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Fairfield Candidates Q&A: Kathleen Griffin

FAIRFIELD, Conn. ? To help our readers prepare for Election Day, The Daily Fairfield sent five questions to each of the candidates on the November ballot. The following response is from Kathleen Griffin, a Democrat running for the Representative Town Meeting in District 9

Why should people vote for you?

I believe my previous RTM experience as well as my proven dedication to neighborhood, school and community projects makes me a good candidate. I have a reputation for asking intelligent questions and building consensus. I have earned the respect of both Republicans and Democrats. I have 20-plus years of professional experience in project management working with various not-for-profit organizations.

What are the biggest issues facing Fairfield?

I believe the biggest challenges facing Fairfield’s next administration are: 1) preparing an intelligent and comprehensive strategic financial plan, 2) crafting yearly budgets that have a minimal tax impact on residents, 3) keeping the quality of education high while addressing renovation issues at Riverfield School and elsewhere, 4) encouraging smart growth in commercial locations such as Commerce Drive and the Exide property, and 5) finding cost-effective ways to preserve and protect our neighborhoods, beaches and open space.

Is Fairfield going in the right direction – If you are an incumbent, what were your biggest achievements?  If you are a challenger, what has your opponent done wrong while in office?

Yes, Fairfield is going in the right direction. But I also think the last two years on the RTM have been largely unproductive ones. Only one new initiative was passed by the RTM in the last two years. The mood on the RTM has been partisan and negative. I would like to see more open communication and collaboration both on the RTM and among all the town bodies.

What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?

I would solicit opinions and feedback from PTAs and other neighborhood groups as appropriate. I would encourage the town to be more pro-active in requesting taxpayers’ opinions through tools such as online surveys, email newsletters, FairTV and social media.

How can Fairfield avoid another Metro Center i.e. a project that goes severely over budget?  What will you do to prevent it?  Be specific.

I would support legislation that would require any large town project to have a qualified, full-time project manager in addition to a bipartisan oversight committee. I would request more frequent updates on major projects and bring in outside counsel when appropriate. I would carefully scrutinize contingency plans and liabilities. I would encourage the town to do business with developers and contractors that have a vested interest in or proven track record with the town.

Find all of our candidates Q&As here.

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