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Edelson Administration Delivers First Year Progress Report

Report is the first of its kind by a Southbury First Selectman.

It’s been over a year since the Southbury Democratic slate swept town elections, last week the new administration released a First Year Progress Report reflecting on their initial year in office.

The report delineates the accomplishments around the ten initiatives that were the core of last year’s Democratic campaign and is the first of its kind by a First Selectman in Southbury.

“It has been a very productive year for the Town of Southbury,” said Southbury First Selectman Ed Edelson. “As part of my commitment to accountability and transparency, I believe it is important to prepare this report for the public.

“The progress would not have been possible without the cooperation and commitment of the employees of the Town and the many volunteers who either formally serve on our Boards and Commissions or who help out in so many other ways in Town.”

Edelson’s campaign outlined the following highlights of their first year in office:

Ten Policy Initiatives: Selective Highlights

  • Running a Positive Campaign

o   After meeting with leadership of the Republic Town Committee soon after taking office, we agreed that it would be helpful for me to attend their meeting to foster better understanding and communication.  I believe this was a first in our community.

  • Strategic Planning for Southbury

o   Reviewed strategic planning approaches used by others, but wanted to complete the Plan of Conservation and Development before starting another initiative. 

o   One important accomplishment was to adopt a more objective approach to road improvement planning. 

  • Information Technology Utilization in Southbury Town Hall

o   Upgrades to the projector and sound system have been made.  In addition to the Board of Selectmen utilization noted above, the Board of Finance is using the new technology to review materials and record their meetings.

  • The Future of Southbury Training School Campus

o   During the year, I had several meetings with the Executive Director of the Southbury Training School and the Governor’s administration to establish a working relationship. 

  • Youth Activities and Venues

o   Established Community Center Exploration Committee after consulting with Waterbury Region Y. As per the schedule, this will be reviewed with Board of Selectmen by Year End.

  • Promoting Volunteerism in Southbury

o   In addition to the active members on the Community Center Exploratory Committee, a new Energy Task Force was established.

  • Preserving and Enhancing our Natural Environment

o   Working with the Conservation Commission, 60 acres of land purchased by the Town in the late 1990’s (the Shortt Property) was converted to permanent Open Space. 

o   Established the first Community Gardens at Settlers Park.

  • Emergency Preparedness Communications Plan

o   Our coordinated response to Storm Sandy demonstrated the importance of effective communication using a myriad of tools to keep the public informed

o   Created a new combined position of Fire Marshall and Emergency Management Director.

  • Improving Town Hall Management

o   Grants represent a significant source of revenue for the town.  A database has been created to track the grants that we have, the grants that we can apply for and the milestones related to each.

  • Low Stable Taxes for Years to Come

o   Working collaboratively with Region 15 and the Town of Middlebury established a new Medical Insurance Pool was established which resulted in significant savings in the current year.  More importantly, it positions us to competitively bid our medical insurance coverage for the coming years.

Carol renza December 10, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Don't be fooled by the self proclaimed, self written puff-piece, folks. Edelson has done nothing to address the weaknesses in the bid process , in fact awarded over $1 million in Southbury's corrupt 'one bid' process. Selectman Pugliese works for Waterbury which does not permit one bid awards (except, e.g. If only one source for a product/service which must be documented) yet consistently supports awards based on one bid when there are many vendors and supports edelson's lazy failure to pick up the phone to obtain at least one other bid as Selectman Landmon on many occasions (and occasionally Selectman Gittines) has asked for. He alleged he would place SBY bids on the state portal months ago and has not done so. Other towns who post on the portal receive many bids well below the state bid and no longer post bids in newspapers (which often only bring one bid as has consistently been the case in Southbury) saving the cost of ads as well. He boasts of being on the Council of Small Towns, yet each of those other member towns are on the state portal. One neighboring town who Lists on the portal told me they saved a few thousand on a truck-- below the state bid price! While we award to 'one bidder.' It is curious that those 'small towns' have populations of 10,000 or less -- I.e, half or less of our population. Southbury is NOT a small town!
Suzy S December 10, 2012 at 03:21 PM
It's nice to have some disclosure and reflection on the past year. Our town has made many improvements, including more open communication, under First Selectman Edelson and I am looking forward to what is to come. I am particularly appreciative of the excellence in emergency communications during bad weather and am aware that this is something that was lacking in nearby communities. I am proud to live in a town that cares about its citizens.
Greg Kuehn December 11, 2012 at 03:31 AM
I appreciate both Carol and Suzy's responses, because it basically summarizes how I feel. Very happy with what's been done so far. Yet, clearly there's a need for more good things to be done.
Gary December 11, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Is everyone at town hall too busy to go on the internet and research purchases for our town when the taxpayers are spending thousands on trucks and police cars? A lot of money can be saved if Edelson cared. To settle for one bid is pure laziness, we the taxpayers of Southbury deserve better effort than this.

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