2017 Candidate Questionnaire

Running for office in 2017?

Thank you!

For Stratford Network is giving you an opportunity to publicize your positions on issues critical to Stratford's future.

All candidate responses will be shared publicly through various channels which may include For Stratford Network's Facebook page, Twitter account, email, and website.

To participate, all you have to do is complete the FORM on this page. You can DOWNLOAD THE QUESTIONS and copy/paste your responses into the form. There is no opportunity to "save" the form and return to it later. If you need technical help, EMAIL US.

Your responses will NOT be edited or abridged. We will NOT correct grammar, spelling, or syntax.

Responses will be accepted up to November 1, 2017.

THANK YOU!

The Questions:

1) Conflicts of Interest:  Section 5-27-G(1) of the Town Charter states “Upon discovery of an actual or potential conflict of interest, a public official or employee shall state on the record, disclose the conflict and thereafter abstain from voting or otherwise participating in any further proceedings on such issue.”  Given this language, can you identify any actual or potential conflict(s) of interest that might require you to recuse yourself from participating in any town proceedings on an issue of public interest? Are you willing to inform the Stratford Ethics Commission regarding any such actual or potential conflict of interest, and agree to abide by that Commission’s advisory opinion?

2) Town Hall Budget:  It is well-known that increases in the number of staff positions and the salaries of mayoral appointees has been a cause of much concern over the past 8 years of the current Mayor’s term. Can you commit to a budget that reduces both the number of non-union town staff and their total salary increases during the next year? How about a zero increase budget: for or against?

3) Water Pollution Control Authority: the WPCA is one of several town so-called “Enterprise Funds” whose budgets are supposed to be kept separate from the general fund, i.e. not to be used as cash-cows or slush funds for Town Hall. Can you pledge now to keep all of these funds, which include EMS and Short Beach Golf Course, transparent, with clear documentation and explanations for shared administrative expenses?

4) Board of Education:  The current structure wherein the BOE holds Council and taxpayers hostage for their full funding request else “the children” are sacrificed is clearly broken and there is no trust in the process or the management of Stratford education. What do you propose to do to fix this system, so that seniors and others on fixed incomes are not driven out of town, yet children’s education and the standing of our schools is not harmed?

5) Center School: In January, the Stratford Redevelopment Agency recommended the creation of a steering committee for “…for downtown/Center School Development. The mission is to get the public involved in the process.” Council placed this on the table in February. There has been no action, neither on this nor on the resolution from last July (!) to stop the path to demolition and to begin a study of the cost of returning Center School to public use.  As a candidate for public office, how do you propose to get the public involved in the process of determining the proper and public use of the Center School property?

6) Shakespeare Theater: Council recently voted to spend $95 thousand to hire Marvel Architects (NYC) to report on how to “mothball” or “stabilize” the Shakespeare Theater building. Do you have plans to spend additional taxpayer money on the Theater, or do you have alternative ideas as to how the building might be restored to use without significant expenditure of town funds? What about Elm Street Theater?

7) Army Engine Plant: Are you committed and prepared to lead a delegation that includes the Governor to talk to the U.S. Army in D.C. about this property’s remediation and redevelopment? Have you met with any regional representatives or community & business leaders about moving forward on this essential key to Stratford’s revitalization?

8) Raymark clean up: Do you support or do you oppose the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plan for Raymark clean up?  How do you propose to ensure that the remediation moves forward, but with independent performance monitoring?

9) Exit 33: The Stratford Chamber of Commerce supports the construction of these two additional I-95 ramps at Exit 33. Businesses in Devon do not, however, and many of the residents on the Stratford side are concerned about disruption and possible Raymark contamination. Is this another “done deal” or would you support a moratorium on construction petition to the Connecticut DOT?

10) Transit Oriented Development:  Do you support or do you oppose a moratorium on and revision of Zoning TOD regulations? Current projects as approved by Zoning add nothing to our commercial real estate tax base, but plenty to our potential school expense base. Developers like it but the public has voiced their opposition when high-density residential buildings are proposed in their neighborhoods. How do you propose to resolve this impasse?

11) Town Attorney: do you support or do you oppose putting the Office of Town Attorney contract out for competitive bidding? Per Charter, the Town Attorney serves at the pleasure of the Mayor. Short of Charter revision, how would you ensure that this Attorney works for the people of the Town of Stratford?

12) Town Plan: In the absence of a Town Planner, development initiatives appear to spring forth as “done deals” by the Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC), Stratford Chamber of Commerce, MetroCOG, etc. What will you do to re-establish Stratford’s independence from these regional organizations and to assert that the goal of Stratford’s Town Plan of Conservation and Development is to foster a “cultural destination” and not a commuter hub?