TDTC Updates

Tolland Democratic Town Committee Newsletter


Lisa Thomas, Kenny Trice, Mary Ann Hansen, Joe Courtney and Ned Lamont, working hard in the heat to show up to talk to YOU!


August 5, 2022

The Tolland Democrats are disappointed that the sign at Exit 68 has again been vandalized. This time, the perpetrator has escalated the damage by destroying the wooden sign supports with a power tool. The incident has been reported to Troop C, and they are investigating.

We live in a small town and we know that sometimes we don’t always agree. But bedrock American principles such as respecting one another, respecting private property, and honoring every person’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should govern all of our actions. The gift of living in a Democracy requires us to use our intellect, our compassion, and the guidance of the Golden Rule to engage in conversation and debate to resolve issues.

It is unfortunate that one or more of our neighbors do not uphold these principles. The Tolland Democrats vow to honor and uphold the principles of our Democracy in order to continue to foster an inclusive, accepting home. We look forward to working with our fellow community members to reinforce the message that all human beings are contributors to the fabric of our community. We believe that Love Conquers All!


Updated as of 7/23/22

July 23, 2022

The Tolland Democrats, led by Marilee Beebe and Chair Ryan McCann, along with many other friends and helpers, altered the vandalized sign (with owner permission) today. The wording of the message was voted upon by members of the local LGBTQIA+ community, and we are grateful for the general outpouring of support from the entire town.

The original event was covered in local news by Fox 61: https://www.fox61.com/video/news/crime/tolland-democrat-pride-sign-vandalized/520-7e943bb9-66d4-4fe2-9166-6a0c2a875369?fbclid=IwAR2LCLoysRSRG8rVNWC3tyt4FUxT_f-t50E27PBNl86V_6nqGktWdQvIyyg; and the Journal Inquirer: https://www.journalinquirer.com/crime_and_courts/tolland-democrats-pride-sign-vandalized/article_c5f976ba-0773-11ed-bf4f-7f9984f6d766.html.

We look forward to continue working with the community to prove that Love Conquers All.


July 22, 2022 Town Council Update from Council Chair, Steve Jones

Good Morning, and Happy Friday Tolland! From the Council Chair, providing a preview of our regular meeting to be held on July 26th.

First, the Town Council will be considering a resolution designating open space at Lion’s Field as the Tolland Veteran’s Memorial Park at the request of the Tolland Veteran’s Recognition Commission (VRC). This designation also has the support of the Recreation Advisory Board after meeting with the VRC.

For the second item of business, the Town Council will be considering a resolution approving a bid waiver for the purchase of a new ambulance as well as labor and materials to replace ambulance 540. Ambulance 540 is a part of the capital improvement project for fiscal year 2022-2023 and there is a desire to place the order as soon as possible to reduce delays with an established local vendor.

The Town Council’s third item of business is a continuation of discussions regarding the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The council has had prior discussions on this topic, including a joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission. The commission currently has in place zoning regulations that take effect in January of 2023 that mandate affordable housing for new multifamily developments. However, their regulations offer flexibility to developers if the Trust Fund is established by the Town Council. A draft ordinance will be presented for input and discussion, and planning for a future joint meeting with the PZC will be considered as well.

Fourth, the Town Council will be taking action transferring various tax accounts to Suspense. These accounts will still be collectible by the town through Rossi Law Offices doing additional collection efforts, but will no longer be recognized as assets of the town. This list totals $35,981.30 in tax revenue.

Finally, the town council will be considering an appointment to the Tolland Water Commission.

To view the Town Council Meeting Agenda and Packet, please visit:

Agenda – https://ecode360.com/documents/TO1208/public/671789958.pdf

Packet – https://www.tollandct.gov/site…

Thank you for taking time to review the Town Council’s upcoming meeting. To submit any questions or comments to the Tolland Town Council, please email towncouncil@tollandct.gov .


July 18, 2022

The Tolland Democrats are extremely disappointed that someone has defaced the Pride flag painted on the large sign at Exit 68, on private property. The Pride flag is there in our beautiful town as an intentional reminder of inclusion. It is of prime import to Tolland Democrats that every person feels safe and accepted in Tolland. We condemn this individual’s actions, which appear to be motivated by hatred and intolerance. The Tolland Democrats know that each person is #worthit. The owner of the property has contacted the police, and will be pursuing recourse. The Tolland Democrats will be repainting the sign with another message of love and acceptance shortly. We continue to steadfastly champion love in all forms, and we recognize the rights of every person to pursue their own path of happiness. Stay tuned for information about the upcoming sign reveal.


July 12, 2022 Town Council Update from Council Chair, Steve Jones

Good Afternoon, and Happy Friday Tolland! From the Council Chair, providing a review of our regular meeting to be held on July 12th.

First, the Town Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds and notes up to $1,197,366 to finance various capital budget items that were approved in the 2022 Budget Referendum. Some of these items are currently being considered for use of ARPA funds by the ARPA subcommittee, and the debt will not be issued until later this year. If ARPA funds are approved for use, the town will not issue the debt.

The Town Council then has several new business items for consideration. First the council unanimously authorized the little league to have scoreboards installed at River Park. The Tolland Little League will pay for the boards and installation cost. The town would be responsible for the hook up charge of a meter box in the amount of $1,600 through use of savings in a municipal contingency fund balance.

Second, the town unanimously authorized the Town Manager to submit a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) application to the state’s Office of Policy and Management (OPM). The town is looking to apply for $500,000 for the renovation and replacement of tennis courts at Crandall Park and Old Cathole Road North. Funds have been allocated in the FY 2022-2023 budget Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which would count towards the municipal match towards the total project cost and provide additional preference for OPM to award these funds.

The Town Council then unanimously declared various equipment in disrepair or obsolete, as approved by the Board of Education unanimously at their June 22, 2022 meeting.

Fourth, the Town Council approved Administrative Secretary position’s job description for the Senior Center, which was approved as a part of the FY 2022-2023 budget. This position is now open and seeking applications through Town Hall. Applications are due by August 8th.

Fifth, the Town Council unanimously approved appointing Brian Foley as a member of the Board of Directors for the Eastern Highlands Health District (EHHD) through May of 2024. The town manager serves as a regular member alongside a member of the town council to represent Tolland.

Sixth, the Town Council passed a resolution authorizing Brian Foley to execute an MOA with the State of CT for participation in the Homeland Security Grant Program. This resolution updates the language reflecting Mr. Foley as the new Town Manager.

Finally, the council unanimously approved several appointments and re-appointments to various boards and commissions. These include appointing the new Town Manager Brian Foley to the ARPA Subcommittee, Delinquent Tax Collection Enforcement and Land Acquisition Advisory Committee for life terms, as well as residents to the Tolland Housing Authority and Mental Health and Substance Use Advisory Task Force and one reappointment to the Land Acquisition Advisory Committee.

To view the Town Council Meeting Minutes and Packet, please visit:

Minutes – https://ecode360.com/documents/TO1208/public/670433901.pdf

Packet – https://www.tollandct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3921/f/uploads/2022-07-12_regular_meeting_packet.pdf

To view the Town Manager’s Monthly report, please visit:

Thank you for taking time to review the Town Council’s upcoming meeting. To submit any questions or comments to the Tolland Town Council, please email towncouncil@tollandct.gov .



Statement from the TDTC about the Shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas (5/26/22)

Our hearts ache for the families in Uvalde, the families in Buffalo, and all Americans directly impacted by these senseless acts of gun violence.  The words escape us as we are saddened, angry, terrified, and disgusted to hear of another mass shooting of innocent Americans: children.

Schools, grocery stores, churches, and workplaces should not be places where one fears for their lives.  While mental health is often a factor in these horrific tragedies, access to assault weapons is also a significant factor.  Enough is enough, and stronger gun laws are a matter of public safety, necessity, and a characteristic of a mature, civilized nation. We are effectively eroding the essence of our liberties – while claiming to preserve them – by having some of the worst gun control laws among wealthy, developed nations. Enough is enough. We can have liberty without the means to kill each other en masse. 

If you are struggling with the news from Uvalde, or struggling in general, please seek assistance via these resources in our community:

https://www.tollandct.gov/human-services/pages/resources/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help

To learn more and get involved to change our antiquated gun laws:

https://www.everytown.org/
https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-violence-statistics/
https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

On Behalf of the TDTC,
Ryan McCann, Chair


May 9, 2022 – Board of Education Update

In our April 27th meeting, we began with a moment of silence for Laura Hayes, school psychologist at TIS, who recently passed away. Laura was a beloved member of our school community and Dr. Willett and the Board send their deepest condolences to the Hayes family.

The Board of Education then received a presentation on the Science curriculum and the Next Generation of Science Standards from Mark Ruede. The curriculum includes a focus on “doing science” rather than “learning science,” using real world content to learn a greater context with connections to Tolland and Connecticut, and an inclusion of engineering standards and practices to apply science to human problems.

The board then reviewed the White House Infrastructure Grant, a $500M grant program. Dr. Willett explained that the administration is looking at investing in more efficient energy savings programs for school buildings. Given that both the high school and Birch Grove are newer buildings and very efficient, and the use of systems such as geothermal are being used at TMS and TIS, Dr. Willett believes priority districts may get preference and Tolland may not be first to receive these funds, however he will look for opportunities as they arise.

Next, the board discussed goal setting sessions and dates to meet with CABE. The Board will have their first session on July 27th and ask for more options in August and September for a second session.

The board then entered into Executive Session for the purpose of the Superintendent Evaluation.

Full pending meeting minutes of the April 27th meeting (and others) can be found here:http://www.tolland.k12.ct.us/…/b_o_e_agendas__minutes…

Please reach out to the Board of Education with any questions or comments at:

http://www.tolland.k12.ct.us/board_of_education

Thank you,

–Jennifer Gallichant, Communications Committee Chair

May 5, 2022 – Town Council Update

Second Budget for May 17th Referendum Proposed, Miracle Field Site Narrowed Down, Discussion of Negotiations with Miracle League and more

Good Afternoon and a pleasant Mother’s Day Weekend neighbors! From the Council Chair, providing a review of the May 5th Special Meetings and a Preview of the May 10th Meeting.

On Thursday, May 5th the Council convened to set a new budget after the failed referendum on May 3rd. The Bi-partisan proposal negotiated by the Chair and Vice Chair was presented to the council with a reduction of $395,208 from the original budget. $92,317 was removed from the Town Budget and $302,891 was removed from the Board of Education Budget.

The new budget total is a proposed increase of 2.57%, which was clarified by the interim town manager as not being the tax increase. With this budget, residents would expect a reduction in the mill rate of approximately -.53 mills, or a decrease in property taxes of 1.43%. Additionally, the motor vehicles will be capped at a rate of 32.46 mills per the new state law passed by the CT legislature. These taxes will vary per resident depending on the assessed value of their vehicle.

The vote for this proposal to be sent out to a second referendum on May 17th, from 6AM to 8PM at the Recreation Center was passed by a vote of 5-2. The vote to approval a resolution authorizing the form of the ballot for the referendum was passed on a 4-3 vote retaining the language of the first budget referendum after a vote to reincorporate information about the mill rate failed on a 3-4 vote.

Following this meeting there was a presentation by our Town Engineer Chuck Eaton on several proposed miracle field sites. The Board of Education, Miracle League of Northern CT, Recreation Department and Sports Leagues were invited to attend and provide input. Dave Garritt of Tolland Soccer Club also shared a presentation with information and input with the council and will be incorporated into the meeting minutes alongside commentary from any invited attendees who could not make it.

After discussion and input from various stakeholders, a location at Crossfarms identified in the Mr. Eaton’s report as Option 5 was seen as the most optimal location, with an opportunity for adjustments with the assistance of sports leagues potentially relocating a shed in the area to avoid grading issues.

On Tuesday, May 10th the council will be convening for a regular meeting to conduct three items of new business. First, the council will be reviewing a request for a proclamation recognizing a resident for winning the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing.

Following this discussion, the town will be considering a resolution to apply for a State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) grant $20,000 to have Architectural Plans and Specifications developed by a historical architect to address several improvements needed at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum.

This resolution will be followed by another resolution the council will be considering to authorize the interim Town Manager to negotiate an agreement with the Miracle League of Northern CT based on the discussions at our May 5th special meeting. If approved, the resolution would allow the town through the Manager’s office to begin working with the Miracle League, Legal Counsel and the Town Council to develop a suitable agreement.

The minutes of the May 5th meetings will be published next week.

To view the meeting agenda and packet for May 9th, please visit:

Agenda – https://ecode360.com/documents/TO1208/public/658480589.pdf

Packet https://www.tollandct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3921/f/uploads/may_10_2022_council_packet.pdf

To view the Town Manager’s monthly report, please visit https://www.tollandct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3921/f/uploads/may_10_2022_town_managers_report.pdf

Thank you everyone for taking the time to review the Town Council’s business. I hope you all have a pleasant and peaceful Mother’s Day. Be sure to visit any local shops for quick gifts and enjoy a Mother’s Day Meal at any of our restaurants. To submit any questions or comments to the Tolland Town Council, please email towncouncil@tolland.org.

–Steve Jones, Town Council Chair