Seven candidates—four Republicans and three Democrats—are vying for six Town Council seats that are up for election on Tuesday. For reasons listed below, I am endorsing three Republicans—John Engel, Rich Townsend and Tom Butterworth—and three Democrats—Sven Englund, Colm Dobbyn and Liz Donovan. Two candidates, incumbents Engel and Englund, most clearly have earned re-election to the legislative body.
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New Canaan’s strong zoning is one of its most important assets, according to one incumbent member of the town’s legislative body. The zoning regulations are what underpin property values here, yet in recent years—considering the handling of applications for Merritt Village, Grace Farms, the Roger Sherman Inn, mixed-use on Forest Street and “Zone D” on Grove Street, New Canaan has been “managing by exception,” according to Town Councilman John Engel. “The mere fact that we have 100 caveats to the Grace Farms approval, another 100 for the Merritt Village approval, shows that we have got to do a better job of getting in front of this and the evidence is, it is costing us money,” Engel, a Republican seeking re-election to the Town Council, said during a debate last week.
Editor, New Canaanite:
We are fortunate to have four excellent Republican candidates for Town Council. Penny Young has been a major contributor to the town for many years. She brings institutional memory with a deep understanding of our town government.
I have served with Colm Dobbyn on New Canaan’s Inland Wetlands Commission for five plus years. He is exactly the kind of person we need on Town Council. Colm is very smart, a good listener and always fair-minded.
Having lived in New Canaan for over thirty years and having known Rich Townsend for that time, we know him to be intelligent, of high integrity and community minded. We have worked with him at church, Habitat for Humanity, Midnight Run and served as well on various committees. During a stellar business career, Rich distinguishes himself as a leader, hard worker and team player.