The Board of Selectmen Tuesday unanimously approved the hiring of Dawn Norton, current interim finance director for Bridgeport, as New Canaan's next chief financial officer. Norton is expected to take over the role in early May.

"She's a self-starter," First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said. "What she's done on her own is amazing. Most importantly, she is very familiar with the MUNIS system (Municipal Information Systems) and that is one that our Board of Education uses. So she is very familiar with that and helped implement that in Bridgeport. Talk about a person that cannot wait to come to New Canaan. She is working presently in Bridgeport with three different unions within the office. So she is going to come into an environment here that will be a lot easier to work with in terms of the dynamics of personnel issues and that should make her even more effective as a chief financial officer. I couldn't be more happy."

The search began two months ago after former CFO Gary Conrad left for a position in Westport in early January. The search committee, chaired by finance consultant Kathleen Corbet, received 55 applications. Of those applications, 21 were interviewed and four were finalists were chosen before Norton was offered the job. The committee itself consisted of Corbet, Van Young, Judy Neville, Wilton CFO Sandy Dennies, Tom Staddler, John Silvestri, Mallozzi and human resources director Cheryl Jones.

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Norton has been the interim finance director of Bridgeport since November 2010 and served as the deputy finance director/comptroller since 2008. She also received her master's degree in management from Albertus Magnus College.

"I think this is a home run," Selectman Nick Williams said. "We've had a number of good applicants and she rose to the top. If she can run Bridgeport's finances, she can run New Canaan so I think it was a terrific find."

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