I’m running because I love this town and want to continue to contribute meaningfully to its future. Continuing to serve as our First Selectman would be a natural progression for me, after having served for the past 12 years as a Selectman and the past several months as First Selectman. I’ve developed a deep personal knowledge of how our Town works. I have always worked constructively and respectfully with my Republican peers on the Board of Selectmen, and was encouraged by those peers to step in as First Selectman when our former First Selectman, Ralph Eno, retired earlier this year.
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 local issue we face in the Town of Lyme is recruiting good, experienced townspeople to help us lead the town in the future. I will work with my peers on the Board of Selectmen to include more people, educate them for positions throughout our local government, and help instill in them a love for the town and a desire to steward the town.
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?
Our town’s budget suffers from not only declining state aid, but the misalignment between the limited income growth from property taxes and the inflationary costs associated with running the town and educating our children. Prudent fiscal management and creative new methods can assist us in budget constraint.
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?
New local tax sources have little implication in a small town that is composed mostly of residential properties.
Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
Regionalizing services is an important avenue for exploration as long as our local services won’t be adversely impacted from being a smaller fish in the pond. Where an opportunity exists to generate savings while preserving local services, yes, those opportunities will be fully explored.
Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
Education funding should be directed to those most in need, while remembering that all towns fund the tax revenue that is then redistributed. A balance is required.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I think most people in Lyme know me pretty well. In addition to serving as Selectman for 12 years, I have served on the Planning & Zoning Commission for 12 years; the Open Space Committee for 5 years; the Zoning Board of Appeals for 4 years; the Board of Finance for 2 years; the Lyme/Old Lyme District 18 School Board for 2 years; the Conservation & Inland Wetlands Commission for 1 year; and the Lyme Democratic Town Committee for 17 years.
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