Energy, ethics, open space and more - From the First Selectman - Woodbridge

Each month I will provide Woodbridge residents with a column giving news of important actions by your Boards of Selectmen and Finance, news of various events, and updates to key town projects in Woodbridge. This month I have chosen to focus on some key projects.

Woodbridge Clean Energy Task Force

The Board of Selectmen endorsed the town's commitment to the Community Program "20 percent clean energy by 2010." To accomplish this goal, the Board appointed the Woodbridge Clean Energy Task Force. The charge of this group is to investigate utilizing renewable energy resources for energy needs in order to provide the Town of Woodbridge with cleaner energy sources by the year 2010. Following the recommendations of the Task Force, the Board of Selectmen hopes to retain a solar energy consultant to review the Town's buildings, including Beecher Road School, to determine if any of our buildings may be suitable for solar energy.

Open Space

On Nov. 15, 2006 the Special Town Meeting unanimously approved the purchase of Phase II of the Racebrook Tract (66 plus acres) and 35.8 acres of the Eicher property, which is part of the historic Shepherd Farm. Both were purchased without the town incurring any debt or bonding. Funds to purchase these properties came from grants from the State of Connecticut, the Town's unreserved and undesignated fund balance, the Town's Open Space funds, contributions from the Woodbridge Land Trust and Woodbridge Park Association, and individual private donations.

Storm Water Ordinance

In order to continue to provide for the health, safety and general welfare of Woodbridge residents, the Board of Selectmen enacted the new Storm Water Ordinance to regulate non-storm water discharges to the Woodbridge Storm Water System to the maximum extent practical as required by federal and state law. The ordinance established methods for obtaining the introduction of pollutants into the storm drainage system in order to comply with requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit process. Public Works Operations Manager Warren Connors is responsible for enforcement of this new ordinance.

Code Of Ethics

The Woodbridge Code of Ethics requires that "each elected or appointed official or employee of the Town, whether or not compensated for his/her services by the town, shall disclose in writing to the Board of Ethics and the Town Clerk any purely private, personal or financial interest, direct or indirect, which the appointed or elected official or employee has in any manner or transaction to which the Town is a party, other than such interest as vested in and shared by members of the general public." In September 2006, the Board of Selectmen unanimously passed a resolution approving a "Woodbridge Code of Ethics Statement," which requires that every elected or appointed official or employee of the Town of Woodbridge make a disclosure in writing to the Board of Ethics and to the Town Clerk of any private, personal or financial interest in any action to which the Town is a party. This disclosure statement has been circulated to all elected and appointed officials and employees of the town, and is required to be updated by each individual at least annually or whenever the circumstances stated in the disclosure statement change.

Water Pollution Advisory Committee

The Water Pollution Advisory Committee has prepared an 8-page brochure which will be sent to all Woodbridge residents. This document provides information on how citizens can help to preserve and protect water resources.

The past several months have been busy and very exciting. I have endeavored to represent the Town of Woodbridge at many events, including the Holocaust Memorial Service, the Human Services Awards Ceremony, and the Woodbridge Volunteer Firefighters' Heroes Award ceremony. In these and other endeavors I am reminded that Woodbridge is made up of a wonderful, diverse group of individuals, and I am proud to represent you all. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 389-3402 with any issue.

Ed Sheehy is Woodbridge first selectman.