Thursday, March 29, 2012
Councilor Barbara A. VonVillas says while she does not support increasing debt, she believes voters should decide.
To the Editor, On Monday, April 2, the Middletown Town Council will consider a proposal for a November 2012 bond referendum to support a new Second Beach Pavilion. I do not support increasing debt at this time, but I can appreciate the passion of Mr. Semonelli and the Beach Commission for a new structure that is badly needed, and I will support the proposal because I believe the voters should have the opportunity to weigh in on this important issue. Similarly, I have proposed three additional questions for the November ballot, none involving the expenditure of funds, but all asking the voters to express their wishes regarding issues that have been deadlocked at the Town Council level for more than three years. 1. Shall the Town of …
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tracie Spooner said the turbine on Mitchell's Lane drove her out of Middletown.
The following is a letter to the editor from Tracie Spooner, a lifetime resident of Middletown who said she moved away because of the wind turbines. The Middletown Town Council recently proposed an ordinance that would restrict the placement of turbines in Middletown. Once the ordinance has been drafted by the administration, it will go before a series of public meetings and the council will vote to approve it into law. Dear Editor: I have read a lot of negative comments recently directed towards the town council and specifically Councilor Chris Semonelli regarding the decision to restrict wind turbines in Middletown, and I felt that I needed to address this topic since I have had my own personal experiences with the wind turbines on …
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Ronald Wolanski, Director of Planning and Economic Development, has presented a proposed amendment that would allow temporary, off-site signs.
Middletown small businesses and special events might be allowed to use temporary or seasonal signs in the future, according to Ronald Wolanski, director of planning and economic development. In the first public hearing to the Town Council on Monday evening, he explained that although events such as those hosted by the Norman Bird Sanctuary, have used such signs to direct people to parking in the past, they technically violated zoning codes. The Planning Board has recommended that the council approve an amendment to the existing ordinance that would permit such signage. “They apply for the special events license, so this would be like an extension of that,” said Wolanksi after the meeting. An application would be submitted for …
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Patch sat down with Councilor Chris Semonelli to learn where he came from and where he hopes to take Middletown.
When State Sen. Lou DiPalma suggested that Councilor Chris Semonelli run for office, he was unsure if he was qualified. “I don’t have experience. I’m more of a small business man,” Semenelli said. Friends and family encouraged the decision, so he began to knock on doors. Now in his second term, Semonelli says he uses his business background to focus on high priority issues such as the budget, economic stimulus and the local education system. Looking Back After graduating from Middletown High School in 1973, Semonelli went on to receive a bachelor's in chemical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston. In 1980, when Semonelli was 26 years old, he married his childhood sweetheart, Trish. He was hired to work for an environmental …
Monday, March 5, 2012
Middletown resident John Byrne submitted the following letter.
Monday, March 5, 2012
To the editor: There has been much discussion regarding the wind turbine survey and the apparent impact that one neighbor has had on the outcome. I am that neighbor, and my opinion actually differs from that being portrayed. I agreed to meet with the three Town Council members at my home, and I commend them for taking the time to meet with a constituent to further discuss the balanced comments that I had put in my survey response. But what has transpired since then appears to have resulted in my opinion being given far too much weight in the formation of a town wide policy on turbines. I want to state that I do not have a blanket opinion on turbines one way or the other, my personal opinion is that the installation of turbines should be …
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Town administration has already begun drafting modifications to an ordinance that will restrict wind turbines to agricultural uses only.
During the previous town council meeting, held on Feb. 6, Councilors Bruce J. Long and Town Council President Arthur Weber proposed the town hire a firm to analyze information regarding wind technology. Data on wind turbines is required in order to amend an ordinance that would restrict wind turbine usage, a motion council approved during that same session. At that time, council requested that Town Administrator Shawn Brown look into the existing information available on wind technology and provide a recommendation if the outside firm would be necessary. During the following town council meeting held on Tuesday evening, Brown stated that hiring an outside firm is unnecessary. “I believe there are sufficient resources available to amend …
The Middletown council met Tuesday evening.
The Middletown Town Council approved the following appointments during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening: Juvenile Hearing Board Park Steward Program Pension Trust Fund Committe Roads and Utilities Advisory Committee Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force Wind Turbine Committee
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Patch recently sat down for coffee with Art Weber, Town Council President, to learn about his background and his priorities as leader of the Council.
“I like to be in charge. I trained for that for three decades” - Art Weber, Middletown Town Council President Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Art Weber came to Middletown, and later the Middletown Town Council, after a long history of military service. Weber, who currently serves as Town Council President, recently sat down to reflect on his past and his hopes for our community going forward. A History of Service Weber retired to Middletown in 1996 after 32 years in the military. He ended his career as a Colonel in the Marine Corp for the U.S. Naval War College. He describes his military duty as more than just a career, but a calling. “I remember as a little boy watching the ships come back from World War II,” Weber reflected. “After a few…
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Town Council member Barbara A. VonVillas was the sole opposing vote to Monday's call for a ban on all wind turbines in Middletown except for agricultural use.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
To the Editor: I smell fear. Why else would four Middletown councilmen - when two of the seven Council members were absent - orchestrate approval of a motion to halt all but “agricultural” development of wind energy in Middletown – a motion that was not even on the Monday night agenda? Is it because the results of the recent town survey related to wind turbines clearly demonstrated that more than 50% of the respondents support properly sited wind turbines of all sizes? Is it because the faction that has been opposing turbines has finally been clearly identified as the minority? Is it because they wanted to minimize the public feedback before it changed the conversation? What was in the survey that so frightened these councilmen that …
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
In a surprise move during Monday night’s meeting, Town Council members voted 4-1 in favor of writing a Zoning Ordinance amendment that would ban wind turbines in Middletown everywhere but on farms.
Although the agenda for last night’s regular monthly Town Council meeting included a memo (see PDF) signed jointly by Town Council President Art Weber and Vice President Bruce Long proposing a study to help determine guidelines for wind turbine siting, a motion introduced by Councillor Chris Semonelli derailed the study proposal. Instead, the motion called for "instructing the Town Administrator, Town Planner and Town Solicitor to prepare an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to prohibit wind turbines in all zoning districts, with the following exceptions: 1. Building Mounted, Small and Medium-Tower Turbines may be allowed for the following Agricultural uses, provided the use is the primary use on the lot: a. Field crop farms or …