Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Week That Was

Drop Cap Letter: Apologies for not posting for a while. Last week’s back-to-back storms kept me busy.

With more than 4,000 Westport homes without power at one point, I figured my time was better spent working on storm-related problems rather than writing the blog (which many people could not have seen anyway).

If you did have power, there was information on the town Web site (http://www.westportct.gov,) on WestportNow (http://www.westportnow.com), on the radio (WWPT 90.3 FM), and on the phone (22power or 227-9637).

It was one of those storms where Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) acknowledges it was caught short on the Saturday night/Sunday morning of the holiday weekend. The utility moved a mobile emergency command center into Westport (at the transfer station on the Sherwood Island Connector) Monday morning.

With the help of our police, fire, and public works crews, CL&P was able to deploy the manpower it did have where it was needed most. The bitter cold of the Sunday/Monday did not help. By Monday night, there were still 1,1,00 Westport homes without power.

By Tuesday afternoon, that number was down to a little more than 200 and down to about a dozen by midnight.

But Wednesday morning brought more high winds and more outages. I canceled several morning meetings and accompanied Fire Chief Chris Ackley on several calls. 

More "The Week That Was"

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Busy Week

Drop Cap Letter: It’s early Saturday evening and yes, I’m in the office, trying to finish what I didn’t do during the week and trying to get a head start on next week.

Here’s a quick review of some of the things that I was involved in this past week:

--Sally Harold of the Nature Conservancy dropped by to fill me in on efforts being led by her group to protect the aquatic resources within the Saugatuck River Watershed. Westport is among the 11 towns in the watershed.

--I went across the street and toured the town-owned historic 99 Myrtle Ave. property which we will renovate and hopefully make a home for a town employee. Members of the Historic District Commission are working with the Public Works Department on developing a plan. We’ve formed a special committee to oversee the efforts.

--I swore in Town Clerk Patty Strauss for another four-year term. Patty has done a terrific job bringing the town clerk’s office into the modern age using technology to preserve important documents and records and make them easily available to the public.

--My efforts to bring Westport into the digital age took some tiny steps with a meeting with a manufacturer of equipment necessary for the broadband installation. There’s been a terrific response to my call for volunteers to work on a technology task force. Next step is to determine the best way to take advantage of all the available talent.

--Had a good discussion with Barbara Butler, director of the Human Services Department, and Steve Daniels on efforts to develop more senior, affordable, middle-income, and workforce housing in Westport. It’s tough to find suitable space, but the need is great. We want to do all we can to keep seniors and empty-nesters in Westport plus provide homes for municipal workers.

--Took a tour of the Aquarion Water Co. property on Canal Street. The water company moved out of the offices a year ago and they would be ideal for some Board of Education needs, especially for its maintenance workers and vehicles.

On tap for the coming week: a brown bag Wednesday (Jan. 11) at the Westport Center for Senior Activities where we’ll talk about our senior tax relief proposals. The same day there’s a Board of Selectmen meeting and a Board of Finance session. Hope you have a good week.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Drop Cap Letter: Westport welcomed in the New Year with a spectacular First Night Westport Weston. Congratulations to all involved, especially Rozanne Gates, the executive director.

The late afternoon snowfall only added to the fun. Special thanks to Westport’s Public Works Department workers for clearing the roads efficiently, as always.

Many hours of planning went into the First Night effort and scores of people were involved. Westport is grateful to all of them.  (WestportNow has a sampling of some of the evening’s events.)

But don’t take too long to catch your breath—only 364 days left to plan the next one!