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$1.6 Million Arbitration Case Panel to Meet Tuesday

Town council subcommittee to meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

Town officials said Friday that a newly convened panel of the Town Council will meet next week to discuss the of a $1.6 million against New Canaan.

In a press release, Town Council Secretary Kit Devereaux said that agenda items at the 7:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, May 31, will include:

  • To designate a Secretary for the [Lakeview Avenue Bridge Arbitration] subcommittee.
  • To define the purpose of the subcommittee.
  • To develop the methodology to be used in order to achieve said purpose.
  •  To set guidelines and ground rules.

The full press release follows:

On Monday evening, May 23, the Town Council voted to form a subcommittee to advance the examination of the Lakeview Avenue Bridge Arbitration and the subsequent settlement and attendant legal expenses. This subcommittee will thoroughly examine all the facts in order to understand how and why the process broke down; to clarify where responsibility lies; and to suggest next steps to the Town Council.

The committee will be comprised of four Town Council members, including Ken Campbell, Kit Devereaux, Beth Jones, and Tom O’Dea. Other members of Town Council will be invited to attend in an ex-officio capacity. Members of other town bodies and of the community will be asked to serve as advisors. Kit Devereaux will chair the committee.

The first meeting of the sub-committee will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 7:30 pm.  The purpose of the meeting will be to define the sub-committee’s task, to work on a time line, and to set the ground rules. All meetings will be held publicly, with time for public input.

eugene milosh May 29, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Lets not forget the outrageous legal fee of $800,000+ . Handling of law firm expenses for arbitration was far in excess warrented by amount of settlement. Where was management and oversight in this episode and how can elected officials remedy mismanagement and chastize those responsible. System for selection and administration of legal retainers is broken and must be fixed. Start by reviewing current practices and accounability by those responsible for all legal retainers, consultants and contractors. Additionally , ask State for guidelines.
Peggy May 30, 2011 at 10:09 AM
John, Do you know for sure that Mike Pastore was threatened by Walker of his job loss, if he didn't take the fall for this?
NCFamily May 30, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I am a newcomer to New Canaan Patch and have found many contributors' comments to be highly intelligent, some to be worthy of a reporter's further investigation and other remarks quite humorous. All in all, may I suggest that contributors also consider writing their comments as Letters to the Editors to both local New Canaan papers? There are many New Canaanites who are not aware of New Canaan Patch. Others, particularly our elderly, may not be computer savvy and depend upon the local papers for the latest information. I found comments about the two First Selectman candidates to be quite informative and, in my humble opinion, should be shared as Letters to the Editor. On this topic, Anthony, you are correct. It is a "conflict of interest" for DeWaele to serve on a subcommittee to investigate himself. The May 23rd meeting was clearly a staged performance. It was painful to watch the rude behavior of TC to Mr. Fred Chang who patiently waited until 10 p.m. to present his thoughts and questions.
mary parker June 01, 2011 at 05:56 AM
BJ: I totally agree and mention this about DeWaele serving on the subcommittee. And as far as Mr. Chang, he was treated very rudely and after being questiond by DeWaele about when Mr. Chang arrived at the meeting (which to me shouldn't matter) , was cut off by Dewaele because it was 10:00pm. As I stated before if you are on the Board and there is a town meeting and someone from the town(a resident) has some question to ask the Board, it shouldn't matter what time it is. You are on the Board because of us(the residents) and if it takes longer than 10:00pm that resident should still be allowed to have their say. DeWaele didn't mind staying late when he was on the Recreation Board did he? Those meetings would sometimes go till 11:00pm. Does the Govoner say ,"oh gee it's 10:00pm, time for me to go home" Does the U.S. President tell his pannel or people he is meeting with," it's 10:00pm, time to go home". NO. We have the right to be herd no matter what time it is. I feel sorry for Mr. Chang a tax payer.
God Bless New Canaan June 03, 2011 at 02:58 AM
Arbitration is a throw of the dice. This time we lost - big time. to try to minimize it by saying we may still be due a state 'co-pay' is an obfuscation. Poor management is allowing the big time attorneys to under estimate their billing and then bill substantially more than any possible arbitration settlement. both of these issues are difficult to swallow, but easy to remedy. That the bills accrued under monthly review by the Selectmen is more troubling. The time that passed between settlement, payment and notification is the more egregious problem. That the settlement was paid immediately as per the judges ruling is understandable. As I understand it, that payment was made in late February, and only a select few were made aware of the ammounts, with the balance of those elected to oversee such affairs remaining in the dark for several months. The question that hangs in the air, is whether the delay in 'going public' until after ther Referendum was intended to influence the outcome of that referendum. Since many of those involved in the referendum debate were opposed to any additional spending, then any announcement of an additional one million dollar plus bill would not have sat well. I am hoping that this is not true, but we elected citizens to various boards and commissions to sit in review of these matters, and if the information was witheld from our elected representatives for political reasons, than we have a problem that has raised to a new level.

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