Citizen News Article, September 23, 2015.
Since announcing my candidacy for First Selectman, I have been
delighted by the encouraging comments sent my way. Thank you!
Many of these same people express hope that I can change the Board of
Selectman into a more responsive and dynamic administration for
Sherman. I will.
I hear and I understand the frustration: proposals, repairs, and
initiatives move at turtle speed. The frustration comes from those who
want cell phone service in southern Sherman, from those who need
basic, necessary repairs at the Sherman Senior Center and the Sherman
School, from those who ask for clear leadership and direction on
critical management issues at Happy Acres Farm, from taxpayers
concerned with ever ensuing attorney fees, and inexplicable confusion
over the bidding process for services and equipment. Citizens ask for
the utilization and implementation of best-practices, in an expedient
fashion, based on the recommendations of professionals who serve the
town’s best interests. I’ve heard the frustration from board and
commission members who feel ignored, and from advocates of a
needed senior housing solution who were discouraged from presenting
their case. And sadly, from citizens who don’t even get their phone
calls returned from the person whose number one job is to represent
them. Some folks are angry. Some have hurt feelings. Others are
resigned to saying, “That‘s government for you!“ Well, I will change that.
Yes, I’m realistic. There’s a learning curve to this job. But that curve
should be measured in months not years. Getting acclimated does not
mean that I won’t be proactive on objectives and issues in town, that I
can’t move agenda items to action or resolution. I will return phone
calls. I will show up at the meetings of town boards and commissions. I
will see for sure that town-wide initiatives get a fair public information
process allowing voters to choose “nay” or “ya” based on all the
pertinent facts from all sides of the issue. I will not allow a loud
minority, seeking to drown out reasonable discourse, to dominate,
skew, and muddy the waters of a civil exchange of views. I believe
that it is the charge of the First Selectman to set the example and tone,
and that a failure to do so short-changes the dialogue and ultimately works contrary to the greater good of the town.
I will not let essential town projects be pushed to the last minute
because of inaction. As your First Selectman I will see to it that items
are placed on the Board of Selectmen’s agenda in a timely fashion to
allow ample time for discussion and consideration. Major projects, as
we all know, are fraught, by their very nature, with delays and
unforeseen changes that will inevitably prolong the process. As such, it
is unforgivable to handicap these processes by starting them late simply
on account of poor time management skills and lack of foresight. Yes,
mistakes happen and nothing in public construction happens easily.
Things don’t always work perfectly or go as planned. But I Will not be
tone deaf to the town’s needs and I will react and I will give them my
full attention. I will resolve issues and have answers. If I have to use
that awful phrase, “I will get back to you on that” then I will at the very
least make good on that promise and get back to you.
My Board of Selectman meetings will be transparent. And they will
darn sure be audible. Public comment at meetings will become a
meaningful exchange and a source of information where answers are
received. I can‘t guarantee that you‘ll like the answers, but I’ll do
everything I can to get them to you’ promptly. I will seek out
candidates for town positions and boards based on their attributes and
qualifications over party affiliation. This is evidenced by my decision
to let roles currently filled by competent people go unchallenged in this
election. I believe the good of the town, and responsibility to its
taxpayers should always take precedent over political gamesmanship.
These are easy promises for me to keep. It’s the way hard-working
people operate. They listen. They react. They take action. They reach
timely resolutions. The town leader is hired by the public in the voting
booth and that leadership works for the voters. If you hire me, I will
work my tail off for you. Please feel free to contact me personally
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860 778 3394.