Several Woodbridge residents attended the Human Services Commission meeting Monday evening, 11/4. We sat through the presentation by Brian St. Pierre, a developer who is looking to transform a portion of the beautiful Country Club of Woodbridge golf course into 120 homes for people 55 years of age or older.
After his presentation was made, some board members asked questions they had concerning aspects of the project. The floor was then opened to the public for questions.
We were for warned that a timer was in place to make certain we did not exceed our 2 minutes of allotted speaking time. We were also told that politeness was expected in our questioning process. (Are you starting to get the feeling of the tension building in the room?)
As people rose to speak, it was obvious that there was a concerted effort on the part of the few people who were “running” the evening that questions could not be asked that would give anyone who had not been following the events of the attempted sale, (or should I say give away), of the golf course property, information that would give commission members cause to think selling the property would not be good for the community.
While a question was being asked, the chair of the Finance Commission, who just happened to be seated in the rear of the room, shouted that the questions being presented to the developer were totally inappropriate. (The questions had to do with the presenter’s qualifications.) This is not the first time this ‘gentleman’ made outbursts at public meetings. (Perhaps a muzzle is in order.) Did the earlier statement requesting respect and politeness not apply to members of other boards?
Another board member stated that the questions being asked were an insult to the developer. (How could questions regarding any current projects that he might be working on be viewed as an insult.) Were these people trying to insulate Mr. St. Pierre from questions he was not qualified or capable of answering?
The 2 minutes allotted residents for public comments was quickly taken up by some of the board members trying to prevent others in the room from hearing legitimate questions posed to the town’s selected developer.
It also should be noted that the meeting, which is normally taped so residents can view it on Channel 79, (WGATV), was not, to my knowledge, in place. Could this amount to the administration trying to suppress information because it will make residents question the viability of the project and the qualifications of their selected developer?
Has the administration finally realized that they do not have a complete plan in place for the entire golf course property?
The First Selectman has now stated that the referendum, which the Board of Selectmen has been pushing for, is being delayed. This is what can happen when residents ask intelligent questions and the administration realizes they have not done their due diligence.
We, as a community, need to take a step back and re-evaluate what is best for our town and its residents. Development is not the answer! Woodbridge, We Can Do Better!