Neff stays as NL events coordinator

New London - Barbara Neff, who has reigned over the city's waterfront for three city managers and a mayor, will be paid $27,000 to continue to bring activities to the waterfront and downtown.

"She's the councilor of good will for downtown," Bob Hinners, who owns 10 properties in the city, told the City Council last week.

Neff will be paid $24,000 as the city events coordinator. She will have a $20,000 budget to plan, develop and promote at least six events and will work with the Downtown New London Association to find sponsors for the events. The DNLA will provide insurance.

The City Council unanimously approved the reappointment last week, and also named Neff as dock master, a $3,000-a-year position that puts her in charge of the city's 40 moorings off Waterfront Park.

On Monday, Neff said she expects to bring a boat show to the waterfront in June and is planning a charity poker run during the summer where boat owners will have to obtain chips from various locations along the city's waterfront to earn prizes. She is working with the Leukemia Foundation, which would benefit from the fundraiser, she said.

Other events include Caribbean Night in August, a barbecue cook-off in September, a Halloween celebration in October, and the return of a circus to the Parade Plaza. She is also discussing a music series on the waterfront with the U.S. Coast Guard Band.

Neff also works for DNLA, coordinating the annual three-day Sailfest celebration every July, and the annual St. Patrick's Parade, scheduled for March 16 at 1 p.m.

At last week's City Council meeting, a half dozen people spoke on Neff's behalf and encouraged the council to renew her contracts, including downtown merchant Charlotte Hennegan, and the city's economic development coordinator, Ned Hammond.

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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