I'm running for Selectman because I'm passionate about New Canaan. We live in a great town. But, the economy has been an enormous challenge for most of us and we have some difficult decisions ahead in Town government, decisions navigating a course of fiscal responsibility while preserving many of the qualities that make New Canaan special. I've lived in New Canaan for the last 30 years and am looking forward to working with our new First Selectman and the Town Council to deal with those challenges and make the most of the opportunities before us.
My interest in the job of Selectman spans five main areas:
1. Downtown New Canaan. As a landlord of commercial space in our downtown I am very interested in the health of our downtown business district. Is the traffic and parking situation getting better or worse? Does it impact our downtown merchants and offices? It pains me to see empty storefronts, for lease signs and businesses struggling. New Canaan loses when that happens. I make it my priority to work to landlords and to business owners and find out what we can do fix that situation and improve the health of the downtown.
2. Taxes and Finance. I am a fiscal conservative. New Canaan has done a pretty good job weathering the storm of the recent economy. It could have been alot worse but we've benefited from low interest rates and a relatively stable housing market. Our MIL rate (to calculate property taxes) in New Canaan (13.585) is third lowest behind Greenwich (8.596) and Darien (11.74) I'd like to see that MIL rate go down further, keeping property taxes in check as property values improve.
3. Quality of Life for Seniors. I have been a board member of Staying Put since it was founded. My parents live in this town. I am at an age where my friends and I are thinking about what's best for our parents and how can we help. The population is aging and this is one of the most important issues New Canaan is facing now and over the next 30 years.
4. Maintain Real Estate Values. As a Realtor I've seen how important real estate values are to the people of this town. If houses aren't selling or prices go down then we all suffer. As a Realtor I pay attention to home values and whether we have a healthy and efficient market for real estate in New Canaan. New Canaan is and must remain the community of choice in lower Fairfield County.
5. Maintain Excellence in Education. I went to Saxe and New Canaan High School, two jewels in the public school system recently ranked as number one in Connecticut and second in the nation. My four children have attended Saxe Middle School and St. Aloysius School in New Canaan. Two of my children are entering New Canaan High School this year. Our schools are a major reason people move to this town and why property values remain strong. A great school system is a priority for New Canaan because it supports property values, and for my family because it prepares our youth for anything that may come next.