Caucus Date Set

The biennial caucus of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee will be held January 16, 2018, at 8 pm at the Notch Road Municipal Center in Bolton. The caucus will be preceded at 7:30 by the regular monthly BDTC business meeting.

The caucus is held to determine the slate of town committee members who will serve for the next two years. Terms run from March 7, 2018, through March 6, 2020.

The caucus is open to all registered Democrats in Bolton.

For more information, please contact BDTC Chair Christopher Davey.

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Thank you, Gwen!

Tonight’s Board of Selectmen meeting (7 pm, Town Hall) is the last for the current board. The new board, led by Sandra Pierog, will take office next week.

Gwen

Gwen Marrion

Tonight’s meeting is thus the last for Gwen Marrion, who is retiring after four years of service. Fortunately for Bolton, Gwen doesn’t plan to disappear from public life. She remains president of the Bolton Land Trust and plans to refocus her efforts there.

Gwen and her husband, Tom, have lived in Bolton for thirty years, and Gwen has been active in town almost since their arrival. Her work on behalf of the Inland Wetlands Commission, the Heritage Farm, the Open Space Acquisition and Preservation Committee, the 2008 charter revision commission, the Bolton Land Trust, and, most recently, the Board of Selectmen has been exemplary, and Bolton is much the better for it.

Thank you, Gwen, for your service to the town. We’re sorry to see you retire from BOS but excited to see what you do next!

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On the Removal of Campaign Signs

Yesterday, as I drove around Bolton taking down the Democrats’ campaign signs, I was struck once again by how beautiful our town is.

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My path led from Bolton old to Bolton new. From our historic Town Green and the pre-revolutionary stone walls of Heritage Farm past much newer buildings and the promise of buildings yet to be. Up winding lanes past pond and marsh. Down straighter thoroughfares on which colonial-era houses mingle with neighbors of far more recent vintage. Past farmland tilled for generations, and past sites of commerce undreamed of by Bolton’s earliest residents.

I count myself lucky to live here. Like so many, I came for the schools but quickly realized Bolton offers so much more. I marked them off as I drove around: the Hop River Trail, Bentley Memorial Library, Herrick Park, Pesce’s Farm, Bolton Lake, Fish Farm, Tinker Pond.

img_1820.jpgAll of these places (and many more) form the tapestry that is Bolton. Threaded through that tapestry, bringing to life its scenes, are the people who built these places or made them possible, the people who frequent them today, the people who care for them, and the people who dream or worry about their future.

This past Tuesday, 1,500 of us made our way to Town Hall, a biannual pilgrimage to express, not with weapons and epithets but with marks on paper, our frustrations and hopes. In voting we further enriched the tapestry that is Bolton. Not because of any particular outcome but because voting itself is an act of hope, a reminder to ourselves and to our neighbors that what we have is worth continuing, worth preserving, worth building on.

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The removal of campaign signs is both an end and a beginning. Having served their purpose, these bald appeals for votes are overnight rendered little more than litter across the landscape. Their removal, the symbolic end of the campaign, restores Bolton’s familiar landscapes and vistas.

This clearing of the fields, as it were, also signals that the time has come to begin anew, to sow the seeds of rejuvenation, to roll up our sleeves and begin with our neighbors the hard work of making democracy work in this small town we love so dearly.

Thank you, Bolton. We are humbled and honored and excited to begin the hard work that lies ahead.

—Christopher Davey, Chair of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee

 

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For Your Consideration

As Bolton heads to the polls Tuesday, we ask that you consider carefully which party’s candidates are truly #BetterForBolton.

On one side is the party that has held the office of First Selectman and enjoyed majorities on BOS, BOF, BOE, and P&Z for almost all of the last twenty years.

Are you okay with their lack of accountability and transparency regarding state reimbursement for the Bolton High School renovation project? Do you mind that as much as half a million dollars of taxpayer money has been put at risk?

Are you okay with campaign materials that get the date of the election wrong or, worse, that exaggerate their top candidate’s qualifications?

Are you okay with candidates who won’t answer voters’ questions in a timely and straightforward manner?

We’re not. We believe Bolton can do better, that as citizens we deserve leaders

  • who are more transparent and accountable;
  • who understand that little things matter;
  • who are accessible—whether online, by phone, or in person at Town Hall—and who will respond to you not in days or weeks but in minutes or hours.
  • who make it easier for you to get the information you need and who let you know what they know, when they know it.

We think the choice is obvious: Sandra Pierog and the Democratic candidates are #BetterForBolton. On Tuesday, please vote Line A for Sandy and the Democratic team!

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This Week in Bolton (11/6–11/10)

Another busy week is in store for Bolton.

Tonight, November 6, the Heritage Farm Commission meets at 7 at the Notch Road Municipal Center, Room 9. The agenda is here.

Tuesday, November 7, is Election Day! Polls are open at Town Hall from 6 am to 8 pm. You can find a sample ballot here. For a list of Democratic candidates with links to their bios, look here. Schools will be closed Tuesday, so please be extra careful when driving around town!

Wednesday, November 8, the Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 7:30 at Town Hall. Two public hearings are scheduled. The first concerns a revision to the town zoning regulations to allow light manufacturing in areas zoned for “general business.” The second is a subdivision application for a four-lot open space conservation development at 114 Brandy St. (As of this writing, the agenda had not been posted to the town website.)

Thursday, November 9, the Board of Education meets at 6:30 in the BHS Library. The agenda includes a vote on a new AP U.S. government and politics textbook and a presentation on mastery-based learning at the high school.

Friday, November 10, Town Offices are closed in observance of Veteran’s Day. Schools are open, however, with BCS having a wonderful school-wide assembly to honor veterans.

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Why Voting in Municipal Elections Is So Important

I bumped into an old friend the other day who I hadn’t seen in quite some time. I mentioned to him that I was running for Board of Selectmen this year, and he confessed that he doesn’t really know what that means and that he doesn’t get involved in local politics much. I was genuinely surprised to hear that someone I know to be knowledgeable and in touch with national politics was so out of touch with local politics. I left the conversation politely, but it got me thinking about municipal elections and why I believe they matter more than the large national contests! Let me explain . . .

  1. Fewer people vote. This means your vote makes a bigger impact in the election results than in the big national elections.

Bolton has about 3,400 registered voters. In 2015, only 1,469 of these voters cast a ballot in the municipal elections. That’s only about 43% of the voting population of our town! What’s more, that year the race for First Selectmen was decided by only 57 votes. 57! The vote was even closer for the BoS members, where the margin was only 33 votes! And the Board of Finance? There the election was decided by single digits! Truly, in a municipal election every vote makes a huge difference.

  1. Your First Selectman will likely have a larger impact on your daily life than your president. It’s true. Listen, I’m not trying to say that voting for president isn’t hugely important. But, you can’t call the president to ask about having a new stop sign installed at a dangerous intersection. The president doesn’t have anything to do with getting communications from the resident state trooper, nor does he get any say at all in how your property tax is being spent. Your First Selectman does all those things.
Graph2015BOF

The graph illustrates how close the 2015 BOF contest was. Thirty-one votes separated third place from sixth place, and the bottom three vote-getters were separated by only nine votes!

  1. You know and can influence candidates in a local election. The people who run our town, and who make decisions about how our town works, are also our neighbors! You will run into us at soccer games, at concerts on the green, and on Friday nights you’re likely to find me or my husband at Jao Praya picking up dinner. And you know what? If you get us talking, we listen! Have an opinion about the East Coast Greenway project? Strike up a conversation! Curious about all the work you’ve seen going on with the natural gas pipeline? Ask! We are your neighbors, and we care about the town just like you do. Get to know us, and next thing you know, your idea could be making a difference around town.

So why don’t more people vote in local elections? I’m not sure! One reason might be that we see much less communication about local elections. There is no endless stream of political ads during primetime TV shows. The Hartford Courant isn’t publishing articles every day about each of the candidates. It’s just not as “in your face” as the national elections. But that doesn’t mean it’s less important. Sandy, Kim, and I are doing our best to share the knowledge, communicate about the race and the candidates, and get people involved in our community. I hope you’ll join us too!

—Nicole Sullivan

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Sandra Pierog

Here’s First Selectman candidate Sandra Pierog’s presentation from last week’s Bolton Senior Center candidate forum.

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