OPINION: An honor to serve

OPINION: An honor to serve

I have been honored to serve my hometown of Wallingford for almost 30 years. My first position was on the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission. I then ran for a seat on the Board of Education and served there for eight years. It was rewarding and enjoyable overseeing the school system that provided my own education.

Currently, I am completing my sixth term on the Town Council. Initially, I became involved because I wanted to participate in town government. I soon discovered that I could have a direct impact on the quality of life in my community. Whether it is being involved in major decisions affecting the whole town or responding to an individual and trying to help find a solution to a problem, I have always appreciated the trust placed in me by the voters of Wallingford and recognize the responsibilities inherent in that trust. Serving on the Town Council is still a thrill for me. I look back on my years in office with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude and look forward to the many challenges ahead with confidence and hopeful determination.

I take pride in the fact that I have always worked well with my colleagues, regardless of party affiliation. I do my best to make informed, thoughtful decisions, and ask questions at meetings intended to elicit responses that will educate the public.

As to the current issues, I am committed to careful oversight of town finances. We must find ways to operate town departments more efficiently. We can do this by modernizing operations and utilizing available and inexpensive technologies everyone is familiar with. We have to recover from recent and looming reductions in our Grand List by focusing heavily on economic development. Light industrial and high-tech businesses need to be recruited to fill available spaces in order to build the tax base and reduce the increasing burden on our homeowners.

Our pension plan needs to be evaluated to assure that the management fees we are paying are reasonable and fair and our investment strategies are sound. I have long favored more collaboration between the town and school system regarding planning and executing capital expenditures. We can also look into more ways to share and consolidate services. We need to focus on health insurance savings by expanding the adoption of Health Savings Accounts across all bargaining units.

I have a record of strong support for our Fire, EMS, and Police services, which are the finest in the state. I also believe we need to continue funding a strong school system. We can avoid painful cuts there by focusing on the areas I have discussed above.

It will always be an honor for me to serve my friends and neighbors in Wallingford. I hope you feel I have done a good job and acted as a reasonable, responsible, and honest representative of your interests. I ask for the opportunity to continue as your Town Councilor.

Democratic incumbent Vincent Testa is a Wallingford town councilor.

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