Op-Ed: 2020—A Year of Accomplishments Despite A Pandemic

It is difficult to look back and remember the year 2020. In so many ways it was a lost year—lost lifetime memories, lost opportunities and lost friends and loved ones. Most of the first quarter of 2020 was what we now recall fondly as “normal”. We began the year debating topics that seemed important, like whether later school start times would be healthier for our older students, and whether we might improve our town’s competitiveness and real estate values by increasing the frequency of, or at least by reducing the travel time for, trains to Manhattan. The last nine months of 2020 was dominated by the COVID virus.

Op-Ed: We Will Get Through This Together 

Dear New Canaan friends and neighbors,

As a town and as a nation, we are now a month into the most challenging health emergency we have seen in our lifetimes. 

I would like to take a brief timeout to acknowledge and thank our local teams of professionals and volunteers who are working diligently and selflessly to protect and serve our town at this time of great turbulence and fear. First, our Emergency Management Director Mike Handler (a resident and long-time volunteer EMT) and our indomitable Health Director Jen Eielson are leading a team in our “virtual” Emergency Operations Center that is second to none. Mike is the “Voice of 7:00 pm” that is keeping you all informed and hopefully comforting you to know that our town is in good hands. Jen is working literally day and night to guide and direct us to healthy outcomes. I extend my heartfelt personal thanks to Mike and Jen for their leadership and dedication.

Letter: New Canaan Loses Veterans’ Leader and Hero with Passing of Peter Langenus

On behalf of our town, I want to note with great sadness the passing of Peter Langenus on January 17th due to cancer. Peter was a U.S. Army combat veteran of the Vietnam War serving there in 1970 and he also was activated to service in Desert Storm in 1991.  He retired from the Army as a Colonel and during his career was awarded the Legion of Merit, 3 Bronze Stars, 12 meritorious service medals and 12 other individual medals. As Commander of local VFW Lodge 653, Peter for many years organized the Town’s annual Memorial Day Parade and Lakeview Cemetery Ceremony honoring New Canaan’s war dead and also organized and led the Town’s annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony at God’s Acre. Peter also led the annual placing of flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day and wreaths at Christmas time. He organized and led the effort to memorialize New Canaan veterans’ names on plaques hanging in the entry hall at Town Hall, and assisted an Eagle Scout candidate’s project in November 2019 to display photos of New Canaan veterans on lamp posts downtown.

Op-Ed: A Report on My First Year in Office

This week marks the one-year anniversary of my taking office as first selectman. Here is a brief report on our progress. My campaign in 2017 focused on five major themes: improving cell phone service, increasing commuter parking, strengthening financial management, insuring transparency in government and maintaining excellence in our schools. I also highlighted the issues of strengthening our downtown business district, encouraging the building of senior housing and preserving open space. Improving Cell Phone Service

In 2017, New Canaan was threatened with the prospect of having to replace the existing cell antennas on the Waveny water tank—which provide one-third of our cell service—with a new cell tower in Waveny Park.

Op-Ed: Moynihan Says ‘Thank You’ To Caucus Voters

I was thrilled and humbled to win the endorsement of New Canaan Republicans for the office of first selectman at the caucus last Tuesday evening. I would like to thank all Republicans who came out to vote at the caucus—1,277 strong. Such a large turnout on a summer night in July showed how engaged and concerned our fellow Republicans are about important issues facing New Canaan. I felt that my message about the lack of sufficient commuter parking, poor to non-existent cell phone service in large parts of town, and problems with financial integrity and transparency in government resonated among voters, especially among commuters who I met on the train platforms at the New Canaan and Talmadge Hill stations. I look forward to carrying this message to all New Canaan voters in the Fall as the Republican Party’s standard bearer, along with the entire Republican endorsed slate including Nick Williams, Tom Butterworth, John Engel, Rich Townsend, Penny Young, Claudia Weber and Andrew Brooks.