NEW CANAAN — Incumbent Andrew Brooks is facing off against Robin “Rob” Fryer for the role of town treasurer.

In what can often be an afterthought of a race has been ratcheted up this year for two reasons: Recent upheaval in the town’s finance department, and actually having two candidates competing.

The Democrat Fryer, a New Canaan resident since 1988, also serves as a board member for the New Canaan Community Fund (where he serves on the audit, distributing and nominating committees) and the New Canaan Land Trust. He is retired, having worked as a partner with an international CPA firm.

Incumbent Republican Brooks, a 23 year New Canaan resident, has served as town treasurer for the past four years. He is also a Justice of the Peace, a past member of the Republican Town Committee, a founding board member of the New Canaan Coalition and a volunteer for Junior Achievement. He works in financial services consulting, starting at Deloitte. He currently works for Accenture in finance and risk practice.

The two candidates discussed their plans for their potential role at a candidate’s forum held Monday night. They were most notably asked about the role of town treasurer in correcting material weaknesses of the town. In May, the town resolved lingering material weaknesses identified three years earlier.

Fryer took a more hands-off approach to the question, saying using his CPA experience, he would eliminate material weaknesses as they arise.

“The treasurer only has a role if there’s a weakness in the treasurer’s area of responsibility,” Fryer said. “None of the weaknesses in the past five years relate to that. What I can do if elected is see this doesn’t happen again.”

On the other hand, Brooks said his recommendations as treasurer during the past four years have corrected things throughout the finance department and eliminated the material weaknesses.

“It is important to know who has the ultimate responsibility,” he said. “I was one of the first people to support the creation of a town audit committee. Two former CEOs of Deloitte were appointed to the committee. As of last week, we reported no more material weaknesses exist.”

Brooks also emphasized the importance of keeping the treasurer separate, as opposed to other Fairfield County towns where the treasurer also serves as the town’s CFO.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata