The meeting opened up with a call for support from the coordinator of the Carnival cultural festival that is set to take place the weekend of August 17th-19th. Carnival (with the start of the Carnival season known as Dimanche Gras (Big Sunday)), is a loud, vibrant celebration of color that most famously takes place in such places as Trinidad and Tobago, but has had a large following in the Hartford area for the past 15 years or so as well. So far the celebration/parade, which would take place downtown, are still in the preliminary planning stages, and they were presented before the council in hopes of getting police assistance in coordinating road blocks, safety, etc. The council was more than enthused with the prospect of bringing such a large event to Middletown, and expressed optimism that with more planning the festival will be launched in a safe and organized manner; the Police Chief was also eager to provide support for this event.
|Just one of the many elaborate costumes from Carnival in Trinidad|
An interesting point of contention at last night's meeting was the issue of identification badges and writing up an accompanying set of regulations for the use of said badges. The argument for official badges is that it gives members of the council a proof of identity; which would be particularly helpful for members of Planning and Zoning/In-lands and Wetlands, and which could also be used as possible parking passes/building entry passes. The council agreed that if such badges are in use regularly, there is a definite need for a written policy to prevent abuse or misrepresentation through the badges.
Councilman Serra brought up yet again the noise pollution caused by the Middletown Police and SWAT team gun-training areas has been worsening in recent months to the point of becoming unbearable, and the strong suggestion of a neighborhood informational meeting was accepted.
Concern was also raised for the intersection of S. Main and Highland; in the past 5 years there has been 36 accidents at that intersection, at least one of which proved fatal. Councilwoman Kleckowski reaffirmed worries that that intersection needs a stop light, and it was learned that the state is in the process of evaluating that intersection for a possible installation of a streetlight. The council agreed that one was very much needed, and hoped that the DOT will install one soon.
Finally, the council expressed future optimism for the work done by Middletown's Emergency Management team to further strengthen preventative measures in the case of future severe storms such as Hurricane Irene and the October snow storm. They are working on creating short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals for emergency management and response, and briefly discussed the upcoming state-wide preparedness drill. The council also expressed frustration at an incident that occurred last fall, in which an anonymous individual falsely accused the council of not supporting Emergency Management. While the mayor did an admirable job of damage control, the council felt that they were owed a written apology from this individual.