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Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 12-6-18

Support our local businesses 

Copious gratitude to the Lakeville Journal/Millerton News staff who worked to compile the beautiful Hometown Holidays spreads we sponsored in the Compass section for the final two weeks of November. Over 70 Tri-State Chamber members and friends participated in these festive pages, spreading our mission of “Connecting Commerce and Community.” 

We hope you enjoyed poring over the ads and, more importantly, that you will support these businesses and non-profits when and where you can. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a prosperous New Year to us all in the beautiful Tri-State Region!

Jean Saliter

President, Tri-State

Chamber of Commerce

Lakeville

 

Did you know Salisbury has a Pathways Committee?

 

The Salisbury Pathways Committee was formed in July 2014 by the Board of Selectmen with the stated purpose to “investigate walking access within and among the village centers.” 

From its first meeting, the committee has worked with the public and other town committees to define areas of priority.  These have been defined as “The Connector” — connecting the villages of Lakeville and Salisbury; the “Triangle with Horns,” including the triangle formed by routes 41, Cobble Road and 44, and two horns: one on Route 41 to the Appalachian Trail parking area, and the other on Route 44 to Lion’s Head; connecting The Hotchkiss School to Lakeville; extending access to Lakeville from Belgo Road; and providing a sidewalk along Route 112 in Lime Rock village.

The Salisbury Central School community was an early supporter of the work of the committee. The school particularly liked “The Connector” that would connect the school to the firehouse, a designated emergency shelter for the school.

In 2016, the Connecticut Connectivity Program (CCP) was announced. This program encourages walkability and safety in Connecticut towns and cities. The CCP website states that an “initial step toward achieving the program’s goal was to offer municipalities ‘Road Safety Audits’ (RSAs) that focused on identifying bike and pedestrian safety concerns within a designated corridor or intersection.”  Salisbury was among the first towns to apply for a walkability audit, which was received in April of 2016. (The audit report is available on the town’s website as well as on the state DOT site.) The goal of the audit was to support our first priority — connecting Lakeville and Salisbury, allowing for foot traffic among businesses (i.e. economic development), promoting healthy walking habits and decreasing pollution.

The next step in the Connecticut Connectivity Program was to establish a grant program to finance the necessary improvements. The grant program was announced in May of 2017. Since we had had an audit done, we had the opportunity to apply for a grant, again focusing on our first priority — connecting the two village centers. However, because grant funding is limited to $400,000, we needed to further define priorities within our project. We proposed what we saw as the most urgent need:  the sidewalk from Lincoln City Road to the firehouse, Salisbury Central School’s emergency evacuation route, for which we had the support letter from 2014. 

In August of 2018, we received the acknowledgment that we will be awarded a $400,000 three-year grant for our project. We accepted the commitment and will be working with DOT to bring it to fruition.

While there are many steps to complete before actual work will begin on the sidewalks, we hope that this introduction to the vision and ongoing work of the Pathways Committee will encourage everyone in our towns to support our efforts to create a more pedestrian-friendly town. Details of the grant and our progress can be found in the Salisbury Pathways Committee minutes on the town of Salisbury website.

Happy and safe walking!

Chris Williams

Pat Hackett

Natalia Smirnova

Jerry Stanton 

Kathy Trahan

Members of the 

Pathways Committee

Salisbury

 

Explain Norfolk’s changing totals

Hours after the state announced the initial automatic recount in the razor-thin 64th District race last month, the town of Norfolk submitted an amended vote count that made the recount unnecessary.

Norfolk amended its total votes cast by the Working Families party for Maria Horn from 12 to 24, which provided just enough extra votes for Horn that a recount was no longer triggered.

When the state subsequently ordered a recount anyway, Norfolk again changed its total of Working Families votes for Horn, this time removing all but one of those same 12 extra votes it had added earlier.

How could the original total go from 12 to 24 when 11 of those extra votes did not exist? Were they erroneously counted from another column? Was the original total of 12 mistakenly doubled? Was it just coincidence that this erroneous increase was submitted just hours after the first recount was announced and was just enough to cancel it?

It could be construed as an attempt to stop a recount and ensure Horn’s victory. Of course, it’s hard to imagine such a thing occurring in our small towns, and Norfolk has checks and balances in place such as Republican and Democratic registrars, plus support staff, so the idea of partisan foul play seems remote.

Many people, including me, would be shocked if there actually was foul play. I assume that Norfolk’s amended totals were all part of an honest, nonpartisan effort, and that the people doing the counting were working overtime to get it right. A letter in The Journal last week telling how professionally the recounting was done in Salisbury is what I expect happened in Norfolk too.

I also agree with The Journal’s editorial thanking Horn and Brian Ohler “that the rhetoric surrounding the recounts was not contentious, and that there was no hint of accusations that the other side cheated or somehow tried to steal the election.”

Yet an explanation is needed when a town adds votes which stop a recount and then subtracts those very same votes when stopping a recount is no longer in play.

Can we be told how and where those extra 12 votes were initially found, and then how all but one of them later disappeared? Perhaps The Journal can do a followup, or the Registrars’ office can explain.

Other towns also had changing totals, but it was Norfolk, according to news reports, that submitted an almost completely incorrect inflated revision hours after the first recount was announced, providing just enough new votes to cancel that recount, and then after a recount was ordered anyway, took away all but one of those extra votes. It looks odd, at least to anyone not familiar with the counting procedures, deadlines and statutes involved.

Neither Maria Horn nor Brian Ohler nor anyone with their campaigns knew about this letter. It is mine alone. And I had nothing to do with the campaigns, not even a bumper sticker.

Mark Godburn

Norfolk