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Town Officials Apologize to Hurd Ave. Neighbors

The town engineer missed a meeting due to "human error", but he and the first selectman have already spoken to residents and the engineer offered to do house visits to address concerns on a roundabout proposed for the Route 110-111 intersection.

Twenty-two residents living in the Hurd Avenue neighborhood responding to invitations to an informational meeting on a state-proposed roundabout at the intersection of routes 110-111 were miffed Tuesday night, when no officials showed up. On Wednesday morning, First Selectman Steve Vavrek and Town Engineer Scott Schatzlein apologized for the mistake and promised to reschedule the meeting for a date in September.

The neighbors were invited to Tuesday's meeting in letters sent to their homes on Hurd Avenue, Lois Circle, Ruth Street, Jeannette Street, Stillmeadow Circle and Shelton Road on June 19.

Vavrek and Schatzlein spoke to residents on the phone Wednesday morning and Schatzlein even promised to visit the homes of people who cannot attend the next meeting to answer their questions about the state proposal.

"It was an error by the town engineer, who set up a meeting and didn't follow his own calendar," Vavrek said during an interview in his office. "I can assure you this will never happen again and the meeting will be rescheduled through the first selectman's office in September."

"I apologize for their inconvenience," he added of neighbors who showed up for Tuesday's meeting. "I respect everybody's time. I've already spoken to several of the neighbors on the phone and I will be calling each person who's name is on the list individually."

The first selectman said the state will be invited to the next meeting for a full presentation.

Schatzlein's office released this statement:

I would like to clarify the confusion about a meeting that was scheduled for last night 7-31-12.

Unfortunately, due to human error, the Town Engineer did not have the meeting scheduled on his calendar and therefore was not in attendance.

The meeting was to be an informational meeting with just immediate residents of Hurd Avenue. This was not a public meeting, no public notices were issued/required, and the State was not scheduled to be in attendance.

The purpose of the meeting was just to gain information from the immediate residents on their thoughts with regards to a few options for treatment of the intersection of Hurd Avenue with Route 110.

This was viewed as a very positive issue, since it was an opportunity to gather input from the residents prior to the start of even the earliest of design process by the State. It should be noted that the State suggested this meeting and indicated that it would best be handled on a local level before they become involved in design.

It is unfortunate that the article in Patch has put a negative spin on this issue, since the goal at this point is to offer apologies for the error, move on, and get back to the task at hand.

The meeting is currently being rescheduled, and the Town Engineer is making himself available to meet with any resident at their home if they are unable to attend the rescheduled meeting.

The Town would like to request that Patch assist with this type of issue in the future by first calling and getting the facts. In fact, in this case it would have been very useful to offer this response information to the public as a means of quickly and efficiently addressing the matter, and helping to get things back on track.

Mansfield August 01, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Looks like Vavrek always has to blame someone. The buck stops anywhere but Vavreks office.
D. Sickles August 01, 2012 at 03:55 PM
A meeting was scheduled for these residents. Vavrek and the town engineer fail to show up. Now Vavrek is blaming Patch?????
jim laguardia August 01, 2012 at 04:11 PM
How dare the patch print such a thing????
QWERTY August 01, 2012 at 05:10 PM
So we trust Schatzlein to successfully "engineer" the town but he can't even manage Outlook?
Joey August 01, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Thank you Patch for reporting the news! It is outrageous that Mr. Vavrek thinks he can tell the press what their jobs are and what they should and should not report on. Maybe Mr. Vavrek should read the book 1984. He may relate to the Thought Police and the Ministry of Truth.
Centrist August 01, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Yes, how dare Patch report the news! It's such a shame that the "lame-stream" media has taken to reporting with integrity and factual information. Monroe, please, for yours and your neighbor's sake, please vote out these incompetent clowns come the next election. Any official who shirks off responsibility to a third party is undeserving of office, and given the length of the ever growing list of fowl-ups with this administration, another term would have a severe detrimental effect on this communities stability.
Bill Bittar (Editor) August 01, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Just to clarify, the statement in italics in the article is from the Town Engineer's Office, not from the first selectman who had no problem with the story.
Donna Gail August 01, 2012 at 07:21 PM
The Patch article did not put a "negative spin" on the situation. The negative was that no one remembered to notify the neighbors that the meeting was postponed! This was the Town's fault, not the Patch. And Vavrek DOES always have to blame someone else - that's one of the few things he's very good at.
Rt25 August 01, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Mr. Town Engineer, when you were notified the town administration was not at the meeting, why didn't you get into your vehicle and get to that meeting? Or, if you were busy, why didn't you call one of your many many many staff employees to get over there and cover for you? Tell me why you did not do that? And, you know what, Mr. Town Engineer, just who the hell do you think you are addressing and who the hell do you think you are?
Joey August 02, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Can't imagine why there are over 20 lawsuits against the town with these genius's in charge. The previous administration had 2 lawsuits, Mr. Vavrek breaks the record with over 20.
Gerald M. Gaynor August 02, 2012 at 11:03 AM
The decision to use a roundabout rather than a traffic light isn't a partisan one. It is a bad idea that transcends party affiliation and defies common sense. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the proposed solution to a problem (that was previously dismissed as being nonexistent) ought to result in a condition better than the one it was intended to fix. The roundabout will make a bad situation worse; and not just for the residents in the immediate vicinity.
Citizen August 02, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Hey Joey, I've got a great idea; why don't you contact the RTC about filling the empty seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission? With your wealth of knowledge on all subjects you'd be a wonderful asset to the community. Show us how things should be done.
Laura August 02, 2012 at 07:21 PM
HERE HERE!!! Once again European Vacation with Chevy Chase comes to mind - Monroe does not need a round about...people drive so poorly in town - they have NO clue how to procede through a 4-way stop (right of way) that this will be even worse - and all those big trucks that go through there...make it a stop light - just because its free doesn't make it better!!!
Peg August 03, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Patch is the problem? Backhanded apology's really bother me.
Alex August 03, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I'm probably in the minority on this but I actually like rotaries. Not sure if it's practical for that intersection but I find them generally easier to navigate; however I also drove around cape cod a lot so I got use to them pretty quickly.

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