Are you growing weary of the backbiting and bickering? Have you had it with those who can’t put forth a rational argument without bashing a person or group? Have you had your fill of the negativism and general bad feeling we’re seeing these days?
I’m not talking about the primaries. I’m talking about comments you may be hearing around town and reading on Patch.
Well, this week you can take comfort in a story that might lift your spirits a little. If nothing else it will perhaps partly restore your faith (if you had any to begin with, that is) in responsive local government.
It begins with the October snowstorm, evidence of which is still quite apparent around town. One can still see numerous dangling branches, damaged tree limbs and an abundance of fallen trees.
Town crews have been working every day to remove hazards from the roadways.
I confess to being perhaps a little more sensitive to this than most. It was during a very similar storm in October 1987 that a good friend and colleague of mine, his wife, 2-year-old daughter and mother-in-law were traveling down Route 7 in Litchfield when a large tree limb snapped from the weight of the snow, landed on the car killing my friend and his mother-in-law and breaking the neck of his wife. The baby was unharmed.
The tragedy stunned the school system. It was with enormous effort that teachers worked through the day trying to put on a happy face for students.
At any rate, ever since that awful day, I’ve taken particular notice of overhanging limbs as I drive around.
There was just such a limb overhanging a portion of Bennetts Bridge Road that had been damaged in the October storm. Every time my wife and I drove under it, we’d clench our teeth and breathed a sigh of relief when safely past.
Recently, I noticed that it seemed to be sagging even more.
I wasn’t sure of the procedure for reporting hazards of this nature so I sent an email to Mr. Joe Tani, operations manager, with a copy to First Selectman Pat Llodra.
I did this first thing last Monday morning before going to my son’s to babysit.
By 10 o’clock I had received a reply from Mrs. Llodra explaining that I had indeed followed the right procedure. Shortly after that, I received a message from Mr. Tani acknowledging the situation.
By the end of the day the limb had been removed.
Now THAT is how things should work — and the fact is I have found that it works that way in many other areas of Newtown government as well.
To highway crews, police officers, school district personnel and a host of other town employees — in other words, public servants — who get out there every day, doing the best they can for their town and the people who live in it in spite of some very difficult and frankly nasty times – a big "Thank You!"
Wouldn’t it be refreshing to be able to get through the rest of this budget season without the cruel and hurtful remarks we’ve been seeing on this site lately?
Surely, as responsible “adults” we can do that, can’t we?