Officials are finalizing plans to place nine residents on the Permanent Memorial Commission. Selectmen said 33 residents had indicated interest. First Selectman Pat Llodra said the town considered impartiality important in choosing who would make it to the commission.
"We don't want anyone to the commission who is speaking on behalf of a project," she said at an August Board of Selectman meeting. "If anyone on the list is promoting a particular project as the permanent memorial, this commission is not the right place."
Town bodies, including the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, have collected suggestions into an "archive" the memorial commission can examine, Llodra said.
"We can review that archive to see what's in it and tease out the right way to move forward," she said.
At recent meetings, selectmen expanded the commission from seven to nine members, and reworded the charter to make clear suggestions are not limited to ideas in the archives.
"If someone came forward with an idea now, they might have an uphill road," said selectman Will Rodgers.
According to the wording of the charter, the commission will also:
- Solicit ideas to be submitted for consideration and review offers and suggestions received from many interested persons and organizations, including those which have been archived by the Cultural Arts Commission and other town departments.
- Directly solicit input and meaningfully engage with: families of victims and survivors, Sandy Hook School faculty and staff, and Sandy Hook School parents;
- Conduct public meetings with the Cultural Arts Commission, Library Board of Trustees, and other organizations as appropriate to solicit input;
- Conduct public hearings for community input;
- Work with Town Departments in determining available/appropriate locations;
- Conduct all of its review and decision-making consistent with public processes.
- Recommend to the Board of Selectmen, Commission findings related to the nature, location, and funding of a memorial(s);
- Conduct inquiries as the Commission deems necessary.