Monday, October 18, 2021

Russell Library Job Opening: Full Time Library Clerk.

 Submitted by Brandie Doyle, Assistant Director of Administrative Services, Russell Library.



Open 10/18/21-10/29/21 

The Russell Library seeks an adaptable, tech-savvy, user experience-oriented Clerk to serve the Middletown public. The Clerk works directly with patrons, greets visitors, registers borrowers, manages accounts, accepts payments, circulates materials, supports self-service, answers incoming calls, shelves books and other materials, and performs a variety of other duties related to the lending and return of library materials according to established and evolving policies and procedures. While most of their time will be spent at our Borrowing desk, the Clerk may also be called upon to fill in at the Information and/or Youth desks. An ideal candidate will demonstrate enthusiasm for all the library has to offer, and readily share that enthusiasm with patrons by ushering them through the building while talking up our collections, programs, and services.

Middletown is a vibrant, growing and wonderfully diverse community of nearly 48,000 residents, located on the Connecticut River, in the heart of the Nutmeg State. Home to two colleges and universities, a thriving downtown, a rich cultural and dining scene, and a unique combination of urban, suburban and rural life, Middletown has something to offer everyone. Founded in 1875, the Russell Library is a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the principal public library for the City of Middletown, with a full range of services aimed at 21st-century users. Our recently-completed strategic plan sets our course for success in the coming years. 

The Library Clerk uses technology to serve people from all walks of life. Adept at navigating our integrated library system, online catalog, public events calendar, self-service kiosks, downloadable/streaming platforms, and scheduling software, the Clerk makes it easy for borrowers to access our collections, programs, services, and professional staff. The incumbent responds to incoming calls thoughtfully, connecting callers with the depth and breadth of knowledge and assistance our whole staff has to offer. The Clerk readily answers any questions they receive promptly, accurately and confidentially. When people bring their devices to the library looking for help, the Clerk jumps right in to show them the ropes.

Attitude is everything when it comes to exceptional customer service. The successful candidate will be pleasant, patient, friendly, positive, competent and constructive. They treat every individual with dignity and respect, and provide such a wonderful user experience that patrons can’t wait to tell their family and friends about their last visit to the Russell Library. 

The skills and knowledge required would generally be acquired with a high school diploma or GED and some working or internship experience in a library or other intensive customer-service environment. 35 hours per week; evenings and weekends required. Union.

Starting pay: $20.46/hr plus a competitive employee benefits package. Apply at no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 29, 2021. 

Russell Library is an equal opportunity employer. Russell Library prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type and affords equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity or gender expression), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, parental status, military service, or other legally protected characteristics. 

Russell Library conforms to the spirit as well as to the letter of all applicable laws and regulations. Equity, diversity and inclusion are core values at Russell Library. We seek to employ people who share those values and readily apply them in their work.

Kelly Sweeney, Planning and Zoning Candidate

Submitted by Kelly Sweeney. The Eye welcomes reader submissions,


I'm Kelly Sweeney and I'm running for Planning & Zoning Commissioner as a Democrat.

I've been involved in our community for years and in various board roles since 2017. I've chosen those roles for their value to our community, they include the Board of Ethics and Charter Revision Commission. I was encouraged by leaders in our community to pursue my run for P&Z for my logical approach to creating solutions and ability to leverage communication to build engagement.

Middletown has a healthy development profile and we’re lucky to have a community with a flourishing Main Street. My primary goal is to make decisions for our community that keep a balance between business and residents. Where P&Z enters— I'm looking for plans that preserve green space, incorporate redevelopment (blend past and future), include affordable housing and people comforts, and overall promotion of the best interest of residents.

I attended the first session in the visioning workshop for the riverfront redevelopment. Participating the open exchange of ideas and listening to residents share my vision for balance was really encouraging to me. I look forward to seeing that plan take shape and incorporate the gold mine of quality ideas and suggestions.  

Professionally I work in marketing for Robinson & Cole LLP, specifically focused on digital marketing and technology. I hope that my experience in marketing and communication will aid in generating awareness and attendance at public hearings and foster engagement with the community where ongoing development is concerned.

I learned the value of civic mindedness at an early age and my family participated in many organizations in my youth. I continued this through my young adult years and then when I fell in love with Middletown.

I obtained my B.A. in Political Science from Emmanuel College and my M.S. in Communication from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). I share my life with my partner Melissa (Cytogeneticist) and her son Konnor (10). In addition to my various political roles in Middletown, I also serve as Technology Deacon at First Church.

Visit my campaign site at for more information.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Stephen Devoto, Planning and Zoning Candidate. Independent.

 Submitted by Stephen Devoto. The Eye welcomes reader submissions:

I am running for re-election to the Planning and Zoning Commission because it is central to Middletown’s economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and housing opportunities. 

The future of the land along the river, the future of Newfield, South Main, and Washington Streets, the future of open space around Mt. Higby and in Maromas, the economic and residential vitality of downtown--these are all affected by the actions of the Planning and Zoning Commission. In fact, there is no neighborhood community, no business district, and no industrial area anywhere in our city that might not be impacted.

I want to continue the work that is documented in our Plan of Conservation and Development: make our city thriving, vibrant, connected, and sustainable. 

There are 3 open seats and you have 3 votes

Independent, Row C

I am on the ballot as an independent petitioning candidate, I am unaffiliated with either of the two major parties.  I left the Democratic Party because land use decisions affect the city far beyond even decades-long swings in the power of each political party; these decisions should not just be bipartisan, they should be non-partisan. More generally, government works best if elected officials focus on what is best for the residents, and do not take part in partisan political battles. 

There are 7 candidates, and you can vote for 3. 
There are restrictions on how many Democrats and how many Republicans can be seated on the Commission: under any circumstance only 1 Democrat can be seated, and only 1 Republican is guaranteed to be seated. 
My name is on Row C. 

Experience and bipartisanship

I began attending Planning and Zoning Commission meetings shortly after moving to Middletown 24 years ago. I did this several times a year with Arline Rich and other members of the Westfield Residents Association to monitor developments in our neighborhood. Then beginning in 2009 I attended virtually every meeting as a citizen correspondent for The Middletown Eye, and in 2013 I was elected to the Commission. The members of the Commission elected me as its chair in 2016, and reelected me again each year since. Unanimously.

I have experience working with staff in city hall, under mayors of both parties.  During my time on the Commission, the city has had 5 different Directors in the office of Planning Conservation and Development, three of whom were either new to the city or new to urban planning. I have worked well with each of them, and with others in City Hall, including Mayor Florscheim. 

Mayors of both parties have appointed me to committees dealing with important or controversial land use issues. For example, in 2009 a Republican mayor appointed me to a task force to find land for the Army Reserve Training facility, and in 2020 a Democratic mayor appointed me to serve on the steering committee for the riverfront master planning process. 

Economic Development

Middletown thrives with a vibrant mix of locally owned, independent businesses, national chains and all sizes of manufacturing, shipping, and warehouse companies, I have supported applications from businesses tiny to transnational, in each of these categories to establish or expand in our city. With my urging, we have modified our zoning code to make it easier for small businesses to locate in our city. 

Environmental Sustainability

Middletown has open space and some walkable neighborhoods that promote the health of the environment as well as the health of the residents. I have pushed for developers and our zoning code to encourage more of this, bicycle racks at new businesses, sidewalks in neighborhoods, and the setting aside of open space. I led the effort to require new large parking lots to include publicly available electric vehicle charging stations. 

Equity in Housing

Many Connecticut towns and cities suffer from racial segregation, a lack of affordable housing, or both. Middletown also has work to do in these areas, to ensure that it will always have high quality, affordable housing for all who want to live in our city: for our children, new teachers, and the workers who make our businesses thrive. I lobbied at the state level for new legislation that will increase housing options, increase property values, and promote environmental sustainability. This legislation passed and with changes to our zoning code our city can now create opportunities for an increase in affordable housing that is distributed in all parts of the city.  


Brian Gartner, Planning and Zoning Candidate

 Submitted by Brian Gartner. The Eye welcomes reader submissions,


Dear voter, 

First and foremost I would like to introduce myself. My name is Brian Gartner, and I am running for the Planning and Zoning Commission. I am hoping to seek your support in running for this elected office. This past week I was one of the individuals endorsed by the Middletown Democratic Town Committee to run for a vacancy on the Planning & Zoning Commission.

For a little background on myself. I was born and raised in Middletown. I attended Middletown Public Schools, and Vinal Technical High School. I am the proud father of three young men. I am a lifelong Democrat. My family has called Middletown home for over one hundred and ten years. This wonderful City has provided a home for five generations of my family including my own children. My interest in political matters begun at a very young age. My maternal grandmother was very involved in political matters here in town, and helped laid the seed for my future involvement. 

I currently serve as a member on five City Commissions/Committees, and have served on six overall. 

I currently serve on the following: 

  1. Commission on Conservation & Agriculture 
  2. Inland/Wetlands and Watercourses Agency
  3. Water Pollution Control Authority
  4. Mattabassett Regionalization Building Committee 
  5. Mayor’s Task Force on Anti-Racism

I have served as the Vice Chairman of the Middletown Commission on Conservation and Agriculture for the last five years, and I have been a member of that body, and its predecessor body for about a year prior. Both the IWWA & the CCA are advisory bodies to P&Z, and I personally believe seeking election to the P&Z is the next logical step to take. 

I initially brought diversity to CC/CCA by bringing a new generation into the fold that was previously unrepresented. 

I personally have seen how much Middletown has changed and evolved over the course of the last thirty plus years. I believe we are at a pivotal moment in the history of Middletown. We are currently at the crossroads of several major projects including probably the biggest one of our generation which is reconnecting our residents with our greatest natural resource which is the Connecticut River. We are at a point where decisions we make now will undoubtedly impact future generations to come, just as past decisions have impacted each and every one of us. We have the chance to undue countless planning mistakes of the past, and create a cohesive, pedestrian friendly, green, vibrant, and economically successful City for all of our residents to enjoy.

Participation on a board or commission is one of the most effective steps citizens can take in having an active voice in their government. The opportunity to serve as an appointed official has been a fantastic and rewarding experience for me. I hope that by seeking elected office it will lead to continued opportunities to serve my community. I hope to help expand upon the work that the current DTC has already begun. During the time I have been involved with civic activities I have continually advocated for projects that would increase the quality of life for all residents of Middletown to enjoy. 

I would also like to reiterate my support for democratic issues and causes. I look forward to working with each and every one of you to continue to help better our City. If you have any questions, want to schedule a meeting, or just want to chat, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or telephone. 


Brian K. Gartner Jr.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

This weekend: free outdoor performances of Forklift Danceworks' "WesWorks" on Wesleyan University campus in Middletown


Forklift Danceworks: WesWorks—A Performance with Wesleyan University Facilities Staff
Thursday, October 14 through Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 7pm
Starting at Andrus Field, 55 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown, Connecticut
FREE! RSVP required.

WesWorks - Un Espectáculo con el Personal de Facilidades de Wesleyan University
GRATIS! Se requiere reserva.
Empezando en el campo Andrus (55 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown, Connecticut)

Please wear comfortable shoes for walking and bring a lawn chair or blanket. Seating is outside on the grass, and this performance takes places at multiple locations around campus.

For parking options and performance location, please see this campus map.

The rain date for "WesWorks" is Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 7pm.

Please note that the performance on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 7pm is an open dress rehearsal.

Se nota que la función del Jueves, 14 de Octubre, 2021 a las 7pm es un ensayo general abierto al público.

The general public will be welcomed back to Wesleyan this fall to enjoy Center for the Arts outdoor programming and exhibitions in both the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery and the College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center. All patrons must adhere to and follow the University COVID-19 safety guidelines. Wesleyan requires all visitors to be fully vaccinated. All visitors will need to provide proof of having been fully vaccinated. Public health officials consider an individual to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Masks are required in all University buildings regardless of vaccination status. Indoor performances as well as special events, including opening receptions in the galleries, will be open to Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff. All patrons including children under the age of 12 will be required to wear a mask outdoors for the duration of WesWorks. Due to current CDC age limits on vaccinations, individuals under the age of 12 will not be permitted at indoor exhibitions.

El público general esta bienvenido de regreso a Wesleyan este otoño para disfrutar el programa al aire libre del Centro por las Artes y las exhibiciones en las Galerías Ezra y Cecile Zilkah y en la Galería del Colegio de los Estudios de la Asia Oriental en el Centro de Mansfield Freeman. Todos los patrones deben seguir las regulaciones de seguridad de COVID-19 hechos por Wesleyan University. Wesleyan recuerde que todos los visitantes están completamente vacunados. Todos los visitantes deben demostrar prueba de sus vacunas completas. Oficiales de salud pública consideran individuos completamente vacunados dos semanas después de su dosis final de las vacunas contra COVID-19. Se requiere máscaras al entrar a los edificios en todo el campus aunque sean completamente vacunados. Eventos en el interior así como eventos especiales, incluyendo recepciones en las galerías, estarán abiertas a los estudiantes, facultad y personal de Wesleyan. Los visitantes vacunados pueden atender eventos y actividades al aire libre sin máscaras. Para patrones de 12 años o menores es mandatorio el uso de la máscara en eventos al aire libre. Debido al límite de edad para vacunas del CDC, individuos con 12 años o menor no se permiten en exhibiciones dentro de la galería.

By purchasing a ticket or making a reservation, patrons over the age of 12 confirm that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and will be able to provide proof of vaccination at the event.

Al comprar boletos o hacer una reservación, patrones mayores de 12 años deben confirmar que estén completamente vacunados contra el COVID-19 y pueden traer comprobantes de su vacuna al evento.

Click here to join this event on Facebook.

“Allison Orr [is] a choreographer who sees elements of dance in unlikely places. Ms. Orr’s project creates a way to both honor and celebrate the employees’ efforts.”
The New York Times

“Allison Orr [es] una coreógrafa que ve elementos de baile en lugares improbables. Los proyectos de la señora Orr 's crean una manera de honrar y celebrar los esfuerzos de los empleados.”

WesWorks (2021) features the movement and stories of Wesleyan University employees as directed by Forklift Danceworks of Austin, Texas. The company is led by Artistic Director Allison Orr, Distinguished Fellow in the College of the Environment and Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies.

WesWorks (2021) incluye los movimientos y las historias de los empleados de Wesleyan University a la dirección de Forklift Danceworks de Austin, Texas. La compañía es dirigida por la Directora Artística Allison Orr, Compañera Distinguida en el Colegio del Medio Ambiente y Profesora Asistente Visitante en los Estudios del Medio Ambiente.

Forklift Danceworks productions are built on a core belief that all people are inherently creative. WesWorks celebrates the skilled movement and tells the often unheard stories of the people whose work sustains the daily lives of the Wesleyan campus. Through their performances, Forklift Danceworks seeks to create opportunities for more informed civic dialogue, deeper understanding of the jobs essential to urban life, and greater connection between citizens and across communities.

Las producciones de Forklift Danceworks se crean en la idea fundamental de que todas las personas son intrínsecamente creativas. WesWorks celebra los movimientos expertos y cuenta las historias frecuentemente escondidas de las personas que trabajan para sustentar la vida diaria del campus de Wesleyan. A través de este espectáculo, Forklift Danceworks busca crear una oportunidad por más diálogos cívicos, un entendimiento más profundo de los empleos esenciales a la vida urbana, y crear una conexión más fuerte entre ciudadanos y sobre múltiples comunidades.

Go behind the scenes on the blog for Forklift Danceworks: WesWorks.

Building on seven years of Forklift Danceworks engagement with Wesleyan, WesWorks was developed through a series of residencies and intensive course collaborations over the past year and a half. The multi-site outdoor performance invites the audience to witness the virtuosic and skilled work of Facilities staff as performed by the workers themselves, and to celebrate their indispensable place at Wesleyan.

Montando sobre siete años de compromiso entre Forklift Danceworks y Wesleyan, WesWorks se ha desarrollado por una serie de residencias y cursos intensivos de colaboración entre el último año y medio. La función de múltiples sitios al aire libre invita al público a ser testigo del virtuoso y experto trabajo del personal de facilidades interpretado por sí mismos, y a celebrar su lugar indispensable en Wesleyan.

Further reading via 'News at Wesleyan' articles:

Wesleyan Facilities, Custodial Staff Celebrated through Performance

Alumni Share Experiences with Forklift Danceworks; Prepare for ‘WesWorks’

Snyder ’16 Reflects on Her Experience with Forklift

Forklift’s LaMotte ’18 Discusses Upcoming 'WesWorks' Performance

Presented by the Center for the Arts in partnership with the College of the Environment, Physical Plant, SMG Custodial, the Creative Campus Initiative, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, and the Dance Department, with additional funding support from the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Presentado por el Centro de las Artes en camaradería con el Colegio del Medio Ambiente, Planta Física, SMG Custodial, el Creative Campus Initiative, el Centro Albritton por el Estudio de Vida Pública, y el Departamento de Baile, con fundación adicional del New England Foundation for the Arts.

To All Candidates (and others)!

Perhaps you are as dismayed as we are that there has been zero coverage in the local papers of the candidates for this year's election. The Middletown Eye would like to offer all candidates an opportunity to get the word out, as we have done frequently in the past. We also welcome opinion pieces from others, on the election or any other local issue.

Candidates should feel free to submit anything they like, and as often as they like, but here are some prompts:
  • Who are you?
  • What are the qualities that make you the best person for Board of Education or Planning and Zoning?
  • What are the biggest issues facing BoE or P&Z?
  • If you are elected, what do you hope to accomplish while in office?
We are also interested in publishing information pieces and/or opinions on the two charter revision questions.

Submit signed opinion pieces or articles to:




           The Middletown Garden Club

                                       invites you to an

                        Open Meeting

           Creating a Pollinator Pathway

Saturday, October 23, 11 AM

General Mansfield House

151 Main Street, Middletown

         Come learn how you can become part of a movement to create safe places for our pollinating insects.

         Jackie Algon, a founding member of the Northeast Pollinator Pathway project, will be our featured speaker. She will share her expertise and experience on making our yards, neighborhoods, and public spaces a welcoming place for butterflies, bees, and birds.

         There will be a Q&A time, resources to share, and a chance to network with others who want to be part of this effort.

A limited number of chairs will be available but you are encouraged to bring your own. This event will be held outdoors (under cover in the event of light rain) in the gardens behind the building. Please check the website ( or the Garden Club website ( on Friday evening for any updates due to inclement weather. Any questions please call Kathy Meyering at 860-306-8494. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Community PEACE Meditation, Oct. 17, 2-3pm, South Green-Union Park

The Power of collective thought is beyond measure.

Take Part in a Community Peace Meditation   

Sunday, Oct. 17  2-3pm

South Green
(Union Park)

Church & Main
Middletown, CT

The Power of collective thought
is beyond measure. 

Let your thoughts be Light-filled, holding a vision of Oneness, Integrity, Peace and Harmony, and empowered by Love for ALL, rising above all that is less. We are each of us ‘unrealized potential’, as candles ready to become brilliant Lighthouses that will shine so all may see, and know, and walk as One in Truth and Love.   

Hold this vision in your heart as you join us in a community meditation. Unify the Power of Love and Light in our hearts & minds to bring Peace and Healing to our community and to our world.  

If you are unable to attend, you may still join in on your own, holding this beautiful and heartfelt vision in your mind’s eye, adding it to the collective consciousness.

Annaita Gandhy, a Spiritual Guide in our Middletown community, will lead the meditation. 

   Annaita is a powerful presence. As teacher & healer, she offers meditations, workshops, energy healing, and guidance in personal growth. Annaita also has hosted workshops at the Buttonwood Tree since 2011 and holds regular group meditations online.  Though Life is her primary teacher, she has studied various healing modalities and has done extensive outreach work in healing & teaching for groups both here and in India. 

She shares the wisdom of the Masters who trained her 
with all who are led to her teachings. This event is free. Donations are welcome, to support The Buttonwood Tree’s programming.

For more information:  
Also see or /donate.
Or email Annaita 

Respectful social distancing is requested. 
Bring chairs or blankets to sit on, as you wish.