From Desk of Selectman Lowe: Budgets and the Lake

From Town Tribune February 16, 2017. Budget season is upon us and the Board of Selectmen (BOS) meets with town entities in pre-budget hearings on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. and on Wednesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. These, of course, are open to the public as are the following budget workshops scheduled for Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m. and Wednesday, March 17 at 7 p.m. These meetings, held in Mallory Town Hall, are an opportunity to witness firsthand the budgeting priorities of the BOS.

Additionally, a Town Meeting will be held prior to the regular scheduled BOS Meeting (both presently set for Mallory Town Hall) on Thursday, February 23. The Town Meeting is at 6 p.m. and features nine items that Sherman citizens in attendance will be asked to vote on. The meeting’s Warning is on the Town website. Of note is an authorization not to exceed $99K for tennis court repairs and an authorization not to exceed $10K for a new Town website. Also, the adoption of a dog leash ordinance will be considered.
A year has passed since I joined the Board of Selectmen and I have enjoyed this term (my third in total) very much. Serving as minority selectman is challenging, but for the most part, working with my fellow board members has been reasonably smooth. One of my challenges is staying “in the loop” on issues. Clay and Bob are able to caucus (meet) separately, which is normal and allowable, and allows them to discuss items more at depth prior to meetings. I “catch-up” by asking many questions during the BOS meetings in order to receive clarity. Also, I usually receive my meeting material only hours prior so I am frequently cramming last minute to appreciate agenda items. I like both Clay and Bob personally very much although each one of us is quite unique in style and, in some cases, priorities.
One major difference occurred at last month’s BOS meeting. We had an opportunity to add a Sherman delegate to the Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) who is a longtime lake resident and someone knowledgeable about lake issues. He also possesses a strong financial acumen, which would be a perfect fit for the CLA as it continues to get its financial house in order. I am a strong advocate for Candlewood Lake. The lake is critical to the local economies of the five lake towns and it’s a beautiful recreational resource for countless people. I also support the CLA who, along with an army of wonderful CLA volunteers, is the primary steward of the lake. I am disturbed by New Fairfield’s recent actions to seemingly marginalize or even end the CLA and am especially disturbed by New Fairfield’s plan to singularly use chemicals to deal with milfoil, effectively abandoning the grass carp eradication plan that the CLA began. For anyone who cares about Candlewood Lake, cares about home values, cares about swimming, fishing, or boating in Candlewood Lake, well, New Fairfield’s approach here is a head scratcher.
Yet, Clay and Bob out-voted me and passed over this qualified person to reappoint an individual who sides and votes with New Fairfield’s current position as an adversary to the CLA.
Regarding Candlewood Lake: milfoil, Zebra mussels, blue/green algae, and water quality all potentially threaten this great lake and we need cooperation and expert attention – not politics – to maintain the lake. Its health and well-being affects everyone in our local area and I ask that people stay current on issues surrounding Candlewood Lake.
From the time I started on the BOS, people have asked me if the meetings could somehow be televised. It’s happened. Since November they have been videoed by an amazing young man named Nick Mastrocinque. The episodes air on Spectrum Community Vision and can be viewed by clicking here for the Jan 26, 2017 meeting.  I’d like to personally thank Nick for his volunteer efforts, which brings the Sherman BOS meetings into the comfort of your own home. Thanks Nick! And thank you readers for reading; please feel free to contact me at