We’re writing not only about those municipal bodies that all local media outlets cover—New Canaan Board of Selectmen, Town Council, Department of Public Works—but also the Public Tree Board, Traffic-Calming Work Group, Parking Commission and Park & Recreation Commission.
Town officials last week voted in favor of closing parts of Elm Street to motor vehicle traffic on Friday, Dec. 3 for the return of a popular kickoff event for the holidays and local shopping. The New Canaan Holiday Stroll returns this year after taking 2020 off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Good to see it back,” Police Commission Chair Paul Foley said during the appointed body’s Nov. 17 meeting, held at New Canaan Police Department headquarters and via videoconference.
New Canaan’s highest elected official is pushing back on a request from a fellow member of the Board of Selectmen to move a meeting next month back by one day. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said Tuesday that “it would be a very bad precedent” to honor such requests. “We know when our meetings are scheduled and we have to be here,” Moynihan told Selectman Kathleen Corbet during the Board’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall.
He referred to a request that Corbet had made more than 30 days prior to the scheduled Dec. 14 selectmen meeting, to move it back one day.
Corbet had introduced the topic, saying she had asked to swap the Board’s Dec. 14 meeting with the Dec.
Selectman Nick Williams on Tuesday chastised New Canaan’s highest elected official following the town’s quiet sign-off last week on a $5,000 contract for a study of how a proposed new police station near Saxe Middle School would affect traffic. Studying the effect on traffic locating a new police station on a Saxe Middle School baseball field amounts to the town spending $5,000 “for an assessment of something that is not going to take place,” Williams said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “It’s $5,000,” he said. “It may not seem like a lot, but it’s $5,000 that’s wasted.”
His comments came as the selectmen took up their regular review of town contracts valued at less than $10,000. One of the contracts, with Norwalk-based Hardesty & Hanover, was for “traffic consulting services potential new site NCPD South Ave.”
Williams noted that municipal officials from both funding bodies during a joint meeting Monday night signaled that they preferred to renovate the existing police station on-site to building anew elsewhere in New Canaan, such as at Saxe.
The town of New Canaan is poised to lose its prized CFO back to the city he’d left three years ago to come here, officials say. Lunda Asmani will leave effective Dec. 6 to work as CFO of Norwalk Public Schools pending formal approval by that city’s Board of Education, Director of Human Resources Cheryl Pickering Jones said when asked about his resignation. Hired as municipal budget director in 2018 and appointed to the larger role of CFO one year later—a combination of the budget and finance director jobs—Asmani’s departure will be “a huge loss,” she said. Asmani is leaving the town on good terms, Jones said.
In a break with precedent, parks officials voted last week to allow commercial advertising on a single-season trial basis for a recreational facility planned for Waveny. A private group seeking to establish a seasonal outdoor ice rink at Waveny plans to install the 60-by-120 structure some time later this year in part of the parking lot that serves the Orchard softball field. By selling ad space on the rink’s “dasher boards”—the panels lining the inner wall of an ice rink—the private group could raise about $20,000 to $25,000 annually to help offset operational costs, one of its members, Gene Goodman, said during the Nov. 10 regular meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission.
Goodman, who also is a Parks & Rec commissioner, joined Chair Rona Siegel and fellow commissioners Francesca Segalas, George Benington, Carl Mason, Hank Green, Jake Granito (also a member of the private group, officials say), Steve Haberstroh, Matt Konspore and Jack Hawkins in voting 10-0 to allow for the advertising for the upcoming season. (The Commission has one open seat.)
It’s unclear just when the ice rink would be installed or how long it would be in place.