NewCanaanite.com received the following letter(s) ahead of the July 25 Republican caucus. Please send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org to have them published here. We will not publish caucus endorsements after July 11. Letters received through July 11 will be appended to this post.
Over my 7 terms on the Town Council and service with 6 First Selectmen, I’ve witnessed the dramatic changes which have evolved in municipal governance and which proscribe the activities and responsibilities of a First Selectman. No longer is the position a heavily political one; today the focus centers on extremely complex financial, social and legal issues. The position is truly a combination CEO and CAO position, a 24/7/365 non-stop head of government and, as you can envision, requires a leader to hold credentials far broader and stronger than formerly held. Kevin Moynihan’s 35-year corporate legal career and manifest managerial skills more than fill these essential attributes.
With this changed nature of municipal governance, perhaps you’ll understand my concern about this upcoming local election. The issues before us require fast-paced critical thinking, established relationships with our legal team, legislators, and regional/state organizations. We can ill afford lightly experienced leadership or grasp of the demands and responsibilities of a First Selectman and current day governance. As such, I am puzzled when candidates propose “fiscal responsibility” to be an administration focus when they know, in fact were part of, the Moynihan administration’s crowning achievement in bringing in below inflation budgets and reduced debt while still protecting services and safety we all expect and appreciate. And, with a hard-working Town Hall staff always mindful of efficiencies, are we considered fiscally irresponsible?
Each administration develops its own leadership “style”; fortunately voters have placed a heavier weight on “substance”. So I encourage you to pay attention to the broad range of issues the Moynihan administration has impressively tackled as well as what’s still facing us – universal communication service, housing, public safety, infrastructure, education. Be mindful of their complexity, potential impact on our town, and powerful outside influence. Kevin has brought us into impressive solid financial and social state and sought collaborative approaches to problems on our plate. I posit Progress Begets Progress– why would we ever stop this positive energy flowing to our Town’s future? Please join me in casting your vote for Kevin Moynihan at the July 25th Caucus so his dynamic proven leadership will carry us forward.
I write to you today to wholeheartedly endorse Kevin Moynihan for the position of First Selectman. In a world where politics often becomes a popularity contest telling us what we want to hear, Kevin does not pander. He stands out as a dedicated leader who has proven himself through hard work and tangible accomplishments on critical town issues.
Under Kevin’s leadership, we have made remarkable progress. We enjoy the benefits of natural gas thanks to his efforts. Additionally, two new cell towers have been approved, enhancing our connectivity. The renovation of the police station and the preservation of our beloved movie theater are underway, testaments to his commitment to improving our town.
Kevin has consistently presented flat budgets, preventing our taxes from skyrocketing above the rate of inflation or labor contracts. Despite these fiscal constraints, our schools have maintained excellence. His opponents may attempt to tarnish his reputation saying he is secretive, but the reality is that he reports publicly to the Town Council and to the Board of Finance every month, bringing them along, respecting the process.
Kevin has been instrumental in enhancing our parks and green spaces. He played a key role in establishing the Waveny Conservancy, creating the Land Acquisition Fund, securing the Silvermine Fowler Preserve and supporting current efforts to restore the Bristow Bird Sanctuary. Kevin is currently instrumental in the Land Trust’s acquisition of the antique house and open space on Valley Road from the Norwalk taxing district.
While supporting our New New Canaan Library, Kevin was also involved in crafting a solution that preserved and relocated the historic 1913 Library. His dedication to our town extends beyond words, as he consistently proposes innovative solutions to the town council and board of finance. While not every proposal may pass, his commitment to improving our community remains unwavering.
However, there is one critical reason why Kevin deserves your re-election: his unmatched knowledge and unwavering stance on our most pressing issue, 8-30g. Kevin (following the advice of our task force) is pursuing moratoriums, searching for new opportunities and litigating the proposals which have been rejected by town boards. He is leading our Housing Authority, Town Council and Board of Finance on ways to address this complex issue.
In summary, Kevin Moynihan is the candidate who has worked the hardest and achieved the most on our town’s critical issues. He has a proven track record of success, a dedication to preserving our town’s character, and a deep understanding of our most pressing challenges. I urge you to re-elect Kevin Moynihan as our First Selectman, for the betterment of New Canaan.
“Tom Butterworth supports Dionna Carlson for First Selectman.” If endorsement letters had headlines, that would be mine. Dionna clearly is the best candidate, and the Town is unbelievably fortunate she’s offering to serve.
The job of First Selectman is ridiculously demanding, akin to being both Board Chair and CEO of a thriving company. It requires talent, intelligence, financial acumen and dedication–qualities shared by Dionna and Kevin Moynihan, the incumbent. But it’s also key that our First Selectman be able to build a governing consensus. That requires humility, trustworthiness, patient listening, nonpartisan collaboration, commitment to a culture of civility, and respect for others. On these measures, Dionna obviously is the better choice.
Among the beneficiaries of a Dionna Carlson administration would be Town employees and the residents who rely on them to perform at the top of their game.
Dionna has demonstrated her consensus-building skills as a member and Chair (for three years) of the New Canaan Board of Education. The challenge was daunting: Improve a K-12 education system that already was among the best in the nation. She met that challenge by listening to and leading a collaborative team of Board members, staff and parents. Test scores and learning opportunities improved, while infighting, controversy and disruption were minimal compared to other districts. NCPS continued to be a destination where superb teachers and administrators sought to come and wanted to stay.
Those same skills are sorely needed in the Office of First Selectman.
Vote for Dionna Carlson at the Republican Caucus on July 25, and again in the fall. If you haven’t registered as a Republican, do so even if it’s just for this election. It’s that important.
It’s time for a change.
Dear New Canaanite,
As New Canaan evolves, it’s critical we elect a First Selectman who is an effective change-maker and powerful advocate for our best interests. Kimberly Norton is exactly that. She was a driving force behind sweeping state legislation protecting children’s privacy in 2016, locally advocated to make sure PCBs were properly remediated at Saxe Middle School, and helped make our streets safer by reviving Slow Down in Our Town. Currently on Town Council, she was the highest vote-getter for new candidates in 2021, coming in just 192 votes shy of the current First Selectman. I am looking forward to voting for Kim in the Republican Caucus on July 25, and I hope you will join me in doing so.
In the very early days of school app and web use, Kim saw that our childrens’ personal information and online work needed to be protected, and that parents needed to know what their kids are doing electronically while at school. Kim helped bring together parents and lawmakers to pass Public Act 16-189, the first-ever Connecticut student data privacy bill, now the standard for all districts in Connecticut.
Her energy and commitment to our schools is exceptional. She is a current volunteer for the Parent Faculty Association at New Canaan High School and has been for over 10 years, while her children attended school there. Currently she sits on the Grant Committee; she has done everything from volunteering in the library, to running social media, to serving as the Board of Education Representative, to chairing Freshman Orientation and Exam Snacks. Kim understands parents and children and has shown a strong commitment to both groups.
When she heard that Saxe Middle School was doing an auditorium renovation, and PCBs were found in the floor and ceiling tiles, she started attending town meetings to advocate for best practices in remediation. Kim enlisted me to join her; she shared her experience as Vice President of the P.S. 199 PTA and Co-Chair of its Construction Committee, working to rid that school of PCB dust that her children and others were exposed to after a window renovation. She wanted to make sure the remediation at Saxe was done properly, and it was.
Knowing how dangerous speeding can be for our many children and adult pedestrians, Kim revived Slow Down in Our Town eight years ago to enhance pedestrian safety. She recruited the State Dept of Transportation to donate a day of driving simulators, so new drivers at New Canaan High School could experience the effects of texting and driving. Maybe you saw her at South School Walk to School Day handing out coloring books and car magnets to raise safety awareness.
Kim is a home-grown New Englander who went to Connecticut College in nearby New London, CT. She is a psychologist, having earned her Ph.D in clinical psychology at Fordham, and has spent time teaching and working with diverse groups from all over the city. When she graduated, Kim went to work for the NYPD and became a forensic psychologist. Working in the NYPD, a large government agency of 40,000 police officers, and making tough decisions about public safety, provides Kim with the experience needed to achieve results for New Canaan.
New Canaan has evolved over the past decade and so must our leadership. Having a First Selectman who has already made such positive differences for residents and has such a deep understanding and commitment to our schools is what we need going forward. I’m excited to have the opportunity to vote for Kim, and hope you will join me in doing so.
We are writing to support Tia Whinery in her candidacy for the New Canaan Board of Education in the July 25 Republican caucus. Many of us have worked with her on numerous endeavors in our community and we all know her to be a dedicated, experienced, and qualified leader and volunteer in our town. She has held leadership and high-level volunteer positions in many local organizations including New Canaan Nature Center, South School PTC, Saxe PTC, New Canaan Youth Field Hockey, New Canaan Youth Lacrosse, Congregational Church of New Canaan, and New Canaan Girl Scouts.
A lifelong Republican, Tia has lived in New Canaan for over 12 years. She understands the importance of supporting her community and working well with others as evidenced by her years of work in our schools with other parent volunteers, teachers, and administrators. Tia has been a constant presence in our schools, volunteering on behalf of her two children who currently attend Saxe Middle School.
We know that Tia would be a valued member and significant contributor on the New Canaan Board of Education. Her years of professional experience working for major US corporations, her level head and approachable style, and her incredible work ethic are exactly what we want and need on our Board of Education. We think it is critically important for our BOE to have members that have a working knowledge of the town, deep knowledge of our schools, professional and financial experience, and a proven track record of working well with others. Tia is the only candidate running that has held leadership positions in our schools.
We are confident that Tia will strongly advocate for our students, while listening to a wide array of opinions and studying the issues at hand. Tia is deeply committed to our New Canaan community and schools and has earned our vote. We hope you join us in voting for Tia at the Republican Caucus on July 25th. Unaffiliated voters may vote in the caucus by affiliating before July 24 by noon at Town Hall.
Daniella and Brian DeChristopher
Molly and Paul DeGaetano
Ally and Dirk Dunlap
Beth and Arthur Golden
Amy and Chad Kutney
Maria and Marc Magliacano
Spencer & Sara Schubert
Karl & Anne Schimmeck