John Engel, Town Council

-Town Council member since January 2013

-War Veteran, Desert Storm and Captain, US Army, Military Intelligence Branch

-3rd generation New Canaan. Saxe & NCHS graduate

-E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, 2000

-New Canaan Realtor and commercial landlord

-member, Zoning Board of Appeals, 2007-2012

-married 26 years to Melissa Engel

-4 children in New Canaan schools, 2 currently, 2 graduates

-Davidson College, BA 1989

-board member, Staying Put in New Canaan, 2007-2013

-member, New Canaan Rotary Club since 2003 and President 2016-2017

-member, Veterans of Foreign Wars, post 653 in New Canaan

-NC Baseball coach, CCD teacher, 5th grade basketball coach

-CEO Roundtable co-founder

-St. Aloysius School, board President 2007

-board member, Outback Teen Center

-member, Country Club of New Canaan

There are three parts to the Town Council process. Gather public opinion, meet in subcommittee, and meet as a full Town Council to (vote and) take action. The formation of the Audit and Ethics Boards, the Charter Review Commission, the Fowler Property Acquisition and the creation of the Land Acquisition Fund are four recent examples of where we were successful. In the areas requiring coordination with other town boards the process has been more challenging. Examples include late challenges to the Outback condemnation, Waveny re-roofing, Locust decking, funding the Land Acquisition Fund, and setting a Treasurer salary and tax collection rate. The Town Council could probably do a better job of communicating and coordinating with the Boards of Selectmen and Finance in particular. We rely too heavily on the agenda-setting meeting between board leadership and the dissemination of that information to all members. It can be uncomfortable when one board’s decisions and desire to get things done is held in check by another town body. These differences in opinion make for healthy debate, but we should plan for more joint meetings throughout the year, and a closer relationship between respective subcommittees if we are to make real progress on key initiatives in the next few years such as proposed decked parking, gas lines, cell towers, and an open space plan, to name a few.