‘Leave of Absence’: Moynihan Seeks to Retain Parks & Rec Commissioner After Second Domestic Arrest

New Canaan’s highest elected official is seeking to retain a Parks & Recreation Commission member on the appointed body following the latter’s second arrest in one year in a domestic incident, records show. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan is asking whether Commissioner Jack Hawkins could take a “leave of absence” instead of stepping down from Parks & Rec following the latter’s May 11 arrest for disorderly conduct, according to emails obtained through a public records request. The Town Charter “provides that Parks and Rec shall have no fewer than 7 and no more than 11 members,” Moynihan said in a May 23 email sent to Parks & Rec Chair George Benington and Tucker Murphy, a staffer in the first selectman’s office. “I don’t know if there is precedent for leaves of absence on boards and commissions,” Moynihan continued in the email, adding that he was copying in the Town Clerk’s office for clarification. 

The email string followed a May 23 inquiry from NewCanaanite.com regarding Hawkins’s status on the Commission. Weapons removed from home

New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski forwarded the following police report on Hawkins’s latest arrest to Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering Jones at 7:49 a.m. on May 12, according to the emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Dedication of ‘Steve Benko Pool’ Set for Saturday, June 4

Town officials this month voted unanimously to approve a June 4 ceremony to honor and memorialize one of New Canaan’s most recognizable, well-liked and dedicated residents. The Parks & Recreation Commission at its May 11 meeting voted 7-0 to approve a plan to dedicate the “Steve Benko Pool” in Waveny on the morning of Saturday, June 4. “I think it’s wonderful,” Chair George Benington said during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “Steve Karl and Robin [Bates Mason] have worked really hard to put this together.”

Benko died Feb. 12 after a brief battle with cancer.

Weed and Elm: Officials Counsel Opponents of Proposed Affordable Housing Development on Permissions To Use Public Parks 

Town officials say they’ve asked the organizers of a recent gathering in Irwin Park to follow municipal guidelines for such events in the future. According to Parks & Recreation Chair George Benington, officials were “scrambling” on the night of Friday, March 25 after learning of a potentially large meet-and-greet scheduled to be held on the afternoon of March 27 in the Weed Street park. Located near the barn at Irwin, the gathering was created “to discuss the whole Weed Street project with Karp,” Benington told members of Parks & Rec at their regular meeting, held Wednesday night at Lapham Community Center. He referred to opposition to developer Arnold Karp’s plan for a 102-unit affordable housing project planned for the northeast corner of Weed and Elm Streets. “The initial reports that we had were potentially 1,000 attending and we quickly contacted the organizer who assured us that was not the case, and 150 in reality there was only 30 or 40 people there on that Sunday afternoon,” Benington said.