Members of New Canaan’s legislative body said last week that they’ll consider adopting a formal process for naming public property after individuals—for example, to honor local philanthropists. No such process currently exists, according to Town Council Chairman John Engel. “There is no formal price, there is no formal criteria,” he said during the elected body’s regular meeting, held June 19 at Town Hall. “How we feel about naming Mead Park, an enormous asset, versus a smaller asset may be different. So one set of criteria might not fit every eventuality.”
He referred to a former swamp on Park Street that the town in 1915 designated as a park named for Benjamin P. Mead, who had died two years earlier.
It has been an absolute honor to serve on the Town Council for the last four years. From my Town Council colleagues, I have learned what it means to be passionate about an issue, committed to a principle, protective of an organization, concerned about the future and respectful of yesteryear. That legacy stays with me. From my constituents, I have discovered perspectives so diverse that it brings a smile to my face and a recollection of the phrase, “this is what makes the world go ‘round.”
And somewhere in between, I have learned patience and humility.
I have been so very proud to represent my typically under-represented peer group on the Town Council—whatever we are considered these days: young families, middle aged families, school district families, Mead Park families, Saxe playground families, Waveny Pool families, Library families, commuting families, divorced families. Families.
I wanted to let you know of my decision to not run for re-election to the Town Council.
I would like to comment on your recent story regarding the Mead Park Barn. I would like to talk about a “P” word and that word is not ‘Preservation,’ it’s ‘Process.’ Although the concept is less glamorous, it warrants its own respect. I so appreciate all of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance’s hard work and their passion. However, we must deal with the facts before us. Last week, the Board of Selectmen was incorrect to table the demolition contract.
New Canaan High School students last week voiced support for a widely discussed proposed ordinance that would prevent local retailers from using thin plastic bags.
Though the NCHS Student Coalition typically sticks to tasks such as “planning Homecoming and our annual prom, we recently decided to come off the sidelines and begin discussing this,” the group’s president, senior Chase Pellegrini de Paur, told members of the town’s legislative body during a public hearing Feb. 6.
“And while I can’t speak for every student at the high school, I can speak to my own experience in the Coalition talking about this,” Pellegrini de Paur said during the Town Council Bylaws and Ordinances Committee meeting, held at Town Hall. “Because when we began discussing this issue, I thought we would have a passionate debate with fiery arguments on both sides. But instead, there was this attitude of eerily quiet confusion. It wasn’t that students didn’t care about the issue, but rather that they were confused by the opposition to an ordinance like this.
Saying it’s punitive, unnecessary and unsanitary and represents government overreach, some New Canaan residents are voicing opposition to a proposed ban on thin plastic bags at local shops.
Though members of New Canaan’s legislative body say most constituents who have lodged their opinions in formal letters are in favor a single-use plastic bag ban, others have been critical of the proposal. Jeanne Russo in a letter to the Town Council said that such bans often have “unintended negative results.”
“Expecting senior citizens or lower income families to buy reusable bags, so some in our community can feel good about themselves by ‘doing their part,’ is unfair and wrong,” Russo wrote. “You represent all members in our community, not just the ones with loud voices.”
Town resident Nicole Busby said that while she’s in favor of people bringing reusable bags with them to local shops, she’s opposed to an outright ban on plastic bags because “it’s an overreach of government.”
Scott Hobbs in a letter to the Council said that while single-use plastic bags may seem wasteful, “they are all sanitary.”
“Recycled bags frequently get contaminated from use with food and most people do not properly maintain them,” he said. “In addition, if you look at the chemicals, water and time involved in properly maintaining the reusable bags, it is likely that they cost more and are at least closer to as harmful to the environment. Please do not pass such a resolution.”
The comments come as the Town Council Bylaws and Ordinance Committee considers draft legislation (see it here in full) that would prohibit retailers from supplying double-handled carryout bags to customers.