‘A Huge Loss’: New Canaan Budget Director Takes Finance Director Job in Darien


New Canaan’s well-liked and highly capable budget director is leaving the town government here to take a job in neighboring Darien, officials say.

Jennifer Charneski, budget director here for five years, will take over as director of finance for Darien early next month.

Her departure marks “a huge loss for the town,” said Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones.

“She was definitely a tremendous asset,” Pickering-Jones told NewCanaanite.com after notifying town employees of the move via email. “She had a great relationship with the boards, the staff, the managers, and she worked very well with others. She really jumped in with our new financial system and helped bring change from the bottom up to get it started. She changed the budget process for the better and brought in new policies. The bottom line is she will be a huge loss.”

Charneski could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a press release put out by the first selectman of Darien, Charneski said: “My approach to municipal finance is to combine historical experience with best practices and emerging trends in order to minimize tax increases while maintaining service levels and improving Town finances.”

She has 13 years of local government finance experience, including nine years between the towns of New Canaan and Hamden. Charneski has a bachelor’s degree in science and master’s degree in public affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

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