Archive for August, 2009

August 31st, 2009

Town Council Agenda: Sept. 1

by LonSeidman

The Town Council will have its regular meeting at 7:30 in Town Council Chambers at Town Hall on Tuesday Sept. 1. Below are highlights on the agenda and added information about what may be discussed:

1. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Taxpayers’ Time (Limited to itemts on the Agenda)

5. Mayor’s Report
(expect discussion on the Police investigation, upcoming events, and any new topics the Mayor wishes to address or Council members may ask of the Mayor)

6. Finance Officer’s Report

7. Sub-Committee Liason Reports

Expect the introduction of a new Tax Abatement Ordinance by that committee. The ordinance will provide a process where new and existing businesses can apply for tax abatements if they build new facilities in town. Among those investments include infrastructure, new jobs held by local residents, and other criteria. It would not abate taxes already owed by these businesses, or the value of the land they sit on, but would instead phase-in taxes on the new construction by new businesses over a period of years. This is a carrot-and-stick approach to entice new busineses to move into town. Over time, it will increase the size of the grandlist, create a larger tax base and in the long run, would reduce the tax burden on homeowners. Councilmen may decide to place this item on the agenda this night and plan a public hearing later this month. If they don’t, then a public hearing will likely be held in early October. After a public hearing is held, the Council may then vote on the proposed ordinance. The Tax Abatement committee was headed by Councilman Chris O’Brien. Councilman Michael Bokon also serves on this committee.

8. Uninished business – Assessor’s Contract

9. New Business-
Communications System Committee- final report

Expect discussion on the disbandment of the Communications Committee. This committee oversaw the construction and installation of a new communications system in town. This system enhanced upgrades to police, fire, ambulance and public works services. Councilman Dave Gentile is the Council’s liason to this committee.

Computer Leases for Board of Education
Leases for various purchases
, including police cruisers, a fire truck, maintanance equipment for golf course.

10. Appointments

12 Taxpayers’ Time (any topic)

August 29th, 2009

This Weekend: Superintendant’s Open House, Book Sale, Concert

by LonSeidman

Newly installed School Superintendant, Joe Macary is inviting the community to an open house on Saturday. Days after the first day of school, the open house will be from 9 am until 12 noon. The public will be educated on educational initiatives and the direction of Wolcott Schools in the future.

The Wolcott library will continue its book sale from 9 am until 2 pm Saturday. You can get a bag of books for $5 per bag. A limited number of CD’s, DVD’s, and books on tape also aailable. Library phone: 879-8110.

On Sunday, Bob Mobillio and his Swing Band will perform a free concert on the Town Green at 6 pm. This is part of the free summer concert series.

The Mayor’s office is compiling residences that would like to participate in the Town-Wide tag sale on September 19th. All addresses will be advertised at that time. If you would like to participate, contact Darlene Tynan in the mayor’s office by Sept. 1st. 879-8100.

(compiled from sidebars in the Waterbury Republican- American and from the Town of Wolcott’s website)

August 26th, 2009

Whisper Begins To Advertise

by LonSeidman

Welcome to the Whisper.

This online news blog has been in existence for a few months, however we wanted to make sure we could keep up with events in Town to make sure it would work before we advertised. So far, it has reached an average of about 12-15 hits (views) per day with 93 hits on one day in June. Our success in writing about politics and town government proceedings that affect you has been decent. While we have covered a couple events within the community, we can do much better. So far we’ve limited ourselves to mainly publicizing future events to promote neighbors to help and contribute to the town. Of course we want to do better.

If this is your first visit here, please browse a few articles and see what you think. At the bottom of the page is a button you can click to see older articles. Just below the headline of every article is a button that says “Leave A Comment”. Please do! If you have something additional to contribute that would enhance the story itself, a comment about the story or writing, or would simply like to start a discussion, please use this forum. Dissenting points of view are very welcome, but of course they should be respectful.

This newspaper- blog is still a work in progress. We’d love to have some regular as well as periodic contributors who can help do interviews, photography, and stories. No experience necessary and you’ll get credit for your work or submission. If your thing is sports, let’s talk about athletes, coaches and scores. Social events or awards ceremonies help recognize those who above and beyond for a job well done. Know of an interesting person in town to tell his story? News about something in town that might affect everyone? Drop us a line and we’ll try to be there. If we can’t cover it, submissions with at least a synopsis of events can be written yourself. If you would like to try your hand at writing, send me an e-mail or phone call. There is absolutely no commitment necessary. We just hope that this online newspaper will help contribute to bringing the town of Wolcott closer together.

– Christopher O’Brien
Editor
cobrien7@hotmail.com
(203) 558-5817

August 25th, 2009

Republicans Launch Website

by LonSeidman

They had more to serve than brownies and ice cream this weekend. Wolcott Republicans launched a website with the domain name of www.WolcottRepublicans.org late last week. On it, web surfers can find the slate of candidates and an e-mail address. Party leaders are hoping this will be one more way the Town Committee can better communicate and recieve input from townspeople. Candidates can also be reached through the party e-mail at wolcottrepublicans@yahoo.com.

In a statement on the website, party Chairman Sam Zotto says they will update the site frequently through the election season. Already there is a countdown clock to election day and a calendar of events. For example, a meet the candidates picnic will be held at Woodtick Recreation on Sept. 20th. A pot luck Dinner will take place on Oct. 23rd.

August 24th, 2009

Rain Hits Wolcott… You Expected Differently?

by LonSeidman

After almost a week and a half of heat and high humidity, the summer weather has broken – just in time for the Wolcott Country Fair. (have a thought or comment? Click “Leave a Comment” above!)

For some reason the timing of the Wolcott Fair and fowl weather always seems to coincide. Many in Town recall air raid alert sirens blaring and high winds blowing tents over when a microburst hit the fair a few years ago. It is almost an annual ritual that at least one day is a total wash-out- usually the Friday and sometimes Saturday. Unfortunatly each day during this year’s fair suffered less than desirable weather this year.

Friday began with humid weather and a modest number of fair goers stayed away, anticipating the evening thunderstorms which surely came. The low lying field behind Frisbee school is notorious for flooding quickly and Lions Club volunteers were seen trying to pump water out of an area near the midway after the storm. An equal number of fairgoers returned after the storm as there were before, but the numbers appeared low overall. Frisbie School was opened so attendees could escape the thunder and lightning. Saturday was more comfortable, but again with the threat of rain. Sunday traditionally has large crowds because of the evening fireworks. Around 7 pm though threatening clouds closed in with sporadic lightning in the distance. A light, then steady rain fell for about 20 minutes which sent many home. The winds lasted only a few seconds though, and the lightning stayed far away absent any local thunder. Yet it was enough to send many to their cars and back home.

Yet again, the skies cleared by 7:45 and crowds emerged from their refuge inside the school and walked the midway. An acrobatic act and competition attracted large crowds as high schoolers roamed the grounds with friends. By this point, the food area was pretty dead though. At shortly after 9:30 fireworks illuminated the skies as planned.

Hopefully next year weather will be better. Time will tell when the Lions finally move the fair to its future home off of Wolcott Rd where water will only be seen in one place: the pond in front of the property.

August 21st, 2009

Dunn to Greet Fairgoers

by LonSeidman

Mayor Tom Dunn and his wife will be at the corner of Todd Rd. and Pleasant St. on both Saturday and Sunday from noon- 2 pm. This will be an opportunity for townspeople to meet the Mayor and ask any questions about the upcoming campaign and the Town. This corner is across the street from one of the entrances to the fair, and also near his residence.

Other political activity also can be found at the Fair. While they traditionally refrain from active campaigning on the Fairgrounds, both the local Democrat and Republican Parties have food booths in the venders area. The Democratic Party is selling fried dough and the Republicans have dessert covered with brownie sundaes. Local residents can use this as a good opportunity to get to know some of the many candidates that will be on the ballot this year. A full line of petitioning candidates will mean an unusually busy election year.

Randy Petroniro, a petitioning candidate for the 2nd District Town Council has a very prominent sign at a house at the corner of Nichols and Woodtick Roads. This incidently is across the street from another Fair entrance and next to the Police Dept.

Indeed, a very spirited campaign season has begun.

August 21st, 2009

Wolcott Fair Kicks off This Weekend

by LonSeidman

Come one, come all! The annual Wolcott Country Fair is this weekend at Frisbee School. Everything from agriculture to rides and raffles will be held. Local music sensation Carrie Ashton will perform on Friday evening. Sunday will be the annual fireworks display which can be viewed anywhere around the Woodtick section of town.

Various civic organizations hold fundraisers at the fair, including both the Democratic and Republican Town Committees. The Lions organization uses proceeds from the fair for a wide variety of charities. Some of them include scholarships at the high school, assistance in collecting and distributing used eye glasses and a major sponsor of the Wolcott Special Games.

Some of the most popular events at the fair include the pig races, and the annual Wolcott Idol competition. Musical acts will perform throughout the weekend and a petting zoo is on site. Almost every year an animal gives birth to offspring. We have yet to see whether there will be chicks, a litter of piglets, or perhaps another baby calf is born on site.

Besides the agricultural tent, where animals from chickens to camels can be viewed, an exhibit showcase where local residents have submitted vegetables, photographs, artwork and other showcase items for competition. While the cash prizes are modest, many residents welcome the opportunity to showcase a hobby in such a local competition. It will be interesting to see some of the craft work as well as how neighbor’s gardens faired in an unusually wet year with cooler than normal temperatures.

The fair opens at 4 pm on Friday, 10 am on Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks will be launched aronud 9:30 on Sunday evening. This year’s fair is a great opportunity for anyone in Wolcott to see their neighbors in a relaxed and vibrant family-friendly environment.

August 19th, 2009

Police Sergeant Exonerated of Accusations

by LonSeidman

A State Police investigation has exonerated Wolcott Sgt. Brian Thies of any sexual wrongdoing in February. He was accused of engaging in a lewd act in February after he accidentally keyed his radio microphone while laying down in pain from an illness. Audible noise heard over the radio were somehow interpreted as sexual intonations. Since the allegations were made at the time, Thies has maintained his innocence. The State Police investigation backs him up. A Wolcott internal affairs investigation conducted in February also cleared Thies at that time, but because of a slew of other complaints surrounding other officers, the Town decided to have the State Police conduct an investigation of their own so the results would be cleared of any bias.

Since the allegations were made, many of Thies family members have supported him through the ordeal, some sending letters to the Town Council and Wolcott Community News. Its very unfortunate that the police report took so long, yet hopefully this is one step that will begin the healing of a Department that has experienced a series of problems this year. To their credit, officers including Thies have come to work and performed their duties with professionalism throughout this and other investigations.

August 19th, 2009

Town Council Meeting 8/18

by LonSeidman

Last night the Town Council held a meeting. It was not televised. The next Council meeting will be on September 1st at 7:30 pm. It will be televised. Note that these are not official minutes and simply a summary in the view of Councilman O’Brien.

The Mayor introduced Acting Chief O’Leary to the Council.

The Council gave permission for Tax Collector Lorraine McQueen to sell a property on Wolcott Rd. next to JD’s Roadhouse Cafe in court to recoup back taxes. While the Council gave their blessing, Tax Collector McQueen did not provide any tangible paperwork to the Council. At one point, while the motion to approve the sale was being approved, she was asked for the address of the property. She replied “I think it is _____” in which she gave an address in the 1500 block of Wolcott Rd. Councilman O’Brien interjected, stating he believed the address she gave was at least half a mile north on Wolcott Rd. and closer to Woodtick Rd than being next to JD’s Cafe. “That number is too high for the address you’re referring to”. While it wasn’t his job to do so,Town Attorney Tynan found a phone book in the lobby and later gave the Town Council secretary the correct address after the meeting. In fact, the address given by the Tax Collector was incorrect. A revised motion later listed the correct address.

The Assessor’s contract was tabled until its September meeting.

Michael Bruce video was approved to carry televised Council meetings for the next 10 months. The video service will be paid $160 for the entirity. Additional meetings can be broadcast at the request of the Chair for a fee.

A new section of Cedar Avenue was accepted as a town road. I spoke with residents up there yesterday and will talk to them today to let them know that they can put their garbage out in front of their residence. There is usually a brief delay before mail service is provided, but they should get that soon. These are standard wehn any town road is approved. The last road we approved was Borghesi Court, off of Upson Rd. Both of these streets are already marked on town maps.

Unapproved roads generally are not maintained by the Town and the Postal Service will not drive on unapproved roads. The garbage company wants to make sure there are assurances that an unapproved road is built to standard specifications and that there is a bond taken out to ensure that their equipment and personnel are safe to operate before they do garbage pickup on these types of private roads.

Golf Pro Craig Kealey’s contract was approved. He runs the pro shop at Farmingbury Golf course and is in charge of much of the operation of the golf course.

A contract for Acting Chief O’Leary was approved. His contract runs through August, 2010 at which time the Mayor will decide what will be done. This will give the Chief time to do his job in improving the Police Department and bring it to a level that the Mayor and the Council would like to see it go. If a search began too early, then there would be little incentive for anyone sitting in the Chief’s position to fulfill his duties in the way that this Chief would like to. The Council has unanimously agreed that Neil O’Leary is the right man for the job.

August 18th, 2009

Town Council’s Aug. 18th Agenda

by LonSeidman

The Board of Education met last night. The Town Council meets Tuesday night at 7:30. Neither meeting will be televised.

Here is an abbreviated version of the Council’s Agenda:

III. Taxpayer’s Time (limited to Items on the Agenda)
V. Mayor’s Report
VI. Finance Officer’s Report
VIII. Unfinished Business
– Request from Tax Collector &State Marshal Regarding Tax Lien Sale
– Discussion & Possible Action on Assessor’s Contract

IX. New Business
– Discussion & Possible Action on Michael Bruce video Service Agreement or FY 2009-2010
– Discussion & Possible Acceptance of Cedar Avenue as a Town Road
– Discussion & Possible Action on Golf Pro’s Contact

XII. Taxpayer’s Time