As a Town Councilor, I believe that I would be a strong voice for informed decision making. Our town has many great parts that need to be organized and overseen properly to prepare for our future.
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)?
Like CT, our population is getting smaller and older. To steer Wallingford toward a more prosperous future, we need a plan that will include all residents in its consideration and planning to retain young people and to entice new young people to our town. Wallingford has a larger than needed rainy day fund that could be used to leverage town projects with this purpose in mind.
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?
Growing our tax base with young residents would make CT a more attractive place for new businesses. By growing our local revenue with new citizens and business- we would both serve our own town's needs- as well as the needs of the state. Getting behind the CT commuter rail is a great place to start.
Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
I think that the need for education funding should be justified with population size but also with what we owe our education staff- from administrators to lunchroom staff. We have to strike a balance with what we owe people and with what our schools actually provide for services. I think that we can still entice people to come to Wallingford and CT- we just need to work together to come up with a plan that we can all agree upon and move forward.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I worked in retail management for the better part of the 90's- in video stores to be exact. I know firsthand what it is like to work in a business that was replaced by automation. It did not happen overnight and there were warning signs. Those that prepared for the future did just fine, those that did not change course... not so much.
Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
Yes- I think that purchasing of supplies for schools and town owned buildings- also sharing the responsibilities of certain municipal services should be looked into further (like snow removal on town lines and such). Also, municipalities should look into buying into a regional healthcare system that would lower costs by covering more people and expanding the pool.
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 think that the state needs to come out of the gate and put tolls back on the edges of our highways. It is very difficult to raise taxes in new places at the local level. The only way to generate revenue outside of new business is to grow the population in a way that does create a burden on existing services. Modernizing the town hall and having a long term plan for investment and improvement are places that we can generate stable and long term revenue as well.
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