Kevin Keenan (D): Overview of local government

From Town Tribune, Oct 26, 2017. Local politics is the purest form of governance. It is approachable and readily available. You can walk in your Town Hall (for Sherman that is Mallory Town Hall) and see the functioning of government. The people who collect our taxes, maintain our records, and enforce our local laws and ordinances are there to serve you. You drive the local roads in all kinds of weather and directly see and feel how they are being maintained. If a tree falls or there is a dangerous wintertime road hazard you can call the Town Hall or the Public Works Director to report the problem. The commissions that monitor and regulate the Town assets, all elected or appointed volunteers, convene monthly to work for the Town. Workshops and public hearings are also available to enable people to be involved. To those seniors that take advantage of the programs offered by the Senior Center, you see and experience what local government is about. Providing fields and facilities for the soccer and baseball teams is one more function of local government.

All of this happens through a Board of Selectman that convenes monthly to discuss, among other things, financial health and items that may have a direct impact to the proper functioning of our local government. They propose programs, recommend actions, and disseminate information pertinent to the health and well being of our community. The First Selectman is the point person, the chief executive officer, who is in Town Hall on a daily basis to act as the lead person to know and understand what is needed for the proper functioning of our local government. We should all be able to walk into Town Hall and speak to our chief executive to make suggestions or discuss problems.

Fully aware of all the functions of our local government, I am running for the position of Selectman along with Don Lowe, who is running for First Selectman. I know that Don will embrace the great responsibilities of being a First Selectman. In his six years as a Selectman, Don has consistently displayed his respect for volunteers, elected officials, and residents of this town. His commitment to working on behalf of Sherman is not based on partisan issues or outside agendas. The Board of Selectmen should operate as a cohesive team because we are not Hartford, we are not Washington: we are Sherman. We are local government, and Don and I will be working for you.