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From the First Selectman: 10/30/2020

Veteran’s Day Ceremony

Due to COVID-19, we are NOT gathering for our annual Veteran’s Day ceremony this year.  This somber ceremony, organized by local veteran Dr. Barry Josephs, is an important reminder of the sacrifice’s veterans have made for our country.  Veteran’s Day is an important day when we pause to honor the men and women who have served in our armed forces.

To paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan, some people live an entire lifetime, and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but our veterans do not have that problem.  They HAVE made a difference.  On behalf of the Town, I extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to all our veterans and their families.

Town Hall Appointments

We opened Town buildings for in-person appointments beginning on Monday, October 26, 2020.  Our doors will remain locked, and folks will be allowed in only by appointment.  For several months during the pandemic, Town staff did a wonderful job of being creative and providing all needed services to our residents.  Now, as we enter the colder months, it is important that we give people the opportunity to come in from the cold and meet face-to-face if and when absolutely necessary.  I believe that most residents have been satisfied with meeting staff at the door, or picking up and dropping off paperwork, but there are certainly instances where something may be more complicated and not easily handled in a very quick interaction.

Masks and social distancing remain mandatory, and we have added hand sanitizing stations at the main entries to our buildings.

The Town Library will re-open for browsing during limited hours beginning on Thursday, November 5, 2020 on Tuesdays 11-3, Thursdays 4-7 and Fridays 1-4.

There are no plans to resume in-person meetings or allow outside groups to use Town buildings at this time.  We are keeping a watchful eye on the coronavirus numbers.  They have been rising statewide and locally as well.  We have had 8 new cases reported over the past month.  None of these cases were from nursing homes or extended care facilities – all were from private residences.  We remain in constant contact with the Quinnipiac Valley Health District, and will advise the public if the need for operational changes becomes necessary.

Please continue to social distance, wash your hands and wear a mask!  If you are out in our Town, and you see someone not wearing a mask please ask them politely to put a mask on.  If you feel uncomfortable asking, please call the police non-emergency number: 203-387-2511 for further assistance.  WE ALL MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP EACH OTHER SAFE.

Cell Tower Update

In mid-July the Town was notified of a proposed private transaction between residents at 118 Newton Road and Cellco Partnership DBA Verizon Wireless, of their intent to construct a new cell tower at 118 Newton Road in Woodbridge to “fill existing wireless service gaps.”

Under Connecticut State Statutes, cell towers are specifically exempt from local Zoning Ordinances and are solely under the jurisdiction of the State Siting Council.  The Town Plan and Zoning Commission and the Board of Selectmen have no authority to approve or disapprove the cell tower.

The Town of Woodbridge NEVER asked for, proposed, or had anything to do with, erecting this tower in our Town.

I believe that this cell tower does NOT belong in a residential neighborhood, and we are constantly working to seek an alternate location that provides the needed service, but does not impact any residential neighborhood in our Town.

At our Regular Meeting on October 14, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously against the construction of the proposed cell tower at this location.  We also voted unanimously to speak with an attorney familiar with cases such as this, to advise the Board as how to prevent the construction of the tower in a residential area in Town.  On October 22, 2020, the Board voted unanimously to hire Attorney Ira Bloom to assist the Town and the Board in this matter.  I will continue to keep residents updated on this very important matter.

Halloween

In normal times, Halloween is a wonderful and fun-filled event for everyone.  Please follow the CDC Guidelines regarding this holiday to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  I personally would recommend against door to door trick or treating, as it is hard to maintain safe social distancing, does not minimize contact with non-household members, and sharing candy and/or food is obviously quite risky.  The Town has several safe alternatives, and details can be found on the Town website, woodbridgect.org.

Federal Election

As a general reminder, the Presidential Election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  I must again extend a special thank you to our Town Clerks and Registrars of Voters for all the many months of work they have put into providing us all with the opportunity to vote, either by absentee or in person.  I would encourage everyone to do so.

The Official Ballot Box is located in front of the Woodbridge Town Hall for use, either to submit an absentee ballot application, or a completed ballot.  If you have any questions regarding the process, please reach out to either the Town Clerks at 203-389-3422 or the Registrars of Voters at 203-389-3408/3409.

PLEASE…Let’s ALL do our part to Stay Safe Woodbridge!  As always, my door remains virtually open to you.  If you need to reach me please call 203-389-3401 or email me at bheller@woodbridgect.org.

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