A short time ago, I read an email complaining about current matters in the Town of Woodbridge. Concerns were raised that made so little sense to me, a 23 year resident of the town and an engaged citizen, that I am prompted to write this note. I know firsthand that Ellen Scalettar and her administration are a hard working, honest and intelligent group that have demonstrated utmost integrity in leading our town.
In one salient case, the future of the Country Club of Woodbridge (CCW) issue, Ellen has been most creative and deeply fair. She created an ad hoc CCW Committee, of which I was a member, and scheduled community conversations to ask the townspeople to express their views on the property. Every person was afforded ample opportunity to air their ideas, preferences, concerns and even daydreams about what they wish to do with the country club space. Hundreds turned out on separate evenings and voiced preferences for things like:
- Solving the financial burden to the town;
- Preserving open space with walking trails;
- Having a 9 or 18 hole golf course; and
- Offering housing that is tasteful, low-rise and affordable for those over-55 years of age.
Other thoughts emerged, including lovely ideas about parks, gathering places with ice cream and coffee, ice rinks etc.
Based on the public input, the Town issued a Request for Proposals from the private sector. Our ad hoc committee heard and reviewed those proposals-at first in private, to avoid the two bidders knowing what the other was offering and thus keep the town in the strongest possible position. As soon as one of the bidders withdrew its proposal, the remaining proposal was made public. Now both proposals, along with the report of our Committee recommending that the Board of Selectmen seriously consider the Toll Brothers offer, are on the Town website. The Board of Selectmen will continue to consult with townsfolk before taking any action.
I am frankly confounded by the allegations that something unfair has transpired. I cannot understand that line of thinking, and I know Ellen Scalettar welcomes everyone’s questions about these—and any—matters of concern.
Please do avail yourself of her openness, and that of our other elected officials when you have a concern or even hear of someone else having one. There need not be any spread of misinformation; we are far too small a community to manage with confusion, and we are lucky in having open leadership who can readily dispel one’s concerns.