To the editor,
On Thursday evening, September 24th First Selectman Ellen Scalettar held a community meeting for residents of Lower Woodbridge, historically known as the “Flats”. Unfortunately, a number of residents in the “Flats” missed out on this meeting because some selected residents received invitations while others, curiously, received simply an addressed, empty envelope and still others received no invitation at all. In addition, First Selectman Scalettar decided to hold this meeting at Our Lady of the Assumption “Mother Church” which has restricted handicap access, thus freezing out participation by anyone who needed such access.
The stated focus of the meeting was to address concerns regarding issues with traffic, crime, blight, and flooding. Scalettar chose to not address any concerns herself but, instead, had other Town employees speak on her behalf. As Woodbridge residents know all too well, these problems are long-standing and have been ignored and continue to fester and worsen. It was further troubling that, notwithstanding her time as First Selectman, along with her prior service on the Board of Selectmen and her service as our State Representative from 1993 to 1997, she oftentimes appeared to be unfamiliar with the concerns of the residents of the “Flats”.
It was disheartening to see this meeting quickly deteriorate, with no direction or leadership, leading to tensions rising between disaffected residents and the First Selectman. This prompted Scalettar to admonish them for speaking out! She told those who were unhappy that they can leave the meeting, whereupon nearly half of the audience got up and left! The meeting abruptly ended at 7:30 with many bulleted items on the agenda left unaddressed. The concerns of the people who attended the meeting were never answered and the proverbial can is still being kicked down the road.
The next time the First Selectman decides to address concerns of the people of this community perhaps a better job should be done advertising the meeting and due consideration given to hosting the meeting at the Center Gym or Town Hall, allowing more time for public comment and town-wide participation. The concerns of the residents of this community deserve to be heard by all and not just a select few. No matter a person’s political affiliation or neighborhood, it is time for all residents to come together to address these issues. Let’s take action now, not wait another 10 years!