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From the First Selectman: Communication Counts!

 

Communication and community continue as two of my major areas of focus, so I am delighted to announce that the Town has a new website which should make it easier for residents to find and receive information. Anyone who accesses woodbridgect.org will be taken to the new site.

Building a new website has been a complex and time-consuming task. Special thanks to Assistant Administrative Officer Betsy Yagla and Budget Analyst Karen Crosby who spearheaded and guided this effort. As with any major undertaking, there may be some glitches in the beginning. Please be patient and if you run into problems or have suggestions, please let Betsy know at byagla@woodbridgect.org.

Our website has some new features such as a community events calendar. Another important feature to note is the “notify me” option. Residents can sign up to receive email notices of Town department news and of newly posted board and commission agendas. I hope that this will help you stay up to date on the issues that you wish to follow. Importantly too, we have made this transition at no additional cost to the Town.

This is a good time to remind you about our Town email newsletter. You can get weekly news and events updates by signing up at tinyurl.com/WoodbridgeEnews. When I took office just over three years ago, we had no email newsletter at all – now we have more than 1,000 subscribers! I encourage you to be one of them if you are not already.

Woodbridge residents communicate with me at Town Hall in various ways: phone calls, emails, in person meetings and/or during public comment at Board of Selectmen meetings. Some of you communicate regularly, some occasionally, and some rarely or not at all.

Recently, I have heard from residents in the latter category asking about the current status of the Country Club of Woodbridge property, indicating support for the Toll Brothers proposal and asking why there would not be a chance for the public to vote on that proposal. Some expressed concern that because they did not speak up at the informational forum in July (when the Toll and Redan proposals were presented), the Board of Selectmen chose to pursue only the Redan proposal. (As a reminder, Toll Brothers proposed buying 42 acres for $5 million and building 80 age-restricted homes. The Town would retain the remainder of the land. Redan Reserve has proposed buying the entire property for $3.5 million and creating a “top 100” golf course in conjunction with the Yale Golf Course. Details about both of these proposals and more are available at woodbridgect.org/CCWFuture.)

Regarding the Toll Brothers proposal, let me clarify where we are and why. The process that applies to any sale of Town land is that once the Board of Selectmen makes a recommendation, it goes to a Special Town Meeting (and possibly a referendum) for a vote. That is, it is up to residents to make the final determination as to the sale of Town land.

Toll Brothers told us that they did not want their proposal to be brought to a Town vote unless the Board of Selectmen showed support for the Toll proposal by a vote of at least 4 or 5 (of the total of 6) Selectmen. Three of our Board members were clear that they would not vote to recommend the proposal for a Town vote. Thus, it could not go forward at this time.

As you may know, Toll has said that if the Redan proposal does not come to fruition, Toll is interested in pursuing its proposal with the Town. Whether there would be a change in the views of the Board members in that case I cannot say.

It is important that the Board of Selectmen hear the views of a wide range of residents, not just the consistently vocal ones. I encourage you all to keep in touch through whatever means is best for you.

And again, to stay on top of this issue and other Town news and events, please sign up for our email newsletter by visiting tinyurl.com/WoodbridgeEnews. You can now also sign up for department-specific news by using the “notify me” button on the Town’s new website available at woodbridgect.org.

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