Officials say they’ve suspended temporarily the search for New Canaan’s new finance director, so that the new first selectman can weigh in on the important decision.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi, who is not seeking a fourth term, said he feels “it would be much, much better for the next first selectman, whether that is Kit [Devereaux] or Kevin [Moynihan], to have direct input into the process and evaluation, and what they want to see in a CFO.”
A committee’s search for a permanent CFO will pick up again after the election in November, Mallozzi said.
Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones said the search committee—which includes members of the Board of Finance, Town Council and Audit Committee—received “plenty of resumes” in response to an initial call in May and that a candidates to be brought back in for a second interview “are on hold right now.”
“If the panel and Kit and Kevin were to meet, then maybe we would move it sooner, but that is where things are at this point,” she said.
The Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on extending the contract of current interim Finance Director Sandra Dennies by four months, through December.
Asked about what he sees as necessary qualities for New Canaan’s next finance director, Moynihan said, “I would like to see a CPA, which is not a job requirement but I would like to see a CPA.”
Moynihan, a Republican, declined to speak further on the matter, saying there’s a process underway and that the extension of Dennies’ contract would not preclude the town making a decision sooner than November or December on a permanent CFO.
“I appreciate the fact that the selection-confirmation of the new CFO will not be made by Rob, but I think the discussion of what is going on and what the search involves is not public at this point.”
Devereaux, a Democrat, said an ideal candidate “would have experience as a CFO of a wealthy medium-sized town.”
“That person would be objective, have the background and training to produce clean financial reporting for the auditors, to establish appropriate, streamlined financial procedures and have the ability to establish the proper priorities. Also, importantly, the ideal candidate would be able to work well with all segments of the town. Even in the most numbers-oriented position, being a team-player and having the ability to work well with other people is imperative.”
New Canaan has been without a permanent finance director since, Dawn Norton, who held the position for about five years, retired in the spring. Dennies—formerly CFO in Wilton and director of administration in Stamford—took on the role in May.