Selectmen Also Divided on Whether To Disband Spencer’s Run Volunteer Committee


Just as they appear to be divided on whether to disband a committee that oversees youth sports in New Canaan, members of the Board of Selectmen recently voiced diverging points of view with respect to the volunteers who help operate the dog park at Waveny.

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said during a meeting last week that there are open questions about insurance coverage for the Spencer’s Run Committee members and whether the group regularly meets and keeps minutes and that it’s “mind boggling” to have a committee in place with no process.

The Parks & Recreation Commission has “no authority to make committees” such as one formed in March to help with the problem of dog poop at Irwin Park, Moynihan said at the April 24 selectmen meeting. That type of group “raises the question of what a town committee does and what is its function and how it expects to operate,” he said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

Moynihan first voiced concerns about the Spencer’s Run volunteer group in March, saying its members appeared to be enforcers and citing the case of a dog recently banned from the dog park.

Selectman Kit Devereaux later defended the volunteers, saying they’re not enforcers, and Selectman Nick Williams at the recent meeting said, “This is a volunteer group that has been working well for the last dozen years and I see no reason to disband it.”

When Devereaux pointed out that the volunteers are instructed to contact Animal Control in case of a problem, Williams said, “That does not qualify in my mind as a lawyer as ‘enforcement,’ to make that phone call.”

Devereaux told Moynihan that the Spencer’s Run volunteers meet twice per year, though she didn’t know whether they kept minutes.

When he asked whether its members are re-appointed, Devereaux answered: “Yes they are and it been functioning in a way, serving the town for 11 years very successfully, without any problem, and so the idea to disband it is to me is like the town shooting itself in the foot.”

Moynihan said later: “I will look further into the minutes and activities.”

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