Penny Young

Recent Articles

Letter: ‘Thank You’ To New Canaan Voters

To the editor:

Yesterday’s voter turnout showed energized involvement in the issues facing our town. I thank the voters who took time from their busy lives and braved the elements to participate and express their preferences. The election results bring new and renewed energy to the town government and Board of Education. I am pleased and honored to continue representing you on the Town Council where I will continue to be an ardent defender of responsible school and town budgets and everything which keeps our town healthy, strong, and vibrant. There are a lot of issues which need immediate attention and considerable strategic thought in planning for our future. Continue Reading →

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Kevin Moynihan Wins New Canaan First Selectman Race by 33 Votes [UPDATED]

Kevin Moynihan, a longtime resident and community volunteer who has served for four years on the Town Council, won election to New Canaan’s top municipal office on Tuesday by 33 votes. The Republican earned 2,684 votes in a widely anticipated first selectman race against Democrat Kit Devereaux, who received 2,651 votes, according to figures supplied by the New Canaan Registrars of Voters. The .6 percent margin of victory —a math-defying outcome, given the party makeup of New Canaan’s electorate—narrowly beats the state-mandated recount figure of .5 percent. Moynihan said he felt “wonderful” though “we expected to do better, quite honestly.” “I am surprised it was so close,” he told NewCanaanite.com. Continue Reading →

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Committee Mulls Whether Town Should Continue As Owner of Playhouse

Does it make sense for the town to continue to own the New Canaan Playhouse building downtown, especially considering that it needs more than $2 million in repairs? That’s a topic that members of the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee broached during their most recent meeting at Town Hall. The town acquired the building at 89 Elm St.—which also includes street-level retail space and second-floor offices—in August 2007 for about $2.2 million. However, officials have been mulling in recent years whether it makes sense for the town to continue to lease the facility to BowTie Cinemas and have it operate as a private movie theater, considering the major capital investment needed to make it safe, structurally sound and ADA-compliant. The figure three years ago was pegged at $2.1 million (major line items at the 1923 building include partial roof and brick exterior replacement, elevator and ADA-compliant wheelchair access, new gutters and drainage system and new layout for its sprinkler system). Continue Reading →

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Superintendent: School Administration ‘Open’ to Relocating to Town-Owned Facility

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi on Thursday told officials that the school administration is open to the idea of relocating its offices from leased commercial space on Locust Street to Waveny House, Irwin Park or possibly another town-owned facility, provided that the space is configured properly for administrative offices. Luizzi told members of the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee during a special meeting that although the town paid to have the current Board of Education offices renovated about a year and half ago and that he and his staff are very happy with those renovations, “we are not tied to any physical location.”

“But it is important that wherever we are, it is structured to facilitate the work that we have to do,” Luizzi said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. He added that although Waveny park and Irwin Park “are the most beautiful places on Earth … it is about the work for us.”

“We are open to that discussion … but we need to discuss what the structure would look like, what it would be,” Luizzi said. “I have a concern… or at least I’ve seen … places that aren’t purposely designed for the work, where it looks like everyone is working out of a home office. And as the New Canaan Board of Education, I feel that the professional piece is important for us.”

Should the idea of relocating the school administration gain traction (for now it is just an idea for discussion, not a formal proposal), Luizzi said the main thing the town will need to consider is how much it would cost to renovate Waveny House in order to properly accommodate the Board of Education offices—and whether the cost of such renovations might exceed the cost of new construction elsewhere in town. Continue Reading →

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NewCanaanite.com Endorsements for Town Council

Seven candidates—four Republicans and three Democrats—are vying for six Town Council seats that are up for election on Tuesday. For reasons listed below, I am endorsing three Republicans—John Engel, Rich Townsend and Tom Butterworth—and three Democrats—Sven Englund, Colm Dobbyn and Liz Donovan. Two candidates, incumbents Engel and Englund, most clearly have earned re-election to the legislative body. Engel is an insightful, articulate councilman who brings a singular perspective as a lifelong resident, community volunteer, open space advocate, parent and Realtor. His also is a common-sense voice in a body that can be derailed by overreach and politicking. Continue Reading →

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