Rotary Club
of East Hartford
  High Gear

Volume74/ Issue 39, March 24, 2021

It was a balmy 80 degrees here in FL. Not something anyone else on the Zoom meeting wanted to hear, but I thought it good to document that here. The usual group showed up early to chew the fat. We had 22 members today, as well as a (for now) visitor.  Lori Goeckler is a former member, recently moved back to East Hartford and would like to rejoin the club. Welcome back Lori!
Shout out to Ceil and Ruthie, feel better soon!
President Bob rang the bell at the appointed time to start the meeting. He recited the pledge, skipped the invocation and admonished us all to be nice to Lori. For caring moments, Ceil Collins is back home, and her restrictions have been lifted. She was attending the meeting today and gave us an update on Ruth Sheehan. Ruthie has another appointment scheduled for Friday, so let’s all send good thoughts her way.
Scholarships, socks and yard duty in our future
Scholarship update: The application has been distributed to the school guidance counselors and is also posted on our club web site. Press releases announcing the availability are going out to the Courant and Journal Inquirer. So far, the process is going well. All applications need to be returned by April 7, so if you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pass the word.
Current Projects: Anwar is coordinating upcoming Foodshare activities, as well as soliciting sock donations from companies for benefit of people that are in shelters. We are trying to coordinate a yard cleanup for seniors’ activity soon. There is a youth group eager to help, but we need to get it coordinated with the town. 
Connor masters town budget
Our speaker today was our own Connor Martin. As a town council member, he is heavily involved in helping to develop the town budget and gave us a fantastic presentation on where the money comes from and where it goes out to. Highlights from his presentation include the grant of $37M to the town as part of the American Rescue Plan. 67% of the town’s revenue comes from taxes, most of which are collected from residents. The council is looking to shift some of that burden onto local businesses. For the first time in a long time the mill rate went down. Not by much, but any movement in a downward direction is better than the alternative. Total budgeted expenses are $201,073,106 for 2021. Almost half of that goes to the schools. Connor reminded us that even though our taxes are high compared to other towns in the area, East Hartford is a full-service town. We have our own Police and Fire departments, trash and leaf collection, snow removal and many other services. 
The town also passed a resolution declaring that racism is a public health crisis. East Hartford has a much better record on things like police brutality complaints than do other towns. The police have a good relationship with the population and are very involved in the community. There were more complaints about treatment in the schools than about the police. The town directors and the entire police department have either been through Diversity Training or are scheduled. The town is developing a pilot program that should provi
Wes Willett
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