New Canaan is my hometown. Fortunate enough to be born and raised here, I went off to college at Princeton after graduating from NCHS in 1977, and spent the next few decades in New Jersey. There I raised my family of adopted and foster children and held various volunteer positions in my Princeton class and the Boy Scouts, all while working full time and managing a family equestrian operation for 20 years.
Yet during that time I was still connected here through my family—I am the youngest daughter of Harvard Five architect Landis Gores, who settled here in 1947 with my mother Pam and four siblings.
I returned to New Canaan full-time in 2014 with my husband, Professor Craig Donovan, to live with my mom in my childhood home, the first house my father designed, now on the National Historic Registry.
My father was severely disabled as a result of the polio epidemic of 1954, and this made me sensitive from childhood to the need for not only a safe environment for the elderly and disabled, but also a functional one. My earliest jobs as a teen were assisting other local residents affected by polio, helping them to shop, eat, bathe and do their jobs, and thus being able to continue living in their own homes.
Inspired by the needs of my mother and other seniors, I decided to leave the corporate arena where I had worked for the past three decades as a software developer and then manager, and start my own business—Senior Support and Transition, to help our area seniors age in place safely. As part of this new direction, I completed the USC Executive Certification in Home Modification Program, and earned full membership in the National Association of Senior Move Managers.
Today, I also volunteer as secretary to the Togetherhood Service Committee at the New Canaan YMCA, which serves area homeless and veteran populations, and as deputy treasurer for the New Canaan Democratic Town Committee. My husband and I work with local animal groups to provide education and support to owners of dogs and cats with diabetes.
Why am I running for Town Council? Why might you vote for me?
The answer to both questions is this: the driving force of my life has always been to be of service.
This is evident from my early years rising through the ranks at New Canaan Mounted Troop, to caring for those with polio, to serving in various leadership positions in local non-profits and at Princeton, to fostering many hard to place sibling groups and teens, to my volunteer work today.
Living elsewhere makes one very aware of and appreciative of the sense of community and caring that we still enjoy here. I benefitted immensely from growing up in this amazing town, and I am proud and grateful to reside here once again. Now that I have returned and settled in, I am ready to give back to New Canaan by serving on the Town Council.
I intend, if elected, to work together with other council members to resolve some of the thorny issues of our day while making use of my particular talents such as tenacity and attention to detail, as well as my extensive experience in problem solving and management. In particular, I will strive to find practical and satisfying solutions to many of the issues of the day, most notably cell phone service, parking, P&Z and land use concerns, maintaining school quality, and improving the viability of our downtown retail area.
I also look forward to the opportunity to follow and promote issues that affect our seniors in town, especially pertaining to housing and aging in place.
Liz Gores Donovan