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Mark Farrell

Running for Planning & Zoning Commission (4 year)

4 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status:


Age: 35

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Tolland

Current Job: Risk Manager

Previous Job: Business Intelligence

Previous Job:

Education: B.S. - Southern Connecticut State University

Why are you running for this office?
I want to make sure that Tolland continues to be a strong community that is a great place to live, work, and play. I intend to be in Tolland for many years to come with my family and I want it to continue to be a community I'm proud to be a part of.
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)?
State budget constraints have left Tolland with hard decisions on how we want to move forward. In running for Planning and Zoning, I want to make sure we are business friendly to help bring revenue into our town while maintaining our small town appeal. Our plan for conservation and development is coming up during this next term and ensuring we are moving on the right path for the future is my priority.
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?
Tolland's current business is our education, and our students and families benefit from an excellent education. It helps bring more people to the community (I moved here with my family with education in mind). We do need to diversify our business though, and updating our plan for conservation and development in the coming term is a big step to ensure that we have the right businesses thinking about coming to Tolland to help with our tax base.
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?
Being open to hearing any proposals is a good step, but we need to be thoughtful in our analysis of other methods. There is only so much tax base to go around and shifting what percentage comes from property to another area can have larger implications. While this doesn't directly relate to planning and zoning, our ability to think long term about what land we want to use for commercial versus residential will have implications on our tax system.
Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
Regionalizing services is a feasible way to gain economy of scale across smaller towns like Tolland. That said, we cannot look at regionalizing as a 'magic bullet' for all services. We need to be cognizant of the standard of living we have created and find a stepwise solution that makes sense for all parties in the region.
Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
As a state we need to review our definitions used to allocate funding on education. If we need to adjust the formulas, it needs to be done in a long term fashion that allows towns like Tolland to plan accordingly.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I very much enjoy a good do-it-yourself project. Building or fixing things with your hands is a very gratifying process.