New Canaan Land Trust Acquires ‘Grupes Homestead’ on Valley Road

The New Canaan Land Trust has acquired a long-disused property on upper Valley Road, guaranteeing preservation of an antique structure once slated for demolition and providing a first-ever headquarters for the esteemed local nonprofit organization. 

The acquisition of 1124 Valley Road, final as of April 19, ends years of enmity between the town and 2.23-acre property’s former owner, the First Taxing District of Norwalk. 

The town in 2018 had offered to acquire what was then a full four-acre parcel for $1.2 million. But the Taxing District rejected that offer. After applying for a demolition permit and then withdrawing it, the Taxing District later rejected the town’s offer to purchase just the house with .8 acres carved out around it, for $250,000—a figure New Canaan had arrived at following an appraisal of the property. Then former First Selectman Kevin Moynihan (a retired lawyer who routinely overspent the town’s legal budget) threatened to take it by eminent domain. The property abuts the Grupes Reservoir connects directly to the Browne Preserve, one of the first properties to come under the protection of the Land Trust.

Podcast: New Canaan’s Rob Fryer and ‘Running for Your Life’

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in iTunes), we talk to New Canaan resident Rob Fryer following publication of his book, “Running For Your Life: Exploring the Amazing Benefits of Regular Exercise.” The book can be found here (signed by the author) on the Elm Street Books website, and also here on Amazon or here on Barnes & Noble. It also is available at New Canaan Library. Here are recent episodes:

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

Election 2017: New Canaan Hub [UPDATED]

What follows is a digital voter guide for Tuesday’s election. Voter Turnout

As of 6 p.m., 4,986 New Canaan residents had cast their ballots—322 by absentee ballot and 4,664 at the polls. The number of residents casting ballots at Saxe and NCHS represents a 42 percent increase over the last local election through the same hour. If voters turn out this year at the same rate as they did in 2015, New Canaan will see a 39 percent turnout. Here’s a table detailing total voter turnout in recent local elections:


And here’s a table that compares hourly voter turnout two years ago—when there was no truly contested first selectman race—to this year:


Kit Devereaux, Democratic candidate for first selectman, said minutes before she entered Saxe to cast her own ballot that she was “feeling really good” about the campaign and election. “I think I’ve done absolutely everything I can, and so now it’s just a matter of waiting to see what happens,” she told Endorsement for Treasurer

As with its first selectman race, New Canaan is fortunate to have two highly qualified candidates—though with different professional experience—for town treasurer. Andrew Brooks, a financial consultant and two-term Republican incumbent, faces Democrat Rob Fryer, a retired CPA whose background includes decades as senior partner with a Big-Four accounting firm. While both could be expected to do a very good job in a role that only recently evolved from that of a ceremonial functionary, Brooks has earned re-election—not only through his responsible stewardship of tax dollars to date, but also his conscientious navigation of Town Hall politics. A state-mandated position, the town treasurer oversees New Canaan’s receipts and expenses as its “cash manager,” as well as signing off on bond issues and acting as treasurer of municipal trust funds. Brooks, after succeeding a 24-term incumbent four years ago, has been proactive in a role that he continues to define even as he works within it.