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Patrick McCarthy

Running for Selectman

1 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status:


Age: 52

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Pomfret Center

Current Job: Educator/Administrator

Previous Job: Educator

Previous Job: Educator

Education: MALS Wesleyan University, BA in Public Justice SUNY Oswego

Why are you running for this office?
I am running for the position of Selectman because I feel that, over the past two years, the majority Republican administration in Pomfret has been lazy at best and potentially dangerous and costly at worst. Procedures and policies have been cast aside or changed in favor of expedience and backroom deals, grants that were in place needing only to signed were allowed to be pushed aside, and the lack of cohesive governance has reached a point where something must be done. We need to get our community government refocused on the important issues that our town is facing, control spending, and follow procedures that are in place to restore citizens faith in their local leaders.
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)?
For me, this is obviously the budgetary crisis at the state level and how it is going to effect our ability to provide the necessary services to the community without further burdening the taxpayers who have been hit quite hard already this fiscal year. I believe that we need to explore every grant opportunity at our disposal, tighten our spending to only necessary levels until we have a firm budget in place, and explore regionalization possibilities with other local governments to save everyone money while still maintaining as many services as possible.
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?
At this juncture, I feel that every idea must be considered. I love my town for many reasons, not the least of which being the amount of open space we have created and preserved, but if things do not get settled at the state level, we may have to consider options that could involve re-zoning some areas to allow for more commercial development in order to preserve the open space areas. Further, I still question why CT does not have a toll system covering the I-95 corridor that could generate millions of tax dollars for the state and, by extension, all of its towns.
Are you in favor of regionalizing more services in conjunction with other nearby communities? If so, which ones?
I am absolutely in favor of regionalization wherever it is possible, especially in the more rural areas of our state. Services like transportation, hospital funding, community sports and recreation programs, and accounting services should all be explored. Smaller school districts should also explore "sharing" some of the administrative roles, as Pomfret and Eastford have been doing for several years.
Should your school district get the same amount of education funding from the state if your district's enrollment is dropping?
Not necessarily, but smaller towns should not always to have be expected to allocate more and more of their budgets for education at taxpayer expense simply because our populations may be experiencing a small period of negative growth in population. Population ebbs and flows, and even a slight shift in a demographic can have drastic effects on the education budget. When this happens, towns are faced with having to cut valuable programs and services to meet those "unfunded mandates", and vital enrichment programs for Gifted and Talented students, sports, music, and the arts always suffer the most.
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
Most people don't know that I am a singer who participates in three local groups, or that I coordinate music lesson programs for my school and the local community in the northeast corner. Music and the arts are vital to child development and to our continued health and wellness as adults, and I am proud to be part of organizations that appreciate the importance of music, many of whom volunteer their time and talents, and strive to keep the arts alive in my community.
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 believe that we need to explore every grant opportunity at our disposal, tightly control spending until we have firm budgetary numbers in place, and explore regionalization possibilities with other local governments. There is no way that towns can foot the bill without changing the way we go about getting funding, and the state also needs to re-examine how funds are dispersed, which heavily favors the large cities and too often leaves the small towns with little to nothing in state support.