SOUTHBURY — Meeting on Thursday, September 5, on its bimonthly schedule, the Board of Selectmen covered an exceptionally wide agenda that ranged from purchasing a new International Truck to formally approving changes made to the language of the Town Charter. 

Announced during the day from the first selectman’s office, was that FEMA had approved the town’s application for funds spent in the aftermath of the May 15, 2018, tornado when approximately $1.4 million was eaten up in recovery efforts.

FEMA allows a 75 percent reimbursement of eligible costs and $1.067 million has been obligated to the town.

“My staff did an exceptional job following all the proper and necessary procedures to make this happen,” First Selectman Jeff Manville commented.

The meeting had opened at 7 p.m. following a social gathering offered from 6:15 to 7 p.m. to mingle with Democratic members at the Town Hall’s green front door. And the weather obliged. 

Top of the selectmen’s agenda was Senior Services Director Tamrath Rossi, who spoke for 45 minutes as she presented the Senior Services Driver and Fleet Safety Program manual.

She made a strong point of the procedures and requirements within the Senior Services program that are very seriously considered and directive in nature as well as a condition of employment with the Senior Services Department. 

In the meantime, a line was forming, impatient for Public Speaking, which was next on the agenda. Ed Edelson spoke about a recent trip to Washington, D.C., during which he stopped by the Holocaust Museum and learned that the creation of a traveling version of the award-winning, still running “The Americans and the Nazis” was offered to 50 local libraries under the auspices of the American Library Association.

Accordingly on his return home to Southbury, he called the Southbury Public Library to offer his expertise if needed, and learned that the board had decided not to participate in the program. He said no more.

Back to business. Selectmen voted in support of the Public  Works director’s recommendation to buy, locally from Hine Bros., a new International Truck chassis with associated equipment costing $280,860. 

Four items that will appear on the November 20 ballot were voted approved:

1. Shall the revised Town Charter, with the exception of the proposed amendments to the section 301 and 202A and the changes to the titles of the First Selectman, Board of Selectmen, and Selectmen, in the form filed with the town clerk on September 5 and, thereafter, published as required by law be approved?

2. Shall the proposed revisions to section 301, which does not allow votes cast for an unsuccessful candidate for First Selectman to be counted as votes for that candidate as a member of the Board of Selectmen, be approved?

3. Shall the proposed revision to section 202A, which changes the term of the First Selectman and Board of Selectmen from two years to four years with staggered terms, be approved?

4. Shall the proposed revision throughout the Charter, which changes the titles of the First Selectman, Board of Selectmen and Selectmen to First Selectperson, Select Board and Selectperson, be approved? 

In due course, therefore, all obligations were met as it was resolved that the Southbury Board of Selectmen hereby approves the Southbury Town Charter as revised by the Charter Revision Commission and submitted to the Town Clerk on August 29, 2019.

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