Candidate profiles: Naugatuck burgess

The Citizen’s News asked candidates running for office four questions. The following are the responses from candidates running for burgess in Naugatuck:

Robert Burns

Robert Burns

Robert J. Burns

Age: 89

Party: Democrat

Education: St. Francis School; Naugatuck High School Class of 1944.

Political Experience: Welfare Board (21 years); Burgess (1972-presesnt)

Occupation: Retired mechanical foreman, Uniroyal Chemical.

Why are you running for burgess?

“I am running for burgess because I care about Naugatuck. I care for the youth of our town, having coached in baseball for 42 years. I also coached football for three years, and basketball for over 40 years and still coaching. I served for over 21 years as a Welfare Board member, caring for the elderly. I have been serving as a burgess for over 43 years, 1972 through 2015.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

“The same as I do now. As a burgess, we do not craft the budget or the mill rate. This is the Board of Finance’s job. The Board of Finance then turns over the final figures to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses for the final acceptance.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“To increase economic development in Naugatuck we should slow down on spending and try to make it more convenient for businesses to come to Naugatuck.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“We should start to form a committee to work on the Veolia contract at the wastewater treatment plant now and not wait until the present contract expires in 2020. Also, find a way to lower the tax burden for the taxpayers in Naugatuck. We have to try to keep our homeowners in Naugatuck.”

Kathleen L. Donovan

Kathleen L. Donovan

Kathleen L. Donovan

Age: 59

Party: Democrat

Education: ASN, BSN, MBA, JD

Political Experience: Board of Education eight years, secretary one year; Chairwoman four years; Zoning Commission 2014-present

Occupation: Attorney

Why are you running for burgess?

“To be involved in promoting the town’s growth and development.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“Improving the overall appearance of the town to make it appealing to investors and residential homeowners.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate? 

“Every item of the town budget has to be evaluated for saving without compromising necessary services to the community and based on the town’s strategic plan. A mill rate can be achieved if savings in the budget are achieved assuming the real and personal property assessments remain unchanged.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it? 

“Blight, enforcement of the blight ordinance and other town ordinances to promote to overall appearance of the community. The town can also receive additional income from penalties associated with property owners who fail to remediate the blight situation.”

Rayad S. Fayad

Rayad S. Fayad

Rayad S. Fayad

Age:

Party: Republican

Education: B.S. Accounting, Finance; MBA

Political Experience: Former Candidate Tax Collector (2013)

Occupation: Accounting, Finance, Business Management, Real Estate Management

Why are you running for burgess?

“People are struggling to make ends meet and paying their tax obligations. We are at a breaking point and we need to elect strong individuals like myself, who will listen to the people and who are willing to make those tough decisions for the better interest of the taxpayers. We need to research all avenues to eliminate wasteful spending and improve our school system as our children are the future. I will propose a charter revision to have an automatic referendum. The people deserve to have their voices heard.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

“I bring to the table over 15 years of business management cross-industry experience managing multi-billion dollar budgets. We need to push back on departmental heads forcing them to reduce their budget and hold them accountable to remain at or under budget. In the private sector we see many businesses having to do more with less. Naugatuck needs to follow suit. We need to tackle the spending and overtime that has been draining Naugatuck. All we hear from the Mayor and boards is that due to contractual obligations and/or state mandates that their hands are tied. We can research other municipalities who are under similar constraints but somehow finding they are prospering. Why can’t Naugatuck be prospering and growing? The current tax and spend policies are not working for Naugatuck.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“Begin by cleaning up the image of the borough. We need to get a handle on the blight and enforce the need to focus on lowering the mill rate by cutting wasteful spending. Given the high mill rate, no business will want to set up shop in Naugatuck. Naugatuck ranks in the top five with highest taxes in Connecticut. Naugatuck is centrally located with major highways that can be utilized to its advantage. Offer small businesses and corporations all available tax incentives. We need to research and apply for all grants, work with the Chamber of Commerce and NEDC ensuring they have the best interest of Naugatuck and work with potential developers who will revamp the downtown area.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“We need to address the failing school system and properly invest in our children’s education, not administrator salaries. Consolidate operations and eliminate wasteful spending along with improper contract negotiations that are driving up the mill rate. Some officials think they have unlimited blank checks and can spend as they choose. We need to be more responsible with the people’s money. Address the healthcare policies and require employees to contribute more toward their premiums like in the private sector. It’s about time we start running Naugatuck as a business. We owe it to the people of Naugatuck.”

Edward J. Fennell

Edward J. Fennell

Edward J. Fennell

Age: 50

Party: Republican

Education:

Political Experience: Currently on the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation Board; former Burgess.

Occupation: Sales Market Manager

Why are you running for burgess?

“I am running for burgess because I know I can help our Borough get back on track with my common-sense approach. Over the last few years, I have seen the decline in our Borough’s economic well-being, all at the hands of elected and appointed officials, who have been too inept at addressing our spending and taxation problem. It is time that I provide my decision-making prowess to help decrease spending and thereby lower our mill rate.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

As an individual who manages a $40 million budget, I know a great deal about being fiscally responsible and accountable. Watching over a budget is part of who I am and I take pride in the accomplishments I have achieved in my work life. That same skill set will be what I use to craft a budget and lower the mill rate. I will reintroduce accounting and budgeting principles that have fallen by the way side under this current administration and hold all of our department heads to a higher degree of fiscal accountability. This in turn will give us the ability to trim spending and make responsible cuts to each department, while still providing essential services for our residents.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“As an NEDC Board member, I have the unique advantage over several of my peers in seeing exactly how our economic development is going. Though the NEDC is tasked with bringing in businesses and thereby increasing the Borough’s tax revenue, it is only one organization that is limited in its capability. Because of this, our Borough leaders need to create and implement better economic policies to complement the work the NEDC is doing. For example, having burgesses present in contract negotiations, flat funding our budget this year, and asking for pay increase freezes will be economic policies that could decrease our spending and lower the mill rate. That alone would spur interest among future businesses to come to our Borough.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently?

“The high mill rate is what I feel is not being addressed currently. I have spoken to dozens of Naugatuck residents and business owners who have stated that ‘this administration does not care about my taxes’ or ‘whether my business doors stay open with the new tax increases.’ I know that we need to support our residents and business owners in order for Naugatuck to thrive. They are critical in building a strong economy.”

Carl Herb

Carl Herb

Carl Herb

Age:

Party: Democrat

Education: St. Francis, Naugatuck High School, Waterbury State Tech Associate Degree in tool and manufacturing engineering

Political Experience: Former Fire Commissioner, Pension Board.

Occupation: Retired Smith Barney Harris Upham, Co-operator and owner Cindy’s Grocery

Why are you running for burgess?

“As a lifelong resident I want Naugatuck get back to a town that people want to live in because of quality education, affordable housing, low crime rate in conjunction with a government that intelligently grows their grand list therefore reducing taxes.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

I would like to see the joint boards work with the department heads on their budgets to eliminate wants while economic development grows the grand list. The needs of every department should be administered by responsible spending.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“Economic development can only happen when businesses assess that the town is run efficiently.  Quality education, low crime rate, reasonable mill rate, minimal foreclosures, to name a few, will send a clear message to current and future businesses that Naugatuck is open for business.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“The fact that we have slid backwards on certain services the town used to provide. We should be looking for grant money to build a public pool (If we don’t use grant money other communities will). We used to have a pool 50 years ago at Cross Street and in more recent years at Hop Brook. Today we have none. Bulk trash pickup should be available even if not every year at least every other year. Our taxpayers pay a lot of money to live in this town and then we ask them to pay to dispose of their bulk trash. Many of our young and old alike not only have to pay the trash fee but for someone to haul it away. We used to have yearly pickup. Today we have none. The elephant in the room is we all are paying more for less and it’s time to find out why and fix it.”

Dorothy A. Hoff

Dorothy A. Hoff

Dorothy A. Hoff

Age:  56

Party:  Republican

Education:  B.S. in Dental Hygiene

Political Experience: Burgess 2007-09; Constituent Aide to the Mayor 2003-07; Finance Board 1995-2003; Charter Revision Commission 2011; Riverwalk Committee 2008; Naugatuck Republican Town Committee 1995-present, RTC Chairwoman 2010-2014; campaign treasurer for a Secretary of the State campaign and for State Representative campaigns; candidate for Board of Education.

Occupation: Currently unemployed. 20 plus years volunteering for various school, scouting and community groups in Naugatuck.

Why are you running for burgess?

“Naugatuck is our home. We have seen many changes since we grew up and raised our children here.  As we have seen the Borough struggle through economic crises, we have thought about moving, but wonder if we would ever find such community spirit. The past couple of years, my involvement in government took a back seat, but I have been inspired to offer my service as burgess once again, with the people who have stepped forward to serve as mayor. Opportunities are on the horizon and I would love to be a part of making a positive difference for Naugatuck.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

“While I realize that all taxpayers would like to pay less, we do have a balanced system for proposing and adopting our annual budgets. The process involves the department heads speaking to the Finance Board, who then discuss and debate among themselves and then with the Borough Board; and finally the public voices their concerns at a public hearing, or through a referendum.  All work to adopt a budget, which, while it may never please everyone, certainly allows those who are employed, contracted, elected, appointed, and all of those with a stake in the game, the taxpayers, to have representation.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“The Mayor, burgesses and the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) would seem to have the most influence, and yet I believe that each of us, doing our part, can make Naugatuck more business friendly and help to increase our grand list.  There are many businesses that need our support. When we eat out, purchase gifts, jewelry, lumber, cars, and entertainment in our own community, we can strengthen current businesses and show prospective new businesses that Naugatuck has a supportive consumer base. When we improve our own properties and education system, we show that we care and that we want success.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently?  What should be done to address it?

“Negativity. We are bombarded with statements about what is wrong. Helen Keller said ‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence.’ Each one of us can do our part to turn this tide by treating each other with respect.  Too often, good ideas are not discussed because we’re too busy dealing with complaints and negativity. Naugatuck has a rich history of hard work, civic-mindedness, and community spirit.  If we fail to redefine ourselves and develop a vision for a more productive future, we have only ourselves to blame. We can do much better”

Laurie Taf Jackson

Laurie Taf Jackson

Laurie Taf Jackson

Age: 48

Party: Democrat

Education: Associate’s degree in business management, Briarwood College, Southington.

Political Experience: Burgess, two years; burgess liaison to: Naugatuck Housing Authority, Police Department, Park Department, Youth and Family Services and the Naugatuck Education Foundation; vice chairwoman, Naugatuck Democratic Town Committee; justice of the peace; paraprofessional steward, AFSCME Local 1813.

Occupation: Paraprofessional at Cross Street Intermediate School, Naugatuck; Lia Sophia advisor, Naugatuck

Why are you running for burgess?

“I am running for burgess my third term to continue to serve the people of Naugatuck. I was raised, educated, a homeowner and employed in Naugatuck so I know how difficult it is to pay taxes. I am trying to make a difference in our community to become a better place to live and raise a family. I grew up with a family that believes in giving back to the community.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate? 

“We have to approach every department head and ask for ways to reduce their budgets and perhaps zero-base budgets to control spending. We can’t spend more than we have. Combine purchasing in all departments, including BOE, (buy in bulk). We will have the Armory soon, so we can store the supplies in there or another building that we own. The health care costs are skyrocketing. We must find the best coverage at lower costs. I know it won’t be easy we also must look frugally into some of our union contracts. A cost analysis of combining all the health plans of the municipality to see if we can lower the costs. Keeping costs down, we can lower our mill rate.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“Everyone knows the answer to increasing economic development. We must bring businesses to town, which will increase our grand list and reduce our taxes. One solution is to offer businesses some type of incentive to come to Naugatuck. We do have a tax abatement program but must be approached in a more positive direction. We have too many empty storefronts around town, Rubber Avenue, Mountview Plaza, New Haven Road, Church Street and Union City to name a few. We should try to encourage our legislators to help obtain grants to fix up some facades at some of the empty stores to enhance the area and encourage businesses. It would be nice if we can entice a business geared toward the entertainment of Naugatuck’s children to open up in town through these incentives.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“Many residents complain to everyone about taxes, road conditions, etc. but never attend borough board meetings. Years ago meetings were filled to capacity with residents. I would like to encourage them to attend the meetings regularly to express their complaints and maybe give us suggestions. We are working for you and please do not wait until budget time. I would like a Charter revision committee appointed to have the referendum process be automatic like other towns. So many people are losing their homes, leaving Naugatuck and moving out of state. We must reduce our mill rate.”

Bob Neth

Robert A. Neth Sr.

Robert A. Neth Sr.

Age: 57

Party: Republican

Education: 1976 Graduate Thomaston High School, Two years Waterbury State Tech

Political Experience: Finance Board 1989-1997, Chairman for six years; Burgess 1997-present. Naugatuck High School Renovation Project; 5 year Capital Committee; Solar Energy Committee; Town Audit Committee; Liaison to the Park Department and Finance Department; Renewable Energy Committee; Member of the Charter Revision Commission; Member of the Long Term Facilities Planning Committee

Occupation: Local business owner

Why are you running for burgess?

“To make Naugatuck a better place to live and to take a common sense approach to government. I am experienced, dedicated, hardworking, an independent thinker and honest.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

“The system is the same as every other town in crafting a budget. We need to hold department heads accountable for their department, reduce wasteful spending and hold employees to a higher standard. The mill rate will change when we increase our grand list.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“We have been working on this for the last few years in getting development to our downtown, the process is extremely long and frustrating when you have contaminated property involved. We are making strides in the development of parcels A and B. I would like to see the administration bring in the property owners of the two large plazas and Peter Paul and see what we can do to help them get there places to full capacity and how we can help in selling the Peter Paul property.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“I believe we try to address all issues, people hate taxes, I hate taxes. People talk about coming in making big changes, easier said than done. We need the help of our state representatives and senators in discussing binding arbitration and unfunded mandates; these two items will kill every town. We need a state government that is proactive in bring business in instead of pushing them out the door. Most of all our problems today flow downhill from the federal to the state to the local.”

Patrick James Scully Sr

Patrick James Scully Sr

Patrick James Scully Sr.

Age: 70

Party: Democrat

Education: Crosby High School, Waterbury; Ward Technical Institute; Waterbury Technical Institute.

Political Experience: Board of Mayor and Burgess (2001-03, 2007-Present); Planning Commission Deputy Chairman (1999-2001); Street Department Deputy Chairman (1985-86).

Occupation: Customer Service/Sales for the Cadi Company (retired); Bristol Babcock Inc. (retired).

Why are you running for burgess?

“Running as a burgess is probably the best way to help people in our community. Our town has great potential and I want to be able to help to secure a bright future for our children and grandchildren. It is the responsibility of a burgess to read and examine all materials presented to the board. It’s with this knowledge that decisions are made and debated upon. Not all decisions are easy but a burgess works for the betterment of the town and its people. We must work as a cohesive unit for our future. A burgess does not stand alone he has an accountability to the voters.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate? 

“There have been referendums that have forced the budget to be reduced. The people have spoken but the taxes still increase. Our budget is very complex and the state has a hand in it. Contractual obligations must be met or suffer a lawsuit. Hartford must realize that the average citizen cannot subsidize increase mill rates. The elderly and young homeowner cannot support the present system. There are over 350 homes for sale with a lower assessment for each house. People cannot continue to pay higher taxes. Services will have to be cut but the problem arises of where to start and end.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“We need industry. It will not be easy, anyone that tells you that it is living in a dream world. Competition is incredible, the surrounding towns and states use tax incentives to gain new businesses. We must look for help from the state, such as tax abatements and brown field remediation. We must use creative thinking and hard work to achieve our goals. It’s not just stores and apartments. What we need is office complexes, such as computer processing centers, insurance headquarters.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“Our highway system, route 8 and 84, can be a positive attraction to companies, this will enable companies to manufacture and ship quickly. Incentives and area tax abatements can be the answer for progress. Effective utilities, including fiber optics installation town wide for new companies. Downtown façade grant to improve the building structure so that shopping is enjoyable for families. Attract a high labor force. There are several colleges surrounding Naugatuck that can be tapped as a resource. Consolidation of all public works. The Chemtura property on Elm Street is being made available. This property contains several acres that can be used for this purpose. My main objective is to move the recycling center, public works and parks departments from Rubber Avenue, which is zoned for business. Since Rubber Avenue is a major road it should be improved so that businesses feel welcomed.”

Michael C. Stopa

Michael C. Stopa

Michael C. Stopa

Age: 35

Party: Republican

Education: High School/ICPA Technical School

Political Experience: None

Occupation: HVAC Technician for Hoffman Energy (Star Gas, Inc.)

Why are you running for burgess?

“I want to make a positive difference. For too long, I have witnessed borough officials do exactly the opposite of what residents have been asking for, which is to reduce spending. When I am elected I will pledge to listen to our residents and business community in order to work together to reduce spending and make Naugatuck affordable for families.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

“I would speak and meet with all borough department leaders, and employees, who many times have great ideas on where savings can be found. I will be creative and examine where contract services can be consolidated, and look at where we can implement town-wide or regional bulk purchasing. We need to find real solutions to address the out-of-control overtime spending. We need to provide real transparency and open communication town-wide to reduce duplication of services. We need to focus on revenue collection from delinquent taxpayers early on and not only after thousands of dollars are owed. We need to create partnerships with private businesses to achieve savings. This all needs to be done while marketing our properties to developers and outside companies, but never forgetting the businesses we have. Implementing these ideas will have a direct and immediate impact on lowering the mill rate.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“The number one thing is to decrease the mill rate. All of our candidates running agree with this statement, but few have provided specifics, aside from increasing the grand list, to address this. Though we need to increase our grand list with new developments and businesses, we also need to work with existing businesses to see how they can grow in the Borough. We need to better market our great location in the state and accessibility to major highways, railways, airports and the river. We need to be better ambassadors of our borough to let developers and businesses know that when they consider Naugatuck we will walk them through the process. We need to better market our tax abatement incentives and begin to look outside state lines for recruitment opportunities.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?  

“I feel the increased spending and overtime are not being addressed. We have officials denying that these problems exist or that they are impossible to address because of contracts or state mandates. They are wrong. Contracts have been negotiated many times over and state mandates exist for all Connecticut municipalities, and yet other towns are thriving. We need to be honest, transparent, and active in seeking real solutions and not get bogged down in the same old tired arguments for why we cannot change our spending and overtime problems. As a burgess, that is what I am committed to do.”

Rocky Vitale

Rocky Vitale

Rocky Vitale

Age: 60

Party: Democrat

Education: Classes Waterbury State Tech; Fire Science technologies, Post College; Business Management, Sacred Heart University; Computer Science, Associates in Claims from the Insurance Institute of America.

Political Experience: Two years Naugatuck Finance Board, 16 years Board of Education; , two years burgess, Member Democratic Town Committee. Various subcommittees for the Borough.

Occupation: Outside claim representative for The Harford Insurance Company.

Why are you running for burgess?

“I enjoy and get satisfaction by being involved and hoping I can make decisions that benefit everyone. I believe, as a burgess, you have to make informed decisions in the best interest of Naugatuck. I firmly believe you cannot legislate from behind a desk at a meeting. You must be involved, see what is going on, and seek out information. Priorities are set by the citizens, balanced with any knowledge a burgess may have that isn’t available to the public. As burgess, I actively seek out people’s opinions and ideas and integrate these into my thought process. I have served the Borough in volunteer positions for almost 20 years. This is my home. I, along with many others, want to see if flourish. I raised three wonderful children here. They had success in school and now have moved on to success in the working world. That is what this borough is all about: helping everyone achieve success as much as possible. As a resident for 30 years, I am committed to Naugatuck.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate? 

“That has been quite challenging the past few years with turmoil in the state budget, outrageously high insurance increases and the need to keep taxes in control. When a budget is up $3 million just from insurance, where do you go to make that up? Taxes are high. I get it. But there also is a responsibility to protect the Borough as a whole and act appropriately to ensure that the infrastructure is not deteriorating as it has been due to lack of investment.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“The first order of business is planned, controlled growth. Any municipality must be welcoming to new businesses, support existing ones and encourage a mix of large corporations and mom and pop stores. This is the only way to alleviate the tax burden. Exciting things are being done. Businesses are expanding, North Main Street is on the move for refurbishing and new businesses. Development of Parcel C will be a reality shortly. New Haven Road will have a brand new building for the fitness center and other businesses. These are noticed by businesses as an integral part of the community fabric that will supply them with employees. Economic development starts with a welcoming attitude. I hear businesses are moving out in droves. That simply is not true. It takes time and the right businesses to be interested, but it will happen.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“Clean up and refurbishing of Rubber Avenue must be done at some point when finances permit. Continue consolidation of services. A reopening and review of the Charter to better address residents’ concerns with the budget process. Broadcasting of borough meetings.”

Donald Wisniewski

Donald Wisniewski

Donald Wisniewski

Age: 49

Party: Republican

Education: Seymour High School Class of 1985

Political Experience: Naugatuck Republican Town Committee and Board of Finance

Occupation: Project Manager

Why are you running for burgess?

“I have lived in this town for 20 years and have seen how great this place can be to raise a family. I am running because and I want to help it grow in a positive direction. Unfortunately, I have seen needless spending, an exorbitant mill rate, and lackluster economic development, which will continue to create a mass exodus of residents. Families are finding it hard to live here and are faced with great financial challenges and decisions. I want to work with others to try to correct the serious issues our borough is facing.”

How would you approach crafting a budget and the mill rate?

“With fresh eyes, ideas, and common sense. We are limited by some contractual obligations, but we need to take advantage of the opportunities afforded us when contracts expire or renegotiate contracts, if necessary. Burgesses should be present during negotiations as they were in the past. This will allow for more transparency and knowledge. We will need to find large savings and/or revenue to begin to lower the mill rate. One example would be for all departments to consolidate their purchasing. Bulk purchasing will ensure the lowest price. We should also be doing this regionally with neighboring towns for large equipment and services, whenever possible. This has been occurring throughout the state and we are falling behind. These simple common-sense approaches are what I will bring to each line item in the budget.”

What can be done to increase economic development in Naugatuck?

“I would recommend a more aggressive approach to attract new businesses. We need to give current and new businesses a reason for being in Naugatuck. I would suggest a business representative program for people looking to expand in Naugatuck or move to Naugatuck. Businesses will have their questions answered by this representative in a timely fashion and will know where to get answers. This will be a volunteer program and not another costly burden on the borough.”

What specific issue facing the borough do you feel isn’t being addressed currently? What should be done to address it?

“There are a multitude of issues not being properly addressed and/or communicated to the residents. The borough needs to be more transparent with its decisions and decision-making process. All too often residents and local officials are only notified of information or decisions when things are done. That has to change. I would suggest we implement an awareness and information campaign on larger issues that affect residents, such as the borough purchasing property for open space or development. The residents have the right to know the details and have a forum to speak at — outside the monthly board meeting, which does not allow for an actual exchange of information. Greater incorporation of social media and greater access to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses are just a few of my ideas.”