Community News: Thanksgiving, economic development and town news

Washington Lodge No. 19 presented a $700 donation to Boy Scout Troop 63 in a socially distanced event on the front steps of the Masonic Lodge on Fan Hill Road in Monroe. The lodge donated to the Boy Scouts every year.

Town hires full time HR director

MONROE, CT — First Selectman Ken Kellogg announced that Craig Hirsch was hired to be the town’s full time director of human resources.

“Craig has over 25 years of HR experience working for Macy’s in a variety of roles, most recently as an HR director,” Kellogg told the Town Council at a recent meeting. “He has supported a wide range of operations, including retail, distribution, and corporate functions. A Monroe resident for over 10 years, Craig also brings over four years of experience with the town of Monroe as a former member of our Board of Finance.”

Hirsch’s starting salary is $100,000. Prior to his hire, Mike Brown served on an interim basis to assist with the transition to a new director. The position opened when Catherine Lombardi resigned in December to pursue another opportunity.

“I want to thank Mike for his leadership and contributions,” Kellogg said. “In addition to his HR contributions, he played a key role in helping us manage through the challenges of COVID-19. Mike is finalizing opportunities in the private sector and will be helping Craig transition through November 12, 2020.”

Woman’s Club’s luminary kit sale

Luminaria from the Monroe Women’s Club’s annual sale will light up neighborhoods with beautiful holiday displays.

The Women’s Club will sell and deliver $5 luminary kits, of 12 white bags and 12 white candles. The sale starts on Dec. 1 and the kits will be delivered on the second Saturday of the month, Dec. 12.

The club delivers to Monroe Homes only. To order call 203-268-1072.

Holiday Mystery Bags

Residents can surprise their friends with a Holiday Mystery Bag, as part of a fundraiser by the Monroe Women’s Club that’s meant to spread holiday cheer in a socially distanced way.

The bags contain a surprise mix of three-to-five seasonal items, including holiday headbands, household items, food treats and children’s toys and activities. Bags are 8”x10”x4” and cost $20 for an adult/teen bag and $15 for a kids’ bag.

Deliveries, which are to Monroe homes only, start on Dec. 5 and continue through Dec. 23. Order Forms can be found at For information, call 203-895-3275.

Rotary Club’s annual food drive’s underway

Monroe Rotary Club members, from left, Bob Guere, Dennis Condon and Molly Simons drop off one bin load for Thanks-4-Giving supplies.

The Monroe Rotary Club’s annual food drive, Thanks-4-Giving, is going on through Tuesday. The drive benefits the Monroe Food Pantry.

Rotary members thank Monroe Social, Last Drop Coffee Shop, Henny Penny and Stop & Shop for being their designated drop-off spots.

The Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary is the world’s first service club. It has 1.2 million service minded men and women belonging to nearly 30,000 Rotary clubs in virtually every nation in the world.

From left, Monroe Rotary members Phil Lindstrom, Dennis Condon and Molly Simons drop-off a bin of supplies.

Rotarians meet weekly via zoom for fellowship and interesting and informative programs dealing with topics of local and global importance. Membership is by invitation and reflects a wide cross-section of community representation.

Rotarians plan to carry out a remarkable variety of humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programs. They touch peoples lives in their local communities and our world community.

Locally in Monroe at Masuk there Are 25 young interact students who are actively involved in creating programs for the community sponsored by Monroe Rotary club.

Thanksgiving schedule

First Selectman Ken Kellogg announced the schedule for Thanksgiving, when town offices will be closed in observance of the holiday.

Among the closings this Thursday are Town Hall, Edith Wheeler Memorial Library, the Monroe Highway Department, Monroe Senior Center, Monroe Food Pantry, Garder Road Landfill and Spring Hill Road Transfer Station.

On Friday, Town Hall offices will remain closed, along with the senior center, library, food pantry and highway department.

The Garder Road Landfill and the Spring Hill Road Transfer Station will be open on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27, and 28, at normal business hours.

The Edith Wheeler Memorial Library will be open on Saturday, Nov. 28.

Thursday’s recycling will be picked up on Friday, Nov. 27. All other customers will be picked up on their regular day.

Economic development

First Selectman Ken Kellogg shared economic updates with the Town Council in his most recent update to the Town Council.

“We have launched a new Monroe Businesses Email notification system, which currently includes approximately 900 records,” he said. “Recent communications include the state’s newly announced Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program, which provides $5,000 grants to eligible small businesses.”

The Noble Gas & Convenience Center on Monroe Turnpike plans to open before Thanksgiving, according to Kellogg

Monroe Social’s expansion with a new dining area and private room is complete.

Smoker’s House is a new business opening in Chuck’s Corner and ribbon cuttings were held for Angelo’s Specialties Fine Foods and Hair by Doris.

PURA investigation

Townspeople turned in 76 submissions for Monroe’s testimony for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s investigaiton regarding the Eversource response to Tropical Storm Isaias.

First Selectman Ken Kellogg said the deadline was Nov. 6 and the submissions were from residents, businesses and property owners.

Excellence in finance

Monroe’s Finance Department has been awarded an Excellence in Financial Reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA.).

“This is the fourth consecutive year that Monroe’s Finance Department has received this award, confirming the strong leadership of Finance Director Ron Bunovsky and Deputy Director Heidi Meade and the high standards for financial reporting,” First Selectman Ken Kellogg said.

The award was granted for Monroe’s fiscal year 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), and is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting from the GFOA, according to Kellogg.

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