A local business advocate is to be appointed Tuesday to the municipal body that adjudicates parking ticket appeals and oversees off-street lots in New Canaan.
The Board of Selectmen is scheduled during its regular meeting to vote on the appointment of Laura Budd of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce to the Parking Commission.
She is to replace Stuart Stringfellow on the five-member Commission.
Asked about the imminent appointment, Budd said she’s looking forward to joining.
“As part of my job at the Chamber I have worked very closely with [Parking Manager] Stacy [Miltenberg] and whole Parking Department team and of course Keith [Richey] as Chairman of the Commission,” Budd said in a text. “I have a lot to learn but look forward to bringing the perspective of the downtown business community to the table as we all work toward the goal of making the parking situation more accessible for shoppers and workers alike.”
That’s emerged as a focal point among town leaders. Selectman Nick Williams in October proposed eliminating metered parking in New Canaan, saying it would make the business district more welcoming to visitors if the town enforced parking time limits only. Commissioners briefly discussed the proposal at their last meeting and the body hasn’t taken a formal position.
Asked about the imminent appointment, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said in an email, “Laura brings practical personal knowledge of downtown parking dynamics from her daily interaction with downtown merchants and shoppers due to her position with the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.”
Two years ago, New Canaan upped the parking time limit throughout the business district to two hours (some streets had been 90 minutes). Officials also long have tried to get those who work in shops, restaurants and other businesses to use off-street permitted lots instead of taking up free parking—for example, on Main and Elm—that’s designed for those who shop or dine here. Seeing through an idea that originated with the Chamber, the town about three years ago created a new type of parking permit for downtown workers, designating spaces in the Morse Court and Park Street Lots, and has urged business owners to obtain permits for their employees there or in the less expensive Center School Lot.
Hired by the Chamber eight years ago to handle marketing, Budd has been a New Canaan resident since 2002 and her three kids went through New Canaan Public Schools. She served on the boards of both the New Canaan Youth Football and ABC of New Canaan, and has volunteered extensively in the schools and New Canaan Lacrosse Association, including a term as East School PTC co-president.
She is to fill Commissioner Stuart Stringfellow’s seat as his term expires. The selectmen are also to reappoint Chris Hering to the Parking Commission.