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Danielle Chesebrough

Running for Board of Finance

7 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Independent Party

CEP Status:


Age: 34

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Stonington

Current Job: Senior Manager of Investor Relations with United Nations Global Compact at Principles for Responsible Investment

Previous Job: ESG Analyst and Account Manager, MSCI

Previous Job:

Education: MSW, Public Policy, UCONN; B.A. Political Science, Clemson University

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?
The problems at the state show us how important it is for our community to have a sustainable budget. Balancing fiscal responsibilities while providing important services is not easy, but it is something we can work toward together. As noted above, by working to maintain and attract new business to our region we can ensure our own budget can become less dependent on outside resources.
Why are you running for this office?
A main driver for moving back home to Stonington was a longstanding interest in becoming more directly involved in making positive contributions to the future of our town. Like many others, I want to see it evolve in a way that preserves the local character, supports the needs of all members of the community and leverages opportunities for sustainable, long-term growth. To start contributing to this objective, in 2015 I became a member of Stonington’s Economic Development Commission. Since that time I have become increasingly familiar with the challenges and opportunities our town and state face and am eager to spend more time working on these matters. Serving on the Board of Finance is an important way to directly contribute to shaping how our town will develop in the coming years. While I believe my background and skill set would enable me to make a positive impact on the Board of Finance, I also believe endorsing an Independent for the newly created seventh seat would help ensure the Board continues to work toward bipartisan decisions. Given that approximately 43% of residents are registered as unaffiliated I would strive to build consensus in a way that is aligned with the long-term interest of the members of our community in Pawcatuck, Stonington and Mystic.
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)?
While the uncertainty at the state level is a serious problem for all communities, Stonington is in a better position than most towns. Our Board of Finance, working alongside many others, has worked hard to build a strong reserve and ensure we have the best bond rating possible for a town our size. I believe our most pressing issue is also our biggest opportunity. It is attracting people and businesses to our very special corner of the world. Our town is blessed with a beautiful landscape, offering historic sites and amazing restaurants and local shops. We have so much to offer and can do more to attract people, particularly those looking to start, expand or relocate a business to our community. This would help us grow our grand list, create good jobs, and provide important services within the community without raising taxes.
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 would want to hear a wider range of opinions from those in our community before making such a substantial change in how the town collects revenue.
Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
Questions like this are a great opportunity for further engaging members of community. Each service would need to be considered as its own case, with all relevant stakeholders helping to decide. I am a proponent of more regional conversations among providers to share information and find more areas for collaboration. I believe CT has already been a leader in its work bringing groups together to address homelessness and this approach could be used in other cases.
Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
Enrollment is an important factor, but it is not the only one. If elected to the Board of Finance, I would work hard to continue to learn and enhance my understanding of all the issues facing our community. I know I do not have all the answers now and I would look to connect with those in our community who work in these areas or are affected by these decisions before taking action.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
Our oldest son, Will, is named after my husband's great (x7) grandfather- William Chesebrough- who was a founder of Stonington in 1649.