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From the First Selectman’s Office – 12/11/15

Very Happy Holidays to you and your families!

As Woodbridge residents, we share the good fortune to live in a Town where extraordinary natural beauty is matched every day by the dedication of our Town employees and volunteers. I want to celebrate with you the very productive year this has been for us in Woodbridge.

First and foremost, we kept close watch on Town spending and passed a budget that, while keeping tax increases to a minimum, reflects the values and priorities of our Town: providing award-winning education, assuring public safety and maintaining and investing in the Town’s infrastructure.

We made great progress promoting clean energy and going green. We moved forward with the Microgrid that will provide clean and reliable power to Town campus buildings and Amity High School during a power outage; we are pursuing a solar installation on the capped landfill to provide clean energy at predictable electric rates to most municipal buildings; and thanks to the volunteers on the Ad Hoc Energy Advisory Task Force, we hosted the very successful Woodbridge Energy Challenge.

We also continued our commitment to strengthening communication and promoting our sense of community. We’ve continued popular events, such as the Recreation Department’s summer concerts and the farmers’ market hosted by the Library, and started new ones: the Library’s partnership with Long Wharf Theater and One Book/One Town community read; the Wisdom of Woodbridge lecture series; Conservation Commission monthly guided hikes; and the renewal of a robust, multi-event Woodbridge Day. Recently I initiated a “Person of the Month” program to recognize the many Woodbridge employees, volunteers and residents who go above and beyond to make Woodbridge the great town that it is. We continue to grow our email newsletter (sign up at tinyurl.com/WoodbridgeEnews) to let you know about community events and we regularly post on Facebook and on our Town website www.woodbridgect.org

Economic development continues to be an important priority. We hosted Business After Hours; invited local businesses to speak at the Economic Development Commission’s monthly televised meetings; and as part of the EDC’s Shop, Dine and Try Woodbridge campaign, I visited more than a dozen local businesses to learn how the Town can better support them. We organized a Restaurant Week and – to take our economic development efforts to the next level – we held the Town’s first-ever multi-commission economic development conference.

And there is so much more!

  • We opened and dedicated the new Public Works Facility named in honor of our late First Selectman Edward M. Sheehy
  • We are nearing completion of the energy-focused renovations at Beecher Road School.
  • Pease Place Playground was opened to the delight of our children and their families. Special thanks to the volunteers and town employees who made this dream a reality.
  • The outstanding professionalism of our Finance Department and Board of Finance was once again recognized with a Aaa bond rating and an award for the Town’s financial audit.
  • Town Clerk Stephanie Ciarleglio was recognized as the 2015 Connecticut Town Clerk of the Year!
  • The Recreation Department began offering online registration for programs. This was a smooth process thanks to the Department staff and the Recreation Commission.
  • Our top-notch Police, Fire and Public Works Departments kept us safe and secure, including through their impressive, cooperative, around-the-clock efforts during last winter’s many snow storms.
  • And of course, our Human Services Department continues to provide a variety of programs for residents, young and old, including collecting and delivering holiday baskets to those in need. (You can still donate holiday items until Dec. 17.)

Thank you to everyone who made this a great year for Woodbridge. I look forward to working with all of you to make next year even better!

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