UNOFFICIAL REPORTS EXPRESSING WHAT THE ABOUT TOWN WEBSITE THINKS IT HEARD...REPORTS ARE MOVED FROM INDEX PAGE TO THIS PAGE QUARTERLY (est.) EXCEPT FOR BOARD OF SELECTMEN LINKS FROM TOP PAGE, WHICH REMAIN THERE FOR A FULL TWO-YEAR TERM UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTION, WHEN THEY ARE PLACED HERE.


BOARD OF ETHICS ISSUED ADVISORY OPINION ON BOARD OF FINANCE MEMBER..."WATCHDOGS" INTO LAPDOGSCT SCANDAL 2004; " Joint Committees" a shell game?

Connecticut_Freedom_of_Information_Act
CT watchdog into lapdog?  "Sunshine" laws and "ethics" in a small town.  What's up at the Weston Board of Ethics


"Ethics" v. "Sunshine"
REVERSE CHRONOLOGIC LISTING OF MEETINGS 'ABOUT TOWN' ATTENDED:  We make notes on meetings we attend in more than one place on the "About Weston" website, in part because some matters develop into more than "just" an item on an agenda!

"About Town" in the Weston FORUM weekly is based on meetings attended and how these relate to matters happening outside Weston - a connection to the outside world!  Link to our column here.

Note:  there is some duplication in reporting from the major boards and committees and commissions we attend - hopefully, however, we don't have any conflicting info!  Also, there is duplication because...there IS duplication from one administration to another - best illustration is the Cemetery Committee, 20 years old, whose charge may have changed each of the 4 times it was restarted, but is a pure example of political whiplash.





FIRST EXECUTIVE ORDER JULY 1, 2004
Lt. Gov. Jodi Rell sworn in after corruption investigation of Gov. Rowland forces his resignnation.


Report: Connecticut One Of The Least Corrupt States In America

The Hartford Courant
By NICK CAITO
6:07 AM EDT, March 19, 2012

A study by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., has found that Connecticut is one of the least corrupt states in the country.

According to the Center, the study, conducted during the summer of 2011, took into account 330 questions about accountability and transparency in state government. These so-called 'Corruption Risk Indicators' were combined with interviews of public officials, researchers, and other experts.

States were given a numeric ranking, which translated to a letter grade.

The report did not give out a single 'A' ranking, but found that New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, California, and Nebraska deserved a 'B.' Eight states, including Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota and Georgia, received an 'F.'

In describing Connecticut, the Center for Public Integrity said the state is "a place where public spending is viewable online, campaign money is easier to track, elections are publicly financed, information is readily available and the average citizen can more easily believe that elected officials are voting in his or her, rather than special, interests."

The report also warned that some of the agencies lauded in their analysis could become victims of budget tightening, which would damage public accountability.

--------------

Hartford Courant "breaking story"story - video on the Courant homepage
http://www.courant.com/news/breaking/hc-connecticut-least-corrupt-states-0319,0,6172194,print.story
 
 
Study Methodology
http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/03/19/8429/methodology
 
 
The study itself
http://www.iwatchnews.org/


Warnings escalate over funding for Clean Elections

Keith M. Phaneuf, CT MIRROR
February 24, 2012

The state's election cops intensified their warning to legislators Friday that their ability to oversee public campaign financing this fall is in jeopardy from deep budget cuts.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission needs nearly double its existing contingent of account examiners if it hopes to monitor a projected caseload that includes nearly 340 campaign grants and more than 135,500 contributors, Executive Director Michael Brandi told an Appropriations Committee working group.

But even if the commission receives the extra resources, it still would tackle the 2012 state elections with less staffing that it had to monitor public financing in 2010 and 2008.

"We cannot get through the Citizens' Election Program and the next campaign without more help," Brandi told the working group that is developing budget plans for Connecticut's watchdog agencies for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The full Appropriations Committee is expected to release its budget proposal for 2012-13 in early April.

Brandi warned lawmakers earlier this month that his agency lacks the resources to monitor how candidates qualify for and spend the money. And on Friday, he put a price tag on what's needed to make the program work -- but only after the clock put a limit on an alternative solution.

Brandi noted that the commission spent $28,000 on overtime to ensure that public campaign financing grants were processed on time and monitored properly during the 2008 state legislative elections.

Two years later, with races for both the legislature and state constitutional offices at stake, it cost $31,500 in staff overtime to get the job done.

Over the last year, though, the commission's campaign disclosure unit has been severely cut, reduced from 11 staffers to five. And the number of account examiners, who perform the bulk of the work necessary to process public campaign grants -- including reviewing tens of thousands of documents -- was cut from eight to four.

Brandi said that as his office began calculating how much overtime it would need to handle the 2012 legislative elections with reduced staff, it stopped at $65,150, but not because the price was too high.

"We actually ran out of hours in the day," he said, adding that even if staff could be forced to work 24 hours daily, it wouldn't be enough to process all applications on time.

Brandi told lawmakers Friday that the commission needs three more account examiners. Funding for those positions and for some additional overtime would cost about $310,000 more than the $1 million allocation Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recommended for the agency earlier this month.

But Rep. Billie Miller, D-Stamford, co-chairwoman of the working group, said that while Brandi's warning "is a concern with the elections coming up," it is one of many tough funding requests legislators must consider in a challenging budget year.

The commission was one of nine watchdog agencies subjected to budget cuts last year and merged into a new Office of Governmental Accountability as part of a much larger plan to close one of the largest budget deficits in state history.

And though that gap, once projected to be as high as $3.67 billion, has been closed, the current budget is headed for a shortfall between $44 million and $161 million, according to the legislature's nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

That means agencies will continue to be asked to manage with fewer resources, Miller said. "The whole point of the consolidation was to reduce staff," she said. "The OGA (consolidation) exists and we're going to have to make it work. It's not going to go away."





"About Town" notes from meetings 2011-2013



MEETINGS ATTENDED BY ABOUT TOWN DURING 2009-2011







EXPLANATION OF WHY SOME MEETINGS NOT ATTENDED BY "ABOUT TOWN"...WE ACTUALLY FORGET TO CHECK SOMETIMES, BUT MOSTLY WE GO TO MEETINGS IN ORDER TO REPORT ACTIONS - DISCUSSION IS NICE TO HEAR, TOO!!!

Planning & Zoning 8-24 on Stadium Lights: 5-0 in favor.  And now that we have gotten P&Z's involvement in Central Weston planning - how about being creative with writing new zoning "Adaptive Reuse" wording for Historic District number one?

ATBM
:  April 23, 2014 over in about 15 minutes
as quorum not reached - Town Attorney present this year to squelch any revolt if any such materialized.  Police Station was in Capital Budget a few years ago.

Board of Finance
reviewed Selectmen and Education and Capital budgets and now "deliberates" to set the numbers for ATBM.


Selectmen
Busy, busy, busy...Special Tri--Board meeting we could not attend April 7;  April 3 meeting does Robin Hood item;  Feb. 12 Special Meeting has Board of Education presenting budget to Selectmen for their review but no action;  Feb. 11 - First Selectman presents power point and detail o Board of Selectmen.

Global Facilities Committee had excellent meeting...here is the FORUM editor's report on what the First Selectmen has in mind;  BACKGROUND:  meeting on October 25, 2013 (originally posted for Saturday) attended by About Town as the only "civilian" - not recorded for broadcast, either!.   Same for this group on public notice via the Town website..also, recent developments regarding safety and security have put its activities on hold....awaiting orders from headquarters in Hartford.


LWV of Weston SPEAK UP
:  Full report as well as link to online showing of the program here.  Lachat project moving along - notes.

Tri-Board Meeting:  School Security, Jan. 15, 2014, no action.  Three Boards at least!!!

CAPITAL PLANNING COMMITTEE meeting Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 at 7:45am in  the Town Hall Meeting Room.  Are they having others that we don't know about?  Could be! Capital Budget recommendations here.





Moveable locations of special meetings of multiple boards for years...
Q.  Does anyone know or care?
  Ans. No, apparently not.  But when your nose gives you a hint, you can say "I didn't know"

SPECIAL TRI-BOARD MEETING, WIS CAFETORIUM, MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2014 AT 7:30PM (THE THREE BOARDS ARE:  SELECTMEN, EDUCATION AND BUILDING COMMITTEE) - AGENDA.

WHOA!  They don't call it a shell game for nothing.  Action taken.  Just a shell of the air conditioning and upgrade of oldest rooms in Weston High School - all new classroom/education space were air conditioned in 2001 bond issue. But here we are, all over again, renovating high school classroom space without air conditioning but the good news, we hope, is that the windows open this time???

Chickens coming home to roost tonight and tomorrow at the "deliberation" meeting?  VERY INTERESTING - About Town's notes here


We remind folks that way back at the first 7:45am meeting of the Capital Planning Committee in the autumn, it occurred to About Town that the Tertiary Treatment Plant repair shouldn't be put off until after ATBM, into the new fiscal year.  You don't want to fool around with this item! 

Fast forward to the Special Meeting Monday of the Selectmen, Board of Education (at WMS Library), and Building Committee. 

On the agenda is consideration of recommending a Special Appropriation for the tertiary treatment plant be made immediately ($35,000).  This $35,000 item could then be removed from the Capital Budget list of projects (go to the very end of this document) and (drum roll..) see that WE HAVE CUT THE PROPOSED FY'15 BUDGET BY $10,000!!!

Is there a possibility of an emergency at the tertiary treatment plant?  We know that there is a sense of emergency about Senior Center funding...the tertiary treatment matter - answer is, yes, if we wait until July 1.



More than you ever wanted to know about Selectmen's activities and other boards, special meetings, etc.


HOT TIME IN THE OLD TOWN LAST NIGHT, JUNE 5, 2014:

A  veritable smorgasbord of municipal issues - that very special mix for Weston:
Expansion of commercial into an historic district (Adaptive Reuse???);  will it go to ZBA ultimately?  High tec lights with zero spillage, Town Farm moves ahead and oops - nobody asked about engineering impacts of new Police Station and parking and doubling of impervious surface and by the way, has WWHD checked the plans?

How many different major items did the Selectmen cover last night?  Of what kind?  THE HIGHLIGHTS...


Discussion/decision regarding a proposal submitted by Fairfield County Bank  to swap 47 Norfield Rd for the Jarvis property/ yes a good idea - next step, Historic District Commission and then to P&Z.

Discussion/decision regarding approval of the construction of the extension of Hidden Spring Road...done with discussion of need for turn around for Fire Truck.

Discussion/decision regarding 3 new people for appointments to the Lachat Town Farm Commission/done and news that half the plots/raised beds rented!.


Discussion/decision regarding the appointment of Glenn Van Deusen to fill the vacancy (Jeffrey Tallman) on the Zoning Board of Appeals for a term to expire November 3rd 2015/done - an alternate steps up!.

Discussion/decision regarding a supplemental appropriation for $351,900 for the educational program costs related to the district’s special education students/number dropped to $320,872.

Discussion/decision regarding a supplemental appropriation of $84,205 for additional staffing of a kindergarten teacher/number changed as belts tighten - $58,378.

Discussion/decision regarding authorizing the First Selectman to negotiate and sign an MOU with the Board of Education, Weston Football and Weston Lacrosse regarding lights on the Stadium Field/yes but MOU not fully vetted yet.  And that out of the way...

Discussion/decision regarding a gift acceptance of the Stadium Lights from the Weston Lights Committee/a yes on that.

Discussion/decision regarding a supplemental appropriation for new asphalt for the play area at East house (we were out of the room for just a minute, so we assume this was done).

Discussion/decision regarding a supplemental appropriation of $18,000 to hire KG&D to provide architectural and engineering services for the Weston Senior Center remodel job - more below.

Discussion/decision regarding a supplemental appropriation for $15,000 for Police Station soils test/BIGGEST NEWS - Town Engineer finally brought in and found even more issues than I had reported!

Open Item - First Selectman’s update- Senior Center - a happy ending (for now) - what more can you ask from government in Weston on this matter?  Great job by everyone involved.


LACHAT GETS A YES!

BOARD OF FINANCE notes including GASB and trash 10-13-11 here.

CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION continuing interviews. 


Board of Selectmen 9-15-11: 
Get ready for Special Town Meeting October 20 at 7:20pm in Town Hall (Informational Meeting at 7pm) to redo Nature Conservancy/Town of Weston agreement on Lachat which will maintain the existing ownership but arrange for leases back and forth for a 50-50 split of land - but it will maintain conservation easements (modified to permit community/Town farm).  "About Town" asks:  how will we make sure that the Lachat Homestead is protected for the future?  Previously...NATURE CENTER BUILDING COMMITTEE:  Discussion Tuesday, April 26th at 7pm, Commission Room at Town Hall, STANDING ROOM ONLY.  Perhaps aiming to become yet another Lachat Committee?  It came after a Public Hearing on possible demolition of the main house - GREEN VILLAGE INITIATIVE

SCHOOL BUILDING COMMITTEE (same people as
Building Committee) continues discussion of both architecture and environmental report on windows and doors project, at first meeting in September to move the project along.

Board of Finance, September 8, 2011, discusses, among other things, how the Weston Board of Education managed to do better than the Hartford-based CREC pooled bid for materials...

CHECK IT OUT AT PLANNING & ZONING  TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2011 - continued discussion on Sept. 19...

SELECTMEN, SEPT. 1, CANCELLED
;  AUGUST 18, 2011, shortest meeting on record (12 minutes).


Regional Planning Organization discussion but no decision at Board of Selectmen June 16, 2011;  amend action to name Charter Revision by adding an end date.

Parks & Rec Commission meets new outside parks maintenance firm, accepts gifts from Little League and discusses Revson.

SELECTMEN NAME SEVEN MEMBERS TO ONE YEAR CHARTER REVISION "SELECT COMMITTEE" FORMED. Link here to what the last Commission did.


WATCH SPEAK UP ONLINE! 



[IMAGE]

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION SATURDAY APRIL 23, 2011, over.  Couldn't be there? FOR OTHER REGIONAL HHW DAYS:  http://www.westonct.gov/media/file/HAZWASTE2011.pdf

BOARD OF FINANCE SET MIL RATE LAST THURSDAY THE 21ST - 23.94
 
A VERY SPECIAL VOTING OPPORTUNITY YET AGAIN...

April 14 Referendum:  YES, YES, NO voting on Town and School budgets plus Cemetery ($30k) which was not in the Call of ATBM.

LACHAT REDUX: Reverse chronological order


SELECTMEN'S PUBLIC HEARING ON POSSIBLE DEMOLITION WELL ATTENDED MARCH 31, 2011 (FORUM REPORT TO BE INSERTED VIA A LINK)

By 2009, the hopes for Lachat dim, new Committee to secure the homestead formed;  new Board of Selectmen will probably have to reopen this whole matter...idea for a farm proposed!

New Committee for 2008.

July 20, 2006 Board of Selectmen establishes new "Town" only Committee (5 members - two new volunteers plus Town members on the existing Joint Town-Conservancy Committee) AND addition of a new community member (a vacancy exists) to the three-members appointed by the Board of Selectmen on the 6 member Joint Committee:  ITS RECOMMENDATIONS HERE;

July 6, 2006 Regular Board of Selectmen's meeting observations here;

Special Board of Selectmen's Meeting Tuesday, June 28, 2006 at 10am votes 3-0 to approved payment for money spent to date (bills due to date to be paid...must go to Board of Finance);
ATBM on April 19, 2006, cuts all funds for Center project from Capital Budget.

Unofficial meeting notes;

Planning and Zoning Commission Special Permit Application news;

Conservation Commission application news;

Special Town Meeting, June 17, 2004;   please note that these reports are not official.

Design Development with architect in preparation for Special Town Meeting;

Initial webpage containing charge, early minutes and beginning of design;  historical reports regarding selection of architect/planner and design development news.

More meeting notes 2010-ish

BUDGET PROCESS FY12
Cemetery;  Those who wanted to tell the public about public meeting on cemetery spoke;  later, at a Selectmen's meeting, no action taken on Lachat homestead;  Public comment at the Selectmen 3-31, on Cemetery proposal as it is stated in the Referendum Question #3 produced a rip-roaring if understated "comment" period
Lachat Selectmen's Public Hearing on demolition - or no - what the building and property look like.  FOR DEMOLITION?  AGAINST?  DON'T KNOW?  Note "historic building" plaque, Lachat Homestead;  if to demolish, make sure to accurately photograph and record the history within the house.  News!  Valley Forge Bridge open

What is in the Capital Budget? 
Handout at the Board of Finance Public Hearing enumerates the 14 projects totaling $1,052,030 (see cut to Parks&Rec tractor above - now 13 projects)
Board of Finance Public Hearing on FY12 Budget;  Speak Up 2011 site, Valley Forge Bridge open; Revson redo again, budget process (green eyeshade time)...more budget aniticipation and Capital Planning meetings as well as tri-Board confabs, which came after the natives were restless over the summer...

SUMMER FUN
The municipality never sleeps department:  Fromson-Strassler re-use, energy efficiency, and what about Lachat - and when will the Library get a new roof and a new librarian?  Did someone say "roof?"  How about a hamburger stand for the cost of my house?  "What Happened While You Were Away (2010)?"



Board of Education holds first workshop (see scheduled Ed review) on FY'12 budget;  Board of Finance kicks off its 2011 schedule Thursday at 8pm in Town Hall.  "About Town" still digging out, and no Town TV - so we'll just have to trust them and read the minutes after the fact!  Board of Selectmen's first meeting of 2011 unanimously OK's request from the Cemetery Committee for $1,600.00 for the preparation of preliminary development plans, sketches and photo boards to support continuing the process of trying to establish a town cemetery.  Board of Education holds really long but informative meeting (on evaluation of teaching styles for the 21st century, effective improvements so far in maintaining the campus and buildings, etc.) on Dec. 20 in preparation for budget meetings in January 2011;  Selectmen cancel Dec. 16th meeting;   Dec. 2nd discussed Lachat in executive session, no decision;  report on how Valley Forge Bridge is progressing. Building Committee Nov. 17th follows progress on a number of town projects (Library roof, above) including planning to walk the school project to inspect how it is holding up.

Board of Finance
approves STEAP grant provisions for next Revson redo.

BUDGET PROCESS SCHEDULE FY'12
allows for Referendum. Get out the green eyeshades!

Weston for Fiscal Responsibility
panel discussion report in FORUM here.  First Selectperson states her preference for a  COG rather than an RPA as one way to  control finances.


Board of Selectmen
Oct. 7 - Cemetery Committee discussion of survey -
Revson bailed out by STEAP grant?  Read more here;  9-15-10:  Booster Barn gets C.O. at last!!!  No news on the education salary front;  Library to get mostly new roof...WMS roof progresses.

"WHAT HAPPENED WHILE YOU WERE AWAY"
Board of Education Chair. Phil Schaefer did very well - made points with his statement of net savings.  First Selectperson Weinstein seems glad she is not responsible for making the Education budget in FY'12.  Board of Finance Chair. Mike O'Brien restores confidence in that body's ability to manage our finances;  stay tuned for more on these matters from Westonites for Fiscal Responsibility  October 20th ay 7:30pm, Town Hall Meeting Room.


BOARD OF EDUCATION tonight.  Revised agenda now included item on school-police relations.

BUILDING COMMITTEE
meets to hear about WMS roof project (on time and UNDER budget) the Weston Library project (partial roof) to start week of Sept. 20.



BOARD OF FINANCE MEETING NOTES, 9-14-10

Board of Finance met in special session to have the Chair. of the Board of Education on the carpet yet again but with the understanding that they couldn't do anything to change the salary issue.  We spotted three other members of the Education Board present, but only one stood to try to make a point and was interrupted by a member of the audience.  Later, items not on the agenda discussed, we assume because they tangentially related to school compensation - for example, the pay-back schedule for the Booster Barn compared to Weston Arts' pay back as compared to the total cost of the three major administrators' salary increases (above what percentages had been paid to the next level down group of administrators) compared to the cost of the Booster Barn...The Booster Barn expense so much larger than top school administrator's increases that it is really a case of the Town and Board of Finance being more spendthrift than the Board of Education, don't you think?

Selectmen:  FIRST, NICE THINGS, THEN AUGUST 5 SUMMER TURBULENCE DEPARTMENT:  After appointments and other business (and after, STEAP grant), the Selectmen and the public vented.  Reputations falling left and right, ill will politely, for the most part, kept in check.  Board of Selectmen each eviscerated Board of Education Chair.  Previous evening "outing" at Special Board of Education Executive Session - the power of the agenda to confuse... Capital Planning Committee met at 7:30am August 4th and discusses approaches to upcoming budget cycle - more here.

Building Committee recommends to the Board of Selectmen contract for Library roof and Owner's Rep discussion and decision; report on Middle School Roof.


Board of Education:
August 23: Vote taken was bipartisan affirmation of original vote supporting the salary increases to top administrators.  The "yes" votes were:  Uzenoff, Wolf, Stack and Levin; "no" votes by Bochinski, Harvey and Schaefer.  Five (5) members of the public spoke, although there were perhaps two dozen or so present.  After hearing from the public, the Board entertained a motion which was seconded, not to change their previous decision (Uzenoff, Levin).  An amendment to that motion was offerred and seconded (Bochinski, Harvey);  discussion ensued and the vote on the amendment to the motion was 5-2 against.  Then the main motion was voted upon.  Each member of the Board spoke, and the vote was 4-3 in favor - to reaffirm the July 26 decision. 

Earlier, another Executive Session scheduled for Wednesday, August 19, 2010 at 7:30pm, Board of Education Annex on School Road;  meeting July 26 unanimously awarded top 3 administrators raises.  Board members go on the record with individual comments.  So far, enrollment up by 5 over NESDEC prediction.

Board of Selectmen
got report July 8 on how a cemetery might work out here.  Afterward, they asked the Committee to prepare a questionnaire to determine if the people really want a Town cemetery.  P&Z Chair. in the audience, noting that his Commission is addressing the cemetery issue through zoning regs on private property, P&Z Public Hearings in September.  Library (old photo above) Roof contract approved.

There was an EMERGENCY MEETING of the Board of Selectmen Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 4:15pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room to establish a School Building Committee consisting of the members of the Building Committee for the purpose of getting the windows and doors projects at WMS and WHS moving and qualify for SFU$$$ ("EDO49"), which the Special Town Meeting March 23, 2010 approved

Special Board of Finance Tuesday June 29, 2010 action, after long discussion - which to the casual observer seemed to indicate that everyone present from the Board of Finance did not want to do another study that recommended the same thing that Milone and MacBroom's did (which would require more than a million dollars).  Previously:  Long discussion of Revson Field at Board of Selectmen June 3rd.





IT IS NOW COMMON PRACTICE TO HAVE TRI-BOARD MEETINGS OR JOINT  COMMITTEE MEETINGS AND IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP TRACK OF WHAT IS GOING ON

JOINT MEETING OF BOARDS OF FINANCE, SELECTMEN AND EDUCATION June 14, 2010 with lots of opportunity for public comment - reports here and here.  First Selectperson notes that permits in the Building Office last year and this year are down for remodeling (16 - 6), new construction (8 - 2);  but activity picking up.  Unemployment currently at 4.8%, foreclosures last year were 11, this year 6.  Town Clerks' fees up a small amount.  NOTE:  Legislature has not shown any sign of restoring Conveyance Tax money.

Continuation of the Special Board of Selectmen's Monday, April 26 meeting until Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 2pm "awarding of the contract" for WMS roof/done - work begins Monday, May 3.  Changes to the contract include Building Committee addition of wording for "staging" plan and locations.  If Barrett agrees, minor changes re: insurance will be made.

WESTON ELECTION 2009 STORY HERE

SPECIAL TOWN MEETING ON VALLEY FORGE BRIDGE STORY HERE;
Will health effects of turf fields be an issue in Weston?  Elsewhere in CT...

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in Weston was April 24 - 170 plus cars (with 35% of townspeople on school vacation) - see photos here;  
BUDGET PROCESS:  what can we look to this year?  What went on during the entire process last year?
OPPOSITION TO BUDGET APPEARED AND CARRIED THE DAY:  http://www.westonfiscalresponsibility.com/
--------------------
DONE:  C.O. September 15, 2010 -  Bleachers/Booster Barn and Lyons Plains Firehouse;  Board of Finance  had voted "yes" on both Sept. 11, 2008. 

Board of Selectmen meeting Sept. 4 OK's modified (only new cars) fuel efficient car tax policy on a Party-line vote.
Lachat property back for another try as "gateway" to Devil's Den - new Ad Hoc Committee to form...not yet, to our knowledge!  And the Cemetery Committee gets new blood, reports, and then nothing doing, as preferred site frowned upon by Aquarion/Macquarie Bank of Sydney, down under.  But wait!  Latest incarnation of Cemetery Committee sends out flyer asking for real interest (also did their homework with public meeting, asking advice and direction from appointing authority, and keeping on track in 2010.





PREVIOUS WESTON BOARD OF ETHICS
L-R:  Member who drafted the final opinion obscures the fourth member present, secretary to the meeting/member (at computer) and lastly, the Chair.

LINK TO WESTON CODE OF ETHICS - here


How Weston came to have a Code of Ethics...

MEMBERSHIP OF WESTON BOARD OF ETHICS - not necessarily accurate in 2014

BOARD OF ETHICS' MEETING NOTES BY "ABOUT TOWN"
 



I don't attend meetings beginning at midnight.
..



And the agenda posted online was no help:  We wonder what "other" business was conducted?

-


SPECIAL BOARD OF ETHICS
Town Hall Commission Room
FRIDAY, FEB. 24, 2012, 6PM

The Board of Ethics met Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 from@ 6-7pm.

Four (4) members of the Board of Ethics were present.  In order to get response in time for Board of Selectmen Thursday May, 1st, their agreed upon modified draft was approved unanimously.   We did not see any text of the draft and the wording as read by the Chair. (r,above) seemed to say that in conclusion...no conflict (any more).

And a final version would be produced along with documents supporting the decision by first thing the next business day - Monday - in time to permit the Board of Finance to meet seven (7) strong to review the FY'13 budgets of Town and School without threat of a shadow of an ethics violation in the wings.

At the next quarterly (June) meeting when all members can be present, discussion of possible clarifications in directions.  NOTE:
2nd Tuesday at 6:30pm in the Commission Room - in the months March, June, September and December - selected for "regular meetings."

PENULTIMATE MEETING ON THIS SUBJECT? 
Member (l) to draft advisory opinion and circulate it via e-mail prior to Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 5:30pm, Commission Room...CANCELED and rescheduled, we think, for 6pm Friday, Town Hall Commission Room.


SPECIAL BOARD OF ETHICS
Commission Room until 7:45pm then the Weston Library Conference Room
Feb. 13, 2012, 6:30pm

All members present.

Minutes adopted in draft form by 7:17pm.  Note:  There is no tape recording of these meetings so that a more abbreviated set of minutes might be produced with reference to "see the tape"  or as the sports announcer Warner Wolf used to say - "Let's go to the videotape!"

Conflict of interest and appearance of same are the sticking points, is what we heard. 

While all seem to agree that there is no longer any problem of personal or financial conflict, it was repeatedly discussed whether the perception of a possible future conflict is a concept within the scope of the present Code of Ethics.  The Charter conflict no longer exists, it seems. 

The member who had the most questions will draft the first version of an Advisory Opinion and circulate it to the other members of the Board of Ethics as an attachment on an e-mail, which presumably then makes it not an FOI violation.  NOTE:  The Charter Revision Commission corresponds via e-mail with "cc" to all members, with the understanding that all such e-mails are "meetings"and thus "discoverable" - meaning if you ask for them under FOI, you get them.

We are curious to see what the Board of Ethics comes up with!  But they have to do it in public, this time.  The Advisory Opinion goes next to the Board of Selectmen.





Very brief answers to questions by Dr. Keating.

SPECIAL BOARD OF ETHICS
Commission Room
February 6, 2012, 4:30pm

All members of the Board present plus the Weston FORUM.  Announcement:  The Board of Ethics will have regularly scheduled quarterly meetings on the 2nd Tuesday at 6:30pm in the Commission Room - in the months March, June, September and December (???).  Next one is March.

More discussion in open session.  Dr. Keating present, accompanied by Superintendent of Schools Palmer, the Treasurer of the Board, and staff member familiar with legal niceties.  Plus a resident of Westport who had worked for Expense Reduction Analysts.

Dr. Keating answered three questions:  was there any contact with Mr. Finkel anymore, did she know of off-setting compensation, and what's left for E.R.A. to do?

Minutes of previous meeting approved.

Other business:  Question from Board member as to why it took so long to get the materials together before Board of Ethics as reconstituted could deal with this complaint.  Answer was that it took time to get the information together from files in Town Clerk's office, in the vault and from previous chairpeople, who had files at home.  In discussion of next steps it was stated that all information had now been gathered - but if they needed more the Chair. would ask the four who submitted testimony (2 in open session and two by telephone [Pres. of E.R.A. and Lochner-Mr.Finkel's partner on the job in Weston]).

Meeting adjopurned @5:30pm.



Board of Ethics meets with David Finkel (in distance),  3 members of the public present.

SPECIAL BOARD OF ETHICS
January 31, 2012 at 6:30pm in Town
Hall (Commission Room)
Continuation of discussion and interviews, we assume, in public session.

The Board of Ethics met tonight from 6:30pm until 7:08pm, interviewing only David Finkel.  They noted that questions had been asked telephonically and/or electronically of the consultant taking over the Board of Ed contract.  Dr. Keating would be available next week, no specific date given.  The head of ERA couldn't work out telephone meeting (yet).
 
All five Board of Ethics members were present plus David Finkel.  In the audience were Glenn Major, Woody Bliss and Martha Diamond (not pictured). 
 
In addition to the interview, they approved the minutes of the previous meeting after a discussion of whether they should have a tape recording also (on member asked, everyone said "no" for various reasons including that they didn't want them "discoverable" in a FOI action).
 
They had circulated dates for Board of Ethics regular meetings, and came up with quarterly meetings the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm beginning in March.  Until the present case is settled they will be having Special Meetings when needed.
 
DAVID FINKEL:  Answers, according to what "About Town" heard, in italics
 
They asked Mr. Finkel the following questions - I asked for their list of questions but they wouldn't release them, saying that there were other questions not asked on the list, etc. 
 
Mr. Finkel asked if he might answer any other questions, and I think the answer was no.  Meeting adjoured at 7:08pm


Board of Ethics, John Albright, Paula Savignol, Terry Castellano, Robert  Lamb, Harriet Heller.

Continuing the controversy...in response to a post-election request from the Board of Selectmen:

BOARD OF ETHICS
January 26, 2012 meeting of the Weston Board of Ethics, in open session, discussion of questions for those most directly involved in pre-election complaint, for meeting prior to coming up with a timely opinion.  Next meeting next week, perhaps.




BOARD OF ETHICS
Meeting Date: December 6, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Place: Town Hall Commission Room
3:00pm- Discussion with the First Selectman concerning the make-up of the Board of Ethics
3:15pm- Executive Session concerning the Board of Selectmen’s request regarding David Finkel.
3:30pm- Public Session to discuss the Board of Selectmen’s request concerning David Finkel/2-1 vote of Board of Ethics members remaining, thus no vote approving new facts in the case and a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.





Board of Ethics to meet Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 8:30am in the Commission Room of Town Hall.  On the agenda are approval of the minutes, reports on activities since the last meeting including membership info and request for advisory opinion;  report on membership including note that one member is at the end of 3-term limit.  FOI meeting scheduled by the Town, discussion of Greenwich modernization of its ethics code;  schedule of January meeting of Weston Board of Ethics meeting.






C A P I T A L    P L A N N I N G    C O M M I T T E E
These are the sectors of Town government who have capital budget needs.

Now able to find these meetings on the Town website, which are held in the early mornings (7:45am in Town Hall Meeting Room) "About Town" will be attending regularly!
FY'15

Why the Capital Budget requires input from P&Z - in our opinion:  No one looks further ahead than P&Z when it comes to community planning.  Whether or not there is a P&Z presence on this body, for sure somebody has to speak up for Planning and Zoning interests, and so, as a former member of that Commission, About Town was glad to do so!

Previously...

Getting an early start for FY10-11...see below for previous years' budget processes:
FY 09-10
Board of Education process - FY 09-10
FY 08-09
Board of Education process, completed, as by Charter, prior to Selectmen's process - then goes to Board of Finance: FY08-09
FY 07-08
FY 06-07 and earlier (as far back as adjourned ATBM in 2001)




An example of what our notes look like...and membership by Board or Commission

Capital Planning Committee

Town Hall Meeting Room
August 4, 2010

Present were First Selectperson Weinstein, Board of Finance Chair. O'Brien, Building Committee Chair. Gary, Board of Education reps (Uzenoff, Wolf), Superintendent of Schools Belair and Director of Finance Keating, Town Finance Director Darling, and in the audience, Selectman Gilbert, Town Administrator Landry, Chair., Board of Education Schaefer.

First Selectperson opened the meeting @7:30am - said an overview and philosopical discussion (our words) should come before the budget process started - that took place.  Initial town side capital needs discussed, as were Board of Education projects.  "Sinking funds" explained (as in "putting aside $$ year by year to pay for future projects expected to be undertaken").  It was estimated that the Town of Weston would not be ready to go out for future bonding for perhaps 15 years, so some other methods had to be devised to be able to afford necessary projects when they came due.
 

ITEMS DISCUSSED AS ILLUSTRATIONS OF NEED FOR RETHINKING:  New place for Communication Center or at least improvements since recent electrical events, discussion of Bus Garage - no plans for changes, after all aspects reviewed (increased costs for operation, newly revised bus scheduling and routing would have to be changed again, with cost implications...).


Down memory lane...and now the then, new, improved "Facilities Committee" appointed by the Board of Selectmen - first meeting Oct. 7, 2010, which has evolved into the "Global Facilities Committee.".  





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