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Rosemary Morante

2 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Rm

Party: Democrat

CEP Status:

Website: www.plainvilledemocrats.com

Age: 68

Marital Status: Single

Current Residence: Plainville

Current Job:

Previous Job: Retired Supervisor of Technology & Libraries, Windsor Public Schools

Previous Job:

Education: B.A. Trinity College, Masters from University of Rhode Island, Sixth Year from University of Hartford

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Why are you running for this office?
In 2015, I was honored to be elected to the Town Council. My reasons for running again remain essentially the same. I am passionate about the future of our town. I believe that we should have high expectations and never think that we are “just Plainville.” Our citizens deserve up-to date infrastructure, strong public schools, and quality services. These include resources such as a vibrant public library, comprehensive senior programs, and recreational opportunities.
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What is the most pressing local issue facing your community and how would you solve it (within the capacity of the office for which you are running)?
Uncertainty about state funding has been a major worry for us. Hopefully, we will soon have a state budget and it will be one that does not result in a drastic reduction of FY2018 funding for Plainville. However, at the very least, I think that we need to anticipate some overall reduction of state funding over time. We need to work with staff to carefully set priorities, plan, and find new and creative ways to become more financially efficient. Both the Board of Education and town government have already set direction in doing this. Areas to continue exploring include regional initiatives, energy savings programs, grant opportunities, and potential consolidation of services and resources where appropriate. Another somewhat "hot" current issue is how we will close the Plainville gap on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. We are working with the Capital Region Council of Governments on this issue (CRGOG). At least some sections of the trail would need to go through areas where there is not available open space. I will state without hesitation that I am a proponent of the trail. And I am still very hopeful that we can take into consideration legitimate concerns and work collaboratively - and creatively - to develop the final design for the Plainville portion.
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With the state's ongoing budget crisis looming over the election, what are your plans for your community's budget? Is there anything you can do make your town less dependent on revenue from the state?
Please see the first part of my response to the question on pressing local issues. In addition, I would state that smart and effective economic development in the town will take on even more importance as we try to increase our own local tax base.
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The legislature has been debating various ideas to allow towns to raise revenue locally through something other than property taxes. If you could ease your residents' property tax burden by adding another method of taxation, is there anything you might consider for your town?
While I do not automatically rule out ideas, this is one that would need to be very carefully examined. The one example that comes to mind, of course, is the recent idea of allowing towns to tax restaurant meals. We have a considerable number of dining establishments in Plainville so this might seem to be an attractive option on the surface. On the other hand, we would need to ask how it would affect these local restaurants and, in turn, our own local economy. Would it hurt their business, affect the number of employees, and perhaps even cause them to move to another town that does not have the extra tax? I would much prefer that the state look at other solutions that support equal opportunities for local businesses.
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Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
Conceptually, I support further regionalization. For example, I voted in favor of Plainville joining a regional group that will reduce the cost of stop loss insurance. Another example that I supported as a citizen prior to my election was the merger of the Plainville and Southington health districts. I also support cooperative programs undertaken through the Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG). I mention one of these in this survey. We should definitely participate in discussion of regional initiatives whether they be for training, purchasing, communications, transportation, or other areas. We would also need to examine proposals carefully to determine if they are in the best interest of Plainville.
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Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
First, I would say that the number of students is already used to determine state funding through ECS along with adjustments in numbers based on other factors such as educational and economic need. Second, I would caution against a simplistic response to this question. Please remember that although a district's enrollment might go down somewhat, the actual number is often distributed across grade levels and schools in ways that do not provide opportunities to reduce costs such as the number of classroom teachers needed.
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What's one thing most people don't know about you?
As a college student, I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of school history by entering Trinity College in 1969 when women were first admitted.