Town Council

Recent Articles

Eversource: New Canaan Residents Can Influence Natural Gas Expansion Plan In Out Years

Following an initial roll-out of natural gas in New Canaan through 2020—a three-phase project starting next year that will see a trunk line come into town from Stamford, up South Avenue to the business district and then out to East School, with nearby residences along the way—property owners themselves can influence just where the utility brings natural gas, officials say. For Eversource—at least through 2024, under a state-backed expansion plan—the question of where in New Canaan the gas lines will go is in some ways a math equation, according to John Ferrelli, the company’s Waterbury-based supervisor of business account services: The cost of installation must be offset by the load delivered. “Customer demand will dictate the path of opportunity beyond the initial outline, as well as new construction and conversions,” Ferrelli told members of the Town Council at their regular meeting. “Future growth potential will be driven by customer interest, customer demand,” Ferrelli said at the July 19 meeting, held at Town Hall. “And that’s where the company will look to expand [starting in 2020]. Continue Reading →

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‘Anonymous Complaints Can Be Vindictively Filed’: Town Officials Review Guiding Principles in Revising Ethics Code

The head of a newly formed town body that’s charged with fielding written complaints of ethics violations by local public officials, among other important tasks, said Wednesday night that he has a “confidentiality concern” with respect to the idea of those seeking to file a complaint sending communications to New Canaan’s town attorney. According to Ethics Board Chairman Tucker Clauss, a communication that goes from a complainant to the town attorney is not privileged, just as it’s not privileged if the town attorney then sends it along to someone else. “Because he’s the town attorney, not the Ethics Board attorney,” Clauss told members of the Town Council at their regular meeting, held in Town Hall. “And the Ethics Board does not retain any attorneys at that point. So under state law, confidentiality adheres when it comes into the Ethics Board and it stays confidential until there is a probable cause finding, and probable cause proceeds to a public hearing.”

He added: “Notwithstanding the concept of client-attorney privilege, it does not apply in this context.”

The comments came during an update on New Canaan’s Code of Ethics, which is undergoing revision. Continue Reading →

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Republican Candidates for Town Council Face Off in Second Debate

Republican candidates for Town Council offered their views on on some of the town’s most controversial planning and zoning applications during the Republican Town Committee’s second candidates’ debate held at Town Hall Wednesday. Currently there are six Republican candidates for Town Council: Roy Abramowitz, Tom Butterworth, Mike Mauro, Rich Townsend and incumbents Penny Young and John Engel. They are jockeying for seats opening up on the Town Council this fall and thus are seeking party backing. When asked for his opinion on the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recent approval of the Merritt Village redevelopment downtown, Engel, who missed the first RTC debate in June, said, “Real estate is what I do—and I have a deep understanding of the Merritt Village project.”

“Number one, I respect the process,” he said of the recent approval. “We heard earlier that the Town Council doesn’t get involved in what P&Z should do—just like the first selectmen doesn’t tell them what to do—and I don’t think we should have a thumb on the scale with P&Z. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Rich Townsend the Right Choice for Town Council

Dear Editor,

I am writing to support Rich Townsend’s candidacy for Town Council. After living and raising his family in New Canaan for almost 30 (interrupted by a two-year job assignment in Paris), Rich has seen the town grow and evolve, yet the underlying strengths have not wavered: excellent schools, solid fiscal management and a large number of caring, talented citizens actively involved in the work of local government and community organizations. I have known Rich for 25 of those years as a dedicated husband, father, NYC-commuting corporate executive, community volunteer, local businessman, and fellow choir member (Yes, he can even sing!). Whether organizing a community pancake breakfast, feeding the masses at a church barbeque, organizing work crews and wielding a hammer for Habitat for Humanity, or counseling young people starting out in their careers, he brings intention and enthusiasm to every encounter, listens carefully, and responds respectfully. New Canaan is fortunate that Rich has decided to put his hat in the ring to bring his energy and discernment to our Town Council. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Town Council Candidate Roy Abramowitz Has Key Professional Experience

Voters of New Canaan,

This caucus to endorse candidates is not a popularity contest, although some of what I have read is filled with very nice compliments regardless of the skills or past experience of the party involved. Past elections have given us good people with great intentions but we have, due to the lack of expertise, found ourselves faced with problems, especially financial that have taken much work to resolve. In Roy Abramowitz we have a man with years of experience in working with financial matters, past, present and future. He is a man of integrity, a tireless volunteer for community, the Greenwich Council of the BSA, The Starlight Children’s Foundation, etc. He was a pioneer in the establishment of the town’s Audit Committee and instrumental in establishing the guidelines for its operating procedures. Continue Reading →

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