First Selectman’s Update

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Melissa Mack

A big SHOUT-OUT to our emergency responders – especially the Highway Department – for extraordinary efforts during Tropical Storm Isaias to reopen roads and aid in restoring power. For seven days straight, they got the job done. Thank you!

There’s an old adage, “out of sight, out of mind,” that occurred to me when a resident inquired about how Suffield’s departments were spending its “free time” during COVID-19. Actually, we’re busier than ever delivering everyday services (but often in different ways!), implementing COVID-19 demands, and making improvements across departments. I know residents share my appreciation for our Town employees and their hard work, innovation, adaptability and desire to continue services during these overwhelming times.

Here’s what’s been happening behind the scenes:

First Selectman’s Office

  •  COVID-19 communications, response and recovery planning
  • Exploring municipal day-care options
  • Reviewing inclusivity in Suffield
  • Town Hall project – contracts and approvals
  • Employee annual reviews – first time in most cases
  • 2020-21 budget
  • Administering Zoom meetings
  • Virtual Memorial Day Observance
  • Migration of KML to Town website
  • New website page for local restaurants


  • New appraisal database (EQuality) at no cost
  • Collecting exterior home photos to update database
  • Integration of property maps with online land records

Building Department

  • Incorporated Zoom/FaceTime inspections to facilitate construction
  • Launched online permitting


  • New Sunrise Park Superintendent

Emergency Management/Volunteer Ambulance

  • EMD COVID-19 and Tropical Storm Isaias response and recovery planning
  • First responders to all COVID-19 911 calls


  • Mountain Road Multi-Use Trail Project advanced to final design review
  • Remington Street Bridge – projected October completion


  • 2020-21 budget process
  • Continuance of payroll/munis services

Fire Department

  • 47 fire/rescues (326 incidents Mar. – June)
  • SPS free lunch distribution program
  • Online burn permits (95)

Highway Department

  • Tropical Storm Isaias cleanup
  • Deferred maintenance and cleanup of Sunrise Park and superintendent’s house
  • Grounds beautification for SHS Graduation
  • COVID-19 signage

Human Resources

  • New time and attendance system with Finance
  • Interviewed, referenced and on-boarded 5 new hires
  • Employee reviews
  • COVID-19 employee safety practices, resources and remote working

Information Technology

  • New online permitting
  • Remote work network connections, hardware and support

Kent Memorial Library

  • Curbside pick-up
  • Expansion of online resources and programming
  • New full-time Program Services and Outreach Coordinator
  • Pop-Up Library
  • Intergenerational Book Club w/ Youth Services

Parks & Recreation

  • Babb’s opening with COVID-19 precautions
  • Redesigned summer camp to support residents returning to work
  • Virtual programming- physical activities and field trips

Planning & Zoning/Economic Development

  • Outdoor dining permits
  • Affordable housing plan technical grant submitted & awarded
  • Revised Plan of Conservation & Development DEEP Open Space Grant submitted- 380 North Main Street
  • Administer Small Cities Community Development Block Grant for 

Suffield Housing Authority

  • Updated business contact lists
  • Neighborhood Assistance Act Grants for Hathaway House and Town of Suffield

Police Department

  • Animal Control Officer chased bears- Oh My!
  • Traffic supervision for SHS Graduation & Parade
  • Weekly Town Green protest support
  • COVID-19 and Storm Isaias response

Public Works

  • Town Hall project
  • Streetlight purchase and LED conversion
  • McAlister brick repointing
  • COVID-19 sterilization of Town facilities

Registrar of Voters

  • Voter safety measures at polls
  • Absentee ballots
  • Registered nearly 250 new voters!
  •  Primary 2020

Senior Center & MiniBus

  • Grab & Go lunches – 6,391 meals benefitting 110 seniors
  • Non-emergency medical appointment transportation
  • Pickup and delivery of prescription drugs
  • Delivery of SCA Meals-on-Wheels to 47 residents

Suffield Community Aid

  • Return to School Backpack Program – 92 distributed to 45 households
  • Help residents navigate COVID-19 relief programs/resources/Crisis Relief Fund
  • Meals-On-Wheels – 535 meals
  • Free mask distribution
  • Fiore Food Pantry- curbside pickup
  • Self-serve food pantry 24/7

Tax Collector

  • Socially distant July tax collection
  • COVID-19 Tax Deferment Program

Town Clerk

  •  Absentee ballots
  • Dog licensing
  • All historical land records online

Youth Services

  • Welcome New Director
  • Ongoing dialogue with at-risk youth
  • COVID-19 resources/webinars 

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