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HomeOpinionLetters To The EditorLetter to the Editor: Todd Blewett, candidate for Killingworth BOF

Letter to the Editor: Todd Blewett, candidate for Killingworth BOF

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received October 29, 2021.

Dear Neighbors,

I am pleased to be running for a seat on the Board of Finance, joining Doug Lefko and Sara O’Brien as Republican candidates for the Board.  Together, we bring a range of backgrounds and experience to help the Town tackle some major financial challenges ahead.  Doug has a background in municipal finance and understands setting a town budget that actually meets the needs of the town.  Sara is an attorney, but also active with her husband in the Killingworth Volunteer Fire Department and she recognizes the needs of our towns first responders. For myself, I first moved to town almost 25 years ago, and along with my wife we became active volunteers in several of the organizations in town.  When my children were younger, I was busy with coaching and Scouting, but now looking for new ways  to serve the community.  I draw inspiration from the many friends in the KVFD and KAA, but also my wife Eileen who is so committed to the town.

My pledge to those who support me, is to spend the town’s money like it is my own.  In listening in on BoF meetings in recent months, I am often dismayed that many members discuss and vote on expenditures without seeing something firsthand.  This maybe something minor like repaving a parking lot, or something vital like equipment for the Fire Department.  I can assure you that I will take the time to investigate issues and make informed decisions.  My other observation is the somehow the Town Hall, Town Barn and the Fire Station have all been allowed to fall into total disrepair.  These are problems that did not sneak up on us.  The Town Hall was cited as a desperate need 8 years ago, when an over-inflated plan failed in referendum.  Money was budgeted for the Barn years ago that was eventually moved into the general fund. Lastly, a needs assessment was completed by the Fire Department two years ago, but no action was ever taken up.

It is clear from past failed referendums, that the voters do not have an appetite for massive expenditures or an extravagant town hall. At the same time, a fire station with a leaky roof or a crumbling town hall can no longer be accepted.  The BoF must work with the other boards and the Selectmen to come up with a sensible plan that addresses the capital needs of the town, but it must also be affordable.  As part of this, the BoF can look at the recommendations of the Commission established to work on the funds from the American Rescue Act.  At the same time, the BoF must continuously explore ways for the town to save money, like sharing resources with Haddam and the School District.

As neighbors and friends, we must be willing to have open, friendly debate, but also be willing to act once a consensus is reached.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on what is needed for the town.  I am very happy to be running with Doug and Sara, and we look forward to your support on November 2nd.

Thanks for your consideration,

Todd Blewett
Killingworth

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