First Selectman’s Update

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Melissa Mack

It is with mixed feelings that I write this column with the passing of another enjoyable Suffield summer; sad to see it end, but excited for fall’s upcoming activities! I hope everybody had a chance to take advantage of our Farmer’s Market, Babb’s Beach, Sunrise Park, the Canal and Farmington bike trails, some great new Parks & Recreation camp opportunities, road races and the very first Suffield Night at the Hartford Yard Goats. No wonder it’s so hard to say goodbye!

We kicked off the summer with a truly special event – the grand reopening of Kent Memorial Library. The well-attended celebration captured a wonderful sense of excitement and community at the heart of which was an absolutely glowing Mary Anne Zak. Thank you to all who came out!

The Town’s next major celebration, Suffield’s 350th Anniversary, is slated for Columbus Day weekend 2020. Successful fundraising is key to achieving an event worthy and reflective of Suffield’s history, its residents and our beautiful town. We need everybody’s help! The committee is selling $20 raffle tickets to win an all-new 2019 RAM 1500 truck. Thanks to Artioli Chrysler/Dodge/Ram for graciously providing the truck at below dealer cost. All proceeds benefit the extensive list of planned 350th activities. Don’t miss out – the drawing takes place at Suffield on the Green on Sunday, 9/8. Tickets will be available throughout the weekend!

Summer seemed like the perfect time to launch our new green initiative, the Environmental and Sustainability Task Force. The mission: explore and help the Town of Suffield implement environmental and sustainability practices and programs for the betterment of the Town. The primary objectives: encourage more recycling and composting; reduce garbage tonnage; shrink the Town’s $1M annual trash hauling and burning operational expenses; promote mindful stewardship of our natural resources. Our partners at Suffield Public Schools are committed to the undertaking as well to ensure a town wide and coordinated effort. As this is a task force (versus a committee), anybody interested may participate. Appointment by the Board of Selectmen is not required. Bring your energy and ideas to the next meeting on 9/12 at 5 p.m. at Town Hall.

Over the last four years, I have sought to implement a more formal process to evaluate the success and productivity of Suffield’s municipal employees based on yearly goals and objectives. I’m pleased to report that with the assistance of Human Resources Director Karin Ziemba, this is now officially underway. Each department head recently received goals for the upcoming year and individual follow-up conferences are scheduled to obtain their input. I know the town shares my appreciation for everything our employees have accomplished to date in embracing higher operational standards, and I am confident this next step will also be enthusiastically received.

Please mark your calendars for an important event to recognize those in our community that served during the Korean War. Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz will officiate a 9/16 ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. in the Suffield High School auditorium. Suffield’s Korean War veterans will receive citations for their service. All are invited and encouraged to attend to show their appreciation.

I will once again be holding office hours at Suffield on the Green (9/7 & 9/8). While I am honored (and relieved!) to be uncontested this election cycle, I know there is still much that needs to be done and look forward to the chance to be so easily accessible and able to speak with each of you. Please also take the opportunity to meet some of the great candidates running on both the Democratic and Republican tickets this fall. Looking forward to catching up! 

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