Minutes October 5, 2016


Minutes of Meeting October 5, 2016

The Depot, 25 Heights Road

In Attendance:  Karla Coe, Carolyn Bayne, Nancy Cahoon, Mary Genco, Sue Okie, Clara Sartori, Kate Larson, Molly Myers, Susan Spain, Enid Oresman, Taylor Carter, Adele Conniff, Laurie Williamson.

Call to order:  Co-President Clara Sartori called the meeting to order at 9:35 am. Two more volunteers are needed to help with monthly minutes, so each of four members covers two meetings per year.

Observer Corps Light:  Stephanie Anderson, Darien Library Assistant Director for Public Services, discussed and gathered input for the Library’s 2017-2020 community oriented strategic plan.  The input process is targeted for August through October, after which a one page plan will be produced by the end of 2016.  Questions on which input is being gathered among various community groups are:

What is your organization working on right now?

What will be different and what will be the same about Darien in 2020? 2026?

What challenges will Darien face over the next ten years?

What does Darien do well?

What opportunities will the community have in the next ten years?

What concerns do you have about the next ten years in Darien?


Current LWV priorities  included:  …education of voters and encouragement of public service …promoting civil discussion …presentation of topical events …voter registration support, generally, and at Darien High School.

Future trends and/or concerns included:   …shortage of meeting rooms with low or no fee, especially those equipped with audio/video …the likely necessity of developing ways to deal remotely with members …the future of membership, given limits on availability (due partially to increase in women with young families who work full-time at home?)  …the future of the role as citizens of the community, given apparent lack of interest in or understanding of how local governance works  …ways the Library could assist groups such as ours to spread awareness of and information about what it means to be an active, informed voter and citizen ….lack of community bulletin board was noted (Library location does not seem placed for maximum viewing).

Challenges and/or opportunities included:  …redevelopment  …changing demographics  …growth prospects for Grand List and impact on future taxation and tax base  …maintaining quaint New England feel to our town …importance of robust down-town area …need for civics teaching and ongoing recruitment of RTM members  …possibly developing ways to educate local employees about our town  …connectivity   …teens do not believe they will be able financially to return here to raise families  …water conservation  …Ziegler property development  …additional (adjacent?) Library parking.

Darien does well at:  sports, finance, Library, parks and recreation offerings, supporting individuals with needs, raising money for worthy causes, retaining many people over time.

In ten years:  perhaps there will be new sidewalks, more power lines buried, more conversation about affordable housing, and re-imagining the high school.  Sports likely to remain same.  Stress levels unpredictable!

Everyone’s input is truly welcome.  Please contact Stephanie directly at Library during office hours or e-mail sanderson@ darienlibrary.org.

Treasurer’s Report:  In absence of Anstiss Agnew, Kate Larson distributed “Darien League of Women Voters-2016-2017 Financial Statement,”  updated through August and September, to show comparison against budget.  Program revenues/expenses should be finalized soon for Fall Kick Off Program at Wee Burn Beach Club.  Deficit should be expected until offset by revenues from upcoming membership solicitation  and Finance Drive.                                                                                                                                                                              Membership:  Molly Myers distributed copies of a Darien LWV letter that newly combines annual solicitations for both membership and our Finance Drive .  The goal has been to simplify and streamline this process.  She and Clara Sartori plan to give a short presentation to the CDSP at their October 6 meeting.  She asked members to stay after meeting, or to pick up letters (and related mailing pieces) for at-home preparation, personalization, and mailing.

Fall Kick Off Program Recap (“It’s an Election” dinner and talk by WNPR commentator Colin McEnroe), Thursday, September 22, Wee Burn Beach Club:  Karla Coe reviewed event, noting that Colin McEnroe had been very generous with his time (including Q&A).  She thanked all who had helped:  Arlene Tulacro, Mary Ellen Moore, Deepika Saksena, Sandy McDonnell, and other Board members.  She hopes to have a major speaker address the recent State judicial decision on education funding.  Members recommended avoiding certain dates for this event (CDSP on 11/3, Election Day 11/8, Veterans Day 11/11).  Karla also is looking into co-sponsorship, perhaps with Library or CDSP.

Candidates Night:  Nancy Cahoon discussed arrangements for Tuesday, October 25, 7 PM, Town Hall Auditorium.  All Darien State Legislative candidates (House Districts 141, 143; Senate Districts 25 and 27) are expected to attend except Green Party candidate Cora Marie Santaguida (Senate District 27).  Several Darien Town officials are not challenged, and one-half of our RTM is to be elected on November 8.

Voters Guide:  Mary Genco is arranging publication in Darien Times (hard copy) Thursday, 11/3.  On-line will be available at lwv.darien.org.  Mary reviewed slight revision to Board of Education question, with no objections.  She reminded all about  LWV policy about partisanship–please check with her  if any questions.  When the Town Clerk has the ballot, Mary will talk with her about possibility of including sample ballot in LWV material to be published.

DHS Voter Registration Drive: Clara Sartori thanked all who volunteered.  Many new high school voters registered.

Food for Thought:  Karla Coe noted that most recent discussion subject was “How Did We Get Here?  Presidential Candidates 2016”.   Next meeting is October 20, 12:30-2 PM, hosted by Ann Ferris, 30 Hale Lane.

Archives: Enid Oresman thanked the Town Registrars for locating storage space for six boxes of Darien LWV archives.

Approval of September 7, 2016 Meeting Minutes: There being one spelling change, on motion by Mary Genco, seconded by Karla Coe, members unanimously approved these Minutes, as amended, with many thanks to Susan Spain as Co-Secretary.

Save the Dates: Friday, December 9, HOLIDAY PARTY, hosted by Callie Sullivan, with live “Capitol Steps”-like political satire entertainment.  Let Gwen Mogenson know if you can write lyrics or sing!

Saturday, October 22, 9 AM – 12:30 PM, LWVCT Education Fund Fall Conference “Follow the Money, Money in Politics,” Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk.

Sunday, October 23, 5-6:30 PM, 4th Congressional District Debate, Wilton High School Clune Auditorium, 395 Danbury Road (Route 7), Wilton.  Incumbent Jim Himes (D) vs. John Shaban (R).  Free and open to the public.

Monday, October 24, World Affairs Forum, U.Conn-Stamford.  Contact Clara Sartori for more information.

Adjournment:  On motion by Enid Oresman, seconded by Karla Coe, all voted to adjourn at 11:15 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Laurie Williamson, Co-Secretary