The lineup of Newtown’s administrative team changed in 2014. At the start of the year, the Board of Education was conducting a search for a new superintendent of schools. On January 10, five members of the school board were ready to head to Southington to conduct a site visit with that district’s then-superintendent, Joseph V. Erardi, Jr. The visit was part of the interview process, as BOE Vice Chair Laura Roche told The Bee. The district had been engaged in a nationwide superintendent search since the departure of former superintendent of schools Janet Robinson, who took up the superintendent position in Stratford in the spring of 2013. Former Newtown superintendent John Reed returned to serve as interim superintendent following Dr Robinson’s departure in June 2013.
People and places moving Newtown forward through 2014 included a number of local organizations that presented special collaborations and celebrated milestone anniversaries this year. The Newtown chapter of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut celebrated its 25th anniversary in June, Newtown Youth & Family Services reached its 30th anniversary, Newtown Meals On Wheels reached the 40-year mark in November, and Newtown Congregational Church celebrated its tercentennial with a number of special events for the congregation and the community at large. Newtown Bee Features Reporter Nancy K. Crevier offers a look at these and other events that took place in Newtown during the past 12 months in this year in review offering.
2014 was a positive planning year for the new Sandy Hook Elementary School. Consigli Construction oversaw the demolition of the old Sandy Hook School in the fall of 2013, and by 2014 plans for the new building were taking shape, following community input and work between the town and design team, led by Svigals + Partners. By autumn, ground had been broken. Education Reporter Eliza Hallabeck offers a look at the past 12 months of this major project.
In early 2014, the updated Town Plan of Conservation and Development, as well as the updated Fairfield Hills Master Plan, took effect, providing the town with a set of planning guidelines for the coming years on local growth and resource conservation, both in the town at large and at the town-owned 185-acre Fairfield Hills core campus. The town plan is updated decennially. The Fairfield Hills plan is updated as needed. These projects were two of a number of land use related stories that were covered during the past year by The Newtown Bee.
Newtown Boy Scout Troop 270 will be picking up Christmas trees from residences again this year as a fundraiser. Members will be doing pickups Saturdays and Sundays, January 4-5 and 17-18; and Saturday, January 10. A $10 donation per tree is requested.
First Selectman Pat Llodra is seeking residents to fill several opening on local appointed boards and commissions. In some cases the appointments are required to be affiliated with a specific political party, while in other cases unaffiliated voters are encouraged to consider serving. Inquiries should be made through Sue Marcinek, Executive Assistant, Office of the First Selectman, 3 Primrose Street, or call 203-270-4203.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) says it is considering modifications to key provisions of proposed new permit requirements for the management and oversight of municipal stormwater systems — while still allowing the agency to achieve important environmental objectives. The announcement came following testimony and correspondence from numerous public officials from across the state, including Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra. DEEP officials said they are already discussing with local leaders changes to language now in the draft permit and will circulate a revised version of that draft permit by January 26.
The final week of the year brought Newtown’s Water and Sewer Authority together for a brief meeting to discuss proposed changes in regulations to both local sewer use regulations and the community’s water pollution control plan. After some discussion on December 29, the authority approved sending the proposed changes to a public hearing on January 8.
Republican Registrar of Voters Karin Aurelia has retired from her elected post after 12 years of service. She was honored on her last day, December 18, with a small reception at the Newtown Municipal Center, where she was also presented with a state proclamation by State Representative Mitch Bolinsky. Ms Aurelia was serving as a volunteer poll worker before she was recruited by former registrar Shirley Laurenson to be a deputy registrar, a post she held for 17 years.