Rona Siegel Elected Chairman of Parks & Recreation Commission

The Parks & Recreation Commission on Wednesday night elected Rona Siegel as chairman of the advisory body. 

Voting 8-0 with two people abstaining, the Commission cast its vote during an organizational meeting at Town Hall, conducted by First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. 

Sally Campbell, who has served as Commission chairman since May 2013, said prior to nominating Siegel that she would remain in the group through the year but that she would not seek the chairmanship. 

“I think it’s time to move on,” Campbell said. “I have been chair for countless years and on the Commission for countless years. I have been very happy with how we work, our Commission, with each other, how we work with [Public Works Director] Tiger [Mann], who has been terrific, and John Howe with Parks and Steve [Benko] in Rec, and I think we made a big impact.”

Campbell continued, saying, “I think it’s time for a change and change is always good, so I just wanted to put that out there. And if I can I would make a recommendation for chair, that would be Rona Siegel. She came onto the Commission two years ago and she has been very impactful since then and there has been nothing that she’s taken on that she has not done brilliantly.

Parks Officials Propose Raising User Fees at Spencer’s Run

Saying it would generate an additional $9,000 in revenue, parks officials said this month that they’re planning to propose higher fees for those who use the dog run at Waveny. An early version of the new slate would see the annual registration fee for a first dog at Spencer’s Run go from $25 to $40 for residents and $40 to $60 for nonresidents, while the fee for additional dogs would rise from $15 to $25, according to the Parks & Recreation Commission. Chair Sally Campbell said the Commission could vote on the proposed higher rates at its next meeting and that they would go into effect after next year’s budget season. “The point is that these are quite low and there is a lot of maintenance that needs to be done in the park and it’s supposed to be the people who go to the park are the ones who are supposed to be the ones funding the repairs through fees,” Campbell said at the April 11 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. There are 843 members of Spencer’s Run and just over half of them are nonresidents, according to Commissioner Rona Siegel.

Did You Hear … ?

Something must’ve happened out front of the 1850-built commercial building on the corner of Main Street and East Avenue, home to a gift shop, swimwear store and tailor. The town on Wednesday received a Freedom of Information Act request from a Stamford-based law firm for all New Canaan Police Department incident reports this month concerning snow or ice at 102 Main St., including abutting sidewalks. The request, from Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, also seeks info on falls, complaints, fines, blight citations, 911 calls and building permit applications related to gutters, downspouts, roofs or sidewalks there. ***

Now that we’re in budget season, here’s a look at what the highest elected official is paid in New Canaan and nearby towns:

 

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The developer who earned high praise recently from historic preservationists for his design of a new house on Forest Street said throughout the process that it was important to him to be respectful of the neighborhood’s history. In fact, Tom Sturges is the great-grandson of Imogene Seymour, who had been curator for the New Canaan Historical Society from 1959 to 1968.

Did You Hear … ?

All but one grade involved in the New Canaan Youth Football will send a team this weekend into a championship or semifinal. The program serves third- through eighth-graders. Best of luck to our boys competing for titles:

3rd grade black team
4th grade red team
5th grade red & white teams
6th grade red & black teams
8th grade black & white teams

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We’re hearing from some local historians that New Canaan’s backing of a Democratic candidate for president this week may have been the first time since 1964 that a Democrat seeking the nation’s highest elected office carried the town (LBJ). ***

Speaking of the election, NCHS ’14 graduate and George Washington University student Chase Williams, son of New Canaan Selectman Nick Williams, appeared in images that went viral in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, after he climbed a tree outside the White House, where a combination of protesters and celebrators had gathered after Republican Donald Trump won the presidential race. Chase, a varsity soccer captain when he was at NCHS, told us that he arrived there and “it was a madhouse” with people screaming and becoming increasingly belligerent.

‘Eyes for the Town’: Park & Rec Approves Slate of Citizen Liaisons To Spencer’s Run

Parks officials on Wednesday approved a slate of 12 citizen volunteers who will act as liaisons to the town from the popular dog park at Waveny. Spencer’s Run regular Kit Devereaux, owner of a handsome white poodle named ‘Louis’ (after Louis Armstrong), told members of the Park & Recreation Commission during their regular monthly meeting that the volunteers will serve as “the eyes for the town, because once you have people with dogs it can get dicey.”

“They are not there to enforce the rules. They are there to remind people of them, and if people do not follow them, then they call Animal Control,” Devereaux said during the meeting, held in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. The volunteers are also there “to make people feel welcome and to keep the bags [dispenser] at Spencer’s full,” she added. “I would like everyone to think what would happen at the dog park if they [the bags] ran dry—it would get very interesting, very fast,” Devereaux said.