Before First Selectman Robert Mallozzi discussed the new board and commission appointments at the Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday, he announced the retirement of who he called "one of the best friends this community could have."
"There's a guy here who we love, sitting at the back of the room, named Jim Cole," Mallozzi said.
After serving three consecutive terms as chairman of the New Canaan Police Commission, Cole is retiring. Paul Foley has been appointed to replace him.
All three selectmen thanked Cole for always "rolling up the sleeves" and not saying no to anything, whether it's "a concert with Harry Connick Jr. or a storm at 3 o'clock in the morning," Mallozzi said.
"He's been a tremendous asset to this community," Selectman Nick Williams said. "I can't think of New Canaan without Jim. The guy's everywhere."
Cole will continue working as a deputy director of New Canaan's Office of Emergency Management and director for the New Canaan Community Emergency Response Team, a program that helps train residents to prepare themselves for an emergency.
Cole, who was first appointed to the Police Commission in 2004, said there was no specific motive for his decision and was "grateful" for his time on the commission.
"There's no one reason," he said. "I had a wonderful time."
Cole said he's proud of having introduced "traffic calming," an initiative used to slow vehicle speeds, "discourage drivers from using specific streets and reduce the `cutting through' traffic on local residential streets," according to the Police Commission website.
email@example.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson