Why Iím Running for the Board of Finance
My husband and I first came to Stonington in 1998 as weekend refugees from New York and Fairfield County. Later, when we had the opportunity to choose any place to live, we chose Stonington. We love the community, the diversity of the people and villages here, the convenient location, the natural resourcesÖall of it. We built a house on Wamphassuc and have not regretted one day here.
I am running for the Board of Finance for the second time. The first time was prior to the charter change that now allows you to vote for your board. I decided to challenge the town committee appointees then because I believed voters should have the chance to decide whom they wanted to superintend over their tax dollars. I lost that election.
Iím not trying again because Iím dying to run for office or even hold office. Iím doing it because, although I supported the charter change, as did some 4,000 of you, I have some concerns about what could happen as a result. Iíve been satisfied with the careful management of our townís fnances to this point and I hope that it will continue. Up until this election, the Board of Finance used to have 6 appointed members, 3 from each party. Now it will have 7 elected. In some unintended ways, that could change the dynamics of the board for better but also for worse.
Iím running because I have the financial skills that are needed to move our town forward in a state going backwards. I learned those skills during 25 years on Wall Street during which I selected and managed investments often several times larger than the townís annual budget. Those investments were usually in well-known companies that found themselves distressed and either trying to avoid bankruptcy or in bankruptcy. Making the investments wasnít the hardest part. It was negotiating with the other creditor classes to achieve a fair outcome for all stakeholders. I know how to look at contentious issues from all sides and how to listen to and treat people fairly. I believe that skill is an essential job requirement for this board, especially now with state aid on the decline. Today, I am a realtor at Seaboard Properties in the borough. Retirement was a lot more boring than I expected and the same skills apply.
Iím running because I know my way around town hall having served two terms on the Planning and Zoning Commission, including as Chairman. I continue to serve on the Water Pollution Control Authority and have done so since 2001. I have served on the Plan of Conservation & Development Commission and various other subcommittees. I understand how the pieces fit together and the role the Board of Finance plays throughout town. I believe that comprehension would serve you well.