Letter: New Canaan Needs Change


We have been residents of New Canaan since 2013 and have been very active in the community with two children in the New Canaan public schools, volunteering time for many organizations including the West School PTC, Cub Scouts, Meals on Wheels and St. Aloysius and financial support for many others. As many of you, our largest personal investment is our home in New Canaan. Although we do not have 20 years of history in this town we don’t need those years of experience to recognize a recurring theme with the current First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectman Nick Williams—a lack of leadership in our town government and unwillingness to take positions on critical issues facing New Canaan.

Saxe Middle School Expansion: this accomplishment does not belong to the first selectman or the selectman although it is touted as a key accomplishment. Approval of this project was spearheaded by the parents of New Canaan with support of many other residents. Working moms and dads and other concerned residents spent hundreds of hours petitioning and speaking to the Town Council and Board of Finance to successfully approve the expansion of our overcrowded middle school. In fact, the current first selectman went on record as not supporting the expansion which is what prompted the uproar from town families. Only after the overwhelming support and public pressure from the community and a mere days before the November 2015 election did they change their tune on Saxe by stating they would be more “open minded” to the expansion.

Town Owned Buildings: Did you know the town owns 53 buildings, many of which have significant deferred maintenance? These properties, similar to a private home, decrease in value if they are not maintained. To date there is still no comprehensive plan for these deteriorating town assets. How many taxpayer dollars need to be spent before there is a thoughtful strategic plan for these buildings? Holding these buildings could very well hinder other critical investments the town needs to make. Further, I would expect our leaders to make informed decisions. Unfortunately this was not the case with the Outback. In the dead of summer, the first selectman and selectman made a rash decision and publicly stated the Outback should be demolished. Again, only after significant scrutiny did they research the issue and reverse their position. The lack of leadership in this capital intensive part of the town budget is appalling.

Appointment and Findings of the Audit Committee: A similar brazen attitude was displayed toward the creation and findings of the Audit Committee. How could these two publicly attack the many well regarded members of the Audit Committee after citing serious internal controls in Town Hall especially when the deficiencies came under the watch of town employees hired by the Board of Selectman? This same behavior again came back to the forefront when the town treasurer was publicly ostracized for reporting similar internal control concerns. This consistent attacking behavior illustrates their disregard for official reports and their inability to accept responsibility for issues at Town Hall.

It is time to elect officials that are transparent, independent, take the time to research issues and make informed decisions incorporating the views of all New Canaan residents. We need leaders that are thoughtful and fiscally conservative, yet understand that New Canaan is slipping behind its competitive towns and may need to invest strategically to attract residents that will protect our real estate values. Please join us in supporting Kevin Moynihan, Christa Kenin and Rich Townsend at the caucus on July 18th to bring this needed change to New Canaan.
Greg and Becky Ethridge

6 thoughts on “Letter: New Canaan Needs Change

  1. New Canaan does need a change. We need more decisions and actions and less rhetoric and “waiting and seeing.” New Canaan is now–not later!!

  2. As a longtime NC resident that has voted for (and will be again) Mr. Mallozzi and Mr. Williams, I find some of these arguments ludicrous.

    Some of the points mentioned legitimately make no sense. For example, how can one say the Board of Selectmen lacks leadership and positioning on key issues and then state numerous instances of leadership? Is this a joke?

    The main points of contention here just reek of sour grapes. The opposition seems to be making a mountain out of a molehill with non-issues. The personal and unfounded attacks are very unprofessional and I don’t see the other side doing it.

    • CL,
      The only thing that makes no sense is your comment. Wise up. New Canaan needs a change. Vote Moynihan, Kenin and Townsend.

    • CL- what would the Etheridge’s possibly have to be sour grapes about? That implies they lost something, like an election or contest, to Rob and Nick. And your argument makes a blanket statement, can you back up your opinion? #anyonebutrob

  3. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Greg!! Brilliant letter and spot on. #anyonebutrob I will be supporting the same candidates as you. Mallozzi touting how he supported the Saxe expansion at the ground breaking was political hypocrisy at its finest. And still no solution to commuter parking! And Kevin got Ever Source to come back and open the discussion about natural gas, not mallozzi. The list goes on and on.

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