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Time To Repeal The Fairfield Hills Authority Ordinance



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Time To Repeal The Fairfield Hills Authority Ordinance

(The Bee has received for publication the following letter to the Legislative Council.)

Dear Legislative Council Members:

Last week’s Newtown Bee editorial was right on the money: “Anyone paying attention to the various players moving into position for the next act of the Fairfield Hills development saga may have noticed that the production is taking on the characteristics of a Kabuki dance, a highly stylized narrative with an entirely predictable outcome. The outcome? There will be housing at Fairfield Hills.”

It is significantly disappointing that the P&Z will be “discussing” adding housing to the Fairfield Hills Adaptive Reuse Zone before the Fairfield Hills Master Plan Review Committee’s work has been completed. This committee has spent countless hours reviewing the master plan and is preparing to seek out significant amount of public input in an attempt to reach some consensus on a very contentious topic for Newtowners. It is abundantly clear that a small group of people are predetermining the outcome by making many decisions regarding Fairfield Hills behind closed doors. The Fairfield Hills Master Plan Review Committee and the voters deserve more respect.

We have already invested up to $30 million on Fairfield Hills, and the Newtown voters did not have a say in how that money was spent. With millions more to be spent on FFH, it is time to allow the voters to decide the fate of FFH by repealing the Fairfield Hills Authority Ordinance. We can no longer afford to have the three-member Board of Selectmen make the decision on whether or not we want to lease or sell town property on FFH. The town charter clearly specifies the protocol for leasing and selling town-owned property where the voters would attend a town meeting to approve or reject. 


(e) The sale, abandonment, lease or other disposition of Town-owned real property or interests in real property shall require the approval of a Town Meeting but such approval may be made only by the Town Meeting following a recommendation of such sale, abandonment, lease or disposition by the Legislative Council. Following such approval, the First Selectman shall carry out such sale, abandonment, lease or other disposition, subject to the requirements of subsections (f) to (h), inclusive, of this section.

(f) All sales, leases or other disposition of real property or interests in real property authorized in accordance with subsection (e) of this section, shall be by sealed bid unless the Board of Selectmen directs that a particular sale be by public auction. If the authorization of the Town Meeting is contingent upon obtaining a particular price, no bid less than the amount approved by the Town Meeting may be accepted.

The Fairfield Hills Authority Ordinance allows the Board of Selectmen to circumvent the people. Please repeal this ordinance and allow the people of Newtown to decide whether or not we want housing on FFH.

Thank you for your consideration.

Po Murray

38 Charter Ridge Drive, Sandy Hook                            March 2, 2011

Comments are open. Be civil.

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