I want to keep Wallingford a wonderful place to live. Our conservative financial strategy, protecting our strong financial position and our bond rating, minimizing our reliance on the State of Connecticut will all continue. At the same time, we will invest in our town in many important places and ways. While our town is in a strong position, it is now in need of significant investment and upgrades. I will focus on making sure those investments happen.
More specifically, I will actively pursue the following initiatives:
Strengthen Our Public Safety
I will be an active partner and supporter of our first responders, and will continue to support the investment in a new, state-of-the-art Police Command Center that will meet the growing needs of our police force for decades to come. New laws and regulations have placed greater data storage requirements on our police force. We will be ready.
Wallingford is a very safe place to live, however, we face many of the same growing threats as our neighbor communities: drug use and distribution, youth vandalism, and car theft among others. Under my leadership, our first responders will get the support they need to continue to keep Wallingford safe.
Major Technology Upgrades
We will make a major investment in our town’s information technology. In particular, I will immediately pursue the following:
-Create the position of “Director of Information Technology,” to lead our technology improvement efforts.
-Create a complete overhaul of the town website, providing easy access to forms, filings, tax and utility payments, filing of building and land use permits, as well as many other critical functions.
-Ensure every town employee will be able to communicate via email! That has been true for a long time, and it will be an immediate priority in my administration.
-Offer direct deposit for town employees and pension recipients.
Town Property Maintenance
We have a great deal of deferred maintenance in our town. As mayor, I will initiate a thorough survey of all town properties to determine necessary improvements and updates. We will determine estimated costs, generate bid specifications, and create a multi-year plan, along with necessary bond ordinances to reduce the burden on taxpayers.
Community Pool Park
The park must become functional again, either as a pool or perhaps in another form (such as a splash park for young children). Its current status is simply unacceptable. A study will determine various courses of action that will entail a plan that will optimize usage of the park as well as creating a budget for the same. In its final years of activity, the pool was used by no more than 15% of the town’s population. We must create a resource that is widely supported and used by our town.
High School Consolidation Question
One of the major issues facing our town is the critical discussion around our two high schools. I will work with Board of Education and parents to continue to study the issue, in a way that factors in several critical components of the discussion. Before any major decision can be made, we must:
-Ensure all concerned voices are heard.
-Facilitate discussions and continue to examine the option best for the children.
Should consolidation be passed, we must:
-Identify the right location for a large, single campus.
-Study the traffic impact on the local neighborhood.
-Study the transportation times for buses and parents, from all parts of Wallingford.
-Understand the real and specific operational and financial savings, if consolidation were to happen.