Town Council considers increasing size of Patriotic Commission

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Jul. 22, 2011
Patriotic Commission Chairman Kent Carlson addresses the Town Council at the July 18 public hearing, asking that the Patriotic Commission be expanded from nine to 10members. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Patriotic Commission Chairman Kent Carlson addresses the Town Council at the July 18 public hearing, asking that the Patriotic Commission be expanded from nine to 10members. Photos by Martha Marteney.

On July 20, the South Windsor Town Council held a public hearing to garner comments on the proposed increase in the size of the Patriotic Commission from nine members to a total of 10.

Kent Carlson, chair of the Patriotic Commission, explained when there is a change in the political majority composition of the Town Council, the composition of the Patriotic Commission must reflect the Republican or Democratic majority. Sometimes this results in one party-affiliated member having to be replaced by a person in the other political party. With an even number of commissioners, this would not be an issue.

Carlson noted that they would also like to be able to reach out to more independent voters, who would then be appointed by either the Republican or Democratic town committee. He said he hopes this would also encourage younger residents to become interested in the Patriotic Commission.

“I am overjoyed that you are considering an amendment,” said Patriotic Commissioner Herb Asplund. Having raised this issue several years ago, he also cited other town commissions and board which have an even number of members.

“As a citizen and a veteran, it should not matter what political party I’m a member of,” said Wayne McKinney, regarding the political appointments. He supported the proposal, as did the other members of the public at the meeting.

In other business, Councilor Janice Favreau pointed out that the town no longer provides curbside pick-up of household electronics. The next collection will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the rear parking lot of the town hall. The collection is free for South Windsor residents. For details on the type of electronics accepted at the collection, visit the Public Works Department’s recycling website at, or call 860-644-2511, ext. 343.

For the Town Council meeting, South Windsor Police Chief Matthew Reed sat in for Town Manager Matt Galligan, who was on vacation.  Reed reminded residents to lock their doors and secure their vehicles. He also asked residents to advise if a street light is not working property or if the light has burned out. The town is charged per street light, regardless of whether it is functioning properly, he said.

Public Works Director Michael Gantick asked for the Town Council’s input on paving Woodmar Circle and Grant Road, in conjunction with the town of Ellington’s paving project. Both of these roads have a pavement condition index in the low 70s. Roads with PCIs in the 70s would usually be scheduled for paving overlay. Councilor Cary Prague said, “That’s your decision.”

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor John Pelkey read a letter from the Rocky Hill Town Council asking for reimbursement of legal costs associated with locating a police training facility. According to Reed, the facility will not be built in Rocky Hill, due to the costs determined in the bidding process. The effort is now turning to finding an existing building. Several councilors suggested buildings or available locations in South Windsor, but Reed noted certain restrictive factors, such as parking and the necessary height of the training facility, that would render buildings like the old post office unsuitable. He also pointed out that such a training facility would not pay taxes.

The Town Council also considered the purchase of additional Automatic Electronic Defibrillator to be placed at municipal properties. Councilor Kevin McCann supported the purchase, stating, “These are very inexpensive and very effective life-saving tools.” It was noted that the AED at the South Windsor Community Center was recently used by the Human Services staff in response to a medical emergency.

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