Not Done Yet

On Monday, I stood before the RTM and said we needed to make sure the job got done right before passing an ordinance. I was even quoted in the local paper saying that, and I said that knowing full well I had three ordinances pending in my sub-committee. As a result, despite my best hopes, last night was not out final meeting.

Four of us gathered last night and the consensus started with no one wanting to vote and approve the ordinances without Harry Ackley, our fifth, in attendance. Paul Fattibene, the attorney among the five of us, took my words to heart and presented a stripped down, cleaned up version of one of the ordinances as we met last night. To his credit, he made the language more consistent throughout and simplified other aspects. He credited our assistant town attorney, Eileen Kennelly, with the long hours and hard work any legal document for the town requires. He wished he had time for similar efforts on the other two.

The one he tackled, and improved, was our simplest one regarding Stone Walls. Yeah, we’re in favor of them. We also want to preserve them and intend to pass this with an eye towards maintaining them. Aside: did you know people go around Connecticut stealing stones from walls because natural field stone is a hot commodity?

We hashed through the Demolition Delay ordinance and again, made certain we were consistent and what we intended during committee discussions actually made it into the final language.

Finally, we tackled my rather long and somewhat wordy Tree Ordinance. Eileen said, if she could, it would be about one-third the length and the others agreed. We went through it, excising some of the language and shortening in other places. I held out for one thing the others thought might cause some concern among the RTM at large and we’ll see if I prevail at the final meeting. We then engaged in a rather long discussion as to what size trees we’re dealing with – too small and the entire thing becomes unwieldy, too large and then some precious others might be missed.

I was particularly pleased that the meeting stayed focused and on topic. We’ve been together since July 31, seven or eight meetings in all, and have hashed through the issues so knew what we intended. Now it was making certain we did right by the town.

In the end, all three went back to Eileen for final drafting and then come mid-November; we’ll meet for the final time to review and then vote on them. If all three pass, as I expect them to, then they get forwarded to the Town Clerk and our RTM Moderator for scheduling. Town rules call for ordinances to be held over for a second month of discussion before voting. Therefore, it’s likely that these three will be discussed in the first months of the New Year, which may make for a nice gift to the town before the ugly budget battles begin.