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Monday, November 19 News

Q&A with ... Pam Flynn on changes, experience at town hall

NEW CANAAN — In her 13 years at town hall, Pam Flynn has sure seen a lot.

From relocating to a temporary setup at the police station during the mid-2010s and serving under four different first selectmen, Pam Flynn has kept meetings, appointments and many other things running as executive assistant to the town’s highest elected official.

The Fairfield native, who is also fluent in French, joined New Canaan Town Hall back in 2005 and will celebrate her 14th anniversary in January.

Flynn recently talked about her career, interests and how things have changed in town hall since the 2000s.

Q: When did you join the New Canaan government?

A: I joined first in 2005. I used to work for a French electronics company called Radiall. I studied French in high school and college and I thought it would be a great opportunity to use the language. The company closed operations in the states in 2005; I was based in Stratford.

I studied elementary education and marketing, which is what I have a degree in. I finished up at the University of Bridgeport after studying at Emmanuel College in Boston.

I made a couple of moves throughout the year, always in sales. I had worked as an assistant but when I came to town hall it was a new thing for me.

Q: How did the role in New Canaan come about?

A: So, the French company closed in 2005. I helped them close the company and transition the customers to make sure everything ran smoothly. I started in here as a temporary assistant and I wanted to see what it was like. I wasn’t going to be in sales again so I was curious about how it would be.

I started learning about things that I had never known before. Like what it takes to run a town — things I had never thought about. I had never been involved in politics before nor do I have plans to.

I have learned so much about government, it’s been fascinating and I’ve been here ever since.

I came here when Judy Neville was first selectman. This is the job I came in around January of 2005.

Q: What are some of the changes you’ve seen throughout your time here?

A: All the individual selectmen are very different. They all want to do good for the town with their own list of things of what they want to do, and they go about it completely differently.

Other employees and I here, we want to keep the day to day things running straight. All the taxpayers pay our salary and we’re here to keep the business going.

I was a couple of months in when I became a full-time employee.

It worked out. I never really thought I’d be doing this, but a lot of what I had in experience with sales, transitioning customers and working with people.

Q: How was working when Town Hall was being renovated?

A: We were out of the building for about three years, we were at the police station. We’ve been back for about three years now and it’s great to all be back under one roof with all the departments. It was a bit unusual and different offices were in different locations but we worked it out.

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Q: Do you remember your first day on the job?

A: I do. I was nervous because I had no idea what it was like working at a town hall. I had always been in a corporate setting — I remember I was kind of early, anticipating and it was interesting. I met Judy Neville and we hit it off and other people, and then started doing the job with some advice from people who were around.

We’re trying to communicate more now with our website and social media. We try to keep more information flowing through these. Back in the day it was all calls — websites then, if there were any, were pretty basic. It would be constant calls, people with questions and everything.

Q: What do you think people don’t know about your role?

A: I do a lot of different things. I say it’s not one but multiple things. It could be anything from multiple calendars to booking rooms to correspondence to talking to people to resolving issues to managing multiple priorities. Really, it’s the day-to-day business and keeping that part going.

humberto.juarez@hearst

mediact.com

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