DTC officially endorses candidates at caucus
Published 4:45 pm, Wednesday, July 27, 2011
After last week's Republican Caucus, the Democratic Town Committee officially endorsed their own nominations at a caucus Monday evening. The slate is headlined by Beth Jones for selectman, Kathleen Corbet for town treasurer and John Emert and Joe Paladino for town council. Alison Bedula will also run for her third term with the Board of Education and Wendy Fog will seek a third term as well with the Board of Assessment Appeals. Rounding out the slate are Ed Vollmer, Cindy Franco and Nick Mitrakis as constables.
"It is with great enthusiasm and a deep sense of responsibility that I accept your nomination to run for Board of Selectmen in New Canaan," Jones said. "New Canaan is at a crossroads. I know the important choices that we make today, regarding our downtown, our infrastructure and our schools will impact each and every member of our community."
It is those community members with whom Jones wants to carve out a new path for the future.
"We have leaders in the arts, in finance, in broadcasting, in the environmental movement living right here as our neighbors and members of our hometown. I want to help tap into this rich resource of expertise and put New Canaan on the road to an even brighter future. Clearly, to accomplish this goal, I need to hear from you. I want this election to be about our joint vision as a community," Jones said.
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"I want to hear your thoughts and concerns about the direction we might take. I want to hear what you would like our town to look like in 20 years. To that end, starting in September, I will be hosting weekly meetings at various public venues to meet with those who would like to share their thoughts and concerns with me."
Jones said she will be posting the times and locations of those weekly meetings on her website at www.bethjonesforselectman.com.
Kathleen Corbet echoed Jones' statements for a new future regarding the role of town treasurer, a position currently held by V. Donald Hersam for more than 40 years.
"New Canaan deserves an active treasurer," Corbet said. "I do not look at the role of town treasurer as just an opportunity. I view it as a responsibility. I welcome your input along the journey and would be honored to earn your and your friends' votes on November 8."
Current Selectman Sally Hines introduced Corbet at the caucus as a second for her nomination and commented on the current state of the role she is up for.
"While the current nearly five decade long holder of the position recently admitted that he had never answered a single question about his duties and believed his sole responsibility to be a signatory, those days of rubber stamping, if indeed they were ever appropriate, are long gone," Hines said. "Now is the time for a new approach to the role of town treasurer. Kathleen will bring professional experience in investments, technology, financial management and governance to this vitally important position."
Town council nominees Emert and Paladino also spoke at length regarding their campaign.
"As a member of the town council, I will continue to ask the hard questions that some in town government don't want to hear," Emert said. "Two major points are going to be the heart of my campaign. Fiscal responsibility and good government. For fiscal responsibility, these are still hard times. Many of our neighbors are still hurting economically. I will continue to look carefully at expenditures and I will vote in favor only of the things that we absolutely need to have at this present time. I will continue to ask questions about how to make our government more efficient. For good government, we need to reinforce proper controls to instill a climate of transparency in New Canaan government. No more, never again do I want to hear `It slipped through the cracks', which was the response of the first selectman to the issues in management of the Lakeview Avenue Bridge arbitration."
Paladino also spoke about the key issues affecting the community during the last few months.
"Being a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission for several years, I've been very fortunate to work closely with some very dedicated individuals who share a common passion that I have shared for a long time. Having a background in both recreation and construction management, I'll hopefully bring a different perspective to the current town council," Paladino said. "Regardless of one's expertise, communication is certainly the most important trait that a councilman can certainly bring to the table. I intend on asking pertinent questions to fully understand all topics before casting my vote. In looking back on this past Spring, there's been many events involving our town that have made headline news. Topics like the Lakeview Bridge arbitration and the sidewalks referendum have left many residents with more questions than answers. I'm pleased that the town council took immediate action to remedy these issues in a public forum as this was the proper course of action. If we've learned anything over the past few months, we've learned that the need for additional checkpoints must be incorporated to ensure fiscal responsibility, and more importantly, accountability."
Ginny Apy, chairman of the DTC, said she was very proud to present the Democratic slate for this November and is looking forward to the election.
"As chair of the New Canaan DTC, I am anticipating an exciting campaign in the months ahead," Apy said. "Once our opponents are done pointing fingers at one another, we'll be ready to engage them in a debate to determine who is best-prepared and most able to institute the changes we need to make to town governance accountable to the every citizen. I am confident that's a debate we will win."