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No Interest in Our Opinions

To the Editor

While Woodbridge First Selectman Ellen Scalettar recently stated she was very interested in citizens’ opinions on the Toll Brothers golf course proposal, “I don’t want to hear that anybody was deprived of the opportunity to hear what this proposal is all about” (Woodbridge Town News February 4, 2015), her actions at last night’s Selectmen meeting dramatically contradict this. Based on what I witnessed, it is obvious that she and the majority of the board have no interest in hearing from concerned citizens about the zoning changes required for the Toll Brothers development.

February 19th, 20 or more fellow citizens and I (an independent voter for the record) braved sub-zero temperatures to attend a “historic, first ever” (her description) special meeting of the Board, called to discuss the Planning and Zoning recommendations (as the board is required to do by State statute). After Ms. Scalettar read a statement, we were subjected to a stern warning from Selectman Laurence Grotheer about unnamed “political operatives” lurking in the audience, who he obviously believed were the only motivating force behind our attendance. (As Selectman Grotheer is the press secretary for the Mayor of New Haven, it would seem to me he is a political operative himself.) The board then immediately voted to adjourn and left the room. The audience, waiting to speak, was left with mouths agape at this heavy handed suspension of democracy and an abrogation of our rights as citizens.

This refusal to listen to citizens is a sad, sad commentary on Woodbridge’s current political leadership. If our Selectmen have no interest in hearing the concerns of their fellow townspeople and have to hide behind bureaucratic maneuvering and legalistic smoke screens to avoid scrutiny and open discussion of critical zoning changes and our town’s future, Woodbridge is in real trouble. It is time the citizens of Woodbridge understand what is really going on in Town Hall with the Toll Brothers.

Fitzhugh Pannill

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