Letter: First Selectman on Ethics Board Report

Last week, after nearly 12 hours of meetings in 9 sessions from November 9, 2021, to May 12, 2022, the Ethics Board of the Town of New Canaan voted 4 to 1 to issue a Report and Determination on a Complaint filed against me last November 1st by Ms. Micaela Porta. 

Ms. Porta was then President of the League of Women Voters of New Canaan but she was also known to be active in Democratic politics and progressive causes. Ms. Porta has admitted that she was approached by Democratic party operatives about the Letter and Ms. Porta herself enlisted the support of two prominent leaders of the Democratic Party (current Selectman Kathleen Corbett and former Selectman Beth Jones) in making the argument that there was something wrong with the Letter in regard to how I described CT minority representation law as it applied to the 2021 municipal election ballot. Accordingly, I believe that the Complaint was politically motivated and that the Ethics Board was weaponized for political purposes. 

The Complaint involved a single campaign endorsement letter (the “Letter”) that I wrote last October at the request of the Republican Town Committee (“RTC”) recommending the Republican slate of candidates to new voters, including the Republican slate of four Board of Education candidates. As First Selectman, I was a candidate for re-election, and, as such, I had a duty to communicate my views to the New Canaan electorate.  It is also my right pursuant to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to do so. In her Complaint, Ms. Porta alleged that I violated several sections of the Ethics Code claiming:

 First, that I “used [my] position and access to resident names and addresses to give preferential treatment to one slate of candidates,” and

Second, that the Letter was “misleading to voters,” “erroneous” in its description of Connecticut election law and that Town citizens were “confused” by it.

Notice of Memorial Service for Eric P. Richards 

Eric P. Richards
(August 28, 1944 – January 14, 2022)

Friends and family are invited to attend Eric’s memorial service on Saturday, May 21, 2022.  The service will be at 11:30am at  The First Congregational Church of Darien, 14 Brookside Road, Darien, CT. Eric P. Richards of New Canaan, CT passed away peacefully January 14, 2022 at home surrounded by his loving family.  He was 77. Eric was born on August 28, 1944 in San Francisco, CA to Roland Richards, then on a west coast assignment with the FBI, and Beatrice “Betty” Richards both of Darien, CT.  The family returned to Connecticut in 1945 and Eric was raised in Darien on the family’s waterfront property on Five Mile River Road. Enamored with the water from an early age, Eric began rowing boats almost from the time he could walk, then sailing and motoring around in runabouts at his Darien home.  He was an early racing sailor winning his first trophy at age 10 in Noroton Yacht Club’s mid-week dinghy series in 1955, sailing the Club’s lapstraked, wooden dyer dinghies.  Eric later successfully campaigned the family’s Jet 14 at Noroton, winning several more trophies.  This period of his life culminated in sailing on Bolero in 1964 and ’65 and racing in the ’66 Bermuda race aboard Mah Jong a 53’ all teak custom built yawl.  It was a trip to remember with estimated 50+ knots of wind crossing the Gulf Stream, the boat falling off square waves, much derring do, Eric’s first adventure into the open sea. Eric attended local schools in Darien through the ninth grade before enrolling at Deerfield Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1962.  Following Deerfield, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University and attended Columbia’s Graduate School of Business for a term while awaiting a commission in the US Naval Reserve.  He attended the Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI.  Upon receiving his commission in March 1968 he had refocused his efforts from ships to flight and was accepted into the Naval Aviator pilot training program in Pensacola and in jets in Meridian, MS, Pensacola, FL and Kingsville, TX.

Moynihan: Police Likely Will Occupy Office Building Downtown During Renovation of NCPD

The New Canaan Police Department likely will move into an office building downtown while its headquarters is extensively renovated and in some ways rebuilt as part of a long-discussed and sorely needed upgrade, officials say. The town has “tentatively agreed” with the owner and property manager at 39 Locust Ave.—known to many as the offices of the Board of Education, which is moving to Elm Street—for NCPD to use as “swing space” during the police station project, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. 

“That will blend great with what the superintendent has been paying for the space, and so that will be through 2024 and the lease otherwise would have gone to 2026 but the superintendent had already given notification of terminating that,” Moynihan told members of the Board of Finance during a general update at their May 10 meeting. It isn’t clear just when the project at 174 South Ave. will get underway or how long it will take. A town committee now is weighing two proposals that have different visions for the back-half of the 1926-built police station—one to renovate and another to completely rebuild.

Group Calls for Creation of Formal Committee on EV Charging Stations

A citizen-led group is asking New Canaan’s highest-elected official to appoint a formal committee to plan for creation of electric vehicle charging stations in town. The group, which includes Leo Karl III, Chris Hering and members of the Department of Public Works, has met informally to talk about EV charging stations, according to Laura Budd, chair of the Parking Commission. Karl “is working something up send to the first selectman that we’d like to get an official committee working, because it’s so complicated.”

“There are so many options with the EV chargers,” Budd said during the Commission’s May 5 meeting, held via videoconference. “There is one going up at the Town Hall Annex, the former Outback [Teen Center], which is great and then they are hoping from some rebates they get from that to put the second one in Morse Court. So we are trying to get ahead of it but it’s so complicated.

‘Boba Tea Shop’ Planned for Main Street

A new tea shop is planned for a vacant commercial space on Main Street, records show. ‘Boba Tea Shop’ at 162 Main St. will serve hot and cold drinks, according to a building permit application filed May 4 with the town. Located next to Coldwell Banker, the long single-story brick-exterior building had housed a tea shop—Betsy’s Teas—in the past. The new tea shop is registered with the Connecticut Secretary of the State as Migoto LLC, records show.