New council elects officers

The newly formed Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WCCOG), formed by the merger of the South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA, to which Wilton belonged) and the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials (HVCEO), held its second meeting at Wilton town hall on Thursday, Nov. 20. The group plans to rotate meeting places among the 18 member towns until a permanent centralized location is found.

Officers were elected at the Nov. 20 meeting. Democrat Matt Knickerbocker, first selectman of Bethel and former chairman of HVCEO, was elected chairman. Republican Jayme Stevenson, first selectman of Darien, will be vice chairman. Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein, a Democrat, was elected treasurer. And Republican Susan Chapman, first selectman of New Fairfield, will serve as secretary.

Ms. Weinstein said the council decided to continue SWRPA’s tradition of “alternating” Democrats and Republicans in the elected seats. She was quick to add, however, “We have never found partisan politics plays a part [at the regional planning meetings]. I feel confident that will continue.”

The council discussed a short list of primary concerns it would like to focus on to start, including affordable housing, prevailing wage, and the need to protect watershed areas.