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9/22/2021 - 9.22 TOWN UPDATE
Dear Fairfielders,

I am sending the newsletter earlier this week because my mother passed away last Friday and I’m taking the remaining part of the week to hold services to celebrate her life. I appreciate your patience during this difficult time for me and my family.

I did however want to send a brief update with some important town news I thought I should share with you. 
TOWN GOVERNMENT
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDING UPDATE
As I have shared in newsletters beginning in July, the Town is receiving $24.8 million from the federal government as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.  My administration spent many months vetting ideas in order to compile a funding proposal that meets a wide range of needs in our community. After hearing feedback from elected officials and residents since the July 19 workshop I held three months ago, I adjusted the final ARPA proposal, which you can view here.

On Monday, I held a Board of Selectmen meeting to vote on the ARPA proposal. The board voted 2-1 to approve the proposal. Click here to watch the discussion.

Last night, at the Board of Finance meeting, I was grateful for the bipartisan unanimous vote in support of my proposal. While members on both sides of the aisle said they didn't support every item on the list, they did acknowledge it was a comprehensive proposal that benefited all areas of Town and aspects of our community. I respect and appreciate their comments and know that with 52 elected officials and a community of over 61,000 there will never be 100% agreement on every item in a plan to spend $24.8 million, but by working together, we all benefit.

This coming Monday, September 27, the Representative Town Meeting will cast the final vote on the ARPA funding priority list. Procedurally, the RTM has the ability to vote to remove items from the list but they do not have the authority to add items. Any new items would have to be presented by my office and go through another round of vetting and board votes. I have shared with elected members the importance of getting shovels in the ground ASAP as Fairfield is competing for contractors and materials with every town in the state and country that received similar funds. Any delay will most certainly drive the costs up for projects on the list. 

I hope our residents will reach out to their Representatives to share their input on the proposal. You can email the RTM at 
rtm@fairfieldct.org


My goal in selecting these projects was to have an impact on a large cross section in our community and address some long overdue infrastructure projects including the major flooding near Rooster River and in the downtown business district, and fund a study and design on beach erosion and resiliency. This proposal also funds state-of-the-art equipment to our police, which is mandated by recent State legislation. We are also creating a COVID-19 recovery fund, to provide direct assistance to those financially impacted by COVID, and providing funding to mental health non-profits, to assist residents during this difficult and stressful time.

To view the full list click 
here
CHARTER REVISION
When I gave my first State of the Town address in January of 2020, just 60 days after I was sworn into office, I shared with our community that Charter reform was long overdue. The Town Charter is our own version of a constitution by which most aspects of our Town Government is guided. Our Town hasn't had a Charter revision since 2006, and it is generally recommended that it be done roughly every 10 years.

On August 30, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a 
resolution to establish a Charter Revision Commission. (You can watch the Board of Selectmen meeting where this was discussed here.)

At Monday's BOS meeting, we voted on the commission membership - seven residents including three Republicans, three Democrats and one unaffiliated member. One elected official from each party is serving on the commission. They will hold their first organizational meeting tonight. For information on the Commission, click here
 fairfieldct.org/charterrevisioncommission.

The Charter Revision Commission will work over the next year to listen to the public, boards, commissions and departments and craft proposals based on those discussions. All proposals will be considered by the Board of Selectmen for approval and then placed on the ballot for residents to vote on in November 2022. As this process unfolds, I encourage all our citizens to participate in this fundamentally important process for our Town's democracy. 
ABSENTEE VOTING
With lawn signs popping up around Town, I want to take this opportunity to remind residents that we have local elections coming up on Tuesday, November 2. Candidates and political parties have been advised by law enforcement that lawn signs are not allowed to be placed on public or Town property and should only be placed, with permission, on private property. In accordance with zoning ordinances, they cannot be affixed with ties, rope, string to mailboxes, street signs, or stop signs.
 
I look forward to a positive and meaningful campaign season.
 
For residents who are new to Town, this year’s election will include
 Fairfield’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM), some members of the Board of Financethe Board of Assessment AppealsConstableZoning Board of AppealsBoard of Education and the Town Plan & Zoning Commission.
 
KnowYourReps.org is a local non-partisan website, which outlines Fairfield's government and explains each office up for election. It's a great resource to learn about who is running for which office. 

The League of Women Voters, is also an election resource and typically hosts debates closer to the election.


If you will not be able to make it to the polls on Election Day – November 2, 2021 - you may vote absentee by mail. Absentee Voting is permitted in the State of Connecticut for any of the following reasons:
  • physical disability
  • illness
  • absence from the Town during all of the hours of voting
  • religious tenets which forbid secular activity on Election Day
  • Pursuant to Senate Bill 1202, of the June Special Session 2021, COVID-19 may be used as a valid reason for requesting a ballot for any election held before November 3, 2021
Connecticut does not participate in Early Voting. In order to vote absentee, you must meet one of the criteria listed above.

Absentee voting in Connecticut is a two-step process. A completed and signed 
Absentee Ballot Application or Spanish Absentee Ballot Application must be filed with the Town Clerk before a ballot is issued. Absentee ballots will be mailed starting October 1st.

Applications may be filed in person, by mail, or by e-mail. If filed by e-mail, the original, signed application must be returned with the ballotor by mail, to the Town Clerk's Office, 611 Old Post Road, Fairfield 06824 by Election Day for the ballot to be counted.  
UI UTILITY PROTECTION ZONE PROGRAM
The following streets will begin pruning and tree removal as part of the UI Utility Protection Zone Program. The list of streets are below and for more information visit here
Edgewood Rd
Fairmount Terrace
Jackman Ave
Euclid Ave
Warwick Ave
Benedict Ave
Brooklawn Terrace
Marne Ave
Philemon St
Suburban Ave
Brookview Ave
Woodside Circle
Lookout Dr N
Lookout Dr S
Collingwood Ave
Park Dr
Sachem Rd
Algonquin Rd
Lynbrook Rd
Lewis Dr
Brookfield Ave
Essex St
Villa Ave
Pickwick St
Nordstrand Ave
Melville Ave
1st St
2nd St
3rd St
Webb Rd
Old Oaks Rd
COMMUNITY NEWS
CONSTITUTION WEEK
Starting September 17th, our Town proudly celebrates Constitution Week. Constitution Week is the commemoration of America's most important document, the 
Constitution of the United States of America. The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties, freedoms and inalienable rights.

This celebration of the Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into public law on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The goals of the Constitution Week celebration are to emphasize citizens' responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution; inform people that the Constitution is the basis for America's great heritage and the foundation for our way of life; and encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

Constitution Week also provides the opportunity to learn more about
this important document and celebrate the freedoms it gives us.
Jeanne Stevens, Registrar, is on the left and on the right is Betty Oderwald, Historian. Both are officers with the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
STATE REPRESENTATIVE LAURA DEVLIN HOLDS PUBLIC LISTENING FORUM ON JUVENILE CRIME 
Click below to watch the very informative presentation on this pressing issue in our community. More information and a link to download the slides can be found 
here. 
GREEN WHEEL EXPO

The Town of Fairfield’s annual celebration of electric vehicles (EVs) – cars, trucks, bikes and more – is back this year, giving attendees a close-up look at transportation’s emissions-free future via an open-air exhibition and parade of today’s newest and most exciting EVs.

Hosted by the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF), the “Green Wheels Expo” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Bob’s Stores/Fairfield Shopping Center, 889 Post Road. 

CAR SEAT SAFETY 

Did you know that 73% of car seats are misused or improperly installed?

Have your car seat checked for free by a certified child passenger safety technician.

Parents and caregivers can email
 carseats@ynhh.org to schedule an appointment on 10/8 between 10-1 p.m.

FAIRFIELD FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL
The best food truck festival in coastal Fairfield County is back at beautiful Jennings Beach in Fairfield, CT on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. $5 admission benefits Fairfield Public Library.
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable weekend.


Brenda L. Kupchick
Fairfield First Selectwoman