New Canaan’s Most Popular Cars

The oldest automobiles registered in New Canaan is a 1915 Ford Model T and a 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin motorcycle, tax records show. After that, the oldest autos include a 1922 Seagrave Pumper, 1923 Model T and 1927 Rolls Royce, according to the most recently completed Grand List, which includes taxable real and motor vehicle property. Once again in New Canaan—host of the popular Caffeine & Carburetors car show (cancelled so far this year due to the COVID-19 public health emergency) and home to 92-year-old dealership in Karl Chevrolet, one of the best-established companies in town—two makes of cars stand out atop the list of the most commonly owned vehicles. Both BMW and Chevrolet cracked the 1,500 mark, whereas no other single car company reached 1,200 locally registered vehicles. 

Asked how the dealership and repair shop is faring during the public health emergency, Karl Chevrolet Vice President Steve Karl said they’re “very fortunate to have the support of our local community, especially during times like this.”

“September will mark our 93rd year in business and while we have faced many large challenges over the years, nothing could have prepared us for a global pandemic,” he said. “Like every local business, COVID has made us think outside the box and it has tested us in multiple ways, but our staff has stepped up and continues to fight through the issues every day.

Local Business and COVID-19: Karl Chevrolet

What follows are responses from Leo Karl III, president of Karl Chevrolet, for our Q&A on how the local business is navigating the COVID-19 emergency in New Canaan. New Canaanite: What has the past week been like for you and Karl Chevrolet? Leo Karl III: Like all of us, each day has brought new information and adjustments. We have been preparing and making plans for a couple of weeks, so we feel our team has been very pro-active in dealing with the COVID-19 Coronavirus health threat. We want to do our part to be good stewards of our community’s health and well-being, while delivering needed services to our clients as seamlessly as possible. That includes adapting several new business initiatives.

Did You Hear … ?

A senior member of the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church congregation tested positive for COVID-19 virus, according to a post from the Rev. Peter Walsh on the church’s website. The individual’s family is quarantined, and as a protective measure so is a pastor from the church who had visited them, Walsh said. (The pastor is asymptomatic.) St. Mark’s will not gather in person for at least two weeks, through March 29, Walsh said in the post.

Did You Hear … ?

Municipal officials on Thursday denied a request to view a legal opinion rendered by the town attorney’s firm regarding New Canaan’s volunteer firefighters. The following line items and billing hours appear in a legal bill approved Feb. 11 by the Board of Selectmen, detailing what are described as professional tasks achieved by Berchem & Moses lawyers Christopher Hodgson, Kyle Roseman, Meredith Diette and Rebecca Goldberg, between Jan. 6 and 24 (New Canaan taxpayers fund an $8,5000 monthly retainer with the firm): 

“Follow up re: volunteer firefighters (.5 hours);
“Discussed strategy for payment of volunteer firefighters advice letter (.3 hours);
“Drafting advice letter re: payment of volunteer firefighters (.6 hours);
“Research volunteer firefighter issue (1 hour);
“Drafting advice letter re: payment of volunteer firefighters (2 hours);
“Review volunteer opinion memo; forward first draft to [Town Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones] (.7 hours);
“Drafted advice letter re: use of volunteer firefighters to cover for career firefighter shifts (4 hours);
“Edited advice letter (1 hour);
“Emailed letter along with summary and additional memos of law for review (.4 hours);
“Research, review and revision of opinion letter re: volunteer firefighters (2 hours);
“Interoffice communication re: volunteer firefighter issue; research recent law re: same and draft language for opinion letter re: same (1.1 hours); 
“Research re: definition of volunteer firefighter; interoffice conference re: same (1.5 hours);
“Continued research for volunteer firefighter opinion; revise draft letter (1.7 hours);
“Interoffice communication re: volunteer firefighter issue (1.3 hours);
“Research, review and revision of opinion letter re: volunteer firefighters (1.3 hours);
“Interoffice discussions re: volunteer firefighters; review and analyze DOL opinion letters re: same (.7 hours);
“Final revisions to opinion letter re: volunteer firefighters (.8 hours);
“Interoffice communication re: volunteer firefighters (.7 hours);
“Conference with C. Jones to follow up re: volunteer firefighter issue (.3 hours);
“Reviewed final draft of letter re: compensation of unpaid firefighters (.5 hours);
“Draft memo re: volunteers; telephone conference with C. Jones.”

***

The Town Clerk’s office on Feb. 20 recorded a notice of a $13,398.51 state real estate tax lien for the White Oak Shade Road home whose owners include a husband and wife who pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a health care fraud scheme. 

***

The Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for March 2 to conduct a “student disciplinary hearing” in executive session.

Hundreds Come to New Canaan’s Karl Chevrolet for 2020 Corvette Stingray Unveiling

Hundreds of auto enthusiasts visited one of New Canaan’s best established local businesses Tuesday for a milestone unveiling of a new specialty car. 

Supported by New Canaan businesses and designed to support local charities, the all-day unveiling at Karl Chevrolet of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray marked the first time that people could see the American sports car in Connecticut. 

“Everybody has been waiting for a mid-engine Corvette, including myself, and here it is,” Gary Trombly of East Granby said as dozens of people sat in and took photographs of an orange Stingray in Karl Chevy’s Elm Street showroom. Trombly traveled nearly two hours to attend. “Beautiful car,” he said. “It’s gorgeous. Well set up.