BOS flexes party clout
WOODBRIDGE - The Amity Teen Center lost support for a new home during a cantankerous discussion at last week's meeting of the Woodbridge Board of Selectmen when First Selectwoman Amey Marrella broke a tie-vote siding with fellow Republicans.
Woodbridge resident, Linda Cohen, ATC treasurer, gave a brief overview of the history of the vagabond group reminding members that although the not-for-profit organization had been homeless for a number of years, it had managed to continue to offer weekly activities for Amity teens. The center lost its home on the Boston Post Road in Orange when a new firehouse was built in 1996.
Cohen also handed out a summary as well as maps for the selectmen to review.
Woodbridge architect Jeff Kauffman reviewed the details for the board and pointed out a 7,000 sq. ft. basketball court had been added and stressed how the building would be available for use by various civic groups and organization when not in use for ATC activities.
ATC attorney Brian Stone explained that a good deal of time and energy had been put into the project and the center only wanted to finish its exchange with the planning and zoning commission.
"At this point, we realize that even if we pass muster with the planning and zoning commission, this board must vote to let this issue go to a town meeting," Stone told the new Board of Selectmen.
In the midst of quizzing by Marrella, Selectman Joseph Calistro made a motion to table the issue until the ATC plans were reviewed by CUPOLA and Woodbridge Human Services.
Fellow Republican Judith Schwartz seconded his motion.
When new board member Steve Bortner tried to amend the motion, Calistro defiantly refused.
The vote, a tie 2-2 down party lines passed when Marrella cast the breaking vote siding with fellow Republicans.
As Cohen and Calistro left the building, Cohen reminded Calistro that more teens use the teen center than seniors use the senior center.
"We should get the senior center," Cohen said to Calistro.
"That's fine with me," Calistro shot back while walking away.