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First Selectman's Column from Nov/Dec 2023

November 16, 2023
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First Selectman's Column from Nov/Dec 2023

It is November, a month for reflection and expressions of gratitude.  As President John F. Kennedy once said, “We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”

On November 7th, the Town of Woodbridge participated in a very important, and consequential election.  Thank you to all who put their names forward to run for election.  It is not an easy path, as I know.  Congratulations to those who were successful candidates this year.

Voting is one important way we can participate in our democracy.  Thank you to all the voters who were patient in line, respectful of the process, and courteous to our election officials and other voters.  Thanks also go out to our Town Clerks, Registrars of Voters, poll workers, absentee ballot counters, police officers, building maintenance staff, and fire department volunteers.  All these folks worked very hard to make sure our municipal election was conducted efficiently, smoothly, safely, and most importantly, according to the law.  I look forward to transitioning our town government and extend special congratulations to our new First Selectman-elect Mica Cardozo.

This is also the time of year when appointments will be made to fill vacancies on Town Boards and Commissions.  If you are interested in serving, please contact the town committee chair who most closely aligns with your political affiliation to express your interest.

Thank you to the Human Services Department, which coordinated five vaccine clinics this season, providing over 475 vaccines to Woodbridge residents and Town employees.

I offer my thanks to the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Association who hosted the Truck or Treat event on Halloween at the Firehouse.  It was a terrific and safe way for families to enjoy this festive holiday.

Thank you to the Woodbridge Police Department which orchestrated the bi-annual DEA Drug Take-Back Day at end of October.   The Police Department accepted close to 100 pounds of medication.  For those of you who missed this event, please note that the Woodbridge Police Department does offer 24-hour access to safe drug disposal year-round.

Many thanks to Dr. Barry Josephs for hosting the annual Veterans Day commemoration.  It was a lovely, well-attended event.  The Town of Woodbridge offers veterans and their families who have questions or need help accessing veteran services assistance through the Human Services Department.

I am proud to announce that the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the American Heart Association has once again awarded the Town of Woodbridge a designated HEARTSafe Community certificate.  Thank you to Assistant Administrative Officer, Karen Crosby, who prepared the successful renewal application.  This is an achievement which recognizes Woodbridge’s continued commitment to provide cardiac response care to the residents of the community utilizing the “Chain of Survival” of early 9-1-1 access, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation, and advanced care.  The criteria are also met by providing resources to the community for health and wellness programming.  Congratulations to The Woodbridge Center and the Recreation Department for consistently providing opportunities for residents to get and stay active.

We are now heading into budget season as the capital budgets and operating budgets from each department are currently in process and will be scrutinized by their respective boards and commissions in December and January.  Please remember that all residents have a voice throughout the budget process, and I encourage everyone to be a part of the process.  Operating and Capital Budget presentations to the Boards of Finance and Selectmen begin in late January.  Residents are encouraged to ask any budget questions, or make suggestions to boards and commissions, or department heads throughout the four-month process.  Budget meetings can also be viewed on Channel 79 and the WGATV YouTube page.

Finally, at this time of Thanksgiving, I send my deepest appreciation to all of you in our wonderful Town of Woodbridge.  Our community is amazing!   Working with all the Town employees, and meeting with so many residents over the past years, has been a great opportunity for me.  I am truly thankful and profoundly privileged to be your First Selectman.  As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.  You may reach me by email at bheller@woodbridgect.org or by phone at 203-389-3401.  Wishing you and your friends and family a safe happy Thanksgiving holiday.

This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.

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