Finance Department to undergo reconfiguration
NEW CANAAN — The town’s Finance Department will again undergo changes, though this time those changes will be related to the physical space and not the personnel that occupies it.
The Board of Selectmen voted at their Tuesday meeting to approve a $39,044 project, with a contingency of $4,613, to reconfigure the department with better lighting, lower cubicles and a new floor plan to allow for two more working spaces.
“Currently in the Finance Department, in the main area, there’s four positions there. We’re going to increase that to six positions and maximize all the space for office personnel,” Superintendent of Buildings Bill Oestmann explained. First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III said that, despite the additional desks, there were no plans to hire additional employees.
Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Sandra Dennies — who took over for Dawn Norton in May after a shakeup in the department as a result of lingering material weaknesses, as identified by the town’s Audit Committee — said the reconfiguration would allow the department to better serve the community.
“The finance department is a central service agency. People need to feel that they can come in and ask any question and interface with the finance department staff. Our job is to keep the rest of the town operating,” Dennies said. “We need to be approachable. Right Now when you walk in, you walk into a big, gray wall. It is not user friendly.”
The reconfigured department will come with space for the Town Treasurer, Andrew Brooks, as well as an auditor, to work. According to Dennies, Brooks had requested a work space in the department.
“With reducing the height of the cubicle walls, increasing the light and increasing the space available for workers, I think we’ll be making a major difference in the welcoming and usable finance department by the rest of the town,” Dennies said.
Though the department was built just three years ago during the renovation of Town Hall, Mallozzi acknowledged that improvements were needed.
“To your point it is not the most inviting atmosphere,” Mallozzi said. “There are tweaks that need to be made to make it more operationally efficient and make it more inviting environment.”
The money for the project is left over in the original renovation fund, Mallozzi said.