‘It Is Sad, Really’: After Multiple Incidents with Angry Ticketed Motorists, Town To Purchase Five Body Cameras for Parking Enforcement Officers

In what New Canaan’s highest elected official is calling a sad statement on the way some motorists treat the town’s parking enforcement officers, the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved funds to purchase five body cameras that the workers soon will wear on the job. Approved 2-0 by the selectmen, the acquisition follows the arrests of a New Canaan man last month after a threatening incident at the Parking Bureau, a Norwalk woman this month who made a scene downtown after being ticketed, and a still-active case now two years old that saw a Greenwich man use racial slurs in arguing with a parking enforcement officer at Morse Court. “It is sad, really, that you have to do this,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said at the selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “And these are folks trying to do their jobs.”

Mallozzi and Selectman Beth Jones voted in favor of a $3,643 contract with Kansas-based Digital Ally to purchase the devices. Selectman Nick Williams was not in attendance.

Town Council Approves 2 Percent Increase To Budget for Fiscal Year 2017

Praising the diligence of municipal workers and volunteers, as well as district officials for the granular level of detail made available in their own spending plan, the Town Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a total budget for next fiscal year of $141,121,088. The first budget passed since the widely discussed Audit Committee was put in place, it marks a 2.09 percent year-over-year increase, including a 3.66 percent bump in the Board of Education’s operating budget (driven mainly by health insurance costs). For the first time in recent memory, no one spoke during the public comments section of the final budget hearing. Town Council Vice Chairman Steve Karl publicly thanked the Police and Fire Departments, New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Department of Public Works, including its highway division, New Canaan Library and others. Addressing the Board of Education—several members of which attended the meeting with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi and Director of Finance and Operations Dr. Jo-Ann Keating, among other administrators—Karl called their budget presentation “amazing.”

“You worked real hard, you guys came prepared and had the most information we have ever had, so thank you for that,” Karl said during the meeting, held at Town Hall.

‘Deeply Disappointed’: CPA Hired as Town Comptroller Backs Out Before Job Starts [UPDATE]

Update 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16

Though they had an accepted offer letter and agreement in place, town officials said Wednesday afternoon that the CPA hired to work as the new comptroller for New Canaan backed out of the job. Just one day after announcing that they had hired the Norwalk resident, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said that on Wednesday afternoon the town heard from the woman that her current company counter-offered and she accepted. “I am deeply disappointed that the new addition to our finance staff received a counter offer but I understand the realities of the workplace and we will endeavor to put this behind us and to do our best to find an equally qualified candidate for the position of comptroller,” he said. ***

Original Article: ‘Huge Nod To Good Finance’: New Canaan Hires Experienced CPA As Town Comptroller

Town officials announced Tuesday that they’ve hired a CPA and longtime audit manager as comptroller for the town, a move that New Canaan’s highest elected official said will bolster internal financial controls.

Charter Review: Town Spent $46,000 Last Year in Print Newspaper Public Notices

The town spent about $46,000 last fiscal year advertising public notices in local print newspapers—a practice that officials call expensive for taxpayers and which may change as a soon-to-be-appointed commission reviews New Canaan’s major governing document. The Town Council has sketched a timeline whereby a Charter Revision Commission will be appointed, with an eye on recommending updates to the Town Charter that would appear—following multiple public hearings and reports, as required by state law—on the ballot for the November 2016 general elections. Among changes to consider—as recommend by a committee of the Town Council five years ago, following interviews with the heads of town departments and municipal boards and commissions—is this (see pages 185-188 of this council meeting’s public packet): “Some commissions are bound by [state] statutes which require the entire content to be published. Are there ways to notice meetings in a more cost-effective way (e.g. website, referral to website in public notice)?”

Asked about the public noticing issue in particular, Town Councilman Penny Young—who had served on the 2010 committee—said “the idea was posed for several reasons.”

“One is the cost involved in taking an ad out, in printing it in the newspaper. And secondly, the development of other media modes that had not existed 10 years ago as they do now.

School Board Grappling With ‘Risky’ Cut To Health Insurance Reserve Fund

Just weeks after the town slashed the New Canaan Board of Education’s health insurance reserve account by $1.1 million for the fiscal 2015-2016 year, members of the board are now discussing how they would deal with a potential worst case scenario in which claims exceed the amount budgeted and eat into the reserves. During Monday’s Board of Education meeting at New Canaan High School, Dionna Carlson, who heads up the board’s educational resources sub-committee, said, “Through our work on the health insurance account we have identified a problem with our health insurance reserve as it relates to the health insurance reserve policy that was put into place in April 2014.”

That policy, crafted in cooperation with the Board of Selectmen, calls for the board to maintain 60% of the approximately $3 million health insurance reserve, known as the stop loss health corridor, as part of its budget, while the town maintains the other 40% in a special reserve on the town’s books. (To save money, the Town of New Canaan self insures as opposed to using full insurance.)

On top of this, the town maintains a special “incurred but not reported” (IBNR) reserve account, of about $1 million, that is used to cover claims that occurred in the fiscal year but which are not processed until after the fiscal year has ended. Members of the Board of Education and the school administration feel that the recent deep cut to the board’s reserve account puts the board at risk of defaulting on claims in the rare event that a high volume of claims draw down the health insurance budget and eat into the reserves. The town’s rationale for making the cut was basically that the board’s health insurance reserve fund is routinely overfunded at the end of each fiscal year.