‘A Real Good Moment for New Canaan’: Officials Break Ground on New Affordable Housing on Millport Avenue

Lifelong town resident Scott Hobbs recalls that New Canaan was more economically diverse when he grew up here than it is today. And due to the success of the town, “we seem to become less and less economically diverse,” Hobbs, chairman of the New Canaan Housing Authority, said Wednesday. “So the more that we are able to provide housing and have the people who work in the community actually live here, too, creates a healthier community,” Hobbs said from the site of a widely anticipated project that will see the affordable units that overlook Mill Pond expanded and built with greater density. A handful of town officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the Millport Avenue Apartments. The Housing Authority is now completing a phased redevelopment of the site, starting with 33 new affordable housing units, with 40 more to come.

Officials Consider Moving Away from New Canaan Police for Traffic Control during Roadside Tree Work

Town officials say it’s possible to save taxpayer dollars by moving away from a system that sees New Canaan Police Department officers, rather than less expensive private contractors, directing motor vehicle traffic during roadside work on public trees. So long as it’s equally safe to have private companies or tree service providers themselves use their own flagmen, New Canaan could save “a big chunk of change” to the tune of $20 per hour instead of the police department’s $65, Selectman Beth Jones said at the board’s Nov. 18 meeting. “I wish we could negotiate that more,” Jones said at the meeting, held in the Training Room of the New Canaan Police Department. The discussion came up as the selectmen approved an approximately $23,000 contract with Mill River Tree Service (for pruning and removal of trees at 21 locations all told, see page six of the public packet here for details).

Clemson over ‘Cuse: Mallozzi Loses Bet to Luizzi, Punishment by Hat [VIDEO]

Rob Mallozzi loses Clemson Cuse bet to Bryan Luizzi
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi has been eyeing October 25 in his calendar for a couple of months now. So has Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi. The day of the Clemson-Syracuse football game took on special meaning this season, as both teams count supporters among the highest offices in town: Mallozzi’s daughter, Kit, started at ‘Cuse this year, and Luizzi is himself a Clemson grad. So in August, during an annual gathering of teachers just before school starts, Mallozzi made a point to challenge Luizzi publicly for bragging rights after the big game—and a special, public punishment. Clemson (ranked 22 nationally) took it, 16-6. See video above for the rest.

Town Policy to Allow for Officials to ‘Phone In’ for Public Meetings, with Conditions [VIDEO]

First Selectman Rob Mallozzi on Phoning into Town Meetings
Though it was an advisory vote and not a final decision for the town, the Park & Recreation Commission’s recent 4-3 tally in favor of a Caffeine & Carburetors event at Waveny triggered a larger discussion about municipal meeting policy. During its meeting last month, one parks commissioner tried to cast a vote via conference call but was not allowed to do so (his “No” vote would have meant a 4-4 tie—perhaps something to consider for the administrative team that would make a final decision). It prompted a call for clarification on the town’s policy. NewCanaanite.com talked to New Canaan’s highest elected official about where the decision-making process stands. The government favors allowing the volunteers who oversee those municipal boards and commissions that do not already have alternatives to call in for their meetings, on certain conditions—such as ensuring there is a quorum physically present.

Mallozzi on Post Office’s Location: ‘A Terrible Inconvenience’

Though it’s far from clear just where the Post Office will land in the long term, it’s critical that the facility move somewhere other than where it is, New Canaan’s highest elected official said. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said he’s in contact with the U.S. Postal Service every two weeks and regularly receives updates from Realtors assigned to finding the new location. Since last fall, officials have talked to property owners on Pine, Cherry, Vitti and most recently Forest Streets, but nothing has materialized, Mallozzi said. “To me the most important thing is that the Post Office finds a permanent location and vacated the Main Street location which I think has been a terrible inconvenience,” Mallozzi told NewCanaanite.com. “I am looking for a favorable placement of the Post Office that is conducive to walk-in-traffic, parking and the public.