Contact information: email@example.com
Office: Town Council
What is your dream for Wallingford?
A community where sustainable development is an integral part of our plan for the future. A community where we attract investment, beautify our downtown area, while growing the grand list and creating an affordable and clean environment to live, work and play in. A community where diversity is welcomed and that participation for everyone is the norm and not the exception.
How do we get there?
I believe collaboration is imperative. Whether in economic development, environmental standards, affordability, or equal opportunities every stakeholder has an important role to play.
At our core, we are at our best when we include. My experience with community service began when I was asked to participate. It is essential to let our community know that their effort and input counts no matter how small or large. In my development it included serving on the Recycling Committee and the Coalition for a Better Wallingford. This led to organizing an effort to save our downtown trees which widened my contacts and led to joining the local Democratic Town Committee. Next came an appointment to Planning and Zoning and a run for Town Council. Each experience widened my contacts and vision and confirmed for me that inclusion and collaboration are the essential component to mutual community success.
Every time I read about a middle school fundraising for a local cause, teens organizing against social injustice, or the honor rolls published in the papers, it reinforces for me the expression, “Our children are our future.” Our schools’ success and reputation are key to keeping a growing community. This can only come with an investment that is consistent and thoughtful. Unfortunately, our physical status of our school buildings has deteriorated, and the community needs to address this pressing issue now.
Memories and shared experiences make a community. Community Pool has for generations brought together our neighbors and friends of every age. It has made our town unique and special. We are poorer without it. The value of an asset such as this is measured not only by financial returns but by social returns. It is invaluable and should be seen as an opportunity to keep Wallingford special. We need a revitalized Community Pool to ensure that future Wallingford families can have the same experiences and memories we all did.
Livability is a keystone for every community. It is measure of pride and a measure of a community’s vision. In practical terms it is also an economic engine that can grow a community and keep taxes at affordable rates. It is what attracts families to buy and live in our community (along with a great school system) and what keeps our seniors and graduates from leaving. Presently our downtown has not realized its potential. It’s essential that Wallingford has leadership that can make that potential a reality. That accomplishment would be to the benefit of all.
Address white supremacy and structural racism
While racism has been a constant reality in our country’s history, it should never be met with silence. When any incident happens, it is an opportunity to speak. It is an opportunity to educate and to ultimately unite us in what we have in common, rather than ignore it and risk hardening division. Our history does show that when we embrace our diversity, we can grow. When we acknowledge where we fall short, we can rise. Our leaders need to be role models and the message of what we accept and cannot accept should always be clear and consistent: racism in any form is not acceptable.
Address needs of under-represented communities
Change does not happen when members of our community are invisible and without a voice. First as a community we need to acknowledge that existence. Next a place at our community table must be made and sustained. This requires again leadership that is open to collaboration and sustained commitment.
Like an ecosystem a community thrives with balance. When an area lags or members of our community are without opportunity everyone ultimately loses. Tax equity results when we balance a growth that benefits all aspects of our community. It’s a tricky balance of attracting new businesses and sustaining existing businesses to grow revenue without pricing out others. To achieve this, we need leadership that does not favor one aspect over another, everyone’s interests must be considered.
Wireless in Town Hall
Change is constant. Every business knows that customer service must be wedded with ease of use and convenience. This requires technological flexibility that our town has not maintained nor largely achieved. It puts us at a competitive disadvantage and inconveniences our citizens. It is an imperative that should not be seen as threat but as an opportunity to move us ahead.
Our electric division is a tremendous asset. The question is whether we can sustain it. Energy needs are changing, and we must ask whether our town is positioned to meet our future needs. Over a hundred years ago Wallingford’s citizens had a vision and took a chance that most other towns never made. It was with some risk, but that risk has enriched this town for generations. Do we have a vision to proceed? Recently the town allowed an array of solar panels to be erected on our landfill. The choice was made to lease the land to the investor but not to invest directly as a Town. Was this wise? Was this a cautious move that in the end will be a missed opportunity? I do not think we can afford to keep missing opportunities.