At Weston Town Hall...Fletcher-Thompson plan that passed--link HERE to non-LWV reports on what transpired at the "Design Workshops"; development challenge in another part of Towns..."Speak Up"  location (links to non-League reports on meetings)...Jarvis Military Academy (old photo at right) proposed as "Joint Development" (historic and arts-related) - Town of Weston renovated second floor for offices for Owner's Rep for School projects.  What is the future of School Bus Garage?
Board of Finance meeting Thursday, July 13, 2006, 8pm at Town Hall - agenda includes discussion of Police Overtime and $95,000 supplemental for Lachat (money already spent before ATBM acted to cut all future payments on the Nature Center project).

(SPECIAL?) BOARD OF FINANCE MEETING, Wednesday, July 16, 2003, 8pm, Weston Town Hall
1.  Consideration/Approval of the minutes of May 8th, 2003.
2.  At the request of the Board of Selectmen, there is a request for consideration of a Personnel Matter.  (Possibly in Executive Session.)
3.  Consideration of a RESOLUTION to authorize the issuance of Thirty-Five million dollars of General Obligation Bonds of the Town of Weston to finance the costs associated with school and recreation field improvement for the new Three thru Five School, Middle School Auditorium and property acquisition.

Public Statement of Pamela B. Katz, P.E., Chairman NOTE:  Chair. Katz resigned @June 2006 - husband and she would move to Houston, Texas for business purposes.

DOCKET NO. 217 - Northeast Utilities Service Company application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction of a 345-kV electric transmission line and reconstruction of an existing 115-kV electric transmission line between Connecticut Light and Power Company's Plumtree Substation in Bethel, through the Towns of Redding, Weston, and Wilton, and to Norwalk Substation in Norwalk, Connecticut.

At a meeting held on Monday, June 16, the Siting Council discussed what is known as the Findings of Fact for Docket 217, the proposed transmission line from Bethel to Norwalk, and began deliberations towards a decision on this docket.

Prior to the Siting Council reaching a decision on this docket four of the five towns reached a Settlement with CL&P on a suggested route, termed Configuration X.  At the meeting held on Monday the Council discussed a modification of Configuration X, named Configuration 20, or Omega.

Configuration 20 added underground 115 kV lines in Norwalk.  Configuration 20 also modified Configuration X in Bethel.  It placed more existing 115 kV lines underground, eliminated the 130 foot steel poles in the Plumtrees residential area, eliminated a transition station near the school, reduced "porpoising," and increased reliability.  It also placed the new 345 kV lines on shorter poles around the perimeter of the education park. However, the Council realizes that not everyone agrees these are improvements.

As a former Selectman I do not relish surprising or "stunning" another Selectman by having them read about our deliberations in the newspapers.  However, this Council operates under strict rules relating to ex parte communication.  As much as I would like to, I am not free to simply call up a First Selectman and say "To develop consensus on the Council we’re thinking about this configuration.  What do you think?"

Instead, we deliberate in a public forum, take the heat, and deliberate some more.  And, I emphasize on this docket we are still deliberating and do not expect to make a final decision for several weeks.

The Council expects to take some heat.  The Governor and the Legislature do not appoint members to serve on the Siting Council who are thin-skinned.  Each of the Council members who will vote on this docket has spent hundreds of hours considering the evidence in the record.  And certainly none of us harbors a hidden agenda.  The people you see sitting around this table today want to design this transmission line in a manner that is as environmentally compatible and reliable as possible to meet this important public need.

It is important to note that the Settlement between some of the towns and the utility is not a normal occurrence within our process and it effectively constrains our usual manner of seeking the best possible solution.  However, I have stated publicly and individually to each Council Member that I do not want this Settlement, even with its flaws, to implode.  Instead, I stand committed to develop consensus for a decision that embraces the Settlement as much possible.  And, in addition to the Settlement, the final decision of this Council will naturally contain consideration for Norwalk, which did not participate in the four-town agreement.

In light of these issues and more, I am today directing the Council staff to develop two different Opinions, Decisions, and Orders for deliberation at a future meeting.  One draft will be Configuration X, as agreed to by the four towns, plus consideration for Norwalk.  The other will be Configuration 20, or Omega, as previously described.  From these documents the Council will make a final decision.

Below story not about the Weston meeting the same evening, but interesting none the less...when Weston Town TV Channel shows the taped Weston "public meeting" we will watch it and report (if they did record it--otherwise, we will report from Observers)...
Power line plan may skip historic district
By JENNIFER CONNIC, Hour Staff Writer Friday, June 20, 2003
WESTPORT -- A proposal to bury a 340-kilovolt power transmission line in town may avoid the North King's Highway Historic District.  The Planning and Zoning Commission held a hearing Thursday night on the Northeast Utilities project, which would follow Route 1 throughout most of town. It would follow Myrtle Avenue to King's Highway North where it would cross the Saugatuck River and link back to Route 1.

Several residents present at the hearing -- including First Selectwoman Diane Farrell -- expressed concerns about the transmission line cutting through the historic neighborhood rather than continuing down Route 1.  Farrell questioned Northeast Utilities' decision to cut through the neighborhood.  Barlow Cutler-Wotton, King's Highway North Association president, said the jog to cross the Saugatuck would cut through two historic areas that are narrow, curved roads with houses close to the road.  She said it would make more sense to continue down Route 1, which is a four-lane state road.

Cutler-Wotton said she is also concerned about the impact of construction on the neighborhood's historic homes, stone walls and older trees.  Anne Bartosewicz, Northeast Utilities project director, said power company officials don't always know what the residents of the town feel on a subject and have no problem changing the route.  The plan was to run the line down Myrtle Avenue and North King's Highway in order to avoid the downtown area, she said.  If the community wants the transmission line to continue down Route 1, however, it would be possible, she said.

"We can cross the river in either place," she said.  Bartosewicz said Thursday's public hearing was an information gathering session necessary before Northeast Utilities officials submit an application to the Siting Council for the plan in August.  Between now and when the application is filed, she said, Northeast  Utilities will review the information gathered at hearings in the various communities and make a final decision on the plan.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at THE HOUR (Norwalk, CT) website]

Reports from three (3) non-League Observers gave color to what was a strictly run, 3-minutes limit to speakers (enforced) Special Town Meeting.  Since it was announced that no voting would take place - a Referendum is set for April 22, 2003, from 6am to 8pm at the Weston Middle School Gym - turnout was light (under 200 persons).  It was noted by all non-League reporters that the arrangement of the chairs in the high school gym was strange--they were separated at some distance from one another.  The meeting lasted no later than 10pm.

CT DEP Public Hearing, March 27, 2003, 6:30pm, Weston Town Hall Meeting Room:
LWV of Weston Co-Presidents invokes League positions on environment, testifying at Public Hearing on Bisceglie septic field development. 

CONSERVATION COMMISSION, March 5, 2003, 6:30pm, Town Hall Meeting Room (Channel 79 coverage):
Public Hearing on Campus Site Plan begins.  School Building Committee introduced Site Planner, Environmental Consultant and Infrastructure Design Engineer for two hour presentation.  Areas for disturbance, renovation shown.  Treatment plant discussed.  Location of buildings, fields and new road shown.

Board of Education, Tuesday, January 21, 2003, 7:30pm (Executive Session, 6:30pm), W.M.S. Library
Included in this agenda is "budget adoption" and "Capital Improvement Plan" as well as action to be taken on Weston High School Fire Alarm System and initiating Girls Golf as a club sport.  LWV Observer left at 9pm, but reliable report says that Board of Education cut $256,000 from Superintendent's Budget on a 5-2 vote.

League identified as one of the groups to take action on Communication plan!  Well run meeting.

BOARD OF FINANCE, Dec. 12, 2002 at 8pm in Town Hall - reconsidered decision not to recommend purchase of Moore 36 acres - voted 3 in favor, 1 opposed, and 2 abstentions (1 absence) Special Town Meeting January 9, 2003 (along with Fromson-Strassler as separate item).

PLANNING & ZONING, DEC. 2, 2002 - "8-24" for landbanking;  BOARD OF FINANCE 4-2 in favor of Fromson-Strassler, 4-1 (with one abstention) against 36 acres of Maurice Moore property:
BOTH sites approved by P&Z, according to most reliable report (LWV Observer not present)--Fromson-Strassler only gains Board of Finance OK.

Historic District Commission Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2002, (NO LOCATION NAMED) at 8pm..."Update on Den Historic District Extension"--three (3) properties to be added, a natural extension of the Den District, across the street from Morehouse Farm Park.  Application for adding screened porch in the Den District, update of Freedom of Information Commission requirements.  At previous meeting, Town application for improvements to Jarvis Military Academy building approved with conditions.

Planning and Zoning Commission sets Monday, Dec. 2, 2002 at 8pm in the Town Hall Commission Room for a Public Hearing on "8-24" on each of two properties...
As followers of the LWV Observer Corps reports may remember, the Board of Selectmen met on Thursday, November 7.  For that report, click HERE.  As posted November 14, 2002 by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Town "8-24" report is requested for Towns of Weston/Wilton/and Aspectuck Land Trust joint purchase of Fromson-Strassler 133 acres, (85+ in Weston).  Weston's share is proposed at $2.2 million.  A second Town of Weston "8-24" report is requested from P&Z for an undeveloped 36 acre parcel (part of total 70 acres) of the Elisabeth Luce Moore property on Davis Hill Road - $2,256,000.  The purpose for both proposed purchases is "landbanking" for municipal uses. 

Historic Disctrict Commission PUBLIC HEARING and regular meeting, Wednesday, October 30, 2002, 8pm, Town Hall
1.  PUBLIC HEARING, on the application of the Town of Weston to install two air-conditioning condensers at The Jarvis Military Academy
2.  Update on progress of addition to Den Historic District
3.  Approval of minutes
4.  Discussion of change of date for Regular Meetings--suggested for 2nd Thursday of the month (for 2003?)
5. Election of Officers; new and old business.

Multi-Board Meeting, (Parks and Recreation--3 members;  Board of Education--4 members [including Chair. of Select Committee...Sewage Treatment];  Building Committee--one member), October 24, 2002, Town Hall Commission Room:
Meeting held to seek clarity regarding what fields are to be built where, for how much, and where in the Referendum Item #1 do they come from?  For example, are some fields double-funded...and Parks and Recreation is not as far along with design development of their fields projects as is the School Building Committee...and what is the timing (as related to DEP OK of septic solution)...

Conservation Commission, Town Hall Meeting Room deliberation meeting October 17, 2002; "work" session (on Town TV Channel 73) goes on past 11pm;  almost unanimous vote "yes" on playing fields for Town at Heady Property (ultimately, with conditions to further protect natural features, almost all commissioners favor Parks and Recreation Commission's proposal).  LWV Observer Corps watches on TV.

ENERGY FORUM - Brief report from LWV Observer; Norwalk HOUR and CABLEVISION news at 10pm:
League Observer present, noted lack of answers to some questions;  electric company officials and Atty General Blumenthal debated the issue of need for 345kV power lines in SW Connecticut - as only 20% of that power would be required to deal with maximum summer demand.  On the panel was Senator Freedman, and quoted on CABLEVISION was Senator McKinney (both representing Weston).  Although everyone agreed there is need for more power, AG Blumenthal said "this project is overkill."  In response, Northeast Utilities VP stated "If Long Island were to fall off the face of the Earth tomorrow our plans wouldn't change."
Conservation Commission, September 25, 2002 at 7pm in Hurlbutt South House Cafeteria:

According to reports from pro-fields individuals, (no official LWV of Weston word yet) there were @300 persons, a policeman (for crowd and traffic control?) present, and excellent arguments made by all...continued to October 8 (time T.B.A., Weston High School Auditoriumthe location).  It is interesting to note that those closest to the Commission thought there were perhaps 500 persons present (all polite and well spoken).  LWV Observer reports seating limited, many children and present and past First Selectmen instructing Conservation how to proceed. 

Planning and Zoning, September 23, 2002, 8pm, Commission Room at Town Hall:
AGENDA included first item "School Project update on site plan."   First Selectman Woody Bliss described to the Planning and Zoning Commission--and then answered in full their questions for 30 minutes--on where we are regarding the Conservation Commission and the CTDEP and the septic solution for School Road, and getting schools and fields built.  First Selectman reported on Conservation Commission ongoing research re:  tertiary treatment process;  in response to questions, First Selectman said Spring was was the final time for decision whether one or the other septic solution was taken. 

Special Board of Finance meeting at 7pm August 1, 2002, Town Hall Meeting Room:
OK's extra funding for East House Roof - questions whether monitoring of job is taking place;  discussion additional to Special Meeting Agenda takes place (report to Board of Finance on latest bonding results--Town effective rate for its debt reduced from 4.69% to 2.96%).

Conservation Commission decides 4-3 not to approve Town of Weston application for big septic field for Bisceglie Park (with 3 playing fields on top);  final conditions drafted for approval for July 10 meeting...

Conservation Commissionmet in special session on Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30pm in the Commission Room at Town Hall and received an application for Playing Fields at Morehouse Farm Park; according to reliable sources, this matter was not "closed;" continuation of the Public Hearing on septic and playing fields in Bisceglie/Scribner Park will be yet further continued.  Questions from Conservation Commissioners to Town of Weston's consultants on this project went into impacts of introducing septic fields created to receive tertiary plant output and extra water on downstream properties.  League Observer left at 10:30pm (and thus did not hear later testimony).

Wording of the decision (Legal Notice posted in the Town Clerk's Office at 9:15am on Tuesday) reads:
"At a Special Meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission held on May 13, 2002, by a vote of 3 in favor, 2 against and 2 absent, the Commission approved a request by First Selectman Woody Bliss and Town Administrator Tom Landry for a report under G.S.8-24 for the purchase of 2.09 acres at 16 Parade Ground Court as more particularly described in a Residential Real Estate Agreement, between the Town of Weston and Stephen M. Sivakoff, dated March 25, 2002, to accomodate the construction, renovation and field relocation activities on the adjoining school campus.  This approval is for acquisition of the property only.  An additional Section 8-24 report will be required for any proposed use or improvements to be located on the property."
Board of Education HERE.

Annual Town Budget Meeting on Tuesday night, April 16, approves budget;  LWV of Weston speaks in favor of secret ballot for Board of Education Budget (motion by Selectmen)--standing vote on the motion to have a secret ballot defeated (117-106).

Special Board of Selectmen, Friday, April 12 at 8:30am discusses League request for secret ballot and other Town Meeting procedures.

Special Board of Education Meeting Wednesday, March 6, 2002, 7-8pm, W.M.S. Library:
STRATEGIC PLANNING Draft report circulated - seems like the same old same old--but each time it is reaffirmed, we learn that Weston has not changed its stripes;  this is the beginning of a new phase in an overall just a bit more than a year in the full cycle to develop the following:  1)a human resource plan,  2)a "character" education program,  3)a communications plan,  4)a plan to ensure curriculum articulation and high student performance,  5)a technology integration plan and lastly,  6)a plan to provide student personal goal-setting.  Seeking volunteers for longer-running effort (through the Fall).

Board of Finance, Feb. 26, 2002--opening of review of Board of Education Budget brings discussion of "team teaching" and its relation to balance between efficiency and better education experience for all.  For more, please click above...

BOARD OF EDUCATION, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2002, WMS, 7:30pm
LWV of Weston Observer Sub-corps for Board of Education forming...first report:  Board votes "yes" to a $32,160,245 FY'03 school budget (cuts one secretarial position)

SPECIAL BOARD OF SELECTMEN, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2002, 8am, Town Hall
With a quorum of the Board of Selectmen present, a Select Committee for Budget Review was appointed.  Three (3) individuals were named (David Bushley, Dr. David Scotch [appointed by Selectmen as Chair.], Michael Carter) who had been interviewed at the Regular Board of Selectmen's meeting Jan. 17;  another interested person could not participate for business reasons until late in the Budget Process;  advisors to this Committee and sub-Committees may form.  FREEDOM OF INFORMATION rules must be followed for posting notices, for keeping records of proceedings (timely), for what constitutes a meeting and advice on E-mail.

Special Board of Selectmen, Jan. 7, 2002, 8am-8:35am
The full Board of Selectmen voted to establish a special "Citizen's Budget Advisory Committee" to serve during this budget forming cycle (FY2003).  This special committee will contain three members (or possibly more), and the newspaper should have an article asking for volunteers this week.  There was a draft description of the proposed tasks, but during the meeting, it was changed--when the final version is typed up, League will get a copy and upload it.

Board of Finance, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2001, 8pm
The Board of Finance met in regular session to, among other regular duties (i.e. approving Suspension Lists[?]), approve 2 special appropriations regarding C,L&P tower issue now before the CT Siting Council.  Together, several towns are sharing consultant costs to introduce expert testimony into Siting Council record of this matter.  This businesslike Board finished work at 8:40pm.

Special Board of Selectmen, Friday, Nov. 16, 2001, 8am
The new Board of Selectmen met to discuss the results of the Referendum ("yes, yes, yes" decisively) and committed themselves to moving ahead, keeping to the budget amount approved and trying to meet at Regulkar sessions only (if possible).  At the first meeting in December, the architects and the School Building Committee will be invited in to discuss what is next, where we are (two of the Selectmen are new to the Board, and concerns about what has been agreed to by prior administrations is a concern--so that the Town can be consistent and not reinvent the wheel, or generally cary out good government procedures.  The meeting was adjourned after the statement:  the mission of this Board is " try to bring the Town together."  After adjournment at 8:30pm, dates for meetings and how meetings will be conducted were discussed.

Planning and Zoning 8-24 Public Hearing, cont'd, November 8:
P&Z continued comment on 8-24 until @ 9:30pm and then closed the Public Hearing.  A work session followed - League Observer left @10pm, but most likely no decision was given, as the member who was charged with responsibility of wording the "opinion" will do a thorough job, and not simply say "approve" or "disapprove" - nor did the P&Z itself seem of one mind about all aspects of the bonding package.  The CTDEP is to yet designate where the treatment plant will go in the School Campus.  A meeting to vote on the 8-24 will be "after the fact" on Nov. 13 (?) at 8pm in the Jarvis Military Academy.

Board of Selectmen, November 1, 2001
This regular meeting covered nothing special--except that the "Executive Session" result was to announce the selection of a new Town Administrator, Tom Landry (sp.?) of Massachusetts, presently Ass't Town Administrator in Wellesley, MA.  Approx. a dozen years of experience in Town Administration, beginning in New Hampshire;  has worked in several different sized towns.  MPA from U. Maine.



A small crowd, including both Co-Presidents of the Weston LWV attended this 6pm meeting at WMS Cafeteria;  some First Selectmen called for more State $$ for education...some Boards of Education representatives and teachers requested fairness...over the course of the 90 minute Hearing, Co-Chair. Sen. Judith Freedman noted that the Committee would make recommendations to the Legislature regarding aid for education and equity next month.  Special Education funding in particular came under fire.  The "Scope" of this Committee's study of Connecticut Public School Finance, along with an interim report were available on Nov. 1; and if you would like a copy of the "Scope" (the opening paragraphs of which appear below) please e-mail The League of Women Voters of Weston:
"In Connecticut, local control of public schools is well established, but state government
has a constitutional responsibility to ensure that children receive equal access to educational
opportunities. In 1977, the Connecticut Supreme Court held the system of financing elementary
and secondary education, which relied primarily on local property tax revenues without regard to
disparities in town wealth and lacked significant equalizing state support, was unconstitutional
(Horton v. Meskill).

Subsequently, the legislature enacted a series of reforms aimed at equalizing the ability of
municipalities to provide students with adequate educational opportunities. In general, the state
increased school funding and weighted its distribution toward Connecticut's less wealthy
mumicipaIities. Over the last two decades, the state's share of funding public elementary and
secondary schools ranged from a low of approximately 32 percent to a high of nearly 46 percent.
In FY 00, the state's share was about 43 percent.

The two main conduits of state funding for local school operating costs are the formuIa-based
Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Grant and about two dozen categorical grants that target
assistance for specific educational purposes. The state also provides grants for local school
construction projects and funds the teacher retirement system..."

Special Board of Selectmen, October 22, 23:
These 10am meetings were held to approved moderator, date, time and location for Special Town Meeting of Nov. 7 (to be adjourned to Nov. 15 Referendum (6am to 8pm).

Board of Selectmen, Thursday, October 18:
Student member of Commission for Children and Youth appointed for 2001-2002;  member of Panel of Moderators;  Ordinances set for November 14th PUBLIC HEARING on NOISE, BLASTING and PYROTECHNICS, 7:30pm.

BOARD OF FINANCE, Thursday, October 11 at 8pm...
This is the meeting to move all three (3) items--totaling $80 million (approximately) to SPECIAL TOWN MEETING on November 7--and then to a Referendum on November 15...the agenda reads:
1.  Consideration/Approval of the minutes of the meeting of September 13th, 2001/done
2.  Discussion/Approval of a request by the Board of Selectmen for a Supplemental Appropriation in the amount of $11,700 for the Interfaith Housing Association, and to be taken from the Unreserved General Fund and transferred to Account No. 0110110-59802, Grants and Subsidies./done
3.  Discussion/Approval of Bond Proposals./On a 3-2 vote on first resolution, 4-0 on second, and a unanimous vote 5-0 on the third, "let the people decide" was the mood of this Board.

At 6pm, in Special Meeting, regular business of the Board of Selectmen was conducted.  At 7:30pm, with both Co-Presidents of the Weston LWV in attendance, the Regular Session took place, to a full room.  Only members of the Board of Education and the next Democratic Selectmen were permitted to speak until the very end, and then it was a member of a special committee who inquired about the procedure ("democratic" nature?) outlined.  By a 2-1 vote in all cases (no vote was unanimous) the Board of Selectmen amended the motion of the First Selectman (using NET numbers only--the actual figure on a ballot is the GROSS [larger] total) from $69, 538,340 to, ultimately, $45 million PLUS $2 million earmarked to go to a specific project--a Middle School Auditorium.

The First Selectman's MOVED (and received a second) a recommendation for NET numbers (as the LWV Observer heard it):

$32,169,144 - High School renovations
$22,961,903 - NEW 3-4-5 building
$ 2,940,293 - Middle School renovations
$ 1,500,000 - relocate School Road
$59,572,140 - SUB-TOTAL

$   614,000 - Revson
$  642,000 - Bisceglie
$   600,000 - Treatment Plant
$   185,000 - Conservation
$2,041,600 - SUB-TOTAL

PARKS&RECREATION ("+" is for lighted fields inclusion)
$2,340,000 - Campus fields+
$   400,000 - Bisceglie "
$4,200,000 - Morehouse Farm Park fields+
$1,000,000 - minus this amount from General Fund
$5,940,000 - SUB-TOTAL

$67,553,740 - SUB-TOTAL
$ 1,985,000 - Rolled into the Bond Issue from previously approved items from earlier Town Meeting
$69,538,340 - TOTAL NET COST

Recognized by the First Selectman was the Democratic candidate for Selectman, who proposed his own list, which did not include a new 3-4-5 school, but included upgrades totaling $6 million for Hurlbutt.

The incoming First Selectman reported that all these matters would be discussed at the Public Hearing on September 20 (8pm in the WHS Auditorium).  Stating "lack of clarity" on solution for lower grades (k-8), he advocated moving ahead immediately with the high school work, fields work and the septic project.  It remained to the last of the three present Selectmen to suggest ("Where there is broad agreement, we should move ahead...") the following figures as an alternative MOTION, which was seconded, and APPROVED (2-1):

$36 million - School projects
$ 2 millioin - Septic
$ 5 million - Parks and Recreation
$43 million sub-total PLUS $2 million for projects to be "rolled into" the long-term bond=$45 million
The incoming First Selectman reponded to further requests of Board of Education to include $2 million as a separate item for the voters to decide re: "Whether or not we need an auditoium at Weston Middle School - vote YES or NO."   This item was then included with the already approved total for PUBLIC HEARING SEPTEMBER 20, 2001, AT 8PM IN WESTON HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM.  The meeting closed at approximately 9:15pm.  Please be aware that a petition was successful in causing the Board of Selectmen to reconsider their action.

At Weston High School on Wednesday, August 29 (at 7pm) the CL&P position was explained "one on one" in the lobby of WHS - opponants had almost as many pieces of the auditorium, beginning at 8pm, with a Co-President and members of the LWV Board watching, the First Selectman introduced first the Town Attorney, then the Wilton Environmental Director, then our own Conservation Planner;  it was reported that the four (4) towns involved in Phase One (from Bethel to Norwalk) had retained a specialist on power supply, etc. PLUS a separate attorney to plead our side of the case before the CT Siting Council in September and on.  For a link to CT Siting Council  Year 2000 Report on transmission capability and related matters, clickHERE.  Perhaps 200 people were in the auditorium on this last Wednesday before school goes back into session, and much information was offered:

  1. First Selectman reported that legal and technical aid had been retained
  2. Town Attorney explained statutory requirements ("Certificate of Environmental Compatibility&Need" from CT Siting Council - who also required hearings such as this one)
  3. Eminant Domain rights (yes, they would have them if "need" is proven).  "Diminution of Value" if you are only near the towers and lines would not bring you any financial relief.
  4. Clearing of right of way and provision of accessibility explained (in terms of environmental damage) by Wilton environmental officer
  5. Same individual reported that no information was supplied at this stage in the process to adequately assess the environmental cost
  6. "Gross underestimation" of cost (same as above); existing towers will remain; going underground requires "splice boxes" (8x8x28 feet); storm drains, animals will be overwhelmed during construction
  7. CL&P stated that this was "major construction"
  8. "Loops" needed to make system work into the future without outages
  9. 1500' per vault if underground (see above for size of vault)
  10. 345kV underground is a new technology (2-5 years experience only) even in Europe (yes, they do 115kV underground).
Then the public spoke-League summarizes the general tone of questioners (where CL&P gave an answer, in parentheses):
  1. Can we add to poles extra 115kV lines? (ans. "no - won't do it for long run")
  2. CL&P gives lousy service - discussion of outages.
  3. Is this for Long Island? ("It goes both ways")
  4. More Long Island...
  5. More Long Island...
  6. "Keep Weston Rural" opposition and request for answers to questions ("yes, we'll give you answers in writing")
  7. Redding resident on EMF's health effects?  (CL&P expert disputes that any studies separately should be considered).
  8. More Long Island...
  9. Technical chemical questions (no answers)

Board of Finance, August 9, 2001
On this four-item agenda, other than item #1 (approval of two sets of minutes), were subjects of great interest to the League.  Item two was additional funding for the Planning and Zoning Commission to fight the affordable housing lawsuit;  item three was approval of $7500 to fund a competition (actually one half the expense--Nature Conservancy putting up equal amount) for development of nature centyer at the jointly owned Lachat property.  This was approved.  Item four was a hot debate:  members of the Board of Finance, in a non-partisan manner, questioned why ANY funds should be given to the architects for school work since the Adjourned Town Meeting voted "no" on this subject.  Would any funding for this purpose contravene the will of the people?  It was decided that the wording of the motion was misleading, and all that was being asked for was money for hourly consulting to assist the Town to get the next proposal to referendum in early November.  There is a maximum amount indicated ($45,000).  With this understanding, the Board of Finance voted unanimously in favor of a revised item four.

SPECIAL BUILDING COMMITTEE, August 8, 2001, 7:30pm
A Co-President of the League was present for this meeting where the traffic consultant (from Fredrick P. Clark&Associates) presented his report on contributions to date to the Fletcher-Thompson project.  Traffic concerns re:  using Bisceglie Park for a school of some sort appears not a good idea from the traffic flow point of view.  (Question in consultant's mind as to whether the State of Connecticut would require major changes to lights and perehaps the "H" intersection of Routes 53 and 57 in order to make Bisceglie safe for school ingress and egress.)  He recommends the re-location of School Road in front of the high school closer to the borders of Town property, and also straightening out the curves further to the south and turn School Road into a "collector road" for through traffic (instead of what it is--essentially used by schools traffic only).  Interesting observations of how the bus pick ups in the PM work to stop traffic in both directions...also, when traffic is this bad, accidents can't even happen!  LWV Observer left the meeting, and awaits further report on item#2 on the agenda ("revised estimates") from Co-President (if there was anything worth reporting).

Co-President present.  All seats taken.  Resignation from Board of Education by outspoken member announced--replacement approved (strong pro-Schools person);  long-time member of P&Z replaced by new resident (moved from Westport);  Commission for the Arts new member (moved from Westport).  Nature Conservancy architectural competition approved ($7500 Town share of cost), Town TV Channel report...and then a pre-announced hour plus of Public Comment on School Project.  School Building Committee next to meet on AUGUST 8.  LWV Observer left at 10:30pm--missed items on procedures for future Selectmen-driven projects.

SELECT TEAM, July 17, 2001 at 7:30pm, Weston Library:
No official LWV of Weston Observer present;  second-hand reports indicate that what was discussed/decided at Select Team will come up again at the Board of Selectmen soon.

BUILDING COMMITTEE, July 11, 2001 at 7:30pm in Weston Library
A Co-President was in the audience as the Building Committee Chair. went over the Education Specifications with the Board of Education, new Acting Superintendent and full staff.  Building Committee representative on the Select Team noted that next Tuesday. July 17 at 7:30pm in the Library (same venue) the architects were to bring back some schemes for a pre-K to 2 building at Bisceglie.

Select Team, July 10, 2001
This meeting was well attended, according to a LWV of Weston Co-President.  Alternatives other than those that were defeated "on the machines" were suggested and the architects will consider those that were deemed feasible and report back.

Adjourned Town Meeting Machine Vote June 28, 2001
Results of the Adjourned Special Town Meeting machine vote were available immediately after the polls closed at 8pm Thursday after having been open since 6am in the morning.  Naturally, during the day there was a false fire alarm event at Weston Middle School (Item #2 on the ballot was funding for a new fire alarm, hard-wired system at WMS--no wonder this item was approved with only 223 "no" votes).  A Co-President of the Weston LWV was present to observe the results.  Full report HERE.

Special Town Meeting, 6-21-01, 8pm (no voting):
This event, held at Weston High School Auditorium, began a bit late and lasted until almost 11pm.  Approximately 150 people attended, many spoke;  a policeman was in attendance, although there were no altercations--only some cat-calls here and there.  Presentations given by Select Committee Chair., First Selectman, Athletic Director at H.S. and Select Team Co-Chair. and Building Committee representative on that body.  Summary of questions:
  • What kind of treatment plant? (Not at that point yet--Building Committee will handle this)
  • How many false alarms? (136 last year)
  • Fields--Town and Schools need fields, sprinklers--use is overload on what we have now--will be losing 5 fields because of construction for 3-4-5 and H.S.  (Question on why not Heady now, and the answer seemed to be that immediate need was closer to Schools, but that it was full speed ahead on Heady--with possible transport for use by schools.  Traffic safety considerations raised re:  Bisceglie use by school-age drivers.)
  • 53% increase in school-aged population since 1990.
  • New fields at Heady offered to be built by same volunteers who did Little-League Fields (this previous work to be taken for 3-4-5 school)
  • Definition given for "schematic design" (only a part of architect's work--includes borings and other preliminary work to take guess-work out of estimates for construction;  includes detailed floor plans, elevations of what building will look like--i.e. windows, entrances, roof line, etc.)
  • Do the numbers include cost of furniture?  (Yes.)

  • Discussion of what spaces are used for then (1980) and now
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