RTM Spotlight: Summertime gas leaf blower restrictions  

Newsletter Volume 2 • Number 32

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This coming Tuesday is a big day for Greenwich. The town legislature, the Representative Town Meeting, and its newly elected representatives to the 230 member body will be sworn in. They will then quickly find themselves immersed in a controversial topic that’s been on the table since last October—whether to restrict summertime use of gas leaf blowers.

The proposal was brought to the RTM by a grassroots group, Quiet Yards Greenwich, to give residents a break from gas leaf blower noise and air pollution. The Board of Health threw a wrench into a planned RTM vote last December, when it repealed the town’s noise ordinance days before the meeting, apparently upset over which body should control such measures. The surprise move left the Board of Selectmen scrambling, because without an ordinance, state noise rules prevail. First Selectman Fred Camillo called on Board of Health chair Joel Muhlbaum to resign (who, to date, has not.)

On Tuesday the RTM will vote on whether to reinstate the noise ordinance under the auspices of the Board of Selectmen, and may also take up the summer gas leaf blower ban. Advocates have amended their original proposal after meeting with landscapers, pushing back a May 1st start date to the Friday before Memorial Day. They also added a one year grace period on enforcement of fines, to address landscaper concerns.

A number of amendments are pending, some intended to bury the ban, out of concern for everything from property rights to landscaper hardship.

If passed, Greenwich would join over 200 communities nationwide, most recently Norwalk and Westport, looking to reduce air pollution, noise, and improve quality of life, while lowering a significant source of carbon emissions.


Democratic caucuses elect town party members

Diehard Democrats gathered throughout town during the storms this week to endorse the 100 voting members who will oversee the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee (GDTC). It’s an obscure, biennial event that is often lightly attended (and little understood), but carries significant import for the success of the party in winning elections. It is these party members who endorse Democratic candidates for office.

The GDTC counts on the energy and engagement of our members for our success, and we don’t think you need reminding that 2024 is shaping up to be a pivotal year. Even though members have been endorsed, you can still have an outsized impact on what we do by becoming an associate GDTC member. Please reach out to us at contact@greenwichdemocrats.org. And join us for our GDTC regular meeting January 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room. 101 Field Point Road. The public is invited.

Central Middle School Building Committee Community Engagement Forum – January 17

The state of our public schools was a top issue in the recent local elections, and ongoing planning for a new Central Middle School remains hotly debated. Now the school building committee has invited all members of the Greenwich community to a public engagement forum Wednesday, January 17 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. Representatives from the building committee and the team’s project professionals will be in attendance to share the building and campus design.

Help send GPS eighth graders to D.C.

Travel is expensive, especially for an eighth-grader. Many families in town can’t afford the $809 price tag to send their kids on the right-of-passage trip to our nation’s capital, so the Greenwich Alliance for Education offers financial aid to all families who have a need. Join the alliance and the Greenwich Public Schools 8th grade DC Trip Fundraising Committee at Dancing for DC, a live band fundraiser on Friday, January 19 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Old Greenwich Social Club. Here’s where you can buy tickets.

Volume 2, Number 32 • January 11, 2024
Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836