This week starts the budget hearing process. All town departments will present their proposed budget to the Board of Finance over the course of the next two weeks. The Board of Education, which is the largest town budget, is scheduled for next Tuesday's meeting. Once the initial presentations are complete, the Board of Finance can call back any departments to ask additional questions or make revisions. It's all working towards the Annual Town Meeting in April and the budget referendum in May. All meetings start at 7pm and are accessible on Zoom. Please check the calendar on the town website for each day's Zoom link and agenda.
Next Monday, March 13th is a Planning & Zoning Information Session regarding our town's Plan of Conservation and Development. The meeting will also include a presentation by Desegregate CT. The group is a major proponent of many of the housing and zoning changes being discussed in Hartford this year and in the past couple years. They focus on high density, transit-oriented development. The latest plan is called "Work, Ride, Live." Come to the meeting on the 13th at 7pm in the Library Community Room.
The Board of Selectmen meeting last week included a discussion about the complaints before the Board of Ethics regarding the Planning & Zoning Commission chair. Following a preliminary recommendation from the Board of Ethics, legal counsel advised that neither the Board of Selectmen nor the First Selectman has the ability to suspend a board or commission member. The decision is a result of reviewing the town code and Ethics Ordinance. Following the advice of counsel, the selectmen will wait for a final recommendation from the Board of Ethics. However, the instance raises some questions about the clarity of our ordinance and potential changes that could be made to better address future circumstances. But that's a topic for another day.
It's a busy couple weeks in town government. If you're available, I invite you to be part of the process. I'll see you there.
Easton Board of Selectmen