About Town: Discourse

If you had to pick just a few words to describe Weston, they might be neat, green, and driven.  “Neat” in part because while we are a town with lawns that are irregular and natural, wherever there is something to mow, we mow it.

“Green” because once winter has finally released us from her grip, that’s pretty much all you see. There are various shades and tones of green, but the color of new growth in early spring seems almost uniformly emerald.

“Driven” is another way to refer to our community. That is actually a play on the word. Yes, you have to drive to get anywhere. But that word can also refer to a desire for quick action. Sometimes to being impatient with those who stand in your way. I have noticed this characteristic inching into our town.

But impatience comes down to a matter of degree. Which brings to mind the way in times past I have referred to a difference between Westport and Weston.

My perception over the years has been that in Westport the character of public discourse has usually been less civil than in Weston. If you like to fight about issues until the blood almost flows, you would be likely to prefer Westport over Weston. If you would rather not display anger and impatience, you would likely prefer to make Weston your home.

But of late I have noticed what seems in this regard to be a convergence of the character of the two towns. Consider the dog park issue. Would the neighbors, equipped with an excellent lawyer, carry the day? In previous decades it would have been essentially a neighborhood issue, and I can assure you that the Planning and Zoning Commission would have given a resounding “no way; 7-0 against” vote.

When purchase of the Moore property by the town received a hearty voice vote of “yes” at a 2003 Special Town Meeting, including my vote, I wondered what this would mean for the future use of that property. I don’t recall if anyone fully explained the meaning of “landbanking” at the time.

What a “landbank” does is to preserve land for a future use. Given the lack of public water supply and sewers in that area as well as in just about all of Weston, in 2003 that meant no higher-density activity. But in 2018, the availability of modern tertiary treatment systems has led to increased focus on higher-density development in the State Plan of Conservation and Development, perhaps ominously for Weston.

While we live in the woods, Westonites also care deeply about the larger world. A premier local organization focusing on worldly as well as local issues is the League of Women Voters of Weston. This year’s edition of the league’s annual Betty Hill Forum on International Affairs takes place on Friday, June 1, at noon at the Aspetuck Valley Country Club.  

The guest speaker will be Dr. Virginia Metaxas, professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University. The topic will be the history of women’s immigration to America. Registration information will soon be provided at lwvweston.org, or you can send an email to [email protected]. Hope to see you there.

NOTE: “About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.

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