Submitted by Chris Dickerson
Woodbridge Selectmen Joe Dey and Tony Anastasio called for a special meeting of the Board of Selectmen for Thursday, February 19 to address the current draft of the Town Plan of Conservation and Development (TPCD). By Connecticut State Statute, the Board of Selectmen “may hold one or more public hearings on the plan and shall endorse or reject such entire plan or part thereof or amendment and may submit comments and recommended changes to the commission” (C.G.S. Section 8-23 (g) (2)). However, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) has failed to act and has no current plan to do so. In fact, Town Counsel has reported that in excess of 100 Woodbridge residents recently filed a petition seeking to have a Town Meeting with the intent of compelling the BOS to consider the TPCD and endorse or reject same as per applicable state statute. Town Counsel rejected the petition, opining that the BOS is not required to endorse or reject the plan because he feels the statute language is “ambiguous”.
Selectmen Dey and Anastasio jointly stated that, “Even if for some reason one wanted to disregard the expression of town residents by way of the Petition, as well as the applicable statute, we continue to wonder why the BOS would not feel compelled to participate in the TPCD process in a meaningful way, particularly given the significant changes proposed. We understand the TPZ alone must render the ultimate decision, but the BOS duty to town residents as elected officials dictates our meaningful participation. Moreover, as a commission comprised of members appointed by the BOS, it seems the TPZ should be interested in the action, thoughts and comments of the BOS.”
Selectmen Dey and Anastasio asked the Chairman of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission to delay a vote on the TPCD until after the BOS has voted on it, but there has been no definitive response from the TPZ Chair. Therefore, this special meeting of the BOS gives the public the opportunity to learn where the BOS stands on this critical issue. We encourage residents to attend this important meeting to show the BOS that we care what they think and want to know where they stand on the many controversial issues raised in the recent TPZ public hearing and in writing to the TPZ over the past several weeks.