Town Tribune article, Oct 19, 2017. I was interested to see that Bob Ostrosky started his column last week by complaining about “negativity” in this campaign. His column appeared two days after the Sherman Republican Town Committee posted a pretty ugly attack toward me on their Facebook page on behalf of the Cope-Ostrosky campaign. Of course, I’m biased about what constitutes an ugly attack on myself, but in this case I was not alone. The RTC spent all day deleting the onslaught of negative feedback on their own page, much of it from members of their own political party.
In reality, there is always some jockeying back and forth as each candidate tries to position him or herself as better than the opponent. That’s healthy. I mean, why would you vote for someone who doesn’t believe he or she is better than the opponent? I certainly believe that I am better suited for the job of First Selectman than my opponent. However, a candidate attempting to show proficiency on the issues is one thing; personal attacksare another.
We live in a small town where we run into each other at the IGA, stand next to each other at our kids’ soccer games, and find ourselves at the same social events. Part of what makes Sherman special is our citizens’ inclination to step up and work for the betterment of Sherman. And they always deserve respect for that – even when we disagree. All sides can argue vehemently about issues and find ways to respectfully work things out. This is the Sherman I believe in.
Now, on to important town issues: As a six-year selectman, I have the experience to keep your taxes low. I have been a part of six responsible and low Town budgets. Clay and Bob have only been part of two low Town budgets – the two years with me on the board. Their first four together were excessive Town budgets. But let’s get something straight: Putting together the Town budget (and the School budget) takes teamwork. We are fortunate to have a strong support staff in the First Selectman’s office laying out budget parameters and we are fortunate to have Eric Holub as our Treasurer for advice. Our savings, for example, on our debt (the town debt’s interest rate was lowered through refinance) was almost entirely his doing. The only thing the Board of Selectman did was vote a unanimous “yes.” I have no reason to believe Mr. Holub will stop helping Sherman just because I am the First Selectman.
As your First Selectman I will strive not only to keep your taxes low, but will work hard toward building efficiencies and synergy between town agencies to save money and increase productivity. This is missing right now and fixing this is a strength of mine. I would never ignore, for example, the diligent work of our Park and Rec Commission. Instead, I will partner with them to better fulfill their objectives and the needs of town. If you vote for Kevin Keenan, an expert at efficient facilities and infrastructure management, you will make your town even stronger in this regard.
This Saturday, October 21, at 10 am. is our Annual Town Meeting held at Charter Hall (the ESF Building). There will be three items in addition to the first item, which is to receive and act upon the Annual Report. The Board of Selectman will be asking the voters to authorize a transfer of $750,000 from the general fund to the capital non-recurring fund. We will also be asking the voters for authorization to enter into a lease agreement with T-Mobile at Happy Acres farm. We will also be asking for $35k to repair the Fox Run detention basin. I hope to see you there.