As the summer comes to an end, I would like to update you on several activities and initiatives. I continue to welcome your input and ask you to get in touch should you have questions or ideas you would like to share on these or other topics.
Sustainability and Clean Energy
Of concern to all communities across America, energy efficiency and sustainability efforts such as recycling are on the minds of many in Woodbridge. Recently, the Ad Hoc Energy Advisory Task Force discussed the need for a new Ad Hoc Committee to focus more broadly on Sustainability and goal setting in the areas of Town Building Energy Use; Recycling, Waste, and Food Systems; Vehicles and Transportation; and Education and Outreach to the Community. A short-term goal of the Task Force is to measure the impact of what we have achieved so far as a Town. A longer-term effort is to set targets for future achievement in each area. I have asked Jon Gorham to continue in his role as Chair of this group. I would like to hear from others in the community who are interested in getting involved – please contact me.
Impact on Woodbridge of the State Budget Situation
By late summer we usually have a final State budget and a firm understanding of how much funding the State will provide our Town to defray the cost of running local government. As you may be aware, the State budget is not yet settled, and interim funding arrangements have been announced each month since the fiscal year began July 1st. At this point, we are waiting for definitive information before making decisions at the Town level. Preliminary indications are that Woodbridge will not receive as much funding from the State as we have in the past. I will keep citizens informed as this situation develops.
August Meeting of the Board of Selectmen
At our August 9th meeting, the Board of Selectmen made note of the expected report from an environmental consultant regarding preliminary management recommendations for the former country club property. The Board of Selectmen will review the report and decide how to maintain and care for the property until voters decide on the ultimate future of the property.
As before, any resident wishing to volunteer at the property (gardening, weeding, etc.) must first receive permission from Woodbridge Town Hall. We welcome your contributions. Please understand that there are serious liability concerns for the Town if we permit unauthorized persons to cut grass or operate heavy machinery on the property. This requirement protects the Town from financial risk and also protects the safety of our citizens.
Many residents have visited me at Town Hall in the past two months to express their ideas for the former country club property. The Board of Selectmen is considering conducting a survey in the near future, to be sent to all property owners (both residents and out of town property owners) regarding the future of the property.
Freedom of Information (FOI) Forum
On Tuesday, September 12 at 6:00 pm at Woodbridge Town Hall we will have a public forum on Freedom of Information. Tom Hennick, Public Information Officer of the State’s FOI Commission will address the community. Members of our Town Boards and Commissions will have the opportunity to learn about their FOI obligations and best-practices. All are welcome. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to our Woodbridge Town Clerk Stephanie Ciarleglio by calling 203-389-3448, or sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please stay tuned for more news as we move forward with due diligence to address these and other ongoing concerns.
Beth Heller is Woodbridge First Selectman. She may be reached by phone at Town Hall, 203-389-3401, or by email to email@example.com.