Do it right or

don't do it at all

To the Editor:

Do it right or don't do it at all. That's the Town Council's choice when they vote on the Long Range Planning Committee's request for $175,000 to complete Phase II. (Phase I cost $25,000.)

New Canaan has spent $850,000 in 12 years for 13 studies. A group of New Canaan citizens could aggregate that essential information. Town employees know the facilities they service. Further expertise requires more detail than Phase II provides. Inevitably, the long range planning cost will be more than $200,000. Some believe $175,000 in a $120 million budget is a mere pittance. New Canaan's municipal debt is $7,462 per person. The Town Council needs to protect taxpayer's money.

More Information

Fact box

The devil is in the details of the draft Letter of Agreement between the Town and Perkins Eastman, the firm the LRPC hired. Request a copy from Town Planner Steve Kleppin at 203-594-3042, or

Phase II has an immense scope. To provide options to locate, renovate or replace virtually every town facility: Town Hall; the fire department; teen center; Vine Cottage; movie theater; the main house and stone barn at Irwin Park; Waveny House, the Powerhouse Theatre, the Carriage Barn and Lapham Community Center in Waveny Park; the highway department building; the police department and adjacent buildings; the library; school administration building; senior housing; and school auditoriums. Plus Phase II will study 10 parking lots and vehicular and pedestrian trafafic on in-town and park roads, sidewalks and intersections.

The draft agreement uses soft language. Specific processes are not adequately defined. Drawings will not be provided. When the Planning & Zoning Commission was studying Zone D (Weed & Duryea land, etc.) two years ago, after two public hearings the public was so confused P&Z had to request drawings. 45 minutes of public input is scheduled before final conclusion. One item could merit three hours.

Read the draft. Ask the Town Council ( to send it back for improvement. Speak up at the April 13 Town Council meeting.

Tanya Bickley

New Canaan

Prioritize road repair

To the Editor:

Thank you to all who recently signed the petition for referendum to prioritize road repair in New Canaan. When I approached you at various places in town, you treated me with respect and patience.

According to the Pavement Management & Improvement Program provided by the Department of Public Works, there are 14 roads and streets scheduled for repaving in 2011, eight scheduled for 2012, and a backlog of 37 roads. A complete list is available at Town Hall.

Repairing and repaving all 59 roads is estimated to cost in excess of $9 million. New Canaan does not have the money and will have to borrow that amount by issuing bonds. More bonds equals more interest expense equals more debt. And we all know the damaging consequences of excessive debt.

The constructing of new sidewalks on the southern portion of Main Street and a section of Old Norwalk Road has been estimated to cost approximately $750,000. New Canaan does not have the money for new sidewalks. Repairing our pot-holed and damaged roads is a definite need. Building new sidewalks in parts of New Canaan that are half a mile or farther from the center of downtown is not a necessity that would benefit the majority of our town population. It is also not fiscally responsible because the town does not have the money.

Frederick Chang

New Canaan

Lucky to be

an American

To the Editor:

By gathering enough signatures to call for a referendum, the goal that was achieved has stirred many emotions in town. I am so grateful to live in a country where we can all have say in our day-to-day governmental operations.

In these times of turmoil all around the world, let us not take for granted the privileges we are given as a free nation. As New Canaan voters, we can go to the polls and vote yes to fix our roads first -- or the opposite to build a little more than a half mile of sidewalk for an estimated $600,000.

We all can vote, we have our say -- no riots, no gun shots -- just the power of the ballot box.

How lucky we are to be Americans.

Ginny Apy

Stipend discussion

must be transparent

To the Editor:

After hearing about the discussion regarding Selectmen's stipends at a recent Town Council meeting, followed by media reports on the possible elimination of those stipends, we call the public's attention to the following:

1) The discussion at a Board of Finance meeting on Feb. 17, followed by further discussion and a vote on March 1 to eliminate Selectmen's stipends came as a complete surprise to us. The reporting that this discussion took place at all within the confines of an executive session seems contrary to the spirit of transparency many in town government profess.

2) We look forward to attending and participating in the scheduled Board of Finance meeting on April 12 when we fully expect the stipend discussion to continue. We are confident that this discussion will take place in an open session of the meeting, where it belongs. We invite the public to attend or watch on Channel 79.

Sally Hines, Selectman

Robert Mallozzi III, Selectman

Thanks to those who signed petition

To the Editor:

My husband and I wanted to thank everyone for their overwhelming interest and support of the petition for referendum which seeks to return the consideration of the $4 million bond back to the Board of Finance and for them to mandate that the $4 million be spent exclusively on road repaving and repairs and repairing existing sidewalks.

As emphasized numerous times, no one who supports responsible spending is against the concept of sidewalks. The town of New Canaan needs to focus on getting as many roads repaved and repaired as soon as possible with the $4 million bond.

Exercise your democratic right to vote "yes" for responsible spending and transparency in our local government. Please check out our website,, for referendum details and check the Public Work's Pavement Management and Improvement Program for 2011, 2012 and the back log list. Is your road on the schedule? Vote yes.

Karen and Scott Mackle

Y's Ward Reighley

will be missed

To the Editor:

On behalf of the board of directors and staff of the New Canaan YMCA, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of our former board president Ward Reighley, who passed away last month.

Ward was unmatched in his devotion to the Y. His passionate commitment to service set an example for everyone involved with the Y over the past four decades. In addition to his extensive volunteer efforts as a board member, Ward was an active user of the Y's wellness center. Simply put, the Y would not be where it is today without his efforts and enthusiasm. He will be greatly missed by all -- our volunteers, staff and members.

Peter Skaperdas

President, Board of Directors Craig Panzano

Executive Director

New Canaan YMCA

How the Town Council can protect public interest

To the Editor:

At their meeting on March 23, a majority of Town Council members expressed support for the $175,000 special appropriation for Phase II of a master plan for renovating the Town's public buildings, and finding new locations for the school administration building and the library.

1. Consider the public's comments and stop beating the drum for the LRPC before a vote is taken.

2. Make sure the proposed $200,000 being spent by the LRPC delivers the results it promises and will not lead to a Phase III report and further appropriations for more public hearings, better cost estimates, more precise traffic analysis and schematic drawings.

3. Add future use of an "empty library block" to the scope of the master plan if the library is relocated to public land. This is the "elephant in the closet" which the LRPC will not discuss.

4. Pay more attention to legal details in the planning process like Section 8-23 CGS and Connecticut's Sunshine laws. Make adjustments for the fact that the Sec.8-23 vests responsibility for a Town Plan in municipal Planning & Zoning Commissions, not `ad hoc' committees without land-use experience. Redefine the status of the library as an agency of the Town under FOI and ask the LRPC to study the library's on-site renovation plans and post them on their website.

5. Lift the "veil" of confusion over just what the Town's letter of agreement with Perkins Eastman will deliver. Amend the agreement to make sure the public is able to use results to measure visual impacts of buildings and green spaces and their cost based on real rather than maximized program requirements.

Terry Spring

New Canaan