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 Kevin Lennon, a Democrat running for the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) in District 1
Why should people vote for you?
I am passionate and well-informed regarding our town by regularly attending RTM and Board of Selectman meetings. I am invested in Fairfields well-being as my wife and I work for local businesses, are homeowners and our children attend public school. I believe Fairfield to be an excellent town and I am committed to being an active and productive RTM member in order to maintain and protect Fairfield for future generations.
What are the biggest issues facing Fairfield?
Resolving town employee pension funding obligations; labor agreements with the police, firefighters and teachers; improving our students academic achievements; keeping taxes modest by growing the tax base; and promoting an attractive business climate while preserving the towns character and its assets (i.e., beaches, open space, golf courses, Lake Mohegan, Penfield Lighthouse, Community Theater, etc ).
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?
Fairfield is going in the right direction. However, it can and should be improved. The struggle to keep taxes modest while paying for our obligations, continuing to provide services and investing in the future require an informed and rationed approach to government instead of mere adherence to party. I believe a better balanced RTM would serve the town well by fostering compromise among RTM members while addressing town issues.
What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?
I have Facebook and Twitter accounts where constituents can contact me with any inquiries or concerns. I would also attend town hall-type meetings and encourage all constituents to attend town meetings and vote in the upcoming election, which is the most direct manner of influencing the decision-making process.
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.
A recently passed bipartisan ordinance requiring RTM approval of any side letters of agreement relating to municipal union labor contracts is a common sense solution to prevent such project overruns. Had such an ordinance been in place the Metro Center side letter agreement would have been considered by the RTM. I would fully support a similar ordinance for all spending measures/contracts/projects requiring initial approval by the RTM.
Also, our projects are being inaccurately estimated ? cost overruns on the Sherman Elementary School renovations being a recent example. Review of our process and corrective action should be a priority of the next RTM so that overruns can be avoided on future projects.
Finally, information on town projects must be disseminated better, and residents should also be encouraged to demand greater transparency from town officials by attending meetings, asking questions, being informed and participating in the towns affairs.
Find all of our candidates Q&As here.
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