It will be the end of an era: Darien couple Karen and Dave Polett will be resigning from the town’s Monuments & Ceremonies Commission.

They plan to retire by the end of March, they said at the Nov. 12 Monuments & Ceremonies Commission meeting.

However, they won’t leave until the commission has a full contingent of 15 members.

“We have 11 members currently and should have 15,” said Karen to The Darien Times. “If we left, the commission would have only nine members. Our quorum is still eight, so it is difficult to function with so few members.”

The Poletts said they are stepping down from the commission because they want to have more time to travel and visit their daughter.

They have both served on the commission for many years. Karen, who is secretary, has been on it ince its inception in 1992. She started volunteering on it with World War II veteran Charles (Chick) Scribner.

Dave, who is chairman, came on board in 2008.

He said more people are needed to volunteer on the commission. He is hoping both the Republican and Democratic Town Committees will recruit some new members.

“This is an active commission,” he said. “We need active members who are here, who can work on a commission and can move us forward and keep us going in the right direction.”

Those who are interested in joining may fill out an application from the Republican or Democratic Town Committee websites, which can be found on the town website, Darienct.gov.

The commission meets the second Tuesday of every month except for July and August.

“This commission has been a godsend for this town,” Dave said. “What we have accomplished is remarkable.”

Anniversary update

The opening ceremony for the town’s Bicentennial Celebration will be Jan. 10, 2020 in the auditorium of the Darien Town Hall.

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. From 6:30 to 7 p.m., there will be a slideshow presentation and Tudor singers wil perform. 7 p.m. is the official opening time. The color guard will come down. It will run until about 8:15 p.m.

After this ceremony, on the same evening, a ticketed champagne reception will be hosted by the Darien Historical Society and the Darien Arts Center. There will be hot hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast. The snow date is Jan. 11, 2020 at 2 p.m.

On June 12, 2020, the bicentennial closing ceremony will be held at Slawson Cemetery on Hanson Road. The Darien Good Wife's River DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Chapter will mark the grave of the town founder, Thaddeus Bell, who is buried there.

A tent installer will build a 16-foot by 20-foot tent at the cemetery that will provide cover for 40 to 50 people during the June closing ceremony, in the event of rain.

Members noted there is a huge tree right in the middle of the cemetery that needs to be trimmed in order to be able to install the tent properly. They plan to contact the head of the cemetery committee for this job.

Town media guidelines

Polett spoke about the importance of making sure all media outlets in town are sent information at the same time.

He said within the past year, he and Karen were “threatened” with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing “because we didn’t get something to somebody in a timely fashion that we were supposed to.”

“It was over a photograph,” Polett added.

Whoever administers the Monuments and Ceremonies account “has to realize that whatever they use to administer any social media account — phone or computer — for the town or on behalf of a unit of the town, you’re subject to the Freedom of Information Act,” he said.

Polett emailed commission members a 17-page listing of the September 2017 list of guidelines for any social media.

“There as an official listing that the town has of people that have to get [correspondence] every single time,” he said.

Any communications one uses in regard to the town must be reviewed by Town Administrator Kate Buch, prior to being sent out, according to Polett.

Town Hall display case

Town resident Rebecca Siciliano, who takes care of the Town Hall display case, is resigning from the commission.

The display case is available to Darien nonprofits to better publicize their philanthropic services in town, according to Siciliano in an email to The Darien Times.

“The displays change monthly and are seen by the many people who frequent the Town Hall for meetings and other town related issues,” she said.

The display case is full through December of 2020.

If anyone would like to feature work in the display case for the town’s anniversary, complete an application on the town’s website at darienct.gov.

Watch the full Monuments & Ceremonies Commission meeting on Darien TV79.

sfox@darientimes.com