Tom Stadler

Recent Articles

Selectman Urges Town To Ensure Competitive Bids Are Sought for Tree-Pruning Job At Irwin

One of New Canaan’s highest elected officials on Tuesday opened a discussion about whether the town secures multiple bids for work prior to approving contracts. Selectman Kit Devereaux prior to voting in favor of a $4,420 contract with a Norwalk-based company to prune apple trees on the front lawn of Irwin Park asked during a regular Board of Selectmen meeting: “When something is that large, do we get a second opinion? Second bid?”

Tree Warden Bob Horan was not in attendance at the meeting, held in Town Hall. The town’s administrative officer, Tom Stadler, said other tree work typically is bid but that he didn’t know whether this particular item had been. It’s possible that the company, called The Care of Trees, are specialists, Stadler said. Continue Reading →

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Santa Arrives Safely in New Canaan

Children and adults hoping to see Santa Claus arrive in his personal helicopter at Mead Park on Saturday morning were instead greeted by New Canaan’s Tom Stadler, who was in the parking lot vigorously flapping his arms—not in an effort to fly himself, but rather to alert the incoming crowds that a snowstorm bearing down on the area had forced the Jolly Old Elf to cancel his flight. Instead, Santa was arriving via land-based transportation, Stadler told drivers as they flooded into the bustling parking areas—more specifically, via a fire truck that was bringing him directly to hardware shop Weed & Duryea, sponsor of the annual event, as well as Gregg’s Garden Center. After battling some slow-moving traffic during the 2,000-foot-long trek over to the hardware and general store, and then getting “trapped” in the store parking lot, everyone eventually made it safely to Weed & Duryea’s “Christmas Headquarters,” where local band, the New Canaan School of Rock, was cranking out “Spirit of Radio” by Rush to get everyone in the holiday mood. Sure enough, the Bearded Man of the Hour arrived right on time, waving to his adoring fans from a beautifully restored 1949 ladder truck owned by former Assistant New Canaan Volunteer Fire Chief (and Santa’s personal chauffeur) Scott Ready (the truck had been in service in New Canaan until 1973). A long line of starry-eyed children (and their parents) had already formed as Santa took his “throne” in the Christmas shop, surrounded by colorful, sparkling holiday merchandise. Continue Reading →

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‘Everyone Helped To Make It Happen’: Family Fourth at Waveny Draws Thousands [PHOTOS]

About 2,000 New Canaan residents purchased family passes to attend the 37th Annual Family Fourth of July Celebration on Tuesday—a figure that organizers are pointing to in noting the great success of yet another picnic and fireworks show. Funded not by taxpayer dollars but by ticket sales, the hugely popular, iconic New Canaan event has rebounded nicely in just a few years after monies from the private fund were depleted, prompting the all-volunteer Family Fourth Committee to urge those who drive or walk in to get a pass. According to committee Chairman Tom Stadler, the work of volunteers is essential. Stadler told NewCanaanite.com that his very simple message to those people is “Thank you.”

“So many people make that thing happen,” Stadler said. “There are guys there at six in the morning setting up. Continue Reading →

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‘The Right Foot Going Forward’: Audit Committee, Interim CFO Praise Finance Department’s Work

New Canaan for the first time since forming an Audit Committee to ensure proper financial controls are in place is no longer operating with “material weaknesses,” a member of the group said Wednesday morning. The town also has given full access to its elected treasurer and “we don’t have people signing checks that are unauthorized to sign them,” Audit Committee member Ed Kangas said during the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “It’s almost incredible to me that we had all those problems. These were big deals. This town should not have had those problems. I am pleased they are resolved and we are off on the right foot going forward.”

The comments came on the first meeting of the committee since New Canaan hired a new interim CFO, whose predecessor retired amid lingering “material weaknesses” in town financial processes and controls that had been identified by auditors. Tom Stadler, administrative officer in the office of the first selectman, said last week was busy at Town Hall with the former CFO’s “departure” and new interim hire Sandra Dennies’s start “and the walkthrough and changeover of the bank and investment accounts, and a number of other things,” adding that officials have put those matters “behind us now” to move on and “walk hand in hand.”

Referring to concerns that had been raised by the town treasurer, Audit Committee Chairman Bill Parrett said: “I understand there has been lots of activity in terms of giving the treasurer access to some of the accounts—maybe they were not the biggest or most important accounts—but they were accounts that he presumably should have been looking at, and that has been done.”

Dennies in brief remarks to the committee offered praise for her colleagues in Town Hall and in the finance department specifically. Continue Reading →

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As ‘Material Weaknesses’ Persist, First Selectman Puts Tom Stadler in Charge of Town’s Finance Department; Status of CFO Unclear

A trusted and experienced municipal employee already in place will take on new responsibilities to help address lingering and recently disclosed problems with the town’s financial controls, officials said Tuesday morning. Starting immediately, Administrative Officer Tom Stadler will oversee the New Canaan Finance Department as per a decision from the first selectman, Audit Committee Chairman Bill Parrett said during a meeting held at Town Hall. According to a letter from Parrett that he cited during the meeting, Audit Committee members “understand from Rob Mallozzi that he is considering changes to the Finance Department and that effective immediately, the town’s administrative officer and CPA, Tom Stadler, will be given the responsibility of overseeing the Finance Department.”

The statement continued: “Tom has the experience and holds a CPA. He is the ideal source to review the efficiency and effectiveness of [the] town’s finance organization and to make appropriate changes, improvements and modifications to rectify the immediate deficiencies and provide for a long-term solution.”

It isn’t clear what role current Finance Director Dawn Norton would play, if any, in a reconstituted finance department. Reached by NewCanaanite.com, Mallozzi declined to comment on specifics, citing matters of personnel. Continue Reading →

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