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David Skoczulek

Running for Town Council

8 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status:


Age: 38

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Tolland

Current Job: Vice President of Business Development for iCare Management, LLC.

Previous Job: Director of Business Development and Community Relations for Ambulance Service of Manchester, LLC and Aetna Ambulance Service, Inc.

Previous Job: Paramedic for Windsor Locks Lions Ambulance

Education: BS in EMS Management (Springfield College), Masters in Public Health (UConn)

Why are you running for this office?
I am running for reelection because I feel my work for the Town of Tolland is not yet done. I have had the privilege and honor to serve the last two years and help marshal the town through the challenges created by the State's budget, or lack thereof. We continue to operate under the threat of losing over $8m in educational cost sharing grants that would cause so much havoc and damage to our school system. I feel that I have the even temperament, the long view, the commitment to sustainable and non-partisan/bi-partisan solutions to lead the town for another two years.
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)?
The most pressing issue is resolving this budget and the next two that follow. There is no one, clear solution since we, as of this writing, do not know what the legislature and the Governor will do with this year's budget, never mind the next two. My solution is to stay connected to the information, responsive and nimble in deliberations, listen to the public input, work alongside the Board of Education and town staff and keep at it, patiently and calmly until it can be set into something stable.
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?
Well, see my other answers. You can tell the State budget is the running theme. This is truly looming over us all. Given that Tolland does not have the land, the draw or much of an appetite for commercial and other development and given our crumbling foundations crisis, we do not have many venues to less dependency on state revenue. We should brace for the revenue and the teacher's pensions to happen and lobby to ensure that they happen over a longer time frame. Other than that: regionalize, regionalize, regionalize. We need to be looking for every opportunity to do so. We can no longer sustain 169 fiefdoms littered with expensive duplication.
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?
I have not seen any proposal that would work well in a town like ours. I am not averse to this if its not simply just another tax. Restructuring into a tax system that is less about property taxes would be an improvement to public policy and we should look at what 49 other states have done right or wrong in this regard and find something that works, is fair and equitable and is not simply another layer of taxation. CT tends to try to find novel solutions to everything. Don't reinvent the wheel. Some state out there is doing what we should be doing.
Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
We should be regionalizing every possible service and program that we can. Library, public works, police/fire/EMS, town government, school systems, sewer and water, animal control, and on and on and on. This does not mean we slash and burn. There are many, many ways to make this value added and not cede local control. This can be done intelligently and effectively one step at a time. It would be a dream to have County government like everywhere else in the country. Not in addition to current government but in lieu of it. But short of that we should not be investing a single tax payer dollar into something that is stand alone and not regionalized if at all possible. I know there is a fear of ceding power and control but we cannot live in that world and expect our tax dollars to be enough. The same folks can no longer complain about their high taxes and show up the following meeting to shout down change and progress in the form of regionalization.
Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
This is a loaded question. The reality is the whole system needs to be analyzed and studied and re-formatted over a period of years. My tax dollar should not go from my wallet to mis-managed cities. I support strong cities and fixing inequities in education. But this is not the way to do it. Neither is having the legislature study it. Hire a world class public policy consulting firm and have them make a recommendation and then craft it into a bill and actually pass it.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
People are surprised when they find out that I am still a practicing Paramedic. It remains a really important part of my life. They are also surprised when they find out I am a low tax, small government Democrat. I believe in policy over doctrine and local government is the place to show them how that works.