Special Town Meetings (Including Referenda)
In reverse  chronological order


Special Town Meeting
1-16-14
Land Swap

Approved by voters present - Lord's Hway corner conforms to town standards, requiring exchange of @300 sqft.



GREEN LIGHT TO BOARD OF EDUCATION
Meanwhile, back in Weston, CT, standing room only crowd votes "yes" and away we go!


TOWN MEETING HAND OUT HAD IT CORRECT
Special Town Meeting says "yes" to the right project, and the revised program for work at the high school is now redefined.  But a warning sign:  Mistake in resolution with attachment for Selectmen later indicates the wrong part of the high school to be worked on!!!  This will be taken care of, as sharp eyed Selectman noticed it and staff knows it was incorrect...makes me nervous.


Read Special Town Meeting hand out here
Building Committee Chair. explains the project at Tri-Board meeting September 25, 2013.  Special Town Meeting votes unanimous "yes."


Special Town Meeting
October 3, 2013

Call of meeting




Special Town Meeting 6-25-13 - puchase of 48 Norfield Road - "yes but" at $140k less...Bank says no to lower number - FORUM stories here and here..


A MOTION TO VOTE 'YES' AT A LOWER PRICE...AND FIRST SELECTMAN WILL TRY TO SELL IT TO THE BANK.
Hot time in the old town - Library Community Room brought drama...Selectman cites Town Plan 2010 which encourages creative ideas for Central Part of Town, Town Attorney explains what the last vote means.


TOWN MEETING SAYS "LET'S MAKE A DEAL!"


What was going on?  Who participated?  The Registrars will or should have the number of those who checked in.

If you added it up, there were 79 voting on the final amended motion.  By my unofficial calculation, the first vote taken, to lower the offer to the bank to "split the difference" of the rehab estimate, was similar.  However, was this really the case? 

The 43 in favor of the amendment the first time may not have been the same as the 43 plus one the second time!  While there were more people (our sense of it) in the room, only 79 raised their hand or announced an abstention.  Or perhaps because the Registrars, the Moderator, Parliamentarian and Clerk didn't appear to raise their hands, the vote total was low (seven voting officials - 4 Registrars, Moderator, Parliamentarian, Clerk of the meeting).

Perhaps it was that some only voted on one of the motions?  In other words, if you voted "yes" on the amendment you still had the option to either vote "no" or not vote on the main motion.  And if you supported the original "call", you voted "no" on the amendment or didn't vote.  Likewise, you could have voted "no" on the amendment and "yes" on the main motion. Or "no" on both.  Maybe you could have voted "yes" on both as I did, because you didn't was to see this opportunity for Town purchase go down as it did more than 30 years ago. 

The Town must now go back to the bank.  If some of the negative speakers are right, the bank should grab the Town's reduced offer pronto!

The unofficial count of how many speakers there were on the amendment and the final motion showed 13 "no" and 10 "yes" - some getting two chances to speak (but we only counted it as one) because there were two motions (amendment and main motion) and also because the Moderator was encouraging input. 

Where we were positioned, a question arose about whether someone with a "green card" who owned property more than $1000 on the Grand List could speak and/or vote at Town Meeting.  On the spot, the decision was "yes."  Was that the correct decision?  Considering the penalties for illegal voting read to the meeting, perhaps the Charter Revision Commission might address this?

That's my question this afternoon as I analyze how the votes broke out.  There was standing room only at the Library Community Room last evening.  So full that some remarked that the air conditioning might be failing.   But it was a case of being dressed appropriately
for the date - school's out for summer atire worked for me!

There were more than three ways to vote and more than that number of interest groups present. 
  1. First, there was the group prepared to vote yes on the original amount, who were not in favor of the amendment. 
  2. Then there were, at the other end, those who thought this was a bad move and/or deal at any price.
  3. In between there were those who wanted to buy the property but didn't want to fight about the reasonable idea that Town Meeting should make an offer at a lower price to the bank. 
  4. Lastly, there were those who didn't know what they wanted to do.  Did everyone vote on everything?  No, we don't think so.   

The meeting lasted 90 minutes, but somehow, I don't think this matter is finished just yet.  The next shoe dropped Wednesday afternoon when the bank refused the offer.


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TOWN OF WESTON
WARNING OF SPECIAL TOWN MEETING, TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2013

The voters of the Town of Weston, Connecticut, are hereby warned and notified that a Special Town Meeting will be held in the Community Room of the Weston Library, 56 Norfield Road, Weston, Connecticut, on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 7:30 P.M.

Item
1. To consider and vote on the following resolution:

(a) To purchase structures and land of approximately 1.0 acre located at 48 Norfield Road, Weston, Connecticut from the Fairfield County Savings Bank and to appropriate an amount not to exceed $750,000 for the purchase price and any professional fees, legal fees, interest expense on temporary borrowings, financing cost and other costs related to the purchase.
(b)  To authorize the Board of Finance to determine the appropriate method of funding the purchase including: use of general fund balance, short or long term borrowings, temporary note issuance, supplemental appropriation, or any other appropriate source.  If the Board of Finance determines to fund the purchase with a borrowing, the Board of Finance is also authorized to determine the terms and conditions of such borrowing.
(c)  To authorize the First Selectman to negotiate and execute an agreement to purchase the property, and to act on the Town’s behalf under the agreement, and if the Board of Finance determines to fund the purchase with a borrowing, to authorize the First Selectman to negotiate and execute any documents related to such borrowing, to authorize the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, Treasurer and other Town officials or employees to take all other action necessary and proper to carry out said purchase, to ratify all previous action taken by the Town, its officials or employees in connection with said purchase and to authorize Town officials and employees to take all other actions necessary to complete the purchase and complete any borrowing to finance the appropriation.

Dated at Weston, Connecticut as of the 17th day of June, 2013
BOARD OF SELECTMEN
____________________________
Gayle Weinstein
First Selectman
____________________________
David Muller
Selectman
____________________________
Dennis H. Tracey III
Selectman




Planning and Zoning asked for changes, got them, after Conservancy tweak voted again, approving final document 4-1.

Special Town Meeting at 7:15pm in Town Hall Meeting Room Jan. 19, 2012 - 35 minutes for a "Yes" (one "no" vote)
With snow forecast for 7pm, what would the attendance at town meeting be?  Standing room only, as it turned out.  And it did snow!  Would proponents outnumber those who question the Lachat lease arrangement?  Maybe - those who had doubts asked questions (9 individuals - most of whom were not sure until they got answers).  The "call" below (this plus the package showing changes made by Nature Conservancy at the last minute [in red] available to all at the meeting).





SPECIAL TOWN MEETING TAKES NO TIME IN VOTING YES WITH NO COMMENTS.  A NEW ADVENTURE!  P&Z 8-24 to come.

[IMAGE]
Main field (2000), main field (2010), house and high field.  Town controls fields all shown above for 10 years with renewal possiblility.  Restrictions are conservation easements.

At the Sept. 15, 2011 Selectmen's meeting
LACHAT UP FOR SPECIAL TOWN MEETING THURSDAY, OCT. 20, 2011
Town Hall Meeting Room at 7:20pm (preceded at 7pm by an Informational Meeting) and followed by 7:30pm Board of Selectmen's meeting


Agreement to maintain conservation easement (with an exception for community/Town farm).  Leases of land to and from each party (Town and Nature Conservancy) in 50-50 split.  N.C. to handle money that is an endowment for maintenance, town to get the interest.


REFERENDUM APRIL 14, 2011 ON TOWN AND SCHOOL BUDGETS PLUS CEMETERY...YES, YES, NO



How many Westonites voted?  885 total in 2011.



REFERENDUM REAFFIRMS ANNUAL TOWN BUDGET MEETING PLUS SAYS "NO" TO TOWN CEMETERY PROJECT
Westonites go to polls in lower number than last year (when signatures had to be gathered).  Actual vote totals:

Question #1   YES - 697   NO - 186
Question #2  YES - 574   NO - 308
Question #3  YES - 348  NO - 536
 
TOTAL voting  885 (out of all 6000 plus registered voters plus an unknown number of "Grand List" eligible voters)

ATBM over:  On to Referendum voting on Cemetery ($30k) 8-24, Item #3, which was not in the Call of ATBM, Item #2, Education and Item #1, Town budgets, FY12.

"Citizen of the Year" award presented prior to ATBM by Police Commission Chair. prior to start of Annual Town Budget Meeting.


WHAT HAPPENED AT A.T.B.M. APRIL 6, 2011, WHS AUDITORIUM
Budget Passes at ATBM -  no cuts, changes or whatever. A standing count whether to have a secret ballot goes down 103-43.  The numbers that will be voted "yes" or "no" on are the same as ATBM got from the Board of Finance.$64,125,783 ($45,166,337 Ed Budget, $11,184,216 Town Budget). Don't forget that we also get to vote "yes" or "no" on $30,000 for an 8-24 on a Town non-denominational cemetery at Fromson Strassler.  ATBM took around 90 minutes, total time.
The usual attitudes prevail - almost out of central casting (the older residents call for fewer administrators in the Central Office of the school, the impatient PTO mothers say they are annoyed to have to come out to ATBM).  This year the pro-school crowd was particularly rude, perhaps because one knowledgeable and well-connected politically WFFR speaker noted that there were bills in Hartford to change a few things. 

WHY WESTONITES SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO THE LEGISLATURE, MENTIONED BY ONE SPEAKER AT ATBM
This Session is bringing home to roost the profligate spending and fat contracts and retirement benefits to CT state employees and the OPEB issue.  Bills tipping the balance away from "hands off education" by politicians are:

1)changing rule that no school budget can be cut below the level of the previous year;
2)bills out there to cut budgets according to enrollment and
3)permit specific cuts within the school budget at ATBM.

The Governor favors these, we think, so if these bills see the light of day and pass the House and the Senate, radical change will be here for the education system and administrators.


REFERENDUM FACTS

WATCH PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT on YouTube for the ATBM & REFERENDUM HERE.



REFERENDUM ON TOWN AND SCHOOL OPERATING BUDGET THURSDAY, APRIL 15TH, 6am to 8pm, WMS Gym:  HOW DID IT PLAY OUT?  WHAT NEXT?*
First hour - 39 voters.  By just before 11am, when "About Town" voted, total was up to 238.  We'll be heading to the Middle School to catch the last hour of action - as the commuters rush from the train to be sure to vote in this Referendum...total voting 1134.  What happened?  With a very few watching, the number were read out:


QUESTION ONE - to approve Town Budget bottom line
YES - 753 
NO - 380

QUESTION TWO - to approve School Budget bottom line
YES - 662
NO - 471

*No need to go back to ATBM because motion to adjourn included language noting that "Yes, Yes" meant that the action on individual items at ATBM were affirmed.
The Official Results from Town of Weston website:




D O U B L E    F E A T U R E    T O W N    M E E T I N G S -
THE 'AYES' HAVE IT

Unanimous "yes" at Special Town Meeting (250 est. attendance) - only one speaker - who explained what was in the package.  Wednesday at 2pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room we find out what the construction market thinks the projects will cost!

New and complex roof at W.M.S. plus windows plus 3 boilers (one at the Town Library) - plus an extra couple of million for the windows and doors at both the Middle School and the old sections of the high school.

TOWN OF WESTON WARNING OF SPECIAL TOWN MEETING, TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2010;  THE RESOLUTION IS HERE:
The voters of the Town of Weston, Connecticut, are hereby warned and notified that a Special Town Meeting will be held in the Weston Middle School Cafeteria, Weston, Connecticut on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 7pm.  The Board of Selectmen nominated Woody Bliss to serve as Moderator...

ITEM 1.  To consider and vote in a Resolution to Apppropriate $6,926,000 for Capital Improvements to the Weston Public Schools and the Weston Town Library, and to authorize the Issue of Bonds, Notes or Temporary Notes in an Amount Not to Exceed $6,600,000 to Finance Said  Appropriation.

A copy of the full text of the Resolution is on file and available for public inspection at the office of the Town Clerk and on the Town's website...    



IT WAS STANDING ROOM ONLY AT THE TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2009 FOR SPECIAL TOWN MEETING...


Previously...
Town Engineer, shown above, pointing at bridge location illustration, is to get confirmation that the structural elements are already accurately drawn to A-2 quality (by the bridge engineer).  P&Z gave a unanimous positive vote on the Flood Zone permission, however...at the Special Town Meeting, such testimony not given by the Town Engineer.  FORUM photo of existing Valley Forge Bridge site above, right.


ENTIRELY NEW VALLEY FORGE BRIDGE:  THE CALL of Special Town Meeting Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 7pm (until @ 8:30pm), in the Town Hall Meeting Room. 
SIMPLE MAJORITY OF THOSE PRESENT AND VOTING needed for override of P&Z negative 8-24.   Very, very few present supported override - no vote was taken on the wording of the original call.  OPINION:  it was the sense of the meeting that an A-2 survey was needed before the project went any further, and the reworded motion reflected that.  First revision made and seconded and failed (not specific enough, we suspect);  new motion passed by voice vote.


Special Town Meeting supported the majority of the4 Planning and Zoning Commission's position (presented by its Chairman): 8-24 of Valley Forge Bridge. Those present and voting supported and amended motion re: the need for an "A-2" survey map/new 8-24 to P&Z.  DISCUSSION:  Selectmen Bliss and Weinstein noted funding for this year would be in peril, as the time it takes for an A-2 survey to be done, P&Z to advertise and hold another 8-24 public hearing and if a negative 8-24 results, the time for another Special Town Meeting will most likely run out the clock on this year's deadline for State of Connecticut special "stimulus" package funding or $$ from other sources as well.


BREAKING NEWS: Voters say get A-2 survey and 8-24 review for Valley Forge bridge
Weston FORUM
Written by Patricia Gay
Friday, 10 July 2009 12:23

Voters at a town meeting last night overwhelmingly approved a motion requiring the selectmen to get an A-2 survey and 8-24 planning and zoning review for the Valley Forge bridge project.

It was standing room only in the Meeting Room at town hall, as 72 registered voters, the Board of Selectmen, and Ken Bernhard, town counsel, debated how the Valley Forge bridge project should proceed.

The selectmen called for the town meeting in order to override the Planning and Zoning Commission’s 8-24 statutory denial of the bridge project. The denial was based solely on the selectmen’s failure to submit an A-2 survey.

Last night the voters had the final say and told the selectmen to get the A-2 survey and an 8-24 review as soon as possible.

After three failed attempts by others to amend the original call of the meeting, Larry Roberts proposed the following amendment:

“The town of Weston will obtain an A-2 survey and present it to the Planning and Zoning Commission for an 8-24 approval, and the commission will act on it as soon as possible.”

The motion was approved in a voice vote, with no opposition.

Seth Miller, a neighbor of the bridge, said he was very pleased with the town meeting’s decision. “I appreciate everyone who came out tonight. My driveway is effected by this project and I want to know where the property lines are and if there are any easements,” he said.

Read the full story about the town meeting in next week’s issue of The Weston Forum.



SPECIAL TOWN MEETING OCTOBER 16, 2008 AT 8PM AT TOWN HALL:  to rebuild the Lyons Plains Fire Station in partnership with the Weston Volunteer Fire Department (up to $900,000, over a three year period).  Approved in voice vote - no discussion after Fire Department urged a "yes" vote.





Special Town Meeting June 11, 2008 OK's $1,100,000 for transfer into the Town's post employment benefits trust fund;  $586,585 for expenses associated with the design and renovation of the Weston High School Auditorium - by voice vote.

Special Town Meeting set for Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 7:30p.m. in the Weston Middle School Cafeteria.  Special Board of Selectmen's Meeting Tuesday, May 27, 2008 also names Moderator. 


QUESTION:  DOES THIS SPECIAL TOWN MEETING FALL UNDER SECTION 2.4(d) OF THE WESTON CHARTER?  WE THINK SO...


Special Town Meeting approves easement for CL&P - April 5, 2007, 7:15pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room necessary because wording of previous Special Town Meeting did not meet CL&P's latest legal standards (?) - that was the explanation given when we asked the question why this meeting was necessary.

Selectmen conducted a pre-Town Meeting Public Hearing;
YES to High School Roof and Auditorium Repair
A quick Town Meeting, well attended in the Weston High School Cafeteria gives a unanimous vote of "YES" with no voices raised to say "NO" although there was a question or two from some doubters during discussion;  Moderator called the question after five (5) speakers including First Selectman Woody Bliss.




WARNING!!!
Special Town Meeting  January 17, 2007 at 7pm, Town Hall Meeting Room - to re-allocate moneys within three parts of Referendum of Nov. 15, 2001.
Special Town Meeting divided the question into three parts.  First part approved.  Second part changed to special fund for school projects (instead of putting the $$ - if any - into the General Fund or specifying it for Booster Barn and bleachers - this proposed change a close voice vote);  third part approved.



Both items pass in brief Special Town Meeting, it is reported.



On road acceptances...from Jan. 13, 2005 Weston FORUM:

We were out of Town, so our vote couldn't be counted (and it would have been "yes"), but we taped the Special Town Meeting on January 20th to see whether "one vote" made a difference...it did!  THANK YOU, TOWN TV CHANNEL 79 - we taped it (the power of knowing how to set the VCR) and watched it upon our return Monday, January 24.

(YES) 44 - (NO) 43
The meeting was shifted from the Town Hall Meeting Room to Library Community Room when Moderator Richard Troxell determined that an accurate count would not be possible at the smaller room at Town Hall (there were people standing because the seating capacity had been exceeded).  Once Town Meeting reconvened in the Weston Library across the parking lot, the Board of Selectmen made their pitch for approval ("yes").  A total of six people spoke to First Selectman Bliss' motion as modified, a vote was taken (voice and standing count) on that motion and only then did it occur to anyone to ask for a secret ballot.

A vote to "reconsider" was made, (if successful by 2/3 majority, under reconsideration, the secret ballot request would be allowed).  The motion "to reconsider" failed by virtue of not getting a 2/3 vote (not close).  The meeting was adjourned.




If memory serves, this meeting was adjourned to the Middle School Cafeteria because so many people showed up to vote "no" on item #2...
RESULTS:  Nature Education Center at Lachat gets "YES" from Town Meeting;  Easement at Revson goes down ("NO")...
Special Town Meeting of Thursday, June 17, 2004 :  background on the first of the two items in the "call" here...

ITEM TWO relates to School Project:  twin-trunk oak tree would stay if Item #2 carried - but it didn't and so Town Meeting said, in effect, "TIMBER!"  The map below is dated June 2, 2004 ("Option C-1") - please remember that this is in no way an official source of information!




On enlarging the School Complex area...