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Letter to the Editor: Prem Aithal, Candidate for Haddam Board of Finance Alternate

We reached out to both the Haddam Republican Town Committee and the Haddam Democratic Town Committee and asked candidates to respond to a set of questions. Updates from all candidates are welcome, and are being published as Letters to the Editor. This is one such letter.

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper.

I’ve been a resident of Higganum for almost 10 years and live with my wife Becky (a kindergarten teacher at Burr) and a lovely daughter who is about to turn 7. I’m currently Vice Chair of the Economic Development Commission and I’m working hard with the EDC team to make our Farmers’ Market more vibrant. I also serve on the Capital Planning Committee.

Currently, I am a Senior Finance Director at Anthem, Inc. where I serve the ever-changing Individual Segment in Financial Strategy, which forces me to analyze, pivot, and search for creative solutions on a daily basis. I have been at Anthem for 14 years and have a CPA license, a BS degree in Accounting from Babson College, and an MS in Accounting from UConn (Go Huskies!). I am also a new member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. Most important to me, I’m a 13 year cancer survivor and I actively fundraise for the V Foundation, which uses 100% of its raised funds for cancer research.

I am running for a 6 year term as an Alternate to the Board of Finance because I want to continue helping to revitalize Higganum center and attract new businesses into town. With our new town planner Bill Warner, who has a history of economic revitalization in his past roles, we have new energy and some momentum to continue moving forward and we need to have the right team in place to be able to help Bill move the ball down the field. In all my past roles, I have been able to bring teams of various personalities together and am consistently known as “the glue teammate” and I feel that this would be an asset to our town, especially when I hear of stories of division. While I have not previously delved into politics and in fact, it previously has made me uncomfortable, I have decided that it is better to dive in, learn and grow, and to take action rather than sit on the sidelines.

First and foremost, the most important issue is the current perception of division in town. I currently address this by treating everyone as a fellow human being with respect and I think political affiliation is truly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. We have a lot of fellow brand new candidates running for boards and committees, and that is great for this town. I look forward to hopefully working with them to help solve the current issues.

One facet of my current role with my employer involves examining market dynamics, pricing, and regulatory circumstances in order to determine where to potentially expand our footprint. There are a lot of empty buildings around town and I hope to use my experience in financial strategy to be able to connect the dots with all the data, find the best path to attract businesses, and bring people from in and out of town to spend money in our centers. Every decision made needs to align with our town’s overall strategy.

The other issue is that we have several committees have the same goals but not working as closely together as they should. Many organized events would attract more people if committees worked together on their shared goals and I will strive to help bridge these gaps.

I moved here in 2010 from Cromwell when I married Becky. Rural life (compared to Cromwell) was initially a shock but thanks to the welcoming, friendly people of our town, it quickly became home for me. I love the fact that you can get groceries from Ming (he has everything!), lunch special wraps from AJs, slices of pizza from Drew, coffee and bagels from Bernadette, and a waterfront dinner at Blue Oar, all within a very short drive.

I ask that you consider me for your vote for a 6 year term as an Alternate on the Board of Finance because I believe I can help bring a team together to help find creative solutions for the betterment of our town’s future.

Prem Aithal

You can find a link to the other Board of Finance candidates HERE.

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