About Town: Next

What’s next for Weston? How about a really tasty holiday. They don’t call it Thanksgiving for nothing.

I am glad we have completed another local election cycle. As I write this column, who won and who lost is a matter of conjecture.

No one who ran for office seemed to stray far from the “party line,” that term referring in this case to the mostly non-partisan approach Weston has had to governing, finances, education, and land use.

Thanks to the League of Women Voters we can replay the debates that were held among the candidates for four major boards and commissions, and make a note of the promises each of them made. See the debates again at youtube.com/user/Channel79WestonCT.

The most watched of the four debates, at least in their online presentations, has been the one for selectmen, with the Board of Finance running just ahead of Planning & Zoning. Somewhat fewer folks have hit the Board of Education debate. But perhaps that’s because the Education candidates had another turn to face the public, at an excellent PTO forum where questions flowed from a goodly crowd at the intermediate school cafetorium.

The secret to winning local elections in the past few cycles has been turnout. Or more precisely, who has turned out to vote. And that has seemed to be a matter of which local party had the wind in its sails.

And speaking of wind, as this column is being written there are no power outages remaining in town. But perhaps of greater significance, Weston was relatively unscathed during the recent storm in comparison to Westport, Wilton, New Canaan, and many other towns throughout the state.

Was it pure luck? I think not. Our new tree warden has been hard at work in conjunction with Eversource and our Department of Public Works on a plan to keep power lines as clear of tree branches as possible, while keeping track of the health of trees that are in the town’s rights-of-way.

Bravo! One more reason why living in Weston is a pleasure.

The plan

So what is the plan for Weston’s next decade? Might we ask P&Z to meet in the Town Hall Meeting Room when discussions involving the forthcoming update of the Town Plan of Conservation and Development are on the agenda, thus making possible live broadcast, reruns, and an online record of their work? Development of the Town Plan update should be as visible a process as possible.

I know the selectmen have a plan. It focuses on limiting the cost of government. And the Board of Finance is eagle-eyed when it comes to looking out for the town’s financial well-being, while the Board of Education faces up to the challenges of declining enrollments and the goings-on in Hartford.

I can’t wait to see the budget process for fiscal year 2019 play out. To prepare for it, you might want to read a brief tutorial on how the process works. For that, visit lwvweston.org.

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

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