Selectman Nick Williams Q&A
Q: At every Board of Selectmen meeting, the board is bombarded with a lot of different requests and tasks ranging from departments like Parks and Recreation to legal issues. How do you plan on being proactive in terms of staying abreast of all issues and asking the right questions?
A: For an attorney, "asking the right questions" is perhaps the most important part of your job, and it's something I do every day of the week. Beyond the importance of being able to analyze an issue efficiently and effectively, I do think a selectman has a fiduciary duty to prepare for all of the myriad issues that come before the Board. The Internet has provided us with a library at our fingertips, and there is no substitute for doing one's homework in advance.
As the chairman of another town governmental agency, the Board of Education, I have become accustomed to dealing with a wide variety of issues, from our operating and capital budgets to union contracts to personnel matters. I believe this experience, together with my legal background, has provided me with excellent training for the role of selectman.
Q: As with many issues, people in town are split regarding cell phone signal and cell towers. Parents fear more cell towers in town would risk the health of children and others through radiation. Studies exist that support both sides of the issue, saying the radiation is and is not a risk. On the other hand, some officials and supporters of cell towers say New Canaan needs better signal, especially in emergency situations like during the March 2010 storm. Where do you stand on this issue?
A: I believe the town needs more cell towers to increase coverage. This is not only a convenience issue but a safety issue. Having said that, I do believe that such towers should not be located in or adjacent to certain places in town, such as our schools and houses of worship. These areas should generally be "off limits" for cell towers.