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.