Democracy alive and well in Falls Village

Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas, right, and Falls Village First Selectman Dave Barger. Thomas congratulated Falls Village for having the highest voter turnout (68.7%) in the 2023 election in the small town category, and in the state overall.

Patrick L. Sullivan

Democracy alive and well in Falls Village

FALLS VILLAGE — Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas visited Falls Village Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 30, to bestow upon the town the Municipal Democracy Challenge Cup for the best voter turnout (68.7%) in the small town category in the 2023 election.

Keen questioning from Lou Timolat elicited the fact that Falls Village’s turnout was, in fact, the best in the state.

First Selectman Dave Barger thanked Thomas for the recognition and the town’s election officials for their efforts.

Thomas told the crowd of some 40 people that the voter turnout award has been around for about 25 years, but was given out in even-numbered years, when Connecticut holds state and federal elections.

She decided to expand the award to municipal elections as well.

The original cups were donated by a private citizen of some means, and were large and expensive, Thomas said.

That meant towns had to give them back after their two years were up, to pass on to the next winner.

This is not the case with the more modest cups given out this year.

“You get to keep these,” Thomas said with a grin.

Latest News

Top seed Thomaston eliminates HVRHS from Berkshires tourney

Mia Dodge looked for offensive opportunities against Thomaston’s dominant defense in the Berkshire League semifinal game.

Riley Klein

WASHINGTON — Thomaston High School girls basketball defeated Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) 53-25 in the Berkshire League tournament semifinals Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The defending champion Golden Bears advanced to the championship for a rematch of last year’s title game against Northwestern, which defeated Gilbert 61-44 in the semifinal match prior to the HVRHS/Thomaston game.

Keep ReadingShow less
Town planning to assume responsibility for local cemeteries

KENT — After months of consideration of disbanding the Kent Cemetery Association, the Board of Selectmen reviewed a nearly final draft of a new cemetery ordinance at a special workshop meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6.

If the new ordinance is approved at a town meeting, the town would take on responsibility for Kent’s six cemeteries, disbanding the association.

Keep ReadingShow less
Falls Village adopts new POCD

FALLS VILLAGE — The Board of Selectmen approved the new Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) at a special meeting Tuesday, Feb. 13, which was held in person and online.

The selectmen and the Board of Finance both held special meetings Feb. 13 because the regular meeting date of Monday, Feb. 12, was the Lincoln’s Birthday holiday.

Keep ReadingShow less
Banned Book Awards champions children’s right to read
Judy Blume connected digitally at the ceremony and was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Alexander Wilburn

There can be no question that democratic freedoms are currently being attacked and restricted in the United States, and somehow, children and the information they have access to have been the ongoing targets of attack.

As AP News reported in 2023: “More than 1,200 challenges were compiled in 2022, nearly double the then-record total from 2021 and by far the most since the American Library Association began keeping data 20 years ago.” Conservative groups across the country have become well-organized machines harassing individual public and school librarians with threats of legal and violent action. The message from these groups, often supported by government leaders, is that children should not have access to books — books meant for young readers — that engage with topics of race, gender or sexual identity.

Keep ReadingShow less