Boucher, Maher Discuss Affordable Housing, Rising Energy Costs and More During LWV Debate

Although they differ in their approaches to the issues, Republican Toni Boucher and her Democratic opponent, Ceci Maher, mostly see eye-to-eye when it comes to topics such as women’s reproductive rights, early voting, and rising energy costs – but their views diverge more significantly when it comes to affordable housing and how to balance spending with revenue, as revealed during the League of Women Voters New Canaan Candidate Debate held Oct. 20 at Town Hall. The debate featured a total of 10 candidates participating in three races in the state House of Representative and two races in the State Senate – including the race between Boucher and Maher for the 26th State Senate District, which includes Darien, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. The event was broadcast only – no audience members were allowed. In her opening remarks, Boucher explained that she was first elected to represent the 26th Senatorial District in 2008, after having served as the State Representative from the 143rd Assembly District for 12 years.

Fazio, Crow Debate Affordable Housing, Taxes, Reproductive Rights and More During LWV Debate

Affordable housing, early voting, energy costs, women’s reproductive rights and balancing taxes with state spending were among the many topics discussed when incumbent State Senator Ryan Fazio (R-36th) defended his seat from challenger and political newcomer Trevor Crow (D), during the League of Women Voters New Canaan Candidate Debate held Oct. 20 at Town Hall. The debate – which was televised only (there was no live audience allowed) and moderated by New Canaan High School students – featured candidates participating in three races in the state House of Representative as well as candidates squaring-off in two races in the state Senate, including the heated race between Fazio and Crow, both of whom are Greenwich residents. “As soon as I got elected, I went to work across the aisle in order to solve the challenges facing our district,” said Fazio, who was elected State Senator in August 2021, in his opening remarks. “I wrote and passed legislation to improve student mental health.

NCPD: Coughlin Receives ‘Stephen W. Wood Officer of the Year’ Award; Gannon, Callinan Promoted

New Canaan Police Department’s Sgt. Louis Gannon was promoted to lieutenant while Thomas Callinan was promoted to sergeant during a ceremony held Thursday at New Canaan High School’s Wagner Room. The announcement was made in December and the promotions took place Jan. 2, but the traditional ceremony was postponed to February 10. Gannon has been with the department for 30 years, serving as patrol sergeant, youth officer, training officer, investigator and, most recently, acting lieutenant.

Town Council Approves $2 Million in ARPA Spending

The New Canaan Town Council at its most recent meeting voted 11-1 to approve a round of American Rescue Plan Act or “ARPA”-funded expenditures totaling $2.05 million. The package of one-time expenditures includes $725,050 for bonuses for town and school employees, in recognition of their work on the “front lines” during the pandemic, and another $1.33 million for various town projects, according to information shared at the Town Council’s Dec. 15 meeting at Town Hall. The Board of Selectmen had approved the expenditures earlier this month, the Board of Finance the night prior to the Town Council meeting. The suite of initiatives is part of $6 million in total ARPA funds that the town expects to receive from the federal government, to be distributed in multiple rounds.

Ban on Bird Feeders Lifted

New Canaan residents can bring their bird feeders back outdoors again now that the  mysterious bird die-off that started in July has subsided. During the Conservation Commission’s Sept. 9 virtual meeting, Newell Cotton, a member of Friends of Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve, provided an update on the strange disease that resulted in a ban on bird feeding. Cotton said the mysterious affliction “was a concern during the summer—you probably saw the Connecticut Audubon’s communications regarding taking down feeders—but now they say feeders can go back up.”

Cotton said although the alarming trend of birds suddenly dying “did make its way to Connecticut, it was in very small numbers.”

“It was more of a Mid-Atlantic occurrence—around Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland,” he said. “I don’t think the root cause has been identified.