The governor of Connecticut does not support proposed legislation that would force the regionalization of public schools in the state, New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday morning.
Summarizing a meeting with Gov. Ned Lamont held Monday at Town Hall, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said that the 10 people present “talked a good bit about the two bills that are pending that would have forced regionalization of [school] districts.”
“And I think we got a commitment from the governor to issue a public statement that he doesn’t support those measures,” Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held at Town Hall.
He referred to widely discussed, separate bills proposed by state Sen. Martin Looney (D-11th) and Bob Duff (D-25th).
In addition to Moynihan and Lamont, those present at the meeting were New Canaan Selectman Kit Devereaux, Board of Finance Chairman Todd Lavieri, Town Councilmen John Engel and Penny Young, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi, town residents Toddy Turrentine and Tucker Murphy and state Rep. Tom O’Dea (R-125th), Moynihan said.
Lamont did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During the meeting, O’Dea was especially vocal in his opposition to the proposed legislation, Moynihan said.
The New Canaan representatives primarily discussed Metro-North Railroad service, Moynihan said, “improving the schedule on the train line and also the amenities at the Talmadge Hill station.”
New Canaanites long have sought faster commuting times to New York City and more frequent thru-trains that would originate on the branch line and would not require local commuters to change trains in Stamford.
“We also talked about the fact that we are losing residents to Florida and other [states] because of the inheritance tax, which he also indicated probably given his budget constraints we need to find revenues,” Moynihan said. “He does not want to lose revenues. It was a very good discussion. He is very open and affable.”
Devereaux said she “came away feeling very encouraged” that Lamont found focus on matters of importance to New Canaanites and others in Connecticut.
Other topics included teacher pension obligations that would come down to the town, “and I think that is going to happen to some extent so that was bad news from the discussion,” Moynihan said, and tolls. According to the first selectman, O’Dea has floated the idea of only installing tolls on bridges so that that they do not divert too many motorists onto local roads that are not designed to handle such high traffic.