It was my privilege last week to be on the HART bus as it made its rounds starting at the center of Town (with its own beautiful decorations) from one end of New Fairfield to the other to view the ten homes that entered the New Fairfield Light Fight. Mix cold weather and early dark with holiday spirit, creativity, enthusiasm, and lots of lights and inflatables and you get many beautifully decorated homes. The experience was inspiring.
Every home we visited had its own story. One home featured a cut-out Santa hand-painted in youth and saved and put up every year for decades. In another instance, a seven-year old collected lights from his babysitter, grandmother, and others and helped his father design their wonderful display. One man claimed he was the “ninja decorator,” out at 2:00 AM many mornings adding to his creative display using PVC poles and 9000 lights. A number of families have put up a display for years, keeping older vintage decorations, but adding a little more each year. One home featured over 30 inflatables, with more on the way. The winning display was a computer-supported display of music and lights that is guaranteed to wow you. Every display was a labor of love.
Some of these homes are in the parts of New Fairfield hardest hit by the May 15th storm. That we could have gotten this far in six short months is a testament to people’s determination to move forward and the positive attitude and resilience of New Fairfield as a community.
Pat Del Monaco and I have been in office for a little over a year. When you run for office for the first time, you never know quite what to expect. For me, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive, even the hard period after the May 15 storm. The long hours and worry during that time were counterbalanced by watching the community rise to the challenge of taking care of others as well as their own.
In addition to dealing with the storm, Pat and I have worked hard to open up Town government and make it more responsive to your concerns. We’ve encouraged new events (like the Light Fight and Sip and Stroll) and provided resources for new programs (like the Health program at the Senior Center). We’ve worked collaboratively with the Board of Education and Board of Finance on school safety and security needs. We’ve actively supported the Candlewood Lake Authority in its mission to protect the Lake.
I have enjoyed getting to know many of you for the first time as I spend time out and about in the community, whether it’s a chance meeting at Johnny’s or Stop and Shop or your comments during my Listening Hours at the Library or a Board of Selectmen meeting. I have greatly appreciated the challenge of the conversations and debates we have initiated in Board of Selectmen meetings on blight, the docks, economic development, storm clean-up, and other issues – and look forward to many more in the year ahead.
As this year draws to a close, I thank you for the opportunity to work for you. I wish you and your families Happy Holidays and look forward to working with you on next year’s challenges. Be sure to go see the wonderful light displays at the ten homes that competed – and at the other homes in the area that decorated but did not enter. It really is a magical time of year.
(The ten homes that competed in the Light Fight are: 20 Old Farm Road, 4 Great Meadow Road, 5 Wanzer Hill Road, 31 Westview Trail, 6 East Lake Road, 9 Charcoal Ridge Road West, 237 Ball Pond Road, 17 Darien Road, 91 Pine Hill Road and Walnut Ridge Road.)
– Khris Hall, Selectman