As January turns into February, I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you some observations on my journey so far as your First Selectman. As you know, I started my term in office just over 6 months ago and that seems like both a long time ago and also as if my first day on the job was just yesterday. As I stepped into office I had three top priorities for my work on behalf of all the people of Woodbridge:
1) Let’s come to consensus on long-term plans for important Town assets such as the former-Country Club property, the Old Firehouse and the upgraded Radio System;
2) Let’s agree on new and creative approaches to managing our resources such as vendor consolidation, eliminating redundancy, sharing services; and
3) Above all, let’s continue to be kind to one another as we go about this work – to be respectful of our different opinions and always to keep in mind that we all want, in our own way, what’s best for Woodbridge.
Former-Country Club Survey
For the past several weeks, I have been working to prepare a Public Opinion Survey on the topic of the Town-owned former-Country Club property. After discussion at both the December and January meetings of the Board of Selectmen (BOS), the survey has been finalized and the funding to print and mail it out approved unanimously at a Special BOS meeting on January 23rd. I am grateful to my fellow BOS members for their thoughtful contributions and suggestions.
I would like to share with you my thinking regarding this Public Opinion Survey:
- After almost 9 years since we purchased the former CCW property, I believe we should take a new reading of public opinion to see what the people of Woodbridge think about this important topic.
- I want to hear as many voices as possible – while some people attend meetings, speak in public comment, send emails, make appointments to meet with me at Town Hall, or send messages to email lists or post to Facebook groups – there are many others who have not yet spoken up. I want to know the opinion of as many households in Woodbridge as possible. I promise to respectfully listen.
The survey should have arrived in your mailbox earlier this week. Please fill it out and return it right away. There will be a postage paid return envelope enclosed in the mailing, but if you would like to help defray costs you are welcome to hand deliver your completed survey to Town Hall or the Town Library. The deadline for responses will be Monday, February 12th.
I am eager to hear your thoughts! By sharing your opinion, it is my hope that you will feel involved in the decision-making process as your local government weighs the options ahead of us and begins to chart out some “next steps.” Let’s work together to get things done. We can recognize that we will not always see complex issues eye-to-eye, but we can voice our opinions, listen respectfully to each other, and then move on to take action that will help determine the future Woodbridge we want to see taking shape over the coming years.
I will share more details with you soon on these and other initiatives and I ask, as always, that you continue to share your ideas and suggestions with me.
Beth Heller is Woodbridge First Selectman. She may be reached by phone at Town Hall, 203-389-3401, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.