Letters: Opposed to lighting regulation change

The Bulletin received the following letters regarding proposed lighting regulation changes last week.

Each letter represents the opinion of only those people whose signatures appear directly below an individual note.

Rude behavior a poor example

The front-page headline of The Wilton Bulletin issue of Oct. 31, “Civility lacking at public hearing,” on the proposal to install stadium lights at Middlebrook School Field, could not have been more on target. The article accurately noted that while “proponents of the regulation change were afforded the right to deliver statements in front of a civil audience, those who spoke in opposition were not given the same luxury” (emphasis added).

The article also made clear that “many of those in opposition to the plan were met with consistent taunts from members of the audience in support of the regulation change.” As one of the speakers opposing the plan, I can attest to the incivility and rudeness I experienced.

It is more than ironic, and is important to note, that in the same week of the Oct. 28 hearing, the athletic director of Wilton High School, Chris McDougal, felt compelled to issue a statement to the school community, including parents as well as students, in which he, too, focused on the subject of lack of civility. Apparently he was responding to bad behavior at certain school games.

“There have been far too many situations in which athletes exhibit good sportsmanship while the adults in the stands and on the sidelines let their emotions take control and exhibit behaviors of anger and aggression,” he wrote.

“Parents, please remember, your children may not always listen to you, but they are always watching you! Please model good sportsmanship for them. … Do not yell at or against their opponents.”

Fanatical fervor demeans respectful and appropriate human conduct, whether at a public hearing or a sporting event. That kind of behavior sets a pathetic example for our kids. Wilton has been known to be better.

Woodson Duncan

Middlebrook Farm Road

80-foot lights not needed

On Monday night, Oct. 28, we attended the hearing before the Planning & Zoning Commission about erecting 80-foot light poles.

We were surprised and appalled by the behavior of the light pole lobby.

While everyone remained quiet during the presentations of the proponents, the opponents were interrupted and ridiculed and the attempts to control the unruly behavior were ineffective.

We would like to restate our opposition to this project. The proposed posts will waste energy, create light pollution when lit and look plain ugly when turned off — not in line with the character of our town and probably not favorable for our property values either.

Wilton has worked hard to preserve its rural character. This is what attracts people to move to Wilton, living in this beautiful town and still be close to New York City.

Wilton has also been a leader in saving energy. Putting up these monster light poles certainly works against these efforts.

As a small town, Wilton certainly does not need stadium-size lighting, just so some megalomaniacs have bigger poles than neighboring towns.

We hope that the commission will keep in mind that only a minority will benefit from this project, while all of us will have to foot the bill.

Edith and Detlef Fuhrmann

Mountain Road

Hulse should step aside

You could call it a tale of two coaches, Dan Falta and Chris Hulse, assistants on the same sixth grade team on which each has a son in Wilton Youth Lacrosse.

Both are active in town affairs. Mr. Falta is a member of the Wilton Inland Wetlands Commission, Mr. Hulse is the vice chairman of the Wilton Planning & Zoning Commission. Both firmly support the construction of 70- or 80-foot stadium lights and placement of artificial turf at the Middlebrook School. Here’s where they diverge.

When the Inland Wetlands Commission received an application for a permit to install the turf and lights, Mr. Falta recognized his dilemma: Should he vote on an issue where he had a personal stake as a father and coach or recuse himself because of an obvious conflict of interest? He took the honorable step. He chose the way a man of integrity would decide. He recused himself.

Not so Mr. Hulse. His support of and advocacy for the lights and turf before a vote is taken is clear to any objective observer who has paid attention to his Perry Mason-like questioning of the position of the opponents at the Sept. 23 hearing. He, too, like Mr. Falta, would be seen caught in the horns of a dilemma. He, however, has chosen to respond differently. At the Oct. 28 hearing, asked if he should recuse himself, Mr. Hulse answered in the negative. The honorable road for him is the one less traveled.

By his example, Mr. Falta has shown young people, including his son, the meaning of integrity. He has seized the moment to teach them a worthy life lesson.

Anthony F. LoFrisco

Cider Mill Place