LWV of Weston's "SPEAK UP XXIII"
Held at the Weston Public Library Community Room
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 10:30am to 12 noon
This program was broadcast live on Channel 79. Art on the
walls by Keith Brooks. And the FORUM wrote a great editorial in advance...and
followed it up with another editorial
And speaking of Speak Up impact...more
Note: The Speak Up 2014 video is 1 hour 40 minutes 20
The links below provide the video in a
choice of two formats, .wmv (Windows Media Player format,
which is playable on all Windows-based computers and some
Apple Computers), and .mp4 (which is playable on most modern
computers of either type). If you are using a
Windows-based computer and Internet Explorer, clicking on the
.wmv link will automatically open Windows Media Player and
start playback promptly. Some other software, including
Firefox and Safari, might not begin playback until the entire
file has downloaded, which due to the length of the program
may take 15 or 30 minutes or more depending on your internet
Windows Media Player format (254 megaBytes):
MP4 format (434 megaBytes): www.lwvweston.org/LWVSpeakup2-8-14.mp4
SPEAK UP 2014 - one of the very, very best!!!
BEGAN IT WAS A SUCCESS - STANDING ROOM ONLY, GREAT FOOD/DRINK,
GREAT ART SHOW ON THE WALLS AND 23 PUBLIC OFFICIALS CAME
Westonites poured through the doors - and they spoke up at...Speak
Up - you bet! Great art show on the walls - besides coffee
and tea the was a "spread" of cakes and cookies...and pop
corn...and then we were ready to start...
ONE: This went to the Lachat Oversight Committee,
beginning with a preamble about open meetings and democracy and
how this Committee followed all the rules of the sunshine policies
presently in the F.O.I. regulations...and posted minutes, agendas,
etc online...question was "What's up?" and what will we have to
look forward to soon?
Laura Smits was
our moderator...and kept things moving along. Atmosphere of
pastoral setting seemed not quite the temper of the crowd!
NUMBER TWO: Could there be a concession stand or
food truck located at Morehouse Farm Park? Parks and Rec
responded that first stop would be to ask P&R.
THREE: First mention of Senior Center issues...or
was it this one...or this one, which compared what Weston Seniors
have compared to others...more came later, as well.
FOUR: Who better to address this than the
Superintendent, who clarified the year by year agreement
("M.O.U.") or memorandum of understanding between town and
Later, as if in an aside, because no one asked about the increases
in the operating budget proposed FY'15 ("What are you doing to
keep the budget in hand?") the Superintendent remarked that Weston
Schools are taking full-paying tuition students from other towns.
QUESTION NUMBER FIVE: Since Newtown,
what's new in Weston - not exactly how it was phrased but it drew
reaction immediately from Selectmen and State Senator...and
Building Committee Chair. with side discussion with Town
SIX: Well, it was a different topic, but it was
further focus on Board of Education policies. I think the
issue of grants for solar panels and necessary delays, perhaps, as
the questioner correctly pointed out, is unfortunate because
grants turned down one day might not be around later when you are
ready to use them. The crowd wasn't sure what to think.
SEVEN THRU...Brainstorming at the Library for the future of
the center of town...and for the town in general as it relates to
the state, etc. Town
comment from the Board of Finance was clearly an indication that
the school budget may be in for a bumpy ride before
approval. "Occupy Wall Street" series of oil paintings on
QUESTION NUMBER EIGHT, ABOUT REGIONAL
RELATIONS: And then there was the question about
what regionalism the way the Legislature may fashion it means for
Rep. Shaban congratulated First Selectman Weinstein on having
trumped the Office of Policy and Management by merging in a timely
fashion with HVCEO.
NINE, ABOUT WHY WE CAN'T THINK MORE FREELY...ah yes, easy for
citizens to say, but those responsible to the State and the
taxpayers have to be circumspect.
Bike-Ped Committee describes some ideas (l), a citizen poses the
question about why we can't plan with an open mind (r) and the
Supintendent takes it all in (c). It was a bit past noon...
QUESTIONS POSED BY THE THOUGHTFUL BIKE-PED CHAIR.: And
while he was at it, the Chair. of the Bike-Ped Committee offered
some advice...picking up where the resident who has not yet gotten
involved in government sees things that could happen and thinks
"Why not?" Well, the Chair. of the Board of Ethics (above,
left) is seeing that perhaps people should know about what they
must give up to participate in local government.
And then the Q&A of Speak Up was over with thanks to all
participants - people didn't want to stop talking...many lingered
in small groups for another half hour.. lingering, as
in the last time we saw Paris?
It was really amazing - the 2014
Speak Up crowd had stayed to the end!
The impact of the event was still felt at a Board of Selectmen's meeting or two
afterward...had the Selectmen and others working hard to find
And post-Speak Up, what is the "State of the Town"
right now (as related to Kiwanis 3-8-14)?
The two hots
spots at "Speak Up" this year were areas where school and town
See Board of
Selectmen report for Feb. 24.
perhaps was the absence of questions about the school budget...or maybe this was it coming to the mic?
Art show at
the Library inspirational..."Speak Up" picture story here
To link to
League video production, click here.
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