Selectman Devereaux at Final Board Meeting: Spend More Time Listening to Residents

Town officials should listen more closely to residents and work hard to safeguard New Canaan’s heritage, Selectman Kit Devereaux said Tuesday during her last meeting on the Board of Selectmen. 

Devereaux, who is moving this month to Maryland, said that “having an opportunity to serve as a selectmen has been an honor that I have really enjoyed.”

“Just a couple of wishes on my way out,” she said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “I think we should be very careful about making decisions about what we think residents should have and more time listening to what residents say they want. And one thing, too, would be to not constrain public input at meetings of the Board of Selectmen to only matters that are on the agenda, but rather open it up to the matters that residents want us to address. Allowing just a couple of minutes to hear the thoughts of a resident could only add to the effectiveness of the Board of Selectmen.”

She added that town officials should “take care to preserve our heritage, it’s a small New England town, and to what helps to keep the historic look and feel of New Canaan.”

Devereaux in January—following a presentation by New Canaan Library on its rebuilding plan, which includes creation of a town green where the original 1913 building now stands—voted 3-0 together with First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Nick Williams to recommend a $10 million earmark to support that project. Prior to casting that vote, she said losing the original library building would be regrettable.

First Selectman Approves $14,000 Emergency Replacement of Well Pump Controls After Lightning Strike

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan last week approved an emergency expenditure of $14,290 to replace the controls on a well pump at New Canaan High School that failed after a lightning strike, officials said. The pump “services the majority of our irrigation systems in and around the Farm Road field—inside the track, things of that nature,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “It failed,” Mann said Tuesday during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen. “We believe that’s due to a lightning strike.”

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 to approve the after-the-fact spend with Danbury-based Foley’s Pump Service Inc.

The company had installed the system a couple of years ago, Mann said. “They came out to evaluate the pump and determined that the well pump is OK but the controls themselves were in complete failure,” Mann said.

Power Outages in New Canaan Stand at 83% Wednesday Morning [UPDATING]

The morning after a tropical storm brought high winds to the area, 83.1% of New Canaan households remained without power, according to Eversource. The figure represents 7,057 homes, according to data as of 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. Most residents appeared to lose power around 3 p.m. Tuesday, following a tornado watch in New Canaan and the county from the National Weather Service. As businesses shut down for the afternoon, fallen trees and limbs knocked out power. Emergency responders received reports of downed wires on Weed Street, Jelliff Mill Road, West Road, Ponus Ridge, Old Stamford Road, Birchwood Avenue, Danforth Drive and Valley Road, among others, according bulletins from fire dispatch.

Police: Domestic Incident on Main Street Results in Arrest of Man, 25

Police on Monday morning arrested a 25-year-old South Salem, N.Y. man by warrant and charged him with second-degree breach of peace. 

The charge stems from a domestic incident between the arrested man and victim on Main Street, according to a police report. It isn’t clear when the incident occurred, whether it was downtown, whether the parties are related, whether the arrested man assaulted the victim or used obscene language or gestures in public, or what those might have been. Police withheld details, saying it’s a domestic matter. Under state law, second-degree breach of peace occurs when a person “engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place,” “assaults or strikes another,” “threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person’s property” or uses “abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture.”

The man turned himself in at about 7:14 a.m. on Aug. 3.

Devereaux: Allow Meeting Attendees To Address Selectmen on Topics of Their Choosing 

Selectman Kit Devereaux is urging New Canaan’s highest elected official to allow those attending public meetings to speak on any topic they wish, instead of only those on the agenda. Given that speakers would be limited in the time they could address the Board of Selectmen, they “should be allowed to speak about items that are of concern to them,” according to Devereaux. 

“Not just what’s on the agenda,” she told First Selectman Kevin Moynihan during the most recent meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held July 21 via videoconference. 

Moynihan responded, “We are not really a policy board. We make administrative and operational decisions. It’s one thing to make comments to the Town Council…. I think it’s always been this way.