PLYMOUTH - The Town Council voted Wednesday to approve Briana Brumaghim as the new Parks and Recreation director. She resigned from the Board of Finance to accept this position.
Gerard Bourbonniere, chair of the Parks and Recreation Board, said Michael Ganem, Brumaghim’s predecessor, resigned in May to accept a Parks and Recreation director position in Southbury. In July, Bourbonniere and Mayor David Merchant interviewed four candidates for the position. Brumaghim served as interim Parks director during this time. Bourbonniere said that she did an “outstanding job.”
“I want to thank the Parks and Recreation Board and the Town Council for their confidence in me,” said Brumaghim.
Merchant said Brumaghim “will be missed” on the Board of Finance.
“She did a great job there,” he said.
Councilor Dan Gentile echoed that sentiment.
During the public comment section of the meeting, resident John Murphy spoke in favor of establishing a dog park at 52 Canal St., which he currently described as a “shrubbery infested property.”
He said the proposal is in its preliminary stages and he hopes to raise money to fund it privately.
“We have a good group of people behind it,” he said. “Some people don’t have big yards to fence in where the dogs can run around. This would be a good place for people to gather and mingle with each other and talk about their dogs.”
Murphy said that he envisions lots for small dogs and big dogs and signs with rules posted like Bristol’s dog park.
“I’ve spoken with a bunch of people and nobody seemed to have problems with it,” Murphy added. “We want to get a committee together to get it off the ground.”
Merchant said he personally would have no issue with a dog park.
“It’s something our community needs,” said Merchant. “I suspect no one on the council would object either, we just need to find the right spot. We also need to figure out how we come up with the estimated cost of $110,000.”
Merchant recommended that Murphy speak with the Parks and Recreation Department as well.
“I know it’s a lot of steps and it can be a pain,” he said. “Nobody is more sympathetic than me when it comes to how long some things can take. But I’m in your corner 100%.”
Murphy said that many other communities have a dog park and that Plymouth should too.
During the invocation portion of the meeting, Merchant prayed for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Ohio.
“It’s sad that this is something that has become common place,” he said. “I don’t think this is a gun problem, I think this is a hate problem. I hope that hate goes away and it starts with one person, one community at a time.”
During the mayor’s report, Merchant noted that the Community Room, where council meetings are held, now has televisions for showing PowerPoint presentations. Also, he said photographer Matt Schultz had taken drone pictures of sites throughout town such as Town Hall, Terryville High School, North Street Reservoir, Horseshoe Falls, the town green, Terryville Library, Lake Winfield and the Fire Station, which now hang on the walls of the Community Room.
Additionally, Gale Rino and Jean McMahon were appointed to the Beautification Committee. Joe Longo was also appointed to the Housing Authority.
Furthermore, the council approved a lease agreement for a new Public Works truck. This was a recommendation from the Public Works Board.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.