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In depth with First Selectman Candidate, Brenda Buzzi
I bring strong leadership skills to Haddam as a long-time business owner and manager. I founded and managed a preschool program in town. I have generated and worked with budgets, accounts payables and receivables, and taxes and payroll—all while complying with the many local, state, and federal laws. I also maintained effective communication with parents, staff, and the community. I worked closely with state agencies to offer help to families when needed, acted as liaison with the Department of Children and Families, school staff, and other professionals.
Volunteering is also very important to me. Currently I serve as Haddam’s voice on the board of education. During my tenure on the board, I helped with contract writing, led union negotiations, worked with the $42,000,000 budget, helped save the district money, reviewed auditing reports, researched businesses for a superintendent search, participated in expulsion hearings, and tried to bridge the gap in communication between the board and the community. I currently serve on the Bereavement Team at Middlesex Hospice, the Haddam Elderly Housing Committee as vice president, and am a Justice of the Peace. Previous volunteering includes Sunday school teacher, Chairman of the Church Council at Higganum Methodist Church, Chairman of the Pastor-Staff Relation Committee, Girl Scout leader, PTO president, school/parent volunteer, and Mason Youth Corrections Facility Chaplain Intern.
Question 1: The current first selectman
has cut the frequency of regular board of selectmen meetings from one meeting every two weeks to one meeting per month. Do you plan to continue this policy, or will you revert to the traditional BOS schedule?
Now more than ever, our town needs a platform where their ideas and con- cerns will be heard. As first selectman, I plan to revert to the traditional BOS schedule of meeting twice a month. Additionally, I will always have two public comment periods during each meeting. Furthermore, I do not foresee canceling meetings, except for inclem- ent weather. I feel it is important to hear what the Haddam citizens have to say and to carry on with town business in a timely manner.
Question 2: Residents have complained about long delays after a request is made to town officials and department heads for information easily and readily available to them. Will you continue the current policy that no one in the employ of the town can give out information directly to the public without obtaining the approval of the first selectman to release that information?
As your first selectman, I plan to oper- ate the town with transparency and open communication. Therefore, all documents will be readily available
by town departments. I expect our town employees to communicate in a professional manner and I will not micromanage requests. I foresee us working collaboratively as a team.
Q3: The current first selectman ran on the premise that she could continue to work
at her other job while fulfilling her duties as elected official. In the last months of
her term, she appointed a charter revision commission to consider replacing the town’s first selectman position with a hired town manager. Are you in favor of that charter change, and why/why not?
When I am your first selectman, serving in this capacity will be my only job. I believe anything worth doing is worth doing well, and I will give 100 percent as your new public servant.
I am not in favor of having a town manager instead of a first selectman. Haddam is too small to have a town manager. This mirrors the position of the board of education superintendent. I feel they have too much power and control, and cannot be replaced easily.
UNITY: When I take office, my first priority will be to bring people togeth- er for the good of our community. The division in our town has driven us to stagnation. We need to work together to bridge the divide and make our town economically vibrant again.
PLANNING: We must work together to come up with the best solutions
for all town residents. I plan to listen to all residents with respect for what you would like to see happen in our center and elsewhere. I look forward to working with other town officials and community groups on a plan for Haddam Elementary School building, Scovil Hoe, and the possibility of a new public works garage.
INFRASTRUCTURE: I will look at infrastructure and our road repairs and finally get some jobs finished. Most notably, after speaking with many Haddam Neck residents, it is apparent there is great frustration with road projects that started years ago and have not been completed.
SENIORS: I feel our town elders have been neglected, so I will listen and respond to their needs. I believe the change in senior center days/hours limits important social time and nutri- tious meals for many. In addition, the senior van has been reduced from full-time to part-time use, which is not acceptable and will be reversed under my administration.
YOUTH: The youth in our town need more events and will work to expand activities. I will work with HK Youth and Family Services to help support their needs and work together to offer new programs for our young, active generation.
VOLUNTEERS: It is hard to find volunteers these days. I have some ideas for recruitment and retentions of our volunteer fire fighters and other groups. I will also work with residents to get them involved in committees on which they will have the opportunity to effect positive change in our com- munity for the benefit of all residents.
As a driven leader and former business owner, I have what it takes to be your next first selectman. I am dedicated to Haddam and to YOU—I am your enthusiastic new voice. I would be honored to serve Haddam.
With your vote, I will create an honest, friendly, approachable, and knowl- edgeable government for Haddam. With sleeves rolled up, I, Brenda Buzzi, will put people before politics— I am the right choice for Haddam.
Please contact me anytime via email firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 860-301-6561.
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