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John Kiker

Running for Selectman

1 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

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Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Lyme

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Why are you running for this office?
I’m running because I love this town and want to help ensure it stays the beautiful gem of a town that it is. I would like to help strengthen our town's communications with residents on important news, issues and decisions; and am committed to helping residents have a voice in our town's government. If elected, I will work with the Board of Selectmen to enhance communications about important town decisions and explain how residents can take advantage of available opportunities to voice their support or concerns; and ensure important town decisions include a thorough explanation of applicable regulations and residents’ concerns. I bring to the table extensive communications expertise from a long career in marketing, as well as a strong personal commitment to community engagement, innovation and volunteerism.
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)?
Lyme needs to begin recruiting and training the next generation of its leadership. We need good, experienced townspeople to come onboard and help us lead the town into the future - not only as elected officials, but as volunteers. In order for our town to run efficiently, we have to staff more than 140 positions on town boards, committees and commissions with volunteers. If elected, I will work with the Board of Selectmen to actively encourage residents to learn about and serve on these boards, commissions and committees.
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?
I agree with First Selectman Steven Mattson that our town’s budget is currently suffering from a continuing decrease in state funding aid that is coinciding with a continuing inflationary increase in the costs of running our town. I will work with the Board of Selectmen to make prudent financial decisions that reflect the best of our budgeting capabilities.
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?
In attending Board of Selectmen meetings and talking with First Selectman Steven Mattson, I don’t believe there are new local tax sources to be found in Lyme. We’re a small town that chiefly consists of residential homes.
Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
Regionalizing services is an idea worth exploring if, and only if, the benefits outweigh the costs. That often isn’t the case for small towns like ours. In addition, our residents want Lyme to stay the beautiful, historic, sparsely developed community that it is and would not support any services that worked counter to that.
Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
As with most challenges, education funding is a balancing act that requires – and has received – constant attention from our Board of Selectmen, to ensure that the funding goes to those students most in need, while recognizing that every town in Connecticut is contributing to the overall funding.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I think most people know me pretty well. I have been serving as a member of our town’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Board of Assessment Appeals; and as Chairman of the Lyme Democratic Town Committee.