Question #2: What initiatives would you pursue as part of your civic duties, if elected, to ensure the community spirit of New Canaan continues to thrive?
Thursday, September 28th, 2017 @ 7:33AM
Get to know the Democratic candidates for New Canaan municipal office! This is Question #2 in a series.
If elected, I would do everything within my power to encourage community spirit.
The sense of community in New Canaan is one of the defining characteristics of our town. When we come together to mark Overdose Awareness Day; when we line the sides of Main Street for the Memorial Day Parade; when we reach out to a neighbor in need — we are experiencing some of the compelling benefits of living in New Canaan.
This sense of community is something to be treasured and nurtured. We need to continue to promote civility. We need to continue to acknowledge the civic contributions of our residents.
We need to continue to celebrate together as we do for the July 4th Fireworks, for the concerts on the lawn of Waveny, for the Halloween Parade, for the caroling on God’s Acre, for the Ice Cream Social at the Historical Society.
New Canaan enjoys exceptional community spirit. We all need to work together to keep it that way.
I have supported the building of new athletic fields and new track to give our youth teams the best training facilities to go out and excel. Beating Darien is an important part of our Town spirit.
Keeping down taxes keeps peoples spirits high. I have raised questions about the last revaluation and how the home owners on the west side of South Avenue between Grace and Bank Streets got higher tax increases than those on the east side of South Avenue in the same areas. Generally I try to work to keep the budget increases on the low side while spending to keep NCPS excellence. People have a great deal of spirit when it comes to supporting school spending.
I support spending to keep the seniors population spirits up. Tax abatement’s are available but largely unused. We have good people at HHS to provide a variety of significant help. The GetAbout is funded each year to provide a means of mobility for those who do not drive. The programs at Lapham Community Center are funded to provide many programs for seniors to get out and learn and exercise in a social setting.
I have also supported, the town spirit with my involvement with, Old Faithful since ’78. As Phil would say when we were out driving in the rain or bitter cold for Santa Claus rides, “It all for the children”. The point is always to have some fun times for kids and parents and help our non-profit organizations and churches. The special ones have been taking wedding parties from church to receptions in town. As the Chief Engineer for Old Faithful there’s a lot of work to do keeping the trucks maintained, doing repairs and making safety checks. Luckily I have a solid crew of helpers to work every Tuesday night.
Community spirit in New Canaan is built upon a public-non profit-private relationship. The town supports citizen interests and partners with local nonprofits and/or private donors in order to do so.
Today our community spirit is just amazing, and to keep it that way, elected officials need to keep tabs on what inspires our citizens on a regular basis. We should review results of existing initiatives to make sure they’re delivering as expected; we should connect with citizens, via survey or other established communication methods, to confirm existing initiatives are still wanted and to discover new ones, and reprioritize if necessary. We should review what other successful communities do on this front and consider discussing, prioritizing and implementing those ideas, along with any we get as input from our citizenry, on a trial basis to see if they work here.
Events such as the summer Sidewalk Sale, Taste of the Town, the Pop Up park, Waveny fireworks – the list goes on – all give New Canaanites an opportunity to get together to do something fun and to reconnect with each other, and provide the foundation of our community spirit. We need to keep the successful ones going, perhaps retire any that are no longer serving their purpose, and find new ones in conjunction with input from our residents, to ensure community spirit in New Canaan continues to thrive.
To the extent possible in my role I would work to address tough situations and individuals I encounter with professionalism so as to represent New Canaan in its best possible light.
Questions are sent to all 11 candidates, they choose to answer or not.