Williams: New Canaan’s ‘Fields Committee’ Should Have More People on It


New Canaan Athletic Fields. Credit: Connor Markey

The town should increase the number of people sitting on a committee that makes decisions about athletic field’s usage in New Canaan, according to Selectman Nick Williams.

Currently, the Fields Committee is composed of three members—Public Works Director Tiger Mann, Parks and Recreation Director John Howe and New Canaan High School Athletic Director Jay Egan.

Two additional members of the public with “an interest in athletics” should join them, Williams said at the July 11 Board of Selectmen meeting.

“I’m not saying that the Fields Committee hasn’t done a good job—I’m a huge supporter of Jay Egan, always have been,” Williams said at the meeting, held in Town Hall and via videoconference. “We do have only so many fields, and I think we need to look carefully at how those fields are used.”

The comments came during a portion of the meeting dedicated to general matters before the town. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan also was in attendance. Selectman Kathleen Corbet was absent.

Williams said having two more members from the public would allow for additional “input and diversity of opinion.” While not brought up by Williams during the meeting, this change would also convert the Fields Committee from an administrative team, which is allowed to operate out of public view, to a public body, meaning meetings would be open to the public.

While the proposal is intended to allow additional input from the public, Williams stated he “would not go more than two people, because I want the town to essentially be able to control the ultimate process.”

Williams told Moynihan that he wasn’t seeking the first selectman’s feedback at this time—rather, he wanted to raise the issue.

The establishment of the Fields Committee was traced back to a report given to the Board of Selectmen in the 1990’s. Citing the report, Williams read out, “That we should establish a Fields Committee to oversee usage of fields in the town of New Canaan, both Board of Ed fields, town fields, with respect to sports, both Board of Ed sports,” although at the time of July 11’s meeting, the current Board of Selectmen were unable to find the vote made to establish the Committee. It was unclear whether or not this was due to a clerical error or that the selectmen at the time didn’t vote on the proposal.

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