The Weston Board of Selectmen met last Thursday, May 17. The following were among the items the board discussed.
The board voted unanimously to appoint Tony Caputo to the Sustainability Committee for a term to end June 30, 2014. Mr. Caputo is a facilities manager for Stamford Hospital.
The selectmen also voted unanimously to re-appoint Dierdre Doran to the Sustainability Committee for another two-year term. Ms. Doran said the diverse committee has done a good job of focusing on two or three major issues each year. The committee is dedicated to education and raising awareness of such issues as water, tick management, recycling, and organic food.
The selectmen interviewed several candidates for appointed committees that have openings, but no decisions were made in order to allow for more interviews at the board’s next meeting.
They interviewed Jeff Eglash for the Legal Review Committee, which currently has no sitting members. Mr. Eglash is a member of the Police Commission.
Four people were also interviewed for possible inclusion on the new Select Committee for Oversight of the Lachat Property.
Nick Bell has lived in Weston since 1962 and is involved with the preservation of historic homes. He served on a previous Lachat committee, the Lachat Building Committee. Selectman Dennis Tracey, who also served on that committee, praised Mr. Bell’s contributions and joked, “It was really the Lachat Non-Building Committee.”
Amy Kalafa is a filmmaker with an interest in organic farming that goes back to the 1980s, “well before it was a trend,” she said. “I see this property as a site, a forum, where we can implement a lot of the programs the Sustainability Committee wants to do. I think this committee should work very closely with the Sustainability Committee,” Ms. Kalafa said.
Ellen McCormick, a member of the Friends of Lachat, said she grew up on a small farm and has been farming her whole life. “This is a very exciting project,” she said. Ms. McCormick said she is most interested in bringing both “agri” and “culture” to the Lachat property.
Judy Saffan was the least familiar face to the board. She is a mother of four children, ages 7-14, who has a passion for sustainability due in part to several dietary issues in her family. “So many problems [like allergies and gastrointestinal issues] can be traced to food … and diet,” Ms. Saffan said.
Lachat mission statement
The board agreed to amend the Lachat Committee’s mission statement to include ex officio members from the Sustainability Committee, the Commission for the Arts, the Board of Education, and others as deemed necessary by the Board of Selectmen.
“We want to make sure everyone from these committees, especially, has their views represented,” said First Selectman Gayle Weinstein.
The three named are the ones who have expressed an interest in the Lachat property, Ms. Weinstein said, but others are welcome to come forward if they would like representation on the oversight committee, too.
Selectman David Muller suggested that the committee might be well served by having some youth representation, since they are the “potential future users of the property.” For example, the schools have a Health and Wellness Committee that might be interested in becoming involved, he said.
The Lachat property on Godfrey Road West was sold to the town and the Nature Conservancy by the late Leon Lachat, who asked that it be used for educational purposes.
The mission of the oversight committee, which will have seven members plus the ex officio members, is “to vet community ideas for the use of the property, ensure that the ideas are consistent with the original deeds and provide recommendations for the use of the property to the Board of Selectmen. At the request of the selectmen, they may also provide project oversight and programming initiatives.”
Ms. Weinstein said regardless of who ends up on the oversight committee, the vetting process for any ideas about what is to be done is long and involved and the public will have “plenty of opportunity” to provide input.
Mr. Tracey said the idea has always been to not necessarily use the land for just one purpose but for a combination of purposes to “bring the community together.”