SOUTHBURY — The Board of Selectmen’s Thursday, August 15, meeting officially began at 7 p.m.

Prior to that, Democratic Town Committee members gathered at 6:15 p.m. on the steps of the Town Hall to introduce their Board of Selectmen candidates for the upcoming November elections, two of them being new names to most people, Rich Boritz from Heritage Village for first selectman and Cathi De Carli, working to join the already seated Justin Bette and Mike Rosen.

The Republican team names remained unchanged with Jeffrey Manville now fighting a primary attempt to retain his first selectman status for a third term, despite having lost to Selectman Jennifer Naylor in the Republican caucus. Selectman Naylor is currently the endorsed Republican candidate for first selectman.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, last Thursday afternoon First Selectman Manville had announced his “Initiatives for Public Safety” and fliers were included in the papers of the selectmen’s meeting on a single page.

“We had a horrible accident on I-84 this weekend and we have to take action on our emergency services and contingency plans,” his “Initiatives” opened. “There was a time when Southbury would have relied upon our mutual aid ambulance coverage if we needed one.

“This issue is caused by a combination of circumstances, governmental actions and bad laws. We must put aside our differences and deal with this issue head-on. Earlier this year I put together a solution that the Board of Selectmen voted against. It was a bad vote and we need to work out a solution to it.

“It is time we stop talking about gender pronouns in the Charter and deal with the heavy lifting we were elected to do,” he wrote. 

“My opponent Jennifer Naylor has repeatedly used the word transparency. So what is her plan to deal with this issue?”

On Friday morning, August 16, Selectman Naylor obliged in six articulate paragraphs.  Simply put, “The statement is completely and demonstrably false. Aside from containing false information, what is most troubling is that he is attempting to fabricate a public safety issue to scare people into voting for him.

“If Mr. Manville is genuinely concerned about EMS services in our town and a lack of response, then his statement shows he has ignored that concern for political purposes. This is unacceptable conduct on the part of a town leader.”

Meanwhile the Thursday night selectmen’s meeting lasted a somewhat meandering three hours of official business, and the Strategic Plan came up for action after 10 p.m. for a very happy ending to an otherwise tediously protracted meeting.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the Strategic Plan’s proposed five priorities and the implementation steps.

The five priorities are:

Develop an affordable housing plan for Southbury to comply with the state mandate;

Partner with the state to develop a pro-active and collaborative process to plan for the future uses of the Southbury Training School;

Re-visit the Pomperaug Regional Community Center project and determine next steps;

Facilitate the economic development process and efficient local government objectives by evaluating the pros and cons of combining Planning and Zoning into one commission and combining the Conservation Committee with the Inland Wetlands Commission;

Re-visit the “Community Conversations on Aging Report” addressing the needs for senior services.

Next morning Strategic Plan Commission Chairman John Monteleone sent congratulations to the five volunteers who were present at the meeting, Team Leader Ron Conti, Affordable Housing; Dave Solaz and Ed Dalterio, Southbury Training School; Frank Pauza, Planning and Zoning; Chuck Jones, Senior Needs, for a job well done.

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