Police Commission Chairmanship Turns Over at Heated Meeting

The appointed municipal body that oversees the New Canaan Police Department elected a new chair Wednesday night during an awkward organizational meeting. Paul Foley, a member of the Police Commission since December 2013, was elected chairman by a 2-1 vote following a heated exchange between his predecessor in the role and the town’s highest elected official. 

Sperry DeCew, a member of the Police Commission since June 2012, had served the past two years as chair. 

As per section 15-3 of the Town Charter, the three-member Commission meets “promptly after” Dec. 1—typically in January—for the election of its own officers “at the call of the First Selectman.” 

As First Selectman Kevin Moynihan opened the organizational meeting, held during the Commission’s regular meeting at police headquarters, DeCew said, “Let’s get on with this circus. Nominations for Commission chairman.”

Commissioner Jim McLaughlin—himself appointed one year ago to the Police Commission—nominated Foley. DeCew called for any other nominations.

Small Women’s Locker Room at Police HQ Limits Ability To Hire More Female Officers

The female locker room at the police station—a 1926 building that hasn’t seen a substantial renovation in nearly four decades—is so small that the department may not be able to hire more women, officials said last week. At six female officers, the New Canaan Police Department now has more women in uniform than it ever has in its history, “and it’s a good thing happening to us,” according to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. Yet “there is a limitation in our female locker room, because we may not be able to put on any more female officers because there’s just not enough room,” he said during a Jan. 9 meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure. “So that’s just another thing that nobody ever planned for.

Selectmen Approve $500,000 for New Fire Rescue Truck

The Board of Selectmen last week approved a $500,000 contract with a Watertown-based company to build a new rescue truck for the New Canaan Fire Department. 

Bid proposals that came in for the new truck ranged higher than the budgeted half million dollar figure, so the department removed about $41,000 in modifications to the vehicle—some of which it hopes to re-add in the future, according to Fire Chief Jack Hennessey. 

“Everything we cut out we thought we needed,” including a 360-degree camera, Hennessey said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held Jan. 7 at Town Hall. “But we needed to make our number so we had to delete things. That was a lower-priority thing so we had to take as much stuff truck off of the truck as we could. There might be money in future budgets in other lines that we might be able to put some of these things back in.

Re-Digging Up Roads: Water Main Won’t Serve New Canaan

New Canaan won’t benefit from the 36-inch main line that likely will see a stretch of Main Street dug up for the third time starting this year or next, officials say. The water company’s transmission line is designed to move water from Bridgeport’s system to Greenwich, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “Believe it or not, Greenwich actually contracts to sell their water to Westchester towns, and when we had the drought and we had that temporary pipeline, they had to move water which is available in Bridgeport reservoirs over to Greenwich,” Moynihan said during Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, held at Town Hall. “this is a permanent fix for that, I guess.”

The comments came during an update on general matters before the town. 

Public Works Director Tiger Mann had discussed the future project during a meeting last month. The line is coming from Wilton and will run through New Canaan to Stamford, Mann said. 

Most of the route will stick to state roads, but it will come off of Route 106 near East School before hooking back up with Route 124/South Avenue near Waveny, according to Mann.

‘I Am Concerned’: Selectman Williams Addresses New Canaan Historical Society’s Financial Woes

One of New Canaan’s most venerable nonprofit organizations is running at a significant deficit, concerning some in town government, officials said last week. Asked about the New Canaan Historical Society’s financial situation during a Board of Selectmen meeting held Dec. 17 at Town Hall, the organization’s executive director, Nancy Geary, said its projected deficient this year is about $60,000. “We are a member-supported organization,” Geary said in response to a question from Selectman Nick Williams. “I apply for as many grants as I can find. Oftentimes the one thing about grants, though, is that they’re for very specific projects, so it’s hard to find general operating grants.