Minutes for August 15th WHDTC meeting

Convene: 7:10 p.m.

Introduction of Guests:  Ryan Howe, Ryan Class

Roll Call and Secretary’s Report by Steve Derby: Quorum attained.  Minutes of July 18 approved.

Treasurer’s Report by James Marinan: $4,100 balance. 

State Central Report by Joe Stafford: The John Bailey Dinner raised $24,000!  We have great staff and we are gearing up for the elections.  The Capitol Steps, sponsored by the Young Dems, will be at the Warner Theater in Torrington October 18.

Board of Education Report by Deb Polun & Lorna Farquharson:

  • Getting ready for new school year. Class lists are out, there have been a few Principle shifts, there is some concern about increased class sizes, especially for the 4th grades.
  •  Amanda Aronson was welcomed onto the Board on June 4 to fill Cheryl Greenberg’s position.
  •  Our schools continue to ranke among the highest in CT and we score well for our diversity
  • Lorna described an incident of receiving racial slurs as she was crossing a street in town. Be aware, this is not a good sign and totally not acceptable!

Legislative Report by Sen. Derek Slap and Rep. Jillian Gilcrest:

  • Conversations are on-going regarding transportation funding. 
  • The “Restaurant Bill”.  is being re-evaluated. We need to be sure that workers are treated fairly.
  • Derek is sponsoring a fund raiser for the Town Committee on September 25th at the State Armory Officer’s Club.
  • Jillian reminded us that next week is tax-free week (helps with back-to-school purchases). She will be hosting a fall family fundraiser in hopes of bringing new people on board.
  • Rose commented that Gov Lamont should have done a better job in rolling out his highway toll plans.
  • Deb commented that the energy assistance for low income families is being re-instituted.
  • IF we have any ideas for legislation, please contact Derek or others of our Delegation.

Town Council Report by Mayor Shari Cantor, Ben Wenograd, Leon Davidoff:

  • The Park Rd / Trout Brook Drive project is in its final weeks
  • There will be a ‘road diet’ pilot project on North Main between Fern St and Asylum Ave in conjunction with a planned bridge replacement over Trout Brook.
  • There have been some homeless people sleeping on benches in Bishop’s Corner and begging at highway ramps.  Our Department of Social Services has contacted them and has offer help.  We were able to help two people find jobs!
  • The proposed reduction in Federal funding for SNAP is a cause for concern.  We expect this reduction will increase requests for Town assistance.
  • We are pleased with the renovation and re-opening of our down-town theater and the opening of a mini-Target store in Bishop’s Corner.
  • Mayor Shari lead the way for a unanimous Town Council resolution condemning gun violence and calling for tightening Federal regulations.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors is encouraging towns across the nation to pass similar resolutions.
  • The Town will begin Brown Barrel Yard Waste pick-ups every other week starting this fall.  Barrels can be purchased for $73 – See the Public Works web site for details.
  • Ben is hosting his campaign kick-off fundraiser at his home 39 Lilly Rd this coming Wednesday August 21 at 5:30.
  • Leon’s debate watch party was a well-attended success. 

Old Business:  Kleinman / O’Toole Dinner will be Sept 10, 6:00 p.m. at Rockledge Country Club.  The dinner raises money for the our Kleinman Scholarships and for the Town Committee.  This year we will be honoring Beth Bye.  Tickets are $100.  To encourage young people to attend we are asking $30 for folks under 30.

New Business

  • Three Justices of the Peace were approved:  Valerie Ferdon, Judith Silver, Cara Files.  All active Democrats.
  • Campaign headquarters will open after Labor Day at the 99/101 South Street office complex.  We will be asking folks to host calling nights at HQ.  We will be able to make phone calls throughout the day and evenings.  We will have a menu of activities:  phoning, door knocking, family and friends post cards.  It is important that all of us on the Town Committee help in some way.  Talk to Jess or John Bailey if you have ideas for GOTV efforts.


  • Rosemarie Tate announced a Fundraiser for Carol Blanks at Bob H’s home on Sept 18, 5:30 p.m.
  • Sean Passan announced a Fundraiser for the BOE at Beth Bye’s home Sept 5 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Patrice Peterson, our Registrar of Voters, announced that 182 new Democrats have registered since July!  Also be sure our college bound students apply for absentee ballots.

Next meeting: Sept 19 in Council Chambers or perhaps at HQ – we will let you know.

Adjourn:  8:15 p.m.