LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF WESTON 'SPEAK UP 2007' and 'SPEAK
UP 2008' page
Our report here;
"Speak Up 2007" reports
of others (most recently published first);
Weston makes itself heard at Speak Up
by JAN HOWARD
Feb 7, 2007
Additional tax relief for senior citizens and veterans, funding
and maintenance for the Lachat property, use of school facilities,
traffic, global warming, and the time line for a vote on
renovation of the high school roof and auditorium — these were
some of the issues raised at the 16th annual Speak Up, sponsored
by the League of Women Voters of Weston on Feb. 3 at Norfield
Approximately 100 residents attended to discuss local and other
issues with the town’s elected and appointed officials and state
legislators Senator Judith Freedman (R-28), Senator John McKinney
(R-26), and Rep. John Stripp (R-135).
Tax relief for seniors
A forum or roundtable was suggested by resident Harold Mathews to
address additional tax relief for senior citizens. Most of the
attendees raised their hands when asked by First Selectman Woody
Bliss if they would attend such a forum.
Mr. Mathews said his concern was to maintain community diversity
by helping seniors remain in town and to prevent those houses from
being sold to families with children. According to the 2000
census, he said, there are 700 senior households in Weston.
“We need more tax relief programs to encourage them to stay,” Mr.
Mr. Bliss said the town currently offers tax abatement and
deferment programs for residents 65 years of age and over.
Paul Friia, the town’s assessor, said the town should look into
what other towns are doing to address tax relief for seniors. It
was noted that only eight people take advantage of the tax
deferment program while more than 100 receive tax reductions under
the tax abatement program.
In addition, resident Norman Henderson raised concerns about the
increased cost of living and, as a result, the burden of the town
budget on middle class residents.
“Nobody likes to pay taxes,” Mr. Bliss said. While tax reduction
programs exist for senior citizens, he added, “there is less
opportunity for help for people under 65.”
[Please read the rest of this article at the Weston FORUM website]
Weston residents Speak Up
By JEREMY SOULLIERE, Hour Staff Writer
February 4, 2007
WESTON — Weston residents got a chance to air their questions and
concerns about a variety of town issues Saturday morning at the
16th annual Speak Up at Norfield Congregational Church.
Roughly 25 town and state officials were on hand to field
questions at the event — which was sponsored by the League of
Women Voters of Weston — with the day's discussion topics ranging
from the town's elderly tax relief program to its energy
Harold Matthews, one of the roughly 75 Weston residents who
attended the event, said Weston's escalating property taxes are
forcing elderly residents with fixed income to move, and the town
needs to create a more comprehensive elderly tax relief program to
ensure this doesn't continue.
"I'm asking you to introduce a more inclusive senior tax program,"
he said . "The empty nesters in their 50's and 60's might see the
handwriting on the wall."
First Selectman Woody Bliss said the town's present program offers
both tax abatement and deferment provisions for eligible residents
over age 65, but Matthews contended the program's abatement and
deferment limits could be increased and town officials could
introduce a senior tax freeze.
Bliss later said town officials would organize a public forum to
discuss the town's elderly tax program, along with any Weston tax
Residents also raised concerns about the excessive number of
speeders on the town's residential roads, the amount of graffiti
appearing on town stop signs and residential fences, and the
number people using cell phones while driving.
Police Chief Anthony Land said the police department's two patrols
are regularly on the lookout for speeders, but the department is
limited by its numbers, with one officer presently on leave and
serving in Iraq.
"Our ability to enforce is limited by our manpower," he said
[Please read the rest of this article at THE HOUR (Norwalk, CT) website]
"SPEAK UP 2007" AND THEY DID...
of Weston counted more than 80 in the audience plus Town
Board and Commission members on stage!!!
UPCOMING SPECIAL TOWN MEETING - LEAGUE WANTS TO KNOW, PERHAPS,
WHEN IS THE PUBLIC HEARING PRIOR?
Detail of plans for the campus project - Weston High
School to have doubled in size (more or less)!
SPEAK UP 2007 STANDING ROOM ONLY (NEEDED MORE CHAIRS FOR THE
The high school roof (above left - white part is old
roof) will cost most of what is left in Question #3 of the 2001
Referendum to replace and the Town will be asked to move those
funds (no extra $$) soon at a @ March 15th (?) Special Town
Meeting. Below please find some backgrounders on some of
the subjects asked about this year!
Reporters from the Weston
HOUR (who commented that Speak Up reminded him of
his own experience in northern Vermont, didn't catch the
importance of high school roof announcement) and Westport NEWS
attended. (Photographers, too--only Channel 12 wasn't
present - LWV of Weston had cameras rolling and the DVD will
- Discussion about how we
can assure that Weston remains a three-generation town.
- Traffic safety at the
Norfield Road and Weston Road intersection (and others);
- when will the Town
Meeting about the Weston High School roof be scheduled?
- Affordable housing at
the Legislature (Senator Freedman urged attendance at Public
Hearing in Hartford this week).
- Comment by
Superintendent of Schools on journey to work relates to
The Speak Up 2007 picture story ...
Traffic questions were one of the major features (see story above in
FORUM) and Global Warming Committee announced program.