To the Editor:

Some will be surprised that the topic of this letter is not about whether John Pettibone School should or should not become a community or town agency center, but rather about the need for proper procedures to be followed under the New Milford Charter, the Plan of Conservation and Development and good general municipal practice.

The Town Council voted in November 2015 to leave the appointment of members to a JPS subcommittee to the incoming administration.

The subcommittee was to be made up of residents with building and renovation experience and tradespeople who would assess and obtain costs for a completed renovation of the building and bring that information to the Council and public-at-large for discussion and possible action.

The incoming administration subsequently decided that no subcommittee was needed.

We continue to respectfully disagree with that decision.

With no renovation specifications, no timetable and no experienced professional oversight, we fear over-spending and the potential for a renovation that may not be up to town standards.

We believe that if the public wants JPS to become a community center, the job should be done to ensure the building is usable for the next 50 years and beyond.

To ensure that any work performed at JPS is done in an efficient and economical manner there needs to be a near-term and long-term forecast of costs as well as clearly defined parameters of who is responsible for the building and its upkeep and where the funding for maintenance will be found in town budgets.

We both have been honored to serve on various boards and commissions over the years and we feel privileged to have been given the trust of our neighbors to serve on the Town Council.

As council members, we feel a responsibility to request that the public be provided a comprehensive plan of action for JPS that includes work to be done and the resources to be used for expenditures.

If, indeed, the residents of New Milford want a new use for JPS their decision needs to be made with full knowledge of all aspects of the project, including the cost impact on their taxes.

Our request for clarity is not based on politics but on providing the citizens of our community what they need to make an informed decision.

Pete Bass

Katy Francis

Members

New Milford Town Council