Rob Mallozzi

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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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‘Drifting Silver Rain with Crackling Tail’: New Canaan Family Fourth Committee Eyes Even More Spectacular Fireworks Show at Waveny

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rivSKA5gpc

Town officials this week approved a $30,000 contract with a Douglassville, Pa.-based pyrotechnic company to put on an even more spectacular fireworks show at the Waveny July 4th event this summer. The Family Fourth is paid for entirely out of private funds, raised mainly through sales of passes as well as generous donations. This year, the town is upping its contract between the recreation director and International Fireworks Mfg. Co. from $25,000 to $30,000—partly a step increase after the former price had been held for nearly 10 years, and partly because “we decided we wanted to add a few more things to the show and make it a more exciting show,” Recreation Director and Family Fourth Committee member Steve Benko told the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting. Continue Reading →

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‘A Great Asset to the Town’: Selectmen Appoint New Canaan Chief Building Official To Next Four-Year Term

Officials on Tuesday appointed to a new four-year term New Canaan’s chief building official, an award-winning veteran municipal employee who oversees land use matters for the town. In his position here for 12 years, Brian Platz “is definitely our and has been recognized for his knowledge of the state’s building code,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectman. “Last year, he received the highest honor from his peers, the Connecticut Building Officials Association for his work,” Mallozzi said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “He also was elected president of that same group years back. Brian has stepped up in his managerial duties, he has taken a lead on budgetary and workflow issues, most recently bringing to our attention the delta between the actual land use fees and projected revenue sources.”

The board—Mallozzi together with Selectmen Beth Jones and Nick Williams—voted 3-0 for Platz’s appointment, through April 2021. Continue Reading →

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U.S. Army Combat Veteran To Join New Canaan Police Department’s Ranks

A 9-year U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is poised to join the New Canaan Police Department as an entry-level officer. Following a 3-0 ‘yes’ vote Tuesday at the Board of Selectmen for his classification and pay, 27-year-old Owen Ochs will travel next month to train with the Connecticut Police Academy. Honorably discharged Jan. 23 from the Army as a staff sergeant who specialized in infantry, Ochs as the department’s 47th officer would bring NCPD to its full complement, according to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. While serving, Ochs earned his associate’s degree in general studies from the American Military University, according to a biography supplied by police. Continue Reading →

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Town To Tap Bridgeport-Based Land Use Attorney for Advice on ‘Sober House’ Appeal

The town plans to tap a Bridgeport-based attorney with wide experience and expertise in land use to advise municipal officials on a closely followed appeal regarding the “sober house” operating on West Road. Patricia Sullivan of Cohen and Wolf is “a very good lawyer with issues related to zoning,” according to First Selectman Rob Mallozzi. “She is a very good land use lawyer and is familiar with the limitations of zoning with respect to federal and state law,” he said. Selected from among a number of candidates and with vetting and feedback from attorneys who serve on the New Canaan Zoning Board of Appeals, Sullivan is expected to advise on whether the town’s determination that the sober house may operate without a permit is a legally correct, tenable position. Opponents of the sober house’s “as-of-right” operation on upper West Road—including the appellant, next-door neighbor Thom Harrow—have said New Canaan should have a formal application process for such businesses seeking to launch in residential zones. Continue Reading →

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