Don Lowe (D): Volunteerism, Openess, Stopping the Waste of Taxes

From Town Tribune, Nov 2, 2017. The best part of the 2017 campaign has been the opportunity to visit with so many Sherman residents and  business owners, and to hear your concerns. These concerns encompass a broad spectrum and they speak to the challenge of being First Selectman and to the type of leader we need here in Sherman: a sincere person who listens and responds to people’s concerns.

As I spoke with Shermanites of all ages and backgrounds, one common thread kept coming up: people expressed that, if I’m elected, they’d like to volunteer to serve Sherman in some capacity. Music to my ears! I believe Sherman is better served by shifting away from oligarchy and, instead, allowing a wider range of people to be involved. One of my immediate goals as your First Selectman is to fill the vacancies that currently exist on our boards and commissions. Your political party won’t matter to me; I just want you to belong to the “I like my town” party. I will also push hard for volunteers to our invaluable Sherman Volunteer Fire Department as well as other important Sherman organizations.

Speaking of amazing organizations: I am so impressed by FISH, a group of dedicated volunteers who have been providing rides to Sherman seniors for 46 years. At the Annual Luncheon last week, Barbara Hoag delivered some remarkable statistics. In the most recent FISH fiscal year, volunteer drivers made 173 trips for 23 different residents, most of which (121) were for doctor appointments but also covered other important needs too 5,898.5 miles of driving! Through 46 years, FISH volunteer drivers have made 6,211 pickups and amassed 204,857 miles. That’s almost four fifths of the way- to the moon! This spirit of neighbors helping neighbors makes Sherman a mighty special place. I am deeply honored to have been a Selectman for six years in such a wonderful town.

Thank you to those who attended the candidate debates that the Town Tribune did such a fine job of hosting. They went very well and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to get my points of view across. One of the debate highlights for me was hearing my running-mate Kevin Keenen speak. Kevin spoke openly and responded to audience questions with a modest honesty that I found refreshing. He has no political ax to grind and calls them like he sees them. I have been fortunate to learn so much from Kevin as he and I discuss issues concerning Sherman. His expertise on infrastructure and building alone makes him a valuable person, especially now, for Sherman. I truly appreciate him stepping up.

Please vote for Kevin!

If I am your First Selectman you can expect to have your tax dollars valued and not wasted or over-spent. You can expect a fair tone of government and when you attend meetings and want to express something that you feel is important you will be treated with respect. When people came to me, for example, about concerns over Sherman’s air quality from the Cricket Valley power plant, I took them seriously. One thing I would like to start doing now is to monitor our air quality so that when the plant opens for business, we have a baseline for an air quality comparison pre-Cricket Valley vs. post-Cricket Valley. (By the. way, I didn’t think of that myself. A smart and concerned Sherman resident offered me that idea as we were discussing Sherman’s future with a power plant just miles off our border.)

As your First Selectman, you can expect me to fight for fairness and the protection of our Candlewood Lake Authority so it can continue to protect our lake. You can expect me to work successfully, cheerfully, and in synergy with our public works department, our boards and commissions, and our town staff to enable Sherman to fully realize its potential. You can expect me to take great interest in our senior population and in assuring that the terrific people who already help our seniors are respected and served by my office. As a First Selectman, you will see me at BOE meetings ready in any way to help our Sherman School. That extends to our high school students and also students seeking higher education as I have already demonstrated through my 16 years with the Sherman Higher Education Fund Board. You can expect me to help our business community thrive. (I loved John Jenner’s presentation, by the way, about a Roger Sherman Trail, which only offers upside for our businesses.) And Sherman folks? If you come into Town Hall, my door will be open and I will look forward to listening to you, to helping you, and bringing an inclusive approach back to the First Selectman’s office. I humbly ask for your vote on November 7th.