At its regular meeting Wednesday, Feb. 27, in addition to approving the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, the following agenda items were discussed.
The board agreed the town would enter into a three-year technology lease on behalf of the school district, which cannot legally borrow money on its own.
Before approving the lease, however, First Selectmen Gayle Weinstein asked Jo-Anne Keating, director of finance for the schools, why the district had spent nearly $66,000 more on technology than had been approved in the current budget.
“There were needs that came up over the course of the school year,” Dr. Keating said.
Colleen Palmer, superintendent of schools, said those needs included individual computer stations for the video production program. A new teacher brought the skills needed to offer “a more hands-on” approach in the program, she said.
The district also added a multi-purpose presentation center at the middle school, which is being used for both instruction and administrative purposes, such as broadcasting school board meetings live, Dr. Palmer said.
Gun Club donation
The board accepted a donation from the Weston Gun Club to the Police Department in the amount of $11,717.02 for protective equipment.
Police Chief John Troxell said the equipment includes ballistic helmets, heavier duty ballistic vests, cartridge carriers for rifles, and Velcro markers for both sides of vests for every officer in the department.
Chief Troxell said the equipment would most likely be used in “active shooter situations.”
The selectmen praised the Weston Gun Club for its generous donations, for being “good neighbors,” and for its members’ help with reviewing the town’s gun ordinance.
“They are a fantastic organization,” First Selectman Weinstein said.
The board reviewed a nearly final draft of proposed changes to the town’s firearms ordinance.
Selectman David Muller asked that the town attorney review the language that refers to the “spouse” of a gun owner, but not a domestic partner or other adult who lives in the house.
Other than that, the selectmen said they were satisfied with the proposal. Despite some “ups and downs,” Mr. Muller said, “I’m pleased with where we’ve arrived. I’m disappointed we cannot do more in certain areas,” but, he added, he is happy that state and federal legislators seem to doing more than he originally expected they would.
Ms. Weinstein said, “I’m really proud of the document we’ve produced.”
The full text of the updated draft ordinance is available on the town website, westonct.gov.
The Police Commission was expected to review the final draft at its meeting Tuesday, March 5. Ms. Weinstein said the revised ordinance will have “no impact on the police” beyond that of the current one.
The board will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes to the firearms ordinance before its regular meeting on Thursday, March 21, and is expected to vote on the ordinance changes that night.
March for Change
Mr. Muller said he wanted to publicly commend those involved in organizing Weston’s participation in the March for Change gun safety rally in Hartford last month. “It was thrilling to be a part of … there was a tremendous turnout from the town of Weston,” Mr. Muller said.
Ms. Weinstein said she was very moved when she stood on the platform at the state Capitol and looked out the crowd at a sea of Weston signs waving. “I am so proud of our wonderfully small town that has such a big heart,” she said.