The day before Legislative Council Ordinance Committee Chairman Ryan Knapp was set to be interviewed by The Newtown Bee to help review and explain the many of revisions and additions to the town’s Alarm Ordinance, he was asked to provide a similar explanation on a local social network site. The council has set a public hearing on the ordinance before a special meeting on the evening of October 28 in the Newtown Municipal Center council chambers. Mr Knapp confirmed the information he provided on Facebook and offered an abbreviated explanation about why the ordinance came up for review. “Back in February the Police Commission asked the [council] to revisit our existing alarm ordinance as it was not working,” the ordinance chairman said, adding that local officers are responding to “upwards of 1,400 alarm calls a year,” while only two or three of those are legitimate versus false alarms.
State Representative Mitch Bolinsky spoke with the Board of Education at its meeting on Tuesday, October 20, about the state’s Substitute House Bill 7019, An Act Concerning The Minimum Budget Requirement.
Rep Bolinsky also spoke with the Legislative Council during its meeting on October 7, and explained updates to the existing legislation. At that meeting he noted the Minimum Budget Requirement bill was introduced by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and was co-sponsored by roughly 57 other representatives, including himself. He added the bill was signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy as Public Act 15-99, after it passed the house and senate.
Republican First Selectman Pat Llodra, Town Finance Director Robert Tait, and Republican Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob all responded to claims made in a Democratic Town Committee position paper report that appeared in The Newtown Bee’s October 16 edition. In that position paper, Democrats made two statements in that elicited clarification or rebuttal from the local officials. In their paper, local Democrats asserted a number of points including an overarching concern that local political boards and commissions are out of balance, with a large majority of Republicans versus Democrats either elected or appointed to serve.
A sparse audience of mostly local political leaders and family members did not dissuade any of the eight residents seeking to be elected or reelected to the Board of Finance from digging into specific and detailed questions and delivering often detailed and thoughtful answers during The Newtown Bee’s annual pre-election forum at Edmond Town Hall on October 20. The event was moderated by Bee Editor Curtiss Clark, who said that while the newspaper’s previous local pre-election forums have focused on top-of-ticket races, the 2015 First Selectman and Board of Selectmen races this November are all uncontested. “With four veteran finance board members all retiring from service this year, we believe the Board of Finance race is a key one for taxpayers this year,” Mr Clark said.
The town has a surplus of cats at its animal shelter at Fairfield Hills and is seeking homes for the animals with residents who want to acquire some feline friends. The surge in cats at the shelter stems from the state Department of Agriculture’s June seizure of multiple animals, including more than 30 cats and two dogs, in an animal cruelty case at a Town’s End Road property. As an incentive, the town is waiving fees that would normally be charged people who adopt cats from the shelter,
In its first meeting after the close of a townwide survey where residents were asked to voice their wishes for a community center, the Newtown Community Center Commission on October 20 hosted a number of guests for presentations. Among groups most outspoken about securing space in the new community center are representatives from Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, and pool and ice rink proponents. Proponents of each of these groups spoke to commissioners this week. Results from a townwide survey and a collection of public forums are expected to be discussed during the commission's next meeting.
Police report they observed motorist Andrew Bolmer, 27, of 31 Swamp Road driving a vehicle erratically in Dodgingtown at about 10:40 pm on October 17, after which they stopped him on Hattertown Road, near Dodgingtown Road, to investigate.
Police said they charged Bolmer with driving under the influence. Bolmer posted $500 bail and is scheduled for a November 3 arraignment in Danbury Superior Court, police said. Read more about recent police activity in this week's report.
In an effort to learn more about what issues are on the minds of Newtown residents, and to share information about personal goals and ideas, Newtown's Democratic Town Committee is hosting a pair of events this week.
The school district announced on Monday, October 19, that its next scheduled community forum is set for Wednesday, October 28, at 7 pm in Newtown High School’s Lecture Hall.
The one-hour discussion will focus on present practice pertaining to safety, security, discipline, and student transitions.
The design of the evening is interactive, with those in attendance expected to partner with administration to discuss the topics.