Joyce Young, president. The League vigorously advocated for the Town of Greenwich Charter to be amended under Section 66 to provide for the First Selectman review and revision of proposed town budgets and operation plans. The proposal was prepared by the Charter Revision Committee, appointed by the Board of Selectmen to implement the recommendations made by the League of Women Voters of Greenwich as a result of its in-depth study of the executive branch of Town government. We are pleased that this amendment passed. The League took an early lead in joining the Coalition to Combat Underage Drinking and co-sponsored several Coalition workshops.
The EPA designated 2003 as the "Year of Clean Water". Working in conjunction with the Greenwich Conservation Commission, the League organized a forum and workshop on stormwater pollution. Members of the League organized Greenwich High School students to "paint the town" catch basins with stencils that read "Don't Dump: Drains to Long Island Sound". Working with the Greenwich Conservation Commission and seven other community groups, the League organized a public forum at Town Hall entitled "How Well is Our Well Water: A Public Forum on the USGS Study of Greenwich Groundwater Supply". The League, working in partnership with the Bruce Museum, Greenwich Land Trust, and Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich, sponsored two presentations: "Sprawl, Smart Growth and Transportation Challenges in Connecticut" and "Transforming I-95 into CT's Growth Corridor". To celebrate Women's History Month we co-sponsored, with the Greenwich Historical Society, a one-woman show "Susan B. Anthony - The Invincible!", a lively depiction of the life and times of this remarkable suffragist. The LWVUS co-sponsored the "March for Women's Lives" in Washington, D.C., on April 25th. The LWVG co-sponsored (with Greenwich NOW and the Greenwich YWCA) bus transportation to the march. The bus was filled and many Greenwich residents traveled on their own to this historic march and rally of over one million women and their families.
Donna Nickitas, president. From July to December the League was led by an executive committee structure that shared leadership and decision-making responsibilities. By year's end Donna become President. In 2004-5 our new and improved website, www.lwvg.org, was launched. The League co-sponsored a "Pandemic Influenza Planning" program with the Greenwich Department of Health, Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich Library, and the Greenwich Chapter of the American Red Cross. A "Preserving our Communities' Trees" program was co-sponsored by LWVG, the Greenwich Conservation Commission, the League of Conservation Voters, the Bruce Museum, and other community organizations, which was designed to educate the public about the benefits and value of community trees, to highlight ways to protect those we feel are vulnerable. "Out In The Cold: A Serious Conversation About Housing", a community conversation, was co-sponsored by the LWVG, Commission on Aging, Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich Housing Authority, and the United Way of Greenwich. The presentation and panel discussion highlighted the current state of housing development and the challenges the Greenwich community faces as it moves forward and plans for its future housing needs.
The League held a very successful 85th Anniversary Celebration in October 2005. During the celebration, Senator Bill Nickerson and Representative Dolly Powers presented a Citation from the State of Connecticut to the League for our 85 years of service. We also received a Proclamation from the First Selectman's office. Thirteen past and current presidents were honored at the event.
An Ethics Study Committee was formed in the summer of 2006 after reviewing and analyzing various Connecticut municipal ethics codes, The State Model Code, the International Municipal Lawyers' Association Code, and other prominent codes. The Committee compared these documents and the State League's Ethics Position with those provisions set forth in Greenwich's Ethics Code, and interviewed over one dozen Town Officers, including past and present Board of Ethics members.
In 2007 the League of Women Voters of Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation Study was completed and consensus was reached to support a) choice in electing the BET, b) staggering terms, and c) election of chair and vice-chair by BET members. The League became involved in an extensive community outreach and voter education program, "Stop, Look, and Listen", to provide in-depth education on the new voting machines for the State of Connecticut.
The first League forum entitled "The First Sixty Days of the New Administration" was held in Jannuary 2008 to welcome the newly-elected town administration and to learn about accomplishments and intentions.
Naomi Schiff Myers, president. There are four innovations that occurred during this two-year period: The Mary Award was created and named in honor of two exceptional League members (Mary Sullivan and Mary Lou Woods) who had not received the recognition they deserved during their lifetimes. This award is to be given annually to a League member who has made outstanding contributions to the League and to the community. The first award was given in 2009 to Annette Fox and Dodie Blanche, and the 2010 award was given to Jara Burnett. A trophy is engraved with the recipient's name each year to maintain an historical record. We won special recognition from the LWVCT for our new improved website. Information from the binder-style Member Handbook can now be easily accessed and updated as needed. In order to maintain privacy, only a Membership Directory will be periodically mailed to each household. During election time the Voter's Guide is posted. Archived issues of the Greenwich Voter, annual reports, by-laws, positions, mission statements, history, etc., as well as contact information for elected and appointed officials and numerous links to other important sites, are easily accessed. We held a Building Green House tour event that was not only a fundraiser but also a vehicle for educating participants about alternative-energy options. The Board intends to hold similar events in future years. The Ethics study was brought to concurrence in 2009 and a position statement developed. An educational campaign and advocacy efforts were implemented to amend and revise the Town of Greenwich Code of Ethics and to improve the Town's procedures for administration and enforcement.