Letter: Local Government Must Be More Inclusive

Much has been said about inclusion, or lack thereof, in the decision-making process of our town government. It’s my opinion that the process needs to be more inclusive—not for any particular individual, but for the community as a whole. There appears to be a bias against providing town residents with information about proposed process changes and/or projects at the beginnings of discussions about those efforts. The argument against inclusion seems to go something like, “If you want a project to flourish, keep it out of the public eye in the early phases or it will never get off the ground.”

I would respectfully observe that early feedback is invaluable in shaping a project. If the work is done with an absence of participants, then mistakes are inevitable.

Letter: Selectman-Elect Kit Devereaux Congratulates Kevin Moynihan, Thanks Campaign Workers

The race is over. I would like to congratulate and extend my best wishes to our new first selectman, Kevin Moynihan. I also want to express my sincere thanks to our outgoing First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectman Beth Jones for their dedicated service to our town. I look forward to working hard from my seat on the Board of Selectmen to serve the people of New Canaan. I am looking forward to the next two years.

Op-Ed: Troubled by Withholding of Cost Overrun Information for NCHS Fields, Track Project

I was discouraged to read the article about the New Canaan High School fields projects. As the past chair of the Town Council’s subcommittee on the Lakeview Avenue Bridge overruns, I had hopes that our days of “surprise” cost overruns were behind us—that we had come to understand the importance of process, communication, and transparency. The idea that the information about pending cost overruns was available in June but not made public until September is deeply disappointing. Had the town’s governing bodies known of the true costs of the projects, those projects might have been configured differently. By not making the information public, that prerogative was preempted.

Letter: Addressing New Canaan’s Parking Challenges Downtown

To the Editor,

We are all concerned about our property values, but perhaps less aware that an important component of those values is a vibrant town center. We need to do what we can to help create a business-friendly environment. First, our current Main and Elm parking situation is not optimal. We have approximately 300 people working in the business district. Many of them compete for parking spaces on Main and Elm.

Op-Ed: Calling for a Fresh Look at Municipal Spending

The foremost issue on most voters’ minds is the financial condition of New Canaan. Property owners feel the pinch of persistent tax increases in the face of lowered property values. With a nod to zero-based budgeting, let’s start by looking at our budgets item by item. In our current system, department managers defend their proposed percentage increases, rather than their proposed overall budgets. Let’s go back to the beginning and look at every item that comprises those budgets.