My wife and I moved from a condominium in Cromwell to Haddam in October of 2011 because we wanted to raise our young family in a rural town with charm and a great school system. I grew up in Middletown and my wife grew up in East Haddam and we both knew how great a town Haddam was, so it was our first choice when we were looking for a house to purchase.
I have been a board member of a large condominium complex in Cromwell where I have worked with 8 other members to invest in the physical complex while keeping association fees to a very low increase or many times, no increase at all. Every year we look at ways to maintain services, lower expenses and increase revenue. I was also the Director of Information Technology at St. Vincent’s College in Bridgeport where I was charged with starting an Information Technology department for the College and had to prepare a yearly budget for the department. I also have an MBA and a Masters in e-Commerce and I am currently an Instructional Design Specialist at UConn Health. I feel my strong technology background can help with new budget ideas and better transparency for the Board of Finance. For example, I feel any financial document the Board of Finance receives should be scanned and made available on the town website so the residents are fully informed about the town’s finances.
I think the town should be constantly sharpening its pencils to make sure town government is working as efficiently as possible. I do not think there is one big line item or one big savings that will lower taxes or keep taxes where they are now. Haddam has the highest equalized mill rate in the lower Connecticut River valley. This high equalized mill rate makes it tough for businesses to open in town or be successful in town and it also discourages people from moving into Haddam. It will take a thorough analysis of the budget, leaving no stone unturned, to make sure the budget that goes to a town meeting is the best budget for the taxpayers. I will also look into including the town budget vote with the school budget vote, so more than 50 people on a weeknight at 7:00 p.m. have the opportunity to vote on the town budget.
You have my word that if elected to the Board of Finance I will work tirelessly to make sure every penny is spent wisely and will never use gimmicks to balance the town budget. I will advocate for 12 regular board meetings a year with no cancelled meetings over the summer. This year’s financial crisis at the state level magnifies why the Board of Finance should be working year round to make sure the towns’ finances are healthy. I will advocate for more transparency of the towns finances and will listen to suggestions from all Haddam residents about how to do something better and cheaper or how to raise revenue. I have the experience, education and fortitude to make sure the residents of Haddam are getting the most from their tax dollars. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments, suggestions or questions. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.