This evening I had a committee meeting in Orange, so I rushed home, let the dog out, ran to the committee meeting, and left in time for the referendum results at the Woodbridge Center. Many of the usual suspects were there to watch the results, about 30 in all. A couple represented local news organizations and the Bethwood Patch and the Milford Orange Bulletin both have stories up about the results already. The reading of the results was recorded for WGATV79.
The referendum was clearly defeated, 588 votes for, 1190 votes against. I tweeted the results from the gymnasium. Then I chatted with various people about what comes next. As best as I can tell, a new committee will investigate different options and the process is likely to continue for a while.
On Tuesday, residents of Woodbridge will go to the polls to make an important decision. An editorial in the Milford-Orange Bulletin, in support of the deal, Toll Brothers is good deal for town, puts it this way:
Will they approve a plan to help pay for a major track of open space by selling a small portion, or will they opt to wait for a possible better offer that does not currently exist and potentially miss this chance to secure the future of the parcel?
When facing this major decision, Woodbridge voters should rest assured that their elected leaders have done their homework, put together a very good plan, and are presenting it to the town’s citizens for their approval. This makes the choice much easier: The Bulletin supports a Yes vote.
James Urbano, who Manta lists as owner of F & J Urbano CO Builders in Woodbridge, “private company which is listed under home builders”, and is listed on the town website as a member of the Conservation Commission has a letter in the Bulletin, Vote No on land sale, which starts off,
The Boards of Finance and Selectmen claim that “Woodbridge tax rates will climb significantly” if townspeople say “No” to Toll Bros. It’s unfortunate that town officials have resorted to scare tactics. The sale is not good for Woodbridge.
I have only made it to the special town meeting on the topic, and so my information is based on what was presented there. I also serve on the town’s Government Access Television commission and the commission has started sharing recordings of some town meetings on YouTube on the WGATV 79 YouTube Channel.
I encourage all the residents of Woodbridge to read both the Editorial in favor of the land sale and the letter in opposition to the land sale. I then encourage you to watch the videos of the town meetings. The meetings are long and are broken into segments to fit onto YouTube. Then, once you are informed about the issue, be sure to get to the Center on the 13th to vote.
It's not that bad in Woodbridge, really.
I am sitting at the town library. I'm not normally here at this time of the day, so I can't say if it is more or less crowded than on a typical afternoon. I'm not hearing a lot of discussions about being without power, heat or water, however, the clientele does seem a little more unkempt than usual.
A walk around the library reveals many unattended cellphones plugged into outlets to recharge. Yeah, its the sort of community where people feel comfortable leaving their cellphones unattended. The library PCs all have signs on them saying the Internet is down, and are unoccupied. Yet the library WiFi seems to be working out.
Beyond the walls of the library, the town seems to be doing okay. The reports were that about half the town lost power. By yesterday evening, it was reportedly down to 35% and the expectation had been that everyone would have power back by this evening. As of mid afternoon, we were still without power, and there was no sign of anyone working near our house.
Sunday, after the snow, it was really quite beautiful outside; white snow on green, yellow, and red leaves, the sky bright blue with a little pinkish tint around the edges in the early morning. We went to church and then spent a lot of time in the yard. Some of it was simple logistics. We've been packing snow in ziplock bags and putting them in the fridge to keep our food cold. I spent a bit of time, removing the smaller branches from a large branch that came down in our driveway. The large branch is still there, and will need a chain saw and a bit of work to remove it, but we cleared things enough so that I could get my car out.
We cooked brisket on the grill last night, wanting to make sure it didn't spoil and go to waste. One of our neighbors came over with a salad and a bottle of wine and we had a nice candle lit dinner. Another neighbor stayed at home, but we brought her some of the warm brisket afterwards.
Then, as darkness settled in, we headed off to the town emergency shelter. This was mostly just to get out, but it was also nice to find some more people to chat with, this time in a warm, well lit room. Fiona even got a little time to watch a little television.
I loaded up a couple of jugs of water to take back to the house.
There was no school this morning. Kim works in Hartford, and I work in Middletown. Both cities were hit much worse than Woodbridge and there is no power where I work. It was a disappointment because the bathroom near my office has a nice shower and I would have enjoyed a shower at the office.
So, instead, Kim, Fiona, and I went to breakfast in town and then headed to the public library. I've been working here pretty much all day. Kim worked here with what she needed to do online. Fiona ran into a friend and the two of them headed off together. Kim later went over the the friend's house when she needed to make some phone calls.
I've slowly been hearing news from other parts of the state. There is a line from about Ridgefield to Woodstock, which most of the communities north of the line, have over 80% without power. Things haven't changed an awful lot on this map over the past 24 hours. I'm hearing stories of fights breaking out at supermarkets and gas stations. People are sounding depressed.
But like I said when I started this blog post, things aren't really that bad here in Woodbridge. It may be worse in other parts of Connecticut, but even in other parts of the state it isn't really all that bad. The people who are seeking places to stay warm tonight, or perhaps even get a shower maybe can get a glimpse of what life is like for those for whom a warm bed and a shower isn't something taken for granted.