BRANFORD —The Town of Branford is looking for a few good men and women interested in possibly sitting on the town council.
The council has an open seat after Randy Herndon resigned his seat last month. At the council’s Sept. 10 meeting, President Ken Saunders said the town was ready to accept letters of interest or resumes from interested parties that had resided in the town for at least the past year.
From those interested candidates, the council would then host a workshop to discuss the candidates before determining who to appoint to fill the open seat. The town’s charter calls for the council to fill the seat by appointment until that post comes back up for election. Herndon, who was the councilman from Post 4, was elected in 2017, meaning the new member would serve until 2021 when the election is held in June.
Saunders said with just the four members, it would be good for the council to find the fifth member in order to make sure there were no tie votes on town matters.
The council didn’t set a timeline for receiving those letters of interest or for when a workshop would be held. Rather, Saunders said he wanted to see what the interest is for a couple weeks before setting any dates.
“It’s kind of a hard thing,” he said. “Everybody knows everybody in town. You don’t want to upset anybody, you want to be friends with everybody. But when it comes down to four people having to make a decision to fill one seat, it can be a little bit touchy.”
Rodeo Week proclaimed
Also during the meeting, the council approved a proclamation declaring Sept. 22-28 as Rodeo Week in Branford. The Suwannee River Riding Club’s annual rodeo is set for Sept. 27-28, starting at 8 p.m. both days. It is the rodeo’s 63rd year.
“We really strive to provide a place for these kids to come and be there and keep them off the streets,” said Darrell Summers, the president of the Riding Club. “We want them to be there.
“I refer to it as the famous Branford rodeo. It is the home of champions. The SRRC is the home of champions.”
The rodeo parade is at 3 p.m. Sept. 28.
Suwannee River Christmas Festival set
The council also granted permission to the Greater Branford Community Association to host the Suwannee River Christmas Festival at the Branford Greenway on Sept. 14.
Heather McInnis, with the Community Association, said the group is hoping not to need any funding from the town for the festival. She said there was money leftover from last year and vendor fees were also increasing slightly in order to help fund it.
“The festival last year was amazing,” McInnis said. “We had surveys for our vendors and everyone came back and had great things to say.”
The council approved utilizing the Greenway for the festival.
“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t and I think that will be the consensus of the board,” Saunders said before the approval. “I’m looking for it to be even bigger and better this year.”
Those interested in being vendors or sponsors should contact the Community Association through its Facebook page or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can call McInnis at 386-935-2171. Those interested in participating in the Keeping Christ in Christmas Parade should contact Jim Hollis with Branford Area Interchurch Ministries at 386-935-4293.
4-H to use Hatch Park Community Center
The council unanimously granted permission to the local 4-H chapter using Hatch Park Community Center for its monthly meetings the third Wednesday of the month from 4:30-6 p.m.
The chapter is restarting and Karen Ann Norton said there were close to 70 children interested in joining the group.
The council waived the use fee for the community center.
Roads to close for Trick-of-Treating
As part of the community-wide trick-or-treating event Oct. 26, the council approved closing roads near Hillcrest Circle once again this year.
The town closed the roads last year to provide a buffer for the crowd that flocks to Hillcrest Circle for the trick-or-treating, which takes place from 6-8 p.m., the same time the roads will be closed.
Branford High’s Interact Club will be hosting its fall festival at the high school from 4-6 p.m., leading into the trick-or-treating.