First and foremost, thank you to all who elected to have me lead our Town for another two years. Congratulations to those who were elected and thank you to all who ran for a position. I look forward to another opportunity of overcoming and guiding our community through the many challenges we may face day-to-day. I will continue to work on building off of the many great accomplishments I, the Board of Selectmen, and other boards and departments have created. For those of you who know me, it’s business as usual.
Here are a few items we have coming up for discussion in the near future:
- Facilities Master Plan
- Town meeting in December to approve a Dog ordinance in regard to boarding fees and a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Matching Grant Program for businesses within that district.
- Blight Ordinance
- Babb’s Pavilion Project
All information for the aforementioned can be found on the Town website.
Suffield Alight is December 1 at 5 p.m. on the Town Green. Come join us for our annual holiday festivities of fun, food, and the tree lighting.
Check out our many programs from our Community Services departments and Library for the months of December and January.
Speaking of the Library, in the October edition, the Observer published an article titled “A Farewell Letter” by the former Library Director who no longer had worked for the Town. Within this article were numerous unfounded and biased claims. Complete fabrications by a disgruntled employee who chose to push a personal agenda over the balance and neutrality expected of a Town representative and employee. She claimed that a library should not be influenced by politics. Oddly enough, that’s exactly the opposite way to which she chose to run it. When hired, the number one goal was simply to ensure the library was a place where people could discover, research, and learn. Provide newer, better programming to give our residents. Leave the politics out of the Library. Instead, it was a place where special interests were allowed to manifest and eventually create a divide to which many of us and those across the State could conveniently read about these manufactured issues.
I am extremely disappointed that the Observer would not give me a chance to respond or check the validity of these claims within this political hit piece. The timing of this article seemed all too convenient. Many have wondered the motives behind the timing. What followed was a well laid out design by certain special interest groups in numerous newspaper outlets that made it seem as if there was some sort of attack on the Kent Memorial Library before our election.
Some might be surprised to learn that there’s actually not. In fact, opposite to some beliefs and false narratives, you can still find the book What Are Your Words at our Library. After the book was moved back to a shelf, there have been two other similar requests about other books on display at the Library. Both followed the new policy that was set forth, and both remained in the library and never moved. For those who are upset about the claim of “disregard to patron privacy” made by the former Director in this letter, I encourage you to request the email thread “KML Programs (4/13/2023 11:31 a.m.)” between myself and Ms. Styles. You may be surprised to learn that it was she who actually made up this “supposed disregard.” So upset were some, that it was a focal point in following newspaper articles. Perhaps, they too, should’ve taken my emails to clarify facts instead of continuing a narrative of lies.
Recently, you may drive through Town and see a few Support KML signs scattered here and there. I question what it is that needs further support? In the last two years, the Library has had a $72,000 increase in their budget. A substantial increase compared to the previous 7 years where it fluctuated up and down with zero increase using 2015-2016 as a base point. The Library is the 5th highest funded department. Only the Police, Public Works, Fire, and Community Services exceeds it, to which, Community Services is made up of 4 departments.
And so, it leads me to my conclusion. Is there really an issue at our Library? Or have certain special interest groups latched on to our Library and tried to push false narratives and stories that only further their political agenda and interests? And for what reasons or results? To try and divide our community. A community that is strong, vibrant, and has so much to offer to those who live here. Their actions appear to be the opposite of the message of kindness we may hear from them. Recall the past 3-6 months of visceral comments and perpetuated false narratives by some in public forums and meetings. Is this what the majority of us want? I would say 2472 would say no. I encourage more to get involved. It’s time to take a stand and speak up against a small minority who would like to see our community divided. Remind our detractors that Suffield is a great place to live.
Enjoy the holidays and as always, my door is always open.