Penny Rashin

Recent Articles

Letter: Endorsing Moynihan and Kenin for First Selectman, Selectman

I have been a resident of New Canaan for 15 years. I am writing to share my endorsement of Kevin Moynihan for the office of first selectman and Christa Kenin for selectman. Kevin Moynihan has fresh and new ideas about the issues that are pressing our town right now: cell service (our emergency services site an important need), natural gas (lower costs of energy for town municipalities equals tax savings) , and commuter parking (make our town more desirable and help the abysmal real estate market). Not only do I like his ideas, Kevin has the work ethic and skills to bring these long overdue projects to fruition. Equally, if not more, important than the issues above, is the state of our schools. Continue Reading →

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League’s Voter Info Brochure To Go Out Soon; Seats up for Election on Selectmen, Town Council, Board of Ed

Officials with a nonprofit organization dedicated to voter education say they’re preparing to mail important information to New Canaan electors. This year’s “Know Your Representatives” brochure from the New Canaan League of Women Voters—listing all of New Canaan’s elected representatives, as well as local board and commission meeting times—has been underwritten by Bankwell, according to a media bulletin from the organization. It will go out April 17, according to the league. Seats are up for election this year on municipal bodies including the Board of Selectmen (three seats) and Town Council (six seats) and Board of Education (five seats). First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectman Nick Williams, both Republicans, announced last month that they intend to seek a fourth term on the board. Continue Reading →

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‘This Is a Wonderful Community’: New Canaan Public Schools’ Facilities Director Bob Willoughby To Retire

Saying his wide knowledge, calm manner, diligence, conscientiousness and collegiality has served the kids, faculty and staff of New Canaan Public Schools well through some of the district’s largest capital projects in memory, officials on Monday night honored Director of Facilities Bob Willoughby, who will retire after this academic year. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi recalled that on being hired as New Canaan High School principal six years ago, he made an official visit to the town with his wife and daughters and “we jumped into the elevator to go meet the superintendent, Dr. David Abbey, and there was Bob in the elevator.”

“I always knew there wasn’t a problem you couldn’t solve or figure out, and I always looked to you for your experience and wisdom to do what’s right. It’s going to be hard to fill your shoes but you also taught all of us quite a bit, so we are better off than we would have been without you.”

The board presented Willoughby with a gift and he earned a long ovation from its members as well as about 20 people in attendance at the meeting. They included New Canaan’s highest elected official. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi, who has said he was so impressed with Willoughby’s role in the school district that he created a counterpart position for the town, called the facilities director “a real pleasure to work with.”

“We hit it off immediately and it’s one thing for me to hit it off immediately with him but honestly everyone I know in town has hit it off immediately with this gentleman, and I will miss you incredibly,” Mallozzi said. Continue Reading →

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Town Approves $682,000 in Contracts To Purchase Furniture, Equipment for Addition at Saxe Middle School; Project on Time and Budget

Town officials last week approved contracts totaling $682,000 for furniture and equipment for the Saxe Middle School addition that’s taking shape along Farm Road. The contracts and funds, built into the overall $18.6 million project, came before the Board of Selectmen in its capacity as the purchasing agent for the town. Part of “phase three” of the Saxe renovation and expansion, the items received state approval and have been vetted by New Canaan Public Schools administrators to ensure all technology equipment meets district system requirements, according to Penny Rashin, chairman of the Saxe Building Committee. “Really this is the technical equipment and the furnishings for the classrooms being built and renovated,” Rashin told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held March 7 at Town Hall. The $682,000 total includes $440,000 for furniture, fixtures and equipment, up to $212,000 for technology equipment and a contingency of $30,000. Continue Reading →

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‘We Have Had Children Injured’: District Reviews Capital Needs at New Canaan Public Schools

Children using playground equipment at New Canaan Public Schools have been injured because there’s been no proper drainage system installed for the mulch that surrounds it, district officials said this week. Playground restoration work is “at a critical stage” where additional work must be done in terms of drainage, new mulch and curbing, according to Bob Willoughby, the district’s manager of facilities operations. While the district inspects its playground equipment annually and makes repairs as needed, “the town supports us with the mulch that goes down, the curbing around them,” Willoughby told members of the Board of Education at their meeting Monday night. “We think we need to more forward on it rather quickly,” he said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “We have had some children injured because of the condition of the mulch.”

Willoughby continued: “We did the South [School] playground and replaced all the curbing and mulch. Continue Reading →

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