About Town: Hazardous

About-Town-Margaret-WirtenbergLife is full of hazards. And Good Riddance Day, Saturday April 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at D.P.W. on Old Hyde Road, is a good way to safely eliminate some of them. Specifically, household hazardous waste products you may have lurking in the basement, the garage, or under the sink!

Read the “poison green” flyer that came in the mail last week. Safely pack your household hazardous waste items for disposal. That would include the ones with skull and crossbone symbols on the label.

Then bring I.D., and go to the Public Works Garage on Old Hyde Road and do your environmental duty! If this material were to find its way onto the ground on your property, you might very well end up drinking it!

This is April. We celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22. The Board of Selectmen has even rescheduled its upcoming meeting to coincide with this environmental milestone.


Speaking of things green, given that the Board of Finance has made a cut of $190,000 in an already lean proposed school budget, I doubt that further reductions are in the cards. But you never know.

This budget season inaugurates some new features, as a result of charter revision. Will there be enough qualified voters present at the Annual Town Budget Meeting, on Wednesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. in Weston High School’s auditorium, to constitute a quorum?

I don’t know the exact number of eligible voters that will require. Who is eligible to vote at Town Meetings? Registered Weston voters, and others who own $1000 or more of property on the town’s Grand List (and who are over 18 years of age and U.S. citizens).

Two percent of qualified town meeting voters have to check in for the ATBM to be able to make any budget reductions. The smart money seems to guess that something like 130 people will constitute a quorum, but we won’t know until the time comes.

Regardless, your trip to the high school will not be in vain! Whether or not ATBM takes a vote itself, there will be an electronic voting machine set up in the high school library that evening as part of the new and permanent charter-created referendum!

Furthermore, if you can’t attend ATBM on April 24 you will still have a chance to vote on the town, school, and capital budgets, up or down, yes or no!  It will be very easy! Beginning on April 25, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., absentee ballots can be obtained at Town Hall.

Then there will be live, old-fashioned in person voting on May 2, 2013, from noon to 8 p.m. at the usual polling place, the Weston Middle School Gym.  As on Election Day, the moderator of this “election,” or vote, will check the numbers and then announce the results. It will most likely be a straightforward process, with absentee ballots being fed into the machine shortly after 8 p.m.

And subsequently we’ll find out a few things about Westonites. First, how many will have voted. Second, if the overall vote on any part of the budget isn’t a “yes,” what will the “no” vote have meant? There will be nothing on the ballot to ask “too high” or “too low.” That decision was made by the Board of Selectmen at a meeting in March. So it will be up to the Board of Finance to decide what it all meant, in the event that this first budget cycle under the new charter results in rejection of any part of the budget.

“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 www.aboutweston.com.  This week’s guest is Hon. Gail Lavielle, state representative from the 143rd District (Wilton, Westport, and Norwalk).

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