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Town takes a stand against racist graffiti

FALLS VILLAGE — The Board of Selectmen issued a statement regarding racial graffiti after the regular board meeting Monday, July 13.

The graffiti in question consisted of “F*** BLM” spray-painted on Sand Road in Falls Village sometime between Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27. Selectman Greg Marlowe discovered it at about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday June 27. 

Marlowe said he saw it and drove on some distance before the sight sank in. He went back, parked his truck over the graffiti and called First Selectman Henry Todd, who in turn called highway chief Tim Downs. Together with Bill Beebe, they scrubbed it off in a couple hours.

The incident  was reported to the State Police. 

At the selectmen’s meeting Todd said he finds the incident “immensely disturbing.”

“It really bothers me to the core.”

He added that some weeks earlier similar graffiti had been discovered at an unspecified location at the Great Falls. That graffiti was removed by Tim Paviol, who works for the First Light power company and lives in Falls Village.

The selectmen agreed on a statement, written by Selectman Dave Barger:

“The Board of Selectmen of the Town of Canaan [Falls Village] condemn racism in all its forms.  Such things as prejudice and bigotry have no place in our community.  We stand together in speaking for and protecting those who cannot speak nor protect themselves.

“As a Board, we are committed to working with each and every member of our community regardless of race, creed, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic class. We will have zero tolerance for violations of this statement.

“Let us all unite our community.”

The selectmen voted unanimously not to provide a letter of support to a Cornwall conservation group that wishes to put 130 acres of land on Music Mountain into conservation. Todd said the town already has much of its land area in some form of conservation, adding that he was concerned about removing scarce developable land from the tax rolls. Marlowe and Barger agreed.

The selectmen heard from Laura Werntz and Daly Reville, who were concerned about the Falls Village Housing Trust’s activities — in particular the trust’s compliance with reporting requirements and a perceived lack of communication.

Todd said he wanted to make it clear that the trust “is completely independent of the town.

“We [the Board of Selectmen] have no control over this whatsoever.”

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