New faces coming to Northeastern Connecticut Council of Government

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Mon., Nov. 4, 2013

There will soon be some new faces sitting around the table at the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Government monthly meetings. Elections are coming up, but so is the impending January deadline for a consolidation of the state’s council of governments. NECCOG has already accepted Chaplin and Hampton as members. A resolution urging the Office of Policy and Management to include those towns, along with Scotland to be members of a reconstituted NECCOG for regional planning purposes has been filed.

More towns could join NECCOG before final consolidation plans are complete. And the November elections may usher in new leadership that would change the makeup of the council.

Plainfield First Selectman Paul Sweet, who is running unopposed, will be back at the table. So will Woodstock First Selectman Allan Walker, Jr., who is also running unopposed.  Thompson will have a new representative because First Selectman Larry Groh, Jr., is not seeking reelection. And Killingly Town Manager Bruce Benway will be replaced when his retirement becomes effective in January.

Sweet said the senior members will have to help out a little bit. “The COG is a valuable tool,” Sweet said. “There’s a learning curve. You learn how the state system functions and how different towns do things.” Discussions have led to cost effective agreements between towns. Revaluation efforts saved towns from $100,000 to $200,000 when they joined together to contract with one assessor. Similar plans are being reviewed for the conversion of paper records.

“You can come up with some pretty good ideas,” Sweet said. “When you can debate an issue and come to a conclusion collectively, that’s a good thing.”

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