After Devereaux Raises Concerns, Selectmen Vote 3-0 to Postpone Approval of Contract for Local Taxpayer Survey

After one member voiced concerns that the town had talked to just one company about administering a survey to identify taxpayer priorities, the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to postpone approval of an approximately $20,000 contract for the project. In creating, running and analyzing something as consequential as the town-wide survey, gathering data that likely would inform future funding decisions, “we have a duty to talk to more than one provider and we have not done that,” Selectman Kit Devereaux said during a regular Board meeting. 

“This may be the best possible solution,” she said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “But unless we talk to others, we have no way of knowing.”

After some discussion, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Selectman Nick Williams and Devereaux voted 3-0 to table its approval of a contract with Glastonbury-based GreatBlue Research. Moynihan said there’s a “very limited market” in Connecticut research firms that conduct surveys of this kind, that he had obtained positive references for GreatBlue from area municipalities such as Greenwich and that the company came back with a number that falls within the $20,000 project budget. 

“We wanted to stay with a Connecticut firm which does a national practice,” Moynihan said. 

He later added, “I am very pleased now that we have checked the references.”

Under the draft agreement, obtained by through a formal request, GreatBlue would conduct 400 telephone interviews as well as “an unlimited number of digital surveys” to be completed during a set timeframe not to exceed three weeks. The survey would include no more than 40 questions and would take no more than 10 minutes to complete, under the draft agreement.

Selectmen Vote 2-1 To Solicit Proposals for Sale of Vine Cottage

The Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 Tuesday to solicit proposals from those interested in acquiring a prominent antique building on Main Street from the town. The request for proposals for Vine Cottage, a turreted ca.-1859 structure located opposite the firehouse, would allow for a sale or ground lease to a prospective buyer. Among other requirements, the Town Council would need to hold a public hearing prior to any sale. Though Selectman Kit Devereaux voted against issuing the RFP, saying it was short-sighted since no one knows what New Canaan’s future needs for such a building would be, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Nick Williams voted in favor of it. Williams noted that the New Canaan Department of Human Services is leaving Vine Cottage for the former Outback Teen Center.