Amy Murphy Carroll

Recent Articles

New Canaan Committee Conducted Illegal Meetings, State Official Says

The town of New Canaan violated state sunshine laws by failing to notice or open to the public a series of meetings held over several months last year, state officials say. Site visits conducted by two-person teams of the Building Evaluation & Use Committee—a group charged in February 2017 with studying and making recommendations about town-owned buildings—constituted “special meetings of a subcommittee” and “were subject to public notice and meeting minutes requirements,” according to attorney Valicia Dee Harmon, hearing officer of the state Freedom of Information Commission. After overseeing hearings at the Commission’s offices in Hartford on Dec. 5 and Feb. 6, to address a complaint about the meetings brought by NewCanaanite.com, Harmon found that the town, committee and Co-chairpersons Penny Young and Amy Murphy Carroll violated two provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

The town on May 11 received an application for the owner of the Huguette Clark estate on Dan’s Highway to build a tennis court on the 52-acre property. The 120-by-60-foot court will cost $98,750 to build. The contractor on the job is Oval Tennis Inc. of Somers, N.Y., architect Frangione Engineering LLC of New Canaan. ***

Congratulations to New Canaan High School senior lacrosse player Nick Crovatto, who broke a longstanding Rams record Monday in a game vs. Trumbull with his 676th faceoff win. Continue Reading →

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How Involved Should Residents Be in Deciding the Future of Public Buildings?

Though their input is valuable, New Canaan taxpayers ultimately should rely on their elected and appointed representatives to make decisions regarding the future of town-owned buildings rather than put such questions to a public referendum, officials say. Structures such as Gores Pavilion, Vine Cottage and Irwin House “don’t exist in a vacuum” and their capital needs are part of “a very fluid process,” Board of Finance member and Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee co-chair Amy Murphy Carroll said during the recent Forum on Public Buildings. Responding to a suggestion that putting key decisions on public buildings to a ballot so that residents can determine “what they do with their tax dollars,” Murphy Carroll questioned “how that it would be all that productive to do that.”

“You elected the people on the Town Council, right?” she said during the April 26 forum, held at Town hall. “You elected your representatives.”

While Murphy Carroll and her fellow panelists—First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Town Council Chairman John Engel, and Town Council members Cristina A. Ross and Penny Young, who also served as committee co-chair—agreed that input from the community is greatly encouraged and appreciated, she and others stressed that residents should also trust them to make the best decisions for the town. Young said that there need to be more public forums allowing residents to express their opinions about how the buildings should be used. Continue Reading →

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Officials Mull Current Use vs. Cost of Town-Owned Buildings

As officials discuss town-owned buildings such as Irwin House, Gores Pavilion, and Vine Cottage, residents are raising questions about the town’s responsibility to maintain those structures and how their use can be measured—factors expected to help determine their futures. The topic was heavily discussed at last week’s “Forum on Public Buildings,” starting when a resident asked why, in the report issued in December by the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee, Mead Park Brick Barn is only being given a six-month window for proposals to be submitted and presented when all other buildings were given one full year. One panelist, Penny Young—a Town Councilman who served as co-chair of that committee—answered that new Canaan is “looking at very different economic times.”

“We are looking at every single line item in our budget with a critical eye and, also, looking at it from a perspective of ‘What’s the town’s responsibility and the provision of services and is the town’s responsibility the preservation of building, or is it community response to those buildings?’ ” Young said during the forum, held April 26 at Town Hall. She continued: “The Carriage Barn and the Powerhouse [agreements] were done years ago before those kinds of thoughts were being exercised. What is also being considered [for] those two building and others, like the Nature Center buildings, [is] how many New Canaan residents are utilizing those buildings? Continue Reading →

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Irwin House, Outback, NCPD: Residents Suggest New Uses for Town-Owned Buildings

What follows are three ideas for new uses of town-owned buildings that attendees at last week’s panel discussion presented during the two-hour Forum on Public Buildings. Designed as a follow-up to a comprehensive committee report released in December, the event was sponsored by the New Canaan Historical Society, New Canaan Preservation Alliance, Town of New Canaan and NewCanaanite.com. The panelists—First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Town Council Chairman John Engel, Town Council members Penny Young and Cristina A. Ross, and Board of Finance member Amy Murphy Carroll (Young and Murphy Carroll also are co-chairs of the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee)—responded to the suggestions. Swapping Irwin House for Additional Park Space

One resident mulled whether tearing Irwin House down completely to add more green space would benefit New Canaanites since the park itself is a more popular attraction. The panel agreed that the idea of tearing the house down isn’t completely off the table, but involves building a new structure in its place. Continue Reading →

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