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Fairfield Candidates Q&A: Thomas Flynn

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 Thomas Flynn, a Republican running for reelection to the Board of Finance .

Why should people vote for you?

Two words – experience and priorities; I am a CPA with over 20 years’ experience in senior financial positions. I have raised millions through debt/equity markets and managed capital projects totaling over $150 million. I have served on the BOF for six years – three as vice chairman and two as chairman.

My priorities: Keeping Fairfield affordable by controlling discretionary spending growth to control taxes; reasonable and prudent investment in education; managing Fairfield’s long-term liabilities.

What are the biggest issues facing Fairfield?

The biggest issue Fairfield faces is keeping the town affordable for taxpayers while maintaining quality services that the citizens have come to expect from their government.

As in many large professional service organizations (including most governmental entities), contractual costs increase annually. We need to plan for and manage these costs through long-term financial analysis, sound financial decision making and continue to press for innovations in operations to be more efficient.

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?

We have made significant progress in the management of the town’s finances – but the job is not complete. Accomplishments include: two years of the lowest tax increases in generations; implemented new bonding guidelines; hosted the first annual long-term capital planning workshop; hosted forums to educate the public on our town’s budget process and how funds are spent; appropriately funded needed school renovations and expansions; developed a plan and began appropriately funding our long-term contractual obligations.

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

Continue the efforts our board has initiated in the past several years: Annual open budget forum for ALL citizens – the only agenda item is to listen to citizens' concerns/comments on the budget; each BOF meeting includes public comment after items being discussed; with a colleague, I hosted a town hall-style meeting discussing the budget process and discussed questions/comments/concerns about the process.  The meeting was taped by FairTV for wider distribution; daily email/phone calls/conversations.

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.

Projects should be appropriately reviewed and approved by BOS, BOF and RTM as mandated by the Town Charter. A qualified project manager should be engaged to manage the project on a day-to-day basis. Where applicable, a building committee should be formed and public meetings held; all aspects of the project – including budget – should be discussed. The town’s CFO should oversee financial management of the project. Town bodies should receive detailed update reports monthly or quarterly.

Find all of our candidates Q&As here.

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