Letters to the Editor
Published 2:41 pm, Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Explain lack of arbitration disclosure
The focus of last week's New Canaan News cover story about the Lakeview Bridge litigation fiasco was better communications in the future. That is admirable, but it appears that the committee investigating this matter, led by Town Councilwoman Kit Devereaux, has not received a satisfactory explanation why First Selectman Jeb Walker decided not to timely inform town officials who had a need to know, that the Lakeview litigation costs exceeded $800,000?
This was at a time when the Town's 2011-2012 budget was in full debate, and a referendum loomed over a sidewalk appropriation. Did Mr. Walker not want to throw a "monkey wrench" into the budget process by disclosing that there was -- oops! -- an unbudgeted item approaching $1 million? New Canaan taxpayers deserve a full explanation. Mr. Walker has repeatedly stated that "he took full responsibility for what happened." Public Works Director Mike Pastore has also professed that he took responsibility for authorizing payment for the Lakeview Bridge invoices without consultation with other town officials.
Before we look to the future in improving "communications" and transparency in New Canaan government, I would like to ask what the consequences will be for Messrs. Walker and Pastore for this egregious example of municipal mismanagement. It is very easy to say "gee, it's my fault," but there must be a consequence for such conduct. Accountability matters! In the business world, like actions could result in termination. I would like to suggest that as a minimum "consequence," the Lakeview Bridge Litigation subcommittee recommend to the Town Council that formal letters of reprimand be issued to Messrs. Walker and Pastore. This would provide a significant deterrent to future lapses of proper governance and transparency in New Canaan town affairs.
Support Tucker Murphy for Town Council
I am writing to endorse Tucker Murphy for New Canaan's Town Council. On so many levels she has been doing great work for our community. I am so concerned about our town's future. There is no one better than Tucker with her indefatigable work ethic, vast knowledge of our town's government, and belief in a strong future for New Canaan that makes me certain she belongs on our Town Council.
I have also found Tucker to be open to suggestions and input from others. She is always seeking the best for our community. We that have worked with her have seen this time and time again. Tucker Murphy is one person in our Town Government who has earned our vote.
More InformationFact box
Re-elect Ken Campbell
We are going to vote for Ken Campbell at the upcoming Republican caucus and we are urging your readers to do the same.
We met Ken shortly after we moved here, almost 11 years ago, and we were immediately impressed with his dedication to town service. He has served on both the elementary schools building committee and the high school building committee. Between those two building committees, he served on the Parks and Recreation Commission for five years. And, of course, he is an eight-year veteran of the Town Council.
We believe that experience and commitment are important factors for voters to consider. Ken possesses both of those qualities. That is why we will vote for Ken Campbell for Town Council. Your readers should do the same.
Catherine and Rob Avery
Giusti is the `right candidate'
Everyone who knows us is aware that we have been close friends with the Giusti family since we moved here in 1997. Being friends is one thing, but voting for the right candidate is the most important thing. With that said, we cannot think of a better candidate than Paul Giusti to represent our town both locally as well as in Hartford.
We have a trust in Paul to do the right thing because he has a commitment to excellence in everything he does. His passion for the town of New Canaan is truly unmatched. Paul is a team player that deeply cares for others, and will do whatever it takes to work together to achieve the common goal.
Please place your vote for Paul at the Republican caucus this Tuesday night. We have no doubt that Paul is the right candidate for our town.
Elisabeth and Dan Mulhern
Support Paul Giusti
for first selectman
I strongly support Paul Giusti for First Selectman of New Canaan. In addition to his service as a town official, he has demonstrated a broad commitment to our town with his work on the public schools, youth athletic programs and various public volunteer activities.
Paul's extensive business management and real estate experience would be particularly valuable as the Town faces its continuing commercial challenges. He brings to discussions of important matters a penetrating mind, a sense of caring and a willingness to listen. When I was vice chairman of the Board of Education, I especially appreciated these abilities. On the controversial matter of school bus parking, Paul was the only town official who facilitated rational discussion. We need more of this skill.
Impressed with Murphy's leadership
I am writing this letter in support of Tucker Murphy for New Canaan Town Council. As a commercial landlord and third-party real estate manager in New Canaan, I have been very impressed with the energy and leadership that Tucker has brought to her role as the executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. In her time at the Chamber, Tucker has been extremely helpful to those looking to locate their businesses in New Canaan. She has been instrumental in creating a better environment amongst landlord and tenants in an effort to preserve the New England charm of our town.
I am confident that the Town of New Canaan is well served under Tucker's leadership on the Town Council and hope that you will join me in voting for Tucker Murphy.
Last week, one of the writers noted that all politics are local. While I always hesitate, in a discussion of Republican candidates, to cite a statement generally attributed to a famous Democrat politician (Tip O'Neill) -- that is exactly the point in this election of our next local leader.
What New Canaan, or any town like it, needs is a leader whose experience is here -- who knows first-hand the operational issues, economics issues and "family" issues that face our town, its businesses and residents. Someone who also not only knows what projects the town needs, but which ones we can afford, when we can afford them and the order in which we should undertake them. Having read the candidates' statements and reports of the first debate and having watched the second debate, it is clear to me that Rob Mallozzi is the clear-minded, operationally oriented first selectman New Canaan needs.
While no one would take issue with Paul Giusti's platitudes -- good schools, better government and better town economics -- that is exactly what they are. To me, the difference between these two candidates is the difference between a highly functioning hands-on operating executive with local business experience, his sleeves rolled up, wearing both a green eye shade and a hard hat -- and someone who espouses the vague lofty themes of all politicians, but whose business experience is neither local nor easy to comprehend, and who seems to take credit whenever possible (like the proverbial rooster) for making the sun rise.
I freely admit to being biased. I have known and admired Rob for decades, and his father and uncle before that. But I think I have a sound foundation for my opinion. For years I have helped run one of the world's most prominent international law firms and also sit on the board of one of the world's most respected international manufacturing companies. I know what it takes to run a division or branch or country for very large complex businesses. I also think I know what it takes to run New Canaan -- and that is Rob Mallozzi.
Karl is invested
in New Canaan
For all of our adult lives, American towns small and large have been served by Chevrolet Dealers. The owners, in many cases for generations, have gladly invested themselves and their families in these towns across America, knowing that the difference between a small business properly run and a town that functions and serves its citizens is inseparable.
New Canaan is especially fortunate to have an exemplary role model, Steve Karl, in this regard. We all know how difficult it is to balance the time needed to run a successful business, support a family and find the time to pay something back. Steve's generosity with his time in respect of making New Canaan a better place is already highly visible.
I think we are fortunate indeed that he is willing to represent us. I am voting for Steve for Town Council and enthusiastically support his candidacy.
Town Council needs more objectivity
Most of the political conversation this month has been evaluating the candidates for first selectman -- as it should be. However, the race for the four Town Council seats is also an important vote, and not one to be taken lightly.
With this in mind I would like to highly recommend Dan Radman for Town Council. I've known Dan and since he moved to New Canaan eight years ago. I was amazed how quickly Dan became involved in his new hometown. With his background and skill set, he would be a great asset on the Town Council. His love of New Canaan is striking, as will be his contributions and leadership on the Town Council.
Mr. Radman is the "R" on the signs you see around town for "Vote RAW." I would urge all who feel a need for some fresh objectivity on the Town Council to also vote for the "A" and "W" -- Roy Abromowitz and Roger Williams.
Engel's will serve
the town well
As a third-generation resident, graduate of the New Canaan public school system, long-time Rotarian, and business owner in New Canaan who has a vested interest in the future of our town, I urge you to support the candidacy of John Engel for selectman.
Both candidates have experience of managing large budgets and negotiating on behalf of their clients every day. What is different, and what cemented my support, is John Engel's intimate knowledge of downtown and real estate issues that are such pressing issues for the town. His skills and experience that will benefit our downtown immediately. He will help to bring new businesses (just as he did recruiting School of Rock to New Canaan) to our town that will energize our downtown and benefit our tax base. John knows our local businesses, he knows their history and he is an excellent advocate for our town.
John has and continues to know and understand the wide range of issues in the town through his day to day involvement with the Zoning Board of Appeals, St. Aloysius' Emmaus, the Board of Staying Put, Youth Baseball & Softball, the Outback Teen Center, the Rotary Club and CCNC in addition to many other activities. John has shown over the past 33 years in this town that he knows the issues, has his ear to the ground, and will therefore be an invaluable help to the Board of Selectmen, bringing not only a longer, but a broader perspective to the job than his opponent.
John Engel is
When my family and I moved to New Canaan a year ago, John Engel was the first person to welcome us to town and make us feel as if we were truly at home. Knowing that I would be a freshman in high school, at a new school with kids I didn't know, John and Melissa Engel went out of their way to help me meet others who were my age, introducing me to people and places in New Canaan.
John took my family on a walking tour of the downtown, giving us the town's history and telling us a little bit about each business and the people who owned it and worked there. It was so clear he is proud to live in New Canaan and wanted my family to love it as much as the Engels do.
In the year that I have known John Engel, there has not been a moment when I have seen him and he is not throwing out ideas, taking initiative, making plans, or organizing a fun activity. He is exactly what you would hope a friend would be -- kind, caring, fun. He's also a great business person -- hard working, honest, ethical. And those are the qualities we need in our town officials.
I truly believe that John Engel is exactly what the Town of New Canaan needs for its selectman, because John IS New Canaan. Having grown up in this town, he knows it inside and out as he has seen all the ups and downs that the town has faced. By working in town, John is able to visit many of the businesses on Elm Street and throughout the town on a regular basis. He has formed relationships with the local merchants which will allow him to work closely and effectively with them if he is elected town selectman.
John Engel's enthusiasm and eagerness to take on a larger role in the Town of New Canaan is exactly what any good candidate should show. The mere fact that he truly wants this position because he knows that he could help to make New Canaan a better place for everyone to live in, is something that should strongly be considered. John Engel is the right choice for town selectman because he is what New Canaan is all about.
NCHS, Class of 2014
would enhance BOS
I was John Engel's roommate in college and best man at his wedding. Two words sum John up: integrity and perseverance. I saw John confronted with issues that might compromise his integrity. Each time he did the right thing. Faced with choosing dubious, short-term gain versus doing what's right, John always chose what's right.
John never gives up. I remember a 1991 letter he wrote to me from Saudi Arabia where he was serving as an Army officer during the First Gulf War. Things were bleak; US forces were poised to enter Kuwait and they did not know exactly what they would encounter. It was frightening but John never wavered. Under enemy fire, John's unit moved through sandstorms and oil field fires until they liberated Kuwait
New Canaan will be well-served with John Engel as selectman.
Robert A. (Andy) Nilsson
Mr. Paul Giusti
for first selectman
As a recent graduate of New Canaan High School and member of the Class of 2011, I would like to express my feelings on the race for first selectman. To begin, I believe that it is extremely important for my generation of young adults and college students to get out and vote because this election truly will determine the future of our town. As both Republican candidates for first selectman have children who attend NCHS, there was a good amount of support shown by the students at the high school. Unfortunately, not all of the support was displayed in a positive or mature manner. As I drove to school for my last few months of senior year, I proudly demonstrated my support for Paul Giusti with a bumper magnet on my car. I was very disappointed in my fellow classmates as I started to see one Giusti magnet after the next, including my own, disappear from the cars in the parking lot, while it appeared that all Mallozzi magnets remained. This was very upsetting to me, but it made it clear to me that the level of integrity and maturity coming from Mallozzi supporters was nowhere near that of Giusti supporters.
Mr. Giusti, as I refer to him as, is a man of true passion, leadership, support and genuine class.
I have known Mr. Giusti for many years and he is one of the kindest and most well-spoken adults that I know. I aspire to be able to organize my thoughts as well as him and to be able to speak with such power and poise.
Additionally, Mr. Giusti has always been extremely supportive of his family and all that they do. I know that if elected for first selectman, Mr. Giusti will treat the town as his family and offer that same support and leadership. Whether you call him Mr. Giusti, Paul Giusti or just Paul, his character and ability to lead remain the same. This is the name that I urge you to vote for if you truly want to see this town in the best hands possible.
Tucker Murphy brings people together and gets things done. She listens to all sides. She is a facilitator. She understands that success is best achieved through attention to everyone's goals.
At a time when our town politics sometimes are tendentious, we need someone who can bridge the divide, who understands that we are all in this together, that the "other side" is not composed of bad people but our fellow citizens who have their own legitimate goals.
Tucker brings the know-how she gained with her time on the School Board and as head of the Chamber of Commerce, in addition to serving on the Town Council. As a result, Tucker is familiar with two of the most important issues here, education and the business community. Few of the candidates can match Tucker's experience. Tucker Murphy for Town Council.
Richard Pierre Bourgeois
Weber assures knowledge and skill set
Claudia Weber's vast experience with, and knowledge of, local land records, grant writing, elections, conservation and preservation of records, and much more is a vital asset to New Canaan. Add to this to her skill set of efficient departmental management and you have the very definition of the best public servant. Her constant efforts to upgrade functions and apply technology have resulted in decades of maps, records, commission and committee minutes, etc., being electronically available.
Further, her expertise with local and state regulations is a unique advantage we can ill afford to lose.
Claudia's 14 years of personal involvement with all of the above, enhances her ability to quickly and expertly aid each of us when in need. We do not need change for change sake! Rather, we need to retain the services of this rare public servant on our behalf.
Please vote Claudia Weber for town clerk.
Erich W. Bruhn
Giusti -- objective and focused on the issues
We chose New Canaan as the place to raise our family because of its school system, the charm of its downtown and the cohesiveness of the community. In our eyes, Paul Giusti is the best candidate for first selectman. Paul's unwavering devotion to education and his pledge to preserve the town's heritage and charm, while keeping the town on the forefront of technology and positive change, is the leadership and strategic thinking that will benefit this town for years to come.
Paul's unrelenting poise and committed focus on the key issues is what many people of New Canaan find appealing about him. He's objective and has no competing interests that may influence his decision making as first selectman. He is approachable and affable and is genuinely interested in what the people of New Canaan believe is best for New Canaan.
Vote Paul Giusti for the future of New Canaan.
Giusti: Why I chose to run
As the Republican Caucus approaches this Tuesday, I am writing to highlight why I am running for First Selectman.
The people of New Canaan have been wonderful to my family, offering us friendship and a close sense of community. Our children have received a terrific education and we have benefitted from all New Canaan has to offer. I hope to repay -- in some measure -- the kindness and support that has been given to our family over the years.
These are challenging times for our town and the first selectman position demands smart, thoughtful leadership. I am confident that I will bring people together, analyze options, develop consensus and take action on important issues facing our town. We need to work together to move New Canaan ahead.
I encourage all Republicans to vote at the caucus and I trust that I have earned your support.
Candidate for First Selectman
about New Canaan
Recently, I heard from a friend, who as a child had been in Paul Giusti's elementary school class, that on picture day, Paul had worn his Cub Scout uniform. I was not surprised. This image of Paul as a child is completely consistent with the man I have known for the past eight years; someone who is respectful -- whether it is of a uniform, an organization, a friendship or his town.
Paul brings his respectful countenance to the first selectman campaign, along with business acumen more recently exhibited in his career as an entrepreneurial business executive. His passion for New Canaan has already been demonstrated in his work on both the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen. Paul is a man whose collaborative efforts get things done, even in these current economic times. I would be proud to have Paul Giusti represent New Canaan as first selectman.
Campbell, Karl and Murphy for Town Council
All the candidates in the contested races in the upcoming Republican caucus have now answered questions regarding their priorities for improving New Canaan's infrastructure, maintaining our village-like charm and controlling our local tax burden. Every candidate has stated they are for excellent schools, good roads, storefronts in town filled to capacity and zero growth in our tax rate.
I couldn't agree more with them.
While there will undoubtedly be some new faces at next year's selectmen meetings, I believe it's equally important to maintain a cohesive Town Council with members who have the town's best interests at heart.
Ken Campbell, Steve Karl and Tucker Murphy are incumbents who already share the above-mentioned priorities for the town, and have experience working with the town's committees and the Town Council. They have the respect of others with whom they work, as well as many of us in the community who have interfaced with them over the years.
I urge you to please vote for these capable and honorable members of our Town Council.
New Canaan roots
give Engel an edge
I grew up in New Canaan and graduated from New Canaan public schools this year. I've experienced New Canaan's change over the last 18 years, particularly the loss of the feel of downtown New Canaan. I no longer take it for granted that the Gramophone will always be there, and that Waveny will always be a park.
There are no guarantees that New Canaan will remain the same town I love.
My New Canaan roots are why I identify with John Engel and his candidacy for Selectman.
John Engel, who is a third-generation New Canaanite, worked in Mead Park, the Baskin Robbins and our Walter Stewarts Market.
He knows New Canaan fundamentally better than Nick Williams (who grew up in Rhode Island).
John is a business owner, a parent and a veteran. He is an alumnus of New Canaan High School and to the seniors who graduated this spring this is a very important distinction. Mr. Engel knows first hand what is being lost in our town, and he will restore some of what has been lost. Mr. Engel will bring back some life to New Canaan.
Rotary Club supports Engel for selectman
The Rotary Club of New Canaan, like the many service clubs in town, is an integral part of our community providing great benefit to New Canaan.
John Engel has been a member of the Rotary Club for 10 years.
He is involved with the Rotary Club's Lobsterfest in which we serve more than 1,100 meals for the benefit of New Canaan-based charities, the Rotary Club's Golf Outing to eradicate polio, Rotary's Clean your Mile initiative, Rotary's Christmas Dinner for Charity at the Roger Sherman Inn, and helped to raise money for the Lodge at Mead Park.
New Canaan is a better place because of service clubs like ours and the volunteer efforts of its members.
We support John Engel's bid for selectman because he is a hands-on member of the community and that is what we need in Town Hall.
David J. Rucci
sets him apart
I am writing this letter in support of John Engel for selectman. I can think of no other person with his ear to the ground more than John. What impresses me, and what voters should know about him, is his involvement in this town prior to having any political ambitions whatsoever. By way of example, those who watched the debate may recall him saying that he's a regular at the NC Advertiser coffees. Knowing him personally, I know he attended the coffees long before he aspired to political office.
Rather than seeing him as a politician, I know him as an informed citizen who cares deeply about this town. John is a hands-on leader. And while many are worthy of being called civic leaders, he is one with an indisputable downtown presence; it didn't surprise me to see that you published a letter signed by so many town merchants. For it is not at all unusual to be downtown on any given weekday and see him somewhere.
He is a man with a finger on the pulse of New Canaan, and the town will do well to have his thoughtful perspective and keen business sense in the Office of Selectman.
Engel -- a `consummate team player'
I have known John Engel since he was a sophomore at New Canaan High School. He captained the wrestling team, managed the school store and won the Suzanne Farrell Memorial Award in 1985, given for leadership, character and service. Now, 30 years later, those same traits inform John's candidacy and work ethic.
I am proud to work with John and his mother Susan Engel at Brotherhood & Higley Real Estate. He is the consummate team player -- working well with others and eager to share his extensive technological and business skills with all.
These skills will directly benefit Town Hall and our residents. He is the just the kind of person we need as our selectman -- a person with roots in New Canaan and a vested interest in its future.
Purdy will be perfect
Jennifer Purdy will help bring positive change to the town clerk's job. She runs an efficient office. I have worked for her for many years and she is incredibly organized, energetic and competent. She is a forward thinker and will use technology to not only benefit the website, but also the other offices in town hall to make sure that they can obtain information, in the most professional and proficient way.
Jennifer knows how to operate within a budget and she will use her skills and grant writing ability to make the office more resourceful and cost effective. New Canaan needs to be more fiscally responsible and Jennifer Purdy will help control the expenditures and budget of the town clerk's office.
A few facts regarding Giusti's claims
I have worked closely with both candidates for first selectman in their respective roles as members on the Board of Selectmen. During the debates, Mr. Giusti has sought support from New Canaan's voters based on his leadership in driving key improvements in the Town's finances.
Examples he cites include: reductions of $19.5 million over the past four years in the Town's bonded indebtedness; reducing taxes; a fully funded pension plan; and establishing a general fund at the required level of 10 percent of the Town's budget in order to maintain our Aaa bond rating.
However, facts are stubborn things and they do not bear out Mr. Giusti's claims.
For example, the decision to fund the general fund at the 10 percent level was made by the Board of Finance at the end of Lou Moreno's term as first selectman.
The town's fully funded pension plan is the result of a very well managed pension fund, at no cost to the taxpayer, for over 40 years.
Taxes actually would have increased 4.2 percent this year were it not for the transfer from the general fund to the tune of $2.6 million, the single-largest transfer in New Canaan's history.
Mr. Giusti also fails to disclose that the debt payments of $19.5 million are mandated by bond indenture requirements and not the result of voluntary payments by a fiscally conservative administration.
In fact, the Town's proposed debt issues amount to $48.7 million over the next five years before any recommendations from the Long Range Planning Committee.
This is unsustainable.
Also to be questioned is Mr. Giusti's support of bonding the Lakeview Bridge Damage Award of $650,000 only to be voted down by the Town Council.
Given the recent turmoil in town government, I would urge voters to think twice about Mr. Giusti's record on managing the Town's financial resources.
Join me in supporting Rob Mallozzi for First Selectman, a leader you can trust.
Judy A. Neville
Former First Selectman
Support Claudia Weber for town clerk
New Canaan is fortunate to have someone like Claudia Weber as town clerk, a position that demands not only professionalism but greatly benefits from her genuine caring warmth toward our residents.
This is evident in everything she does -- from the creation of ceremonious occasions for the swearing in of each new administration to the friendliness she extends to others when issuing dog licenses each year.
Claudia will go the extra mile for anyone who needs her help with kindness and impartiality. She is a town clerk with a heart and a conscience.
Let's not loose her combination of extensive experience and dedication. Please re-elect Claudia Weber as town clerk.
I am writing this letter to demonstrate my enthusiastic support for Paul Giusti for first selectman.
I have known Paul and his family for many, many years, so I can attest to his character as a husband and father.
I have also interacted with him as a parent while I coached a youth football team and I have also seen the qualities of good sportsmanship that he has exhibited in competitive situations. Paul himself is well respected as a youth baseball coach and has been a positive role model for the boys on his teams.
Sports bring out the best -- or worst -- in people. We all know that Paul has the business, academic and political background to lead New Canaan in these challenging economic times. Those qualities combined with his sense of compassionate competitiveness make him the right man for the job of first selectman.
Mallozzi's vision is needed in New Canaan
A lot has been said about leadership in this current Republican Caucus for first selectman. We believe this is a critical issue facing our town as Republicans head to the Caucus. There is only one clear choice in New Canaan for leadership: Rob Mallozzi.
A leader has vision and passion. Of the two candidates, only Rob Mallozzi has expressed a vision for our downtown. And, he has a passion for New Canaan to match, born out of the fact that he is a retailer, landlord and taxpayer.
Rob wants to improve the New Canaan experience for all the residents of Town. New Canaan has suffered long enough with the abdication of responsibility from the office of first selectman to hand-picked special interest committees that focus on the gain of few at the expense of many. It is time for us to have a first selectman who will lead us on a clear path to a balanced downtown recovery.
A leader capably and openly manages critical resources such as taxpayer dollars. Hard decisions have to be made. Our debt and rate of spending increases are unsustainable. A leader will not allow our spending to increase by 4.2 percent and then move the taxpayer's money around from one account to another and try and tell us that our spending has only increased by 2 percent for the sake of politically motivated headlines. Instead, a leader finds the savings the town needs through budget cuts, restraint and negotiated compromise. A true leader has the courage to make these hard decisions and communicate them openly. That leader is Rob Mallozzi.
A leader is someone that inspires trust, engages the minds and spirits of many and works hard to manage positive outcomes that everyone in Town can clearly understand. During his time as selectman, Rob has uncovered $5.5 million in budget overruns in our public works projects and instituted controls to ensure that this type of unapproved spending never happens again. Rob is a leader who is unmatched in his selfless dedication to New Canaan. Political and personal gains are never his focus. The betterment of the Town of New Canaan is his only motivation.
On July 19, we have a choice in who we want to be the Republican nominee for first selectman. There are two candidates, but only one true leader. Please join us in voting for Rob Mallozzi.
Roger Williams and Al DuPont
Co-Chairmen for Mallozzi 2011
Giusti's business experience will help town
We are honored to know both Paul Giusti and Nick Williams. While they are running for office separately, the prospect of having these two talented gentlemen serve together is very exciting for New Canaan.
Paul brings extensive business experience and proven success from his service on the Board of Finance and other town committees. Nick is an accomplished lawyer with a global law firm and has done a tremendous job as chairman of the Board of Education.
Together, their complementary skills, fact-based approach and professional, consensus-building styles will serve our town well. There are other talented people running for office, and they have our respect and gratitude for stepping forward to serve New Canaan, but with the challenges we face and the opportunities we have as a community, we believe in putting the best team on the field. Please elect both Paul Giusti and Nick Williams.
Lisa and Scot Melland
Engel will `energize' downtown
I am the manager at Athletic Shoe Factory in New Canaan. A vote for John Engel is a vote to energize the downtown.
Engel is an experienced local businessman who understands what it means to be a small business.
I feel comfortable talking with him to understand a lease or make changes to improve our business here.
Engel is an innovator, not a politician, willing to think outside the box to revive our downtown.
Engel is accessible because he works here every day, not just on weekends. We see him at the Athletic Shoe Factory and know that this is a priority for him beyond the election season.
We need a Selectman like Engel.
Athletic Shoe Factory
Support for Giusti
I am writing in support of Paul Giusti for first selectman. I got to know Paul when he coached my son in All-Star baseball. I was struck by Paul's deep commitment to the kids and the positive example he set each time he stepped out onto the field with them. Paul taught the boys the importance of hard work, persistence, fair play and sportsmanship. Most importantly, he taught them how to be a team.
Paul Giusti is both a strong leader and a team player. He understands that working well with others, and embracing differing viewpoints, is the key to successful leadership. As a result he has the backing of 13 out of 14 Republican town leaders. This endorsement from those who have worked with both candidates speaks volumes. Paul is intelligent, kind, and gracious and cares about New Canaan's future. Please vote for Paul Giusti for first selectman.
Jim and Kim Fahey
Nick Williams for selectman
I would like to formerly endorse Nick Williams for the office of selectman. I have known Nick and his family for over 10 years and have experienced firsthand his exemplary work ethic, experience and balanced judgment in the many areas he has dedicated himself to New Canaan. Our town needs the strength of character and leadership that Nick can bring the office of selectman in 2011.
Nick has the ability to work on many different levels for the Town of New Canaan and bring multiple factions together to a common ground. His professional experience as a top-rate lawyer has served him well while chairing the Board of Education. He is not afraid to make the tough choices when tackling budgets and he has always approached that job with the single purpose of maintaining and improving the high school academic and social experience for students and parents alike. He has wisely managed the $73 million school budget during unprecedented economic conditions for our town and will bring the ability to negotiate fairly, openly and decisively to the office of selectman.
Nick's involvement with the New Canaan, through the non-profit sector, coaching and a host of other commitments has given him the ability to understand the needs of many in our community. He will focus his experience to make sure everyone in New Canaan is represented fairly. This type of selfless dedication and balanced judgment is what New Canaan needs in Town Hall. Please come out and support Nick Williams on July 19 for selectman.
Mallozzi is what New Canaan needs
I am supporting Rob Mallozzi for first selectman not only because of his impressive credentials, but also because of his passion for New Canaan. Rob has deep roots in this town -- you need only have coffee with him at Zumbach's to see how connected he is to the community. He knows every customer who comes in the store and he greets them all warmly, listening to their opinions and sharing their concerns.
When Rob acts, he does so with integrity and courage. He will vote "no" when everyone else votes "yes," firm in his belief that he is acting in the best interests of his constituents, to whom he has listened carefully.
As is so often the case in the political arena, it is time for a change, time to elect someone who is woven into the fabric of this town and who will work tirelessly and passionately for it.
As a 1987 graduate of New Canaan High School , the son of a long-time New Canaan resident and the great, great, great nephew of a U.S. President, I want to express my enthusiastic endorsement of Nick Williams for the office of selectman.
Nick is in touch with the issues that most affect the people of New Canaan -- financial responsibility and fairness, education, and the improvement of the overall economic condition of our town. Nick has an immense track record of success and accomplishment in his life which will, no doubt, continue on the first day he takes on this important new role. Also, Nick's legal experience would help us to avoid the waste of money we've seen with the Lakeview Avenue bridge arbitration.
I have implicit trust in Nick to always do the right thing and I know the town of New Canaan will be a much better place to live with him in this role.
Sidewalk study release, `fiasco' continues
Have you seen the engineers' study that lays out what it will take to install those planned sidewalks on lower Main Street? It was released July 5 -- and makes plain that the sidewalk scheme will be a much more ambitious undertaking than anything the Town has so far described. In fact, it will be quite the project. If the sidewalks go in on the street's west side, here's what will have to happen:
- 10 trees will come down.
- Eight retaining walls will be installed, totaling 660 feet. Some of the walls will be up to 3 feet high.
- Four utility poles will have to be relocated.
- Four catch basins will have to be moved.
All this, by the way, on just a 3,000-foot stretch of road.
The report confirms what everyone who's driven on lower Main Street knows intuitively: installation of sidewalks will constitute a major engineering project. The work figures to disrupt traffic for months and cost much more than the $400,000 the Department of Public Works has budgeted. (DPW's plan assumed no new retaining walls, for instance.) The Town's original scheme, that the sidewalks be installed as an add-on to the repaving on Main Street, was always ludicrous. Yet the Town has managed the issue so that it's taken three years to find that out. This has been a fiasco.
Which raises some questions:
First, what in the world has the Town Council been thinking? It's let the debate on this issue drag on for years -- and we're only finding out now what it will take to get the project done. That's crazy. Residents should have known long ago about these complications -- certainly prior to the referendum in April. Instead, most members of the TC have remained remarkably uncurious throughout the whole process, and have simply let the matter fester.
Second, why should the Town Council take seriously, ever again, any cost estimate produced by the DPW? That $400,000 sidewalk estimate was, of necessity, a back-of-the-envelope number that no one should ever have taken at face value. It was a fairy tale.
The Town of course didn't distinguish itself with its oversight of the Lakeview Avenue Bridge project and attendant litigation. Now, the lower Main Street sidewalk project isn't starting well, either, and may be shaping up to be Lakeview Avenue Bridge 2.0. The bids aren't even out yet, and the project's already over budget.
This whole Main Street sidewalk scheme has been a mess from start to finish. The TC should put it on hold, and direct the DPW to proceed with re-paving Main Street forthwith -- along with the other roads in town that are desperately in need of repair.