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ABOUT TOWN: Security

What makes you feel safe and secure?

For me it is seeing that government here in Weston is on the job, alert to threats to the community’s well-being. It starts at the top, with an active Board of Selectmen. And this board is indeed active.

At their meetings I am often among a very few attendees, other than those who are on the agenda reporting for, or being appointed to, commissions and committees. I often wonder how many Westonites are at home at those times in front of their television sets watching Channel 79. Or how many view reruns or watch online.

In the days before Town TV, audience attendance wasn’t much better. So I guess the approximately 200 volunteers who serve in Weston government functioned pretty much on the honor system then. All Board of Selectmen and Board of Education meetings are televised now, so it is easy for just about everyone in Weston to keep up with what is happening.

I encourage Westonites to take the time to check out the doings of the boards of selectmen and education online, as well as reading the reports of their meetings in The Forum. You would be surprised how interesting their discussions are. Not the least bit like watching C-SPAN as members of Congress orate to a vast expanse of empty chairs.

At present, this Board of Selectmen is engaged in fashioning an update to the 1990 local assault weapons ban. That was originally established during George Guidera’s long-running and successful 12-year stint as first selectman. At the time I was concentrating on Planning and Zoning matters, so I have to admit I was unaware of these previous efforts on gun control.

Particularly good news is that our police commission is on top of the details, such as what the local law says, what the state of Connecticut requires, and what they know to be best police practices, as explained to them by our police chief.

It was suggested at the recent meeting of the Board of Selectmen that a workshop be held to seek the opinions of the Weston public. Whether or not this happens, the League of Women Voters of Weston’s “Speak Up 2013” is coming in early February, and I’ll bet there will be questions on this.

Challenges

If we didn’t have enough of these already, the new year brings new challenges.

As interconnected as everything seems to be in this Internet age, it is nice to be able to remember that bad things usually happen far away from Weston.

Except that the unfathomably horrible recent occurrence of mass murder happened only 15 or so miles away.

In a town where a former editor of this newspaper lives. In a town to which some prominent Westonites have moved. A place where most of us know someone.

Newtown is much larger than Weston, in area as well as population. Sandy Hook is one area of that community.

A former superintendent of the Weston public schools lived there. Someone who worked for me during my years as an urban planner lived there, too. The Newtown League of Women Voters was known for its “Pizza and Politics” debates leading up to local elections.

We must all stay engaged in the political process. And we should never feel self-satisfied that we’ve made Weston into a cocoon, isolated from society at large. There is no such thing. I am glad that our Board of Selectmen understands this as well.

NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at aboutweston.com

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Check out Margaret Wirtenberg's website: http://www.aboutweston.com/

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