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Wednesday, November 22 News

Letters to the Editor: Kit for First, Rob Fryer for treasurer...

To the Editor:

As a Republican, indeed a lifelong Republican, I find myself impelled to write to express my wholehearted support for the better candidate this year for first selectman, the significantly more-qualified candidate for first selectman, and in fact, from my perspective, the only temperamentally-equipped, experientially-qualified candidate: Kit Devereaux. I urge New Canaan voters, however registered, whether affiliated with a party or not, to do as I intend to do: vote on Nov. 7 for Kit Devereaux for first selectman.

In today’s political world, characterizations and categories seem increasingly to predominate in determining how and for whom to vote. But for me, the only characterization that matters is competence; the only category is community commitment. Kit reflects both.

I have read and heard my party’s call for “party loyalty,” meaning Republicans should vote straight Republican — just because. I disagree, in deciding to cast one’s vote to reflect party “loyalty,” abdicates one’s own exercise of personal, independent judgment and chooses conformity over competence.

So, this year, for first slectman, I’m not voting for a Republican; and I’m not voting for a Democrat; in fact I’m not voting on the basis of any characterizations, categories or qualities, other than character and competence; I’m voting for Kit. So, I urge, should you.

Frederick L. Whitmer

New Canaan

To the Editor:

Rob’s career at Deloitte lasted almost 50 years, including 34 years as a senior partner, and this experience working with large corporations in their finance and accounting areas made him an expert in all aspects of finance and accounting.

This broad expertise enables him to provide the following benefits if elected as our treasurer:

While the responsibilities of a town treasurer are prescribed by state law and he will execute them seriously, he is ready to use his broad expertise to assist town government with the broader aspects of cash and debt management and the control of expenditures.

He has many years of experience in internal financial controls and hopes to participate in preventing material weaknesses in the future.

Rob is no longer working and will perform his duties as treasurer at town hall during regular office hours and this will enable him to interact with town officials, from first selectman down, when questions arise that could utilize his expertise.

Rob’s opponent, Andrew Brooks, has a bachelor’s degree in economics and history and a full-time job with Accenture in finance and risk management. Since Andrew’s college degree is not in finance and accounting, he must rely on working as a team member on Accenture projects to acquire expertise in finance and accounting. Given the limited time Andrew has worked in the complex business area of finance and accounting, I consider him to be a neophyte who needs several more years of experience to even approach Rob’s level of expertise.

Read Full Article 

Robert Smith

New Canaan

To the Editor:

I have no direct ties to Rich, but after witnessing his first debate this summer I was moved by his down-to-earth practical approach: make every decision based on the impact it will have on property values (as a whole).

I walked away feeling New Canaan is lucky to have him running for office — Stanford MBA, former CFO of Loral Space & Communications, long history living and raising his family in New Canaan and time to work for the benefit of New Canaan. This town is in need of more smart, independent and transparent elected officials working as a team to accomplish goals. This town needs leadership that will come with this election.

The town in facing many issues where there is a not an easy answer: maintaining quality of life while balancing increasing costs (and taxes), fighting with the state over grants and funding, addressing the shortage of downtown and commuter parking, addressing the underutilized and costly town buildings currently on the books. The list goes on and on.

I would encourage all our elected officials and town volunteers to evaluate every option and make quick decisions. I have confidence that Rich will bring new ideas and perspectives while balancing issues faced by both younger commuter families and older retiree families.

Join me in supporting Rich and the entire Republican slate running for office next month.

Greg Ethridge

New Canaan

To the Editor:

My husband and I are 19-year residents of New Canaan and have raised three children in this community. I am writing to encourage all citizens to vote in our municipal election this year. We can come together in a bipartisan manner to elect Kit Devereaux as our first selectman. I endorse Kit because she is the most experienced and qualified to be our town leader.

Kit has extensive experience serving our town government, including positions on the Board of Finance, Town Council, and Parks & Recreation. She has led local nonprofits, including the League of Women Voters and the New Canaan Nature Center.

An MBA from New York University and work experience at Salomon Brothers make Kit the most qualified candidate to deal with our town’s budget. Kit advocates “zero-based” budgeting, requiring department heads to build their annual budgets from the ground up rather than putting in increases. This process will increase efficiency and keep costs down.

Kit’s priorities for New Canaan include: maintaining top quality schools, expanding cell coverage town wide, increasing commuter parking, and supporting our town center. Working on these issues will help keep New Canaan one of the most attractive communities in our area. Kit is the intelligent choice for first selectman.

In addition to her experience, qualifications, and sense of our town’s important needs, Kit brings a collaborative, kind, and open style to the position, which will enable her to govern effectively. Please join me in voting for Kit for First on Nov. 7.

Christina Fagerstal

New Canaan

To the Editor:

There has been a boatload of misinformation propounded by the Democratic candidate for town treasurer and his supporters regarding the role of the town treasurer. This approach appears to be intended to mislead the voters about the integrity of Treasurer Andrew Brooks, who in my opinion has done a superlative job protecting New Canaan’s tax dollars.

As mandated by state statute, the treasurer has general oversight of town receipts and expenses, signs authorized checks and approves bond issues. By contrast, the Finance Department is responsible for accounting, payroll and benefits, budget development, internal controls, financial reporting and debt management. In effect, the treasurer manages the town’s cash but is not responsible for, nor manages, the town’s accounting and financial reporting functions. The Board of Finance is responsible for annual budget reviews and approvals, setting the annual mill rate, approving special appropriations and administering the pension fund.

Despite inferences of the Democratic candidate to the contrary, the Audit Committee reported that the Finance Department’s accounting, financial reporting and control responsibilities are not within the authority of the treasurer. It would be completely improper and possibly illegal for the treasurer to exercise authority that has not been granted by statute or Town Charter.

Treasurer Andrew Brooks has a strong record of protecting and managing the town’s funds, reporting observed material weaknesses to the Audit Committee, requiring supporting documentation for expenses and ensuring compliance with negotiated agreements.

I urge you to vote for the re-election of Treasurer Andrew Brooks.

Evelyn Irene Barrack

New Canaan

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