Higher Fees at Waterford Beach; Teachers Drowning in Paperwork

A look at the week that was.

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…

Ron December 23, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I believe the increases to enter Waterford Beach to outsiders will spark a very large lawsuit from advocates who want the shoreline to be open to the public for free, or very low acceptable fees. This is how the rest of America treats its shoreline, This lawsuit will cost Waterford millions and spark advocates to bring bus loads of people from out of town and out of state to Waterford beach in protest. Waterford has an elist attitude thinking it is Palm Beach or Rodeo Drive rather than just a small town in CT. I think Waterford get this elist feeling because it receives hundreds of millions from Millstone since 1970, while bashing it every chance it gets, and for paying its town retirees more than the CEO of Fortune 500 companies. Waterford taxpayers should save their money because the lawsuit will begin shortly on the beach fee structure.
Luckyguy December 23, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I'm 100% in favor of raising the Waterford Beach rates for out-of-towners as well as for residents. I was born and raised on this beach and since the law allowing "all-comers" to the beach it has ruined the small beach atmosphere. It has also increased the tireless work of lifeguards- reminding people not to defecate (i have seen it all) in the dunes, walk through the dunes, dump garbage, liter cigarette butts etc...... in addition to watching out for people in the water. Upkeep to the fences and dunes are costly. The rates, as they are now, are dirt cheap so raising them to what other beaches charge for a carload of people is the right thing to do. Go to the movies or a baseball game for one day and this would pay for a minimum of 4 season passes. You can buy a large pizza and soft drinks but you can't buy a day at the beach--which is still less expensive. Give me a break!!! Anyone who thinks beach prices are high are downright cheap or completely ignorant.
Ron December 23, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Lucky Guy: I do agree that beaches are a great entertainment value. However In most parts of America beaches are FREE. California and Florida beaches and Texas beaches are free to the entire world to visit and enjoy. These beaches are nicer, cleaner, have better resat room facilities, and are not destroyed as Waterford residents keep saying. I would assume if the Waterford beach is being "destroyed" you have a very unique problem that should be investigated and addressed. If you go to Miami Beach, or Siesta Key beach ( whitest and cleanest sand in America) or Sanibel Island (sea shell capital of the country), or Captiva Island, or Naples Florida beaches, or any beaches in Florida or California they are pristine, there is zero litter, they are totally independent and unsupervised, and the people, both locals and visitors from around the world are well behaved. Thus something is very different in Waterford....
JmL December 23, 2012 at 05:40 PM
As a person that has lived on both coasts and beyond, having to PAY to visit the beach/ocean is ridiculous! Paying for parking? Yes. Paying a SMALL fee for up keep or lifeguards or trash removal, yes. But the out-of-town fee was already raised last year. Is the ocean only for those lucky enough to live in the coastal towns?? Ocean Beach can't hold the test of CT. If you want a small private beach, go to pleasure beach, or move to a neoghborhood that has its own private beach. I lived CA, HI and PR with its FREE beach access. And most of those beaches had life guards.
JmL December 23, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Rest* not test Neighborhoods* Hate typing on this phone lol
JmL December 23, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Lucky guy, do you know how much it is for non Waterford residents to access the beach? Whether daily use or a pass? Not cheap!
Ron December 23, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Lucky Guy doesn't think the beach access prices are high ???? Well Oprah Winfey, Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson do not think a Maserati, or Rolls Royce, or Gulfstream airplane, or mega mansion on their private islands is highly priced either. My guesses is Lucky Guy is either a CT State union worker with no money cares as his future is paid for and guaranteed by all CT private sector workers, or is a Waterford Town worker with no money worries as his future is guaranteed and paid for by all Waterford private sector workers, or really talks about but never goes to the beach and avoids the fees all together. You better hope Ned Coll who led a lawsuit 30 years ago of all CT beaches to allow the public to get in at the same price as town residents is not still active, because he will have Waterford tied up in court for the next 10 years.
Luckyguy December 23, 2012 at 09:55 PM
$10.00 a day for non Waterford Residents. You people are sooooooooooo cheap. I bet you don't go to the movies, or buy a pizza, a fill up your car with gas. I will sorry for your spouses and Children.
Luckyguy December 23, 2012 at 09:56 PM
You are another cheap skate. Your wife knows you are cheap too, if she hasn't left you already. Don't bother driving your AMC pacer to the beach.
Ron December 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Luckyguy: I drive an America car made by Ford because they did not beg for the Obama bailout, whereas with your money I would guess you drive a foreign car such as a Lexus, or Porsche or Bentley. My wife did not think I was cheap and routinely thought I was too generous, but regretfully she is deceased. Enjoy your beach to yourself and do your best to keep everyone else out as you so desire.
wtfdrez December 24, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Something is terribly wrong when we are using the state of California as an example for anything,
Luckyguy December 24, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Ron, I love and respect all beaches. I just think a few extra bucks to gain access is not asking a lot. $10.00 a carload is the best bargain in town. Come one, come all, but be prepared to pay a few extra dollars.


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