It’s Friday again! It is looking like a nice weekend, so I hope you will take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy the sunshine. It is finally starting to look like spring. The hospital data indicates the number of hospitalized patients is declining, but slowly. Yesterday, in Connecticut, there were 609 new cases diagnosed and 94 deaths. While slowly on the decline, those are still huge numbers. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the message still has to be that we all need to be careful, wear our masks, wash our hands and keep our distances. Recently, there has been new thinking about how the virus effects children so please keep that in mind as well.
This was a challenging week for those of us in town government as hours were spent hashing out next year’s town and education budgets. The discussions were sometimes passionate, even heated, but we have basically arrived at a 2020-2021 budget. This year’s conditions made this process even more difficult than normal. I think it needs to be pointed out that all the people who do this work do so on an entirely volunteer basis. They have different perspectives, but I firmly believe that they are all motivated by doing what they feel is best for the town. Just like Easton itself, there are a spectrum of opinions. The bottom line is as a town we owe all the members of our boards and commissions and committees, especially our Board of Education and Board of Finance a debt of gratitude for doing this important, difficult and thankless work.
There will be much talk about reopening in the coming weeks. Please support our eateries and farms during this process. Look at their websites and social media pages to see what services they are offering and what their processes are. We will be reopening tennis courts and some fields for limited public use next week. Check the Park and Rec website and social media pages for details. We continue to look at options for the Senior Center, but because our seniors are unfortunately the most susceptible of our population, we are hesitant to open any programs as yet.
Hopefully you all received a reverse 9-1-1 call from me yesterday. Some have pointed out that these messages are caller identified as a SPAM? DEMHS call, unfortunately the call service must go through the State Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and cannot be changed. The call was a brief reminder that for those who are having financial difficulties due to the pandemic that there is an opportunity to defer your tax payments for 90 days. You will need to fill out a very short form which is available on the Tax Collector’s page on our website www.eastonct.gov and return it to Town Hall as soon as possible and absolutely by the July 1, 2020 deadline. The form can be mailed to you if you request by calling the Tax Collector at Town Hall, 203-268-6291. The Senior Center can also help pick up filled out forms.
We have a dedicated group of people working on creative ways to celebrate Easton’s 175th Anniversary led by Selectman Bob Lessler.
Easton has begun placing thank you signs on front lawns for our essential workers and contributors. It is impossible to know who all of these wonderful and giving people are so if we miss someone you think is deserving, please let us know by emailing the name and address to JHaller@eastonct.gov.
Please have a great and safe weekend!