To the editor,
Regarding the article, “Democrat candidates vow to seek no increase in pay,” (Oct. 10): How thoughtful of my opponents to recommend a vow for me to make. More than thoughtful, it is disingenuous. Not only do I seek no increase in pay, unlike my opponents, I seek no increase in the size of government.
I have in the past supported making the position of Beacon Falls first selectman full-time, with commensurate compensation, because Beacon Falls deserves focused and professional management. The Beacon Falls Republican Town Committee surveyed towns similar in size and found that most have a full-time leader with an average salary of $65,000. I believe that the placement of a true executive in office would create a climate of transparency. The presence of a full-time official would in fact streamline the government, saving untold thousands of dollars. Had the boards adopted this resolution to make it a full-time position, I would not currently be a candidate. But the combined town boards chose not to act on this matter, and the RTC moved on. The Republicans are definitely not seeking any increases in any town salaries.
If, however, as the first selectman states, she is concerned about the increase in government expenditure necessary to run Beacon Falls, why has she, along with her running mate, openly endorsed the move to make two elected town positions, tax collector and town clerk, into permanent and full-time jobs, including benefits?
Contrary to their statements, they are actively working to increase the tax roles by well over $100,000 a year, committing us to contracts that will only increase with the passage of time. Why now, in the midst of an unprecedented economic downturn?
Our current tax collector, who is paid a nominal salary, is a woman who performs her job well. Likewise, the town clerk’s office runs smoothly. There is no need to increase its budget geometrically. Beacon Falls voters do not want to see our government expand, certainly not during 2011-2013.
I am actively awaiting a first selectman candidates debate between myself and Susan Cable, to discuss this and other issues vital to keeping Beacon Falls First.
Republican first selectman candidate
I agree with Mr James that the 1st Selectman stepped up and made herself available during this time of considerable hardship on our community. Many decisions and actions were taken that the 1st Selectman supported, some she made herself, but looked to the Team for their endorsement. Countless numbers of people stepped up and we all took on our assignments seriously and worked to provide for the health and safety of our fellow residents of Beacon Falls. I applaud everyone on the Emergency Management Team and volunteers for their tireless concern for the residents of Beacon Falls. The work is not yet done and will not be complete until every resident can return to their home. So, let’s not lose sight on the true end game and get lost in the politics of Mr James comments.
But let’s also set the record straight:
Mr Smith came to the firehouse on Sunday morning Oct 30th for our initial 10 AM emergency management response meeting, volunteering his services in any capacity the Emergency Management Team needed him. He was also at the firehouse at least one additional time and I believe Gerry spoke to the 1st Selectman by phone on several occasions asking where he could help.
Mr James, the 1st Selectman made a choice NOT to accept these offers of assistance.
So, Here we have a person who saids”I would not currently be a candidate” for the position of First Selectman if it were a full time position. Guess what, it is. This week every person in the town of Beacon Falls lost power due to the storm over the week-end. Sue Cable worked tiredlessly to make sure everyone in town was taken care of the the best she could. Warming/Charging stations were open. Shower were povided at the high school,Movies were shown at the Library for the kids. The town crews worked to get the roads cleared and open.Fireman worked 24 hours a day to make sure everyone was safe. What did Mr.Smith do? He went to his other Full Time job in Stamford where by the way,they had power and heat. Now grant it Mr.Smith has no authority to give orders in town, but he could have volunteer to help out like countless other town folk did. No he did not, he went to his other job selling real estate. What is going to happen if he gets in office? Who will come first,The people of Beacon Falls or the people he can make money off of? Take a guess.