While local registrars withheld comment on the matter, Democratic Registrar LeReine Frampton said she and her Republican colleague JoAnne Albanesi were looking forward to reviewing the full detail of what she described as a “compromise bill” that was voted out of the Legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee on March 31. According to a release, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill joined the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut in praising the committee’s passage of Senate Bill No. 1051, An Act Strengthening Connecticut Elections. By a vote of 13-2, the GAE committee approved a bill that will increase accountability and professionalism among Connecticut’s registrars of voters who are primarily charged with the responsibility of administering elections in Connecticut.
When Newtown’s Team 26 cycling leader Monte Frank paraphrased the postal carrier’s credo ahead of the cycling group’s departure to Washington, DC, Saturday, March 28: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” he forgot to mention the cold. Despite bone-chilling temperatures that accompanied the riders on much of their four-day, 400-mile trek, Mr Frank said their cause and the warm greetings enjoyed at virtually every stop along the way helped keep them going.
Despite a brief and unsuccessful attempt to eliminate the school district’s requested 0.34 percent budget increase, the Legislative Council unanimously voted to send a budget plan to referendum representing the first tax rate decrease in memory. On April 1, the council endorsed a 2015-16 budget proposal of $111,730,513, representing a 0.6 percent spending increase over the current year. If approved as endorsed by the council in an April 28 referendum, the new spending plan would represent a net reduction in taxation of 0.71 percent, with a new tax rate of 33.07 mills, about a one-third of a mill reduction from the current rate of 33.31.
Trails at Fairfield Hills will be extended this spring, adding nearly another paved mile through the sprawling, scenic campus. Addressing the Fairfield Hills Authority earlier this month, Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold explained the trails project, which will extend the existing paved passive recreation surface. With a budgeted $300,000 in this year’s capital improvement plan, a recent bid came in from LRM Construction for $291,000, which was “great,” Ms Mangold said.
Newtown Board of Realtors president Barbara Frey is pleased with the direction the housing market in Newtown is headed this year. “There’s a real positive feeling in the air,” she said. Despite year-to-date sales slightly off from this time one year ago (60 homes sold since January 2015 versus 66 that period in 2014), it is an “extremely active market right now. Agents tell me they are busy morning to night,” Ms Frey said. Fifty-two homes have recently gone under deposit. There are an additional 23 pending sales, as of March 25.
The Newtown/Sandy Hook market currently has 255 single-family homes listed for sale, a number that Ms Frey said seems reasonable. As recently as this past September, 284 houses were listed for sale. According to information provided to The Newtown Bee by the local board in 2013, Newtown’s inventory was 253 at that time, down from a 2012 high of 319 homes on the market.
Newtown Parks & Recreation has announced that the turf fields at Treadwell Park and Tilson Field will once again remain closed for at least another 24 hours, if not longer. The fields have not yet been opened for the season.
The Newtown Police Department has received reaccreditation from the state’s Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POSTC), signifying the department’s continuing compliance with a broad range of law enforcement standards. The recognition provides the department with certain credentials in the field of municipal law enforcement. The department received the Tier 1 reaccreditation from POSTC. There are three levels of accreditation, with Tier 1 being the basic level. It is the fourth time that the police department has received accreditation. The current Tier 1 accreditation status runs for three years. Police Chief Michael Kehoe, along with Lt Christopher Vanghele, who is the department’s accreditation manager, and also Cynthia Mazzucco, who is an administrative assistant at the police department, attended a POSTC session in March to formally receive an accreditation certificate.