Constitution Park will be the name of Madison's newest park, the selectmen announced at Monday morning's Board of Selectmen meeting.
Selectman Joe MacDougald said that many names were contemplated but that, in the end, the town decided to go with a name that focused on the town's heritage, rather than naming it after a specific individual.
MacDougald said the name was particularly appropriate for the park, because the park itself is a testament to how a small group of people can mobilize to take action. He noted that the decision to purchase the park was the subject of a "democratic vote."
"It's a neutral name, but it's a solid name," he said.
Selectman Al Goldberg noted that the name of the park is a tribute to James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, after whom the town is named.
"He wasn't just a president," Goldberg said. "He was considered by many to be the father of the Constitution ... the document by which the U.S. government operates."
Goldberg noted that, after the Constitution was drafted, that some felt it was missing some important elements relating to the protection of personal liberties. And so Madison helped to draft the Bill of Rights. "James Madison is considered the author of those 10 protections by which we enjoy our liberty," Goldberg said. "He is also the father of the Bill of Rights."
Goldberg said the town "creates a wonderful teaching moment" by naming the town Constitution Park.
The selectmen left open the option that specific elements of the park might be named as well, in the future.
Also at the meeting, First Selectman Fillmore McPherson introduced Cecelia Martinez, who will be covering Madison and Guilford for the New Haven Register. Martinez replaces Alexandra Sanders, who used to cover Madison and several other towns before being assigned to cover New Haven.
In other action at the meeting, the selectmen appointed Nancy Martucci as acting town clerk. Following the meeting McPherson said that the town had accepted the resignation of Madison Town Clerk Rose Lodice. Lodice was hired Nov. 21, 2011. McPherson said Lodice resigned "for personal reasons."
Also at the meeting the selectmen:
- proclaimed April "Donate Life Connecticut Month," and encourage people to consider becoming organ donors
- waived a building permit fee for an Eagle Scout project at the First Congregational Church
- called a public hearing on the preliminary Town and Board of Education budget as recommended by the Board of Finance on Monday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Polson School
- discussed the planned replacement of a small bridge on Horsepond Road over Huzzle Guzzle Bridge. The state Department of Transportation will be doing the replacement, since it is a state road, and the work is tentatively scheduled to take place from spring through the fall of 2014
- authorized the First Selectman to apply for a targeted Historic Document Preservation Program Grant from the Connecticut State Library
- authorized the continued use of attorney John Watts for the collection of delinquent real estate taxes. Town officials said Watts has an 100 percent success rate and has helped the town recover more than $200,000 in taxes, at no cost to the town
- agreed to a salary increase for Joseph Petrella, senior services supervisor, upon his successful completion of his six-month probationary period
- approved a modification of a special appropriation for the
- approved line transfers totaling $83,196
- approved the job description for the zoning enforcement officer as recommended by the job evaluation committee. The selectmen also approved the removal of "acting" from Acting Zoning Enforcment Officer John De Laura's title, making him the zoning enforcment officer. The selectmen noted that the Planning & Zoning Commission would have to take the same action for it to be official.