NAUGATUCK — More than 400 people packed the Naugatuck Portuguese Club on Thursday to support mayoral candidate N. Warren “Pete” Hess III.
The 66-year-old Democrat and local attorney walked to the podium to the theme song from the now defunct Hartford Whalers hockey team and spoke enthusiastically about his commitment to Naugatuck and his dedication toward making it a better community.
“In short we’re going to stop talking about it and start doing it,” he said.
The way to bring success to Naugatuck, Hess said, is through smart growth, which is the mantra for his campaign. He believes that Naugatuck has some momentum going with economic development initiatives downtown and said his more than 35 years experience in land use and municipal government law can help bring those projects to fruition.
He also said there are other types of development projects that can grow the grand list without requiring expensive services. An example he used was his own neighborhood on Mistywood Lane, a private street which has six houses, pays for its own trash hauling and snow plowing and has had few, if any, school-aged children since the 1980s.
Hess also said he’s looking at a couple potential parcels for another industrial park in the community. And he said he supports Hop Brook Golf Course, which had been a hot-button issue in previous elections.
“It will be revenue-neutral,” he said. “In fact, we are going to make a profit.”
Hess also said that some people ask him why he’s running since he has a successful business; he also owns several properties in town.
Because he owns those properties, Hess said he has a good perspective of how taxes continue to rise and property values decline. He said growing the grand list is the only way to change that.
“I’m not looking for a job; I have a great job; I love my job,” he said. “I believe that my experience makes me very qualified to take on the problems that the Borough of Naugatuck is going to be encountering in the future.
“It’s time for something to happen,” he said. “We have the vision, what we need is execution of the vision, and we need it now. Vision with execution brings success. Vision without execution is nothing more than hallucination. Now, I stole that from Mark Twain, but I think that’s very true. If I am elected mayor, I will be the executioner the one who brings these projects to the finish line and starts another one.”
Hess said he plans to have a full, detailed platform on his website and blog. His website, www.hessfornaugatuck2015.com, currently has information about his candidacy.