaces and drainage.
HARTFORD — Newtown’s legislative delegation — Representatives Dan Carter, J.P. Sredzinski, and Mitch Bolinsky — have each issued updates on bills and initiatives they are supporting this session in Hartford. Rep Carter (R-2) stated that he is determined this session “to address income and housing — the issues that really matter to the public.” In his first session in the General Assembly, State Representative J.P. Sredzinski (R-112) has introduced legislation that would require all funds that the state collects for the Special Transportation Fund be used for transportation purposes only. And in response to area Sandy Hook neighbors’ complaints, State Representative Mitch Bolinsky’s (R-106) proposed legislation is to provide the Department of Transportation with an option to alleviate a noise and vibration problem for state residents.
With a community forum on the 2015-16 school budget set for this Tuesday, March 10, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, said this week he is hoping for a good turnout for the forum and for the April referendum.
The one-hour community forum, called “All-School Parent Conversation Focused On Teaching, Learning, And the Proposed 2015-16 Spending Plan,” will start at 7:30 pm, and it will take place in the Lecture Hall at Newtown High School, 12 Berkshire Road.
The community forum is being hosted by all of the district’s PTAs.
Governor Dannel Malloy appropriately attended the final meeting of his Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Friday, February 6, as the panel released the final version of its report and recommendations in the wake of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history in Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012. The comparatively brief 40-minute gathering provided an opportunity for most of the panel in attendance to both thank the governor for their appointments, with most also taking time to reflect on, or makes calls to action as a result of the recommendations set forth in the document. Those recommendations address school safety, emergency response, post-incident follow-up, gun safety and mental health concerns.
Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob told The Newtown Bee following a March 4 meeting that a public hearing on the proposed 2015-16 budget, originally planned for March 18, is now going to be held a week later on Wednesday, March 25. Ms Jacob said that based on the anticipated timing of budget actions at the Board of Finance, the council would need the extra week to properly and legally notice the public hearing. The council still plans to hold a regular meeting March 18, Ms Jacob said.
The light snow that began during the overnight hours is expected to continue until around 4 pm, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures at midday registered 21° F, which the weather service says will stay steady all afternoon. With temperatures in the lower 20s “hazardous travel conditions due to falling temperatures and road icing” is expected, according to NWS. Local organizations, groups, businesses, et al — anyone whose plans will be affected by the weather — are reminded that The Newtown Bee will post closing, postponement and cancellation notices as soon as they are received.
The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, Inc. announced this week its approval of three new board members, and the ratification of a ten-year sunset plan, which formalizes the spending down of all available funds by December 2025.