Questions & Answers
Q: Don't you want the New Canaan Public Schools administration to have a new office?
A: Of course we do! Everyone agrees that the New Canaan Public Schools have been making do for too long with an inadequate administrative office. There's no controversy at all about getting these folks out of their current space and into a decent office.
Q: Don't you think we should reward the New Canaan Public Schools administration for doing a good job?
A: We already do "reward" the school administrators. We "reward" our public schools by giving them the largest part of our town's budget (57.8%). We "reward" our superintendent, Dr. Richards, by paying him the highest salary of any town official, more even than we pay our first selectman. And while we all see the need to get the school administrators into a better office, it's not so clear that we need to "reward" them by mowing down over 17,000 square feet of 60- to 80-foot-tall trees.
Q: Even if you're right, you're too late. Why didn't you protest this site at the P&Z meeting back in March?
A: The March P&Z meeting was extremely important - in fact, we've since learned, it was the only public meeting where the LOCATION of the proposed building was under discussion. But oddly enough, there was no prior published notification of that meeting, as is customary. It's difficult to register your disapproval at a meeting that's not made public.
Q: If Site 1 (in the woods near the high school) is so bad, didn't any of the nearby neighbors complain?
A: The property owners adjoining the high school - who would certainly have had a great interest in the site location discussion - were also not notified about the March meeting. In fact, they were first notified in September 2001 for a P&Z meeting to discuss the building itself (the plans and design) - NOT the location. And here's the kicker - at the September meeting, people against Site 1 were told that they should have spoken out at the oddly-unpromoted March meeting! Because government is accountable to the people, all city and county governments are required by law to publish information on meetings, bids, annual financial statements and other aspects of their operations. It is a key to an open, honest government.
Q: Can public officials use taxpayer money to influence the approval or disapproval of a referendum question?
A: Connecticut General Statutes are clear on this. No expenditures of state, municipal or regional district funds can be made to influence any person to vote for approval or disapproval of any referendum question. This prohibition also applies to the use of school facilities, supplies, and equipment and postal permits to advocate a position on a referendum. For example, parent teacher organizations and school administrators may not use school equipment to prepare or copy advocacy material even if the town, regional district or school system is reimbursed for such use. If you become aware of any possible violations, please let us know.