Candidate profiles: Prospect Town Council (Republicans)

0
120

The Citizen’s News asked candidates running for Prospect Town Council in the Nov. 2 municipal election four questions. The following are responses from Republican candidates:

Richard L. Blanc

Richard L. Blanc

Age: 66

Party: Republican

Education: Crosby High School

Political Experience: Town Council (2 terms); Planning and Zoning Commission

Occupation: Retired lieutenant from the state Department of Correction

Why are you running for Town Council?

“I am married with two children who are also residents of Prospect. I enjoy working with the children in town coaching them in sports, which I’ve been doing for 25 years and still going strong. I teach them discipline as well. I am presently one of five Republicans on the town of Prospect’s Town Council. I am running for my third term for that office and would appreciate your support. I’ve been a resident of the town for 25 years. Our team works very hard for all the citizens in town. We especially work very hard during budget season and try our best to keep the taxes as low as possible. This is one of our tasks that I really enjoy doing and I do it for the residents.”

Do you think the town is adequately addressing issues identified in an independent risk assessment of the town’s internal financial controls? What more should be done?

“We are presently making changes in our financial controls, some which are already in progress. We now in fact use a payroll company that generates our payroll and checks are mailed to employees. The town has a new treasurer who spends a lot of time in Town Hall and she goes over all issues concerning finances within the town’s spending. So, yes, we are taking steps to correct the town’s financial controls. However there’s always room for improvement and we will continue to do just that.”

What issue do you think does not get enough attention in Prospect? How would you address it?

“I believe we should give more attention to our police department. There’s really not enough coverage on the midnight shifts. In order for us to do that means more money, which of course means tax dollars. I believe there could be more cuts in other departments in order to rectify that issue.”

What is your message to the voters?

“My message to the voters would be continue to support the Republican Party. Mayor Chatfield and his administration care and work hard for the citizens of this beautiful town. No one else could ever fill Mayor Bob’s shoes; his commitment to our town is second to none. I’m confident he can continue the work he’s done and the work he still wants to do.”

Michael Palmerie Jr.

Michael Palmerie Jr.

Age: 60

Party: Republican

Education: Attended college

Political Experience: Board of Recreation (15 years, chairman for the past 7 years)

Occupation: Owner of Prospect Memorial Funeral Home

Why are you running for Town Council?

“I believe that my business background and successful working relationship with the Mayor,              Town Council and residents of Prospect will maintain and improve the integrity of our friendly suburban community.”

Do you think the town is adequately addressing issues identified in an independent risk assessment of the town’s internal financial controls?  What more should be done?

“I believe the new policies implemented by the mayor’s office and Town Council will adequately address any concerns. As I enter into working with the Town Council, I will, as a team member, address any upcoming concerns.”

What issue do you think does not get enough attention in Prospect? How would you address it?

“I personally would like to bring more businesses into Prospect. This would increase the tax base and maintain the affordable mill rate we currently have, and quite possibly reduce it in the near future. I would create a subcommittee of the Town Council to brainstorm attracting new businesses.”

What is your message to the voters?

“I have been a resident of Prospect for over 35 years. My wife, a lifelong resident, and I have raised our four children in this great small town. Our kids were educated in the Region 16 school system. All four are raising their families in Prospect. Our daughter, Raven, is a teacher in Region 16; son, Mike, works for Prospect public works; daughter, Chrissy, volunteers coaching youth sports; daughter ,Elizabeth, and son, Mike, volunteer as firefighters and EMTs for the Volunteer Fire Department of Prospect. At the age of 19, I put a business plan together, created a budget and negotiated all the aspects to launch M&C Vending, I sold the company in 2019. We had a vision of opening a funeral home. Once again, we sat down and we thought about how, why, where and when we would be doing this, and ultimately created Prospect Memorial Funeral Home with our partners that we have since bought out. We are so confident in the future of Prospect that we are currently building a new, larger and customized funeral home in the gateway area of Prospect, a mere half mile from where we lease. The added parking, beautifully appointed building and prayer garden will be a wonderful asset to our small town. My whole life I’ve been managing, organizing, creating and managing business and budgets while negotiating working with people to reach certain goals. With this background, I have enjoyed being on the Board of Recreation for 15 years and the last seven as chairman. I have had the pleasure of working hand-in-hand with the mayor, the Town Council the Park and Rec director and the Board of Recreation. Recently one of my favorite projects was creating the rec center. In closing, my experience in working with the mayor, Town Council and residents of Prospect, as well as being a Prospect business owner, it would be my honor and privilege to serve on Town Council.”

Megan Patchkofsky

Megan Patchkofsky

Age: 37

Party: Republican

Education: Bachelor’s degree in agriculture and natural resources, University of Connecticut

Political Experience: Town Council (two terms); member, Prospect Republican Town Committee

Occupation: Administrative specialist for Wolcott Public Schools

Why are you running for Town Council?

“I am running for re-election to the Town Council to continue working to make sure our residents are the top priority. The role of the council is to represent the people of Prospect and work for planned and steady progress and change. In my four years on council, we have laid the groundwork to improve technology, increase financial reporting and refine the budget process. I would be honored to have the ability to continue working for my fellow residents.”

Do you think the town is adequately addressing issues identified in an independent risk assessment of the town’s internal financial controls? What more should be done?

“I believe that the town is working to ensure that the concerns identified by the risk assessment are being addressed thoroughly and systematic. Prior to the assessment being completed, the town administration and Town Council had been working to improve many of the areas discussed in the assessment. Internal controls and financial policies need to constantly be revised and reviewed to ensure that are successfully being implemented. Additionally, planning for further defined segregation of accounting duties throughout all departments is imperative. I would encourage increased use of online payment services to receive and disburse funds ensuring proper and effective securities are established. I would also like to see periodic self-evaluations of internal controls performed to identify discrepancies or possible deficiencies.”

What issue do you think does not get enough attention in Prospect? How would you address it?

“Sustainable planning for the future, I believe needs to be on the forefront for progress in Prospect. As costs continue to rise, the increase falls onto taxpayers. I would like to see the town move forward with projects that will help alleviate some of the costs in the town’s future.  Investments in solar energy projects, electric vehicles for town employees, additional parks and buildings recycling initiatives all can help lower energy, fuel and waste costs for the town.”

What is your message to the voters?

“I love Prospect and I want to continue to see our town grow and flourish. My goal continues to ensure residents remain our main focus and that Prospect responsibly changes with the times while keeping our small town charm. My dedication to this town and the taxpayers is the driving force behind the choices and decisions I make on the council. It’s important to be involved so I encourage voters to come to meetings, contact town officials to get the facts and make sound informed decisions when you are making your choices to elect the leaders for the town of Prospect.”

Stanley Pilat

Stanley Pilat

Age: 70

Party: Republican (running as write-in candidate)

Education: High school graduate (1969); electronics school graduate (1975)

Political Experience: Town Council, (8 terms, presently vice chairman); Region 16 Board of Education (eight years, including two as chairman); Inland/Wetlands Commission (past chairman); Prospect Republican Town Committee; chairman of Region 16 building committees

Occupation: Retired biomedical equipment technician

Why are you running for Town Council?

“Prospect and its residents have so enriched my family life over the years that I always feel the desire to help and give back to my Prospect extended family in any way I can.”

Do you think the town is adequately addressing issues identified in an independent risk assessment of the town’s internal financial controls? What more should be done?

The risk assessment that the Town Council had done identified for us any weak areas in our financial controls and provided a frame work to strengthen our policies and implement new ones to address those needs.”

What issue do you think does not get enough attention in Prospect? How would you address it?

“The Town Council and other organizations in town over the years have striven to inform the community about all the services and program the town has to offer. There is still work that needs to be done to communicate this to everyone so all can benefit. The platforms we use can be made better to allow everyone to access everything easily and in one place.”

What is your message to the voters?

“To the voters in Prospect, I say get involved in the many organizations in town, go to town meetings and voice your concerns, and be proud of all we have accomplished together for this great little town of Prospect.”

Jeffrey B. Slapikas

Jeffrey B. Slapikas

Age: 58 

Party: Republican

Education: Holy Cross High School

Political Experience: Board of Recreation (4 years); Zoning Board of Appeals (11 years); Town Council (12 years, 4 as chairman); Prospect Republican Town Committee

Occupation: General contractor (self-employed)

Why are you running for Town Council?

“I am a lifelong resident that has served on the council for the past 12 years. The last four were as the chairman. I bring openness to the council with the willingness to work in a bipartisan way to accomplish goals which will benefit the town and ultimately the taxpayers.”

Do you think the town is adequately addressing issues identified in an independent risk assessment of the town’s internal financial controls? What more should be done?

“I believe the town has addressed a percentage of the issues and I have been diligently working along with the other members of the Town Council to facilitate and adopt plans to ensure all issues are rectified.”

What issue do you think does not get enough attention in Prospect? How would you address it?

“I feel there are two important issues. The first is the financial oversight for the town. Since the risk assessment steps have and are being taken to rectify the concerns, the second pertains to the town of Prospect’s sustainability plan for the future. I have been working on a proposal for several months and hope to get the chance to present it to the council if re-elected.”

What is your message to the voters?

“I will approach the budget as I have for the last 12 years and be fiscally diligent. I constantly work to find the best way to keep line items low while also trying to preserve the funds that will be needed. Involvement is key. Many times I hear people believing misinformation. Come to the council meetings to be informed or contact your elected officials for the correct answers.   Participate, ask questions, go to the source for information, do not rely on social media only. It is important to look at each candidate and how important the town is to them. Just because one is of a certain party does not mean that is how they handle all issues presented. You want a candidate that will do what is right for the taxpayer. I hope to be one of the nine voted to the council.”