Jul 25, 2014

Higher Fees at Waterford Beach; Teachers Drowning in Paperwork

A look at the week that was.

Higher Fees at Waterford Beach; Teachers Drowning in Paperwork

I know, it is almost Christmas and everybody is thinking about the duck for Christmas dinner and the BB gun they asked Santa for. But stay with me, at least for the length of this article, as there was some important news this week. I promise.

The most well read story of the week and the most discussed, particularly on our Facebook page, was about the Recreation and Parks Commission’s proposal to increase the fees at Waterford Beach. Despite Recreation and Parks Director Brian Flaherty being against the increases, the group voted to increase fees, particularly to out-of-towners. The Waterford Representative Town Meeting still has to approve the increases.

On Sunday evening, the Waterford Youth Services Bureau held an open house where they showed off the presents for the 104 Waterford families that were “adopted” by people and organizations for Christmas. For the program, 104 anonymous needy Waterford families were “adopted” by members of the community for Christmas, which means they were given presents and food for the holiday.

On Thursday at the Board of Education meeting, there was some discussion on a new evaluation system for teachers and administrators Waterford is piloting this year, before it is mandated out to all districts next year. Teachers, board members, administrators and the superintendent all agreed the evaluation was a lot of paperwork, with some saying that work was taking away time that could otherwise be spent focusing on children.

On Wednesday, we had a story about the murder of Christopher Schmeller, whose body was found 10 years ago in Waterford at the former Waterford Airport property. The case remains unsolved, and Waterford police officers are trying to get the word out about the murder again, in a hope that new information comes forward.

Of course, there was still spillover from horrible tragedy at Newtown, as this was the first week of school since the shooting that left 26 victims dead. Waterford’s schools reacted by having police at the schools all week, although Superintendent Jerome Belair said that he would not have a police officer at every school permanently. This was the topic of great discussion on Waterford Patch’s Facebook page, with many parents still reeling from the tragedy hoping that police would be at every school all the time.

In other news, Waterford’s longtime public works director has one more week on the job, Dominion is opening another power plant in Connecticut, Waterford and a man who was convicted earlier this year for killing a Waterford woman will not face trial for another murder. O, and then there was that quarter-of-a-billion dollar cut…

Don’t miss updates from Patch!