Our vision of town government gives Newtown an important choice; one we think will make Newtown a better community. Since IPN’s inception, guided by our core principles and convictions, we have not been afraid to speak out for what we believe. As Selectmen you can count on us to say what we mean, and do what we say. That is what we believe to be “Real Choice and True Leadership”.
If elected, we pledge to:
Spend Less: Today’s economy has many people asking their government to spend less of their money. We believe government must live within these economic realities. We think that effective leadership should prepare for future challenges by adjusting current spending now. We pledge to reduce town spending by 5% over the next two years, approximately the same rate that it has increased for many years. We will provide more specifics during the campaign.
Provide Better Accounting of Town Spending: We will introduce an accounting method we call: “Track, Score and Report” which will provide to the taxpayers much greater details of how their money is spent and the value that it produces. We currently track many things internally, but we don’t score total costs of public tasks and we do a poor job of communicating to the taxpayers what their money is getting for them. Track, Score and Report will put us on a better footing to improve the efficiency of the services we deliver. Determining the true cost and value of the services we provide is an important component to our plan to reduce spending.
Stop Fairfield Hills Housing: We believe that high density housing development at FFH is a clear and present danger to our way of life. Having always been strongly and vocally opposed to the idea, we pledge to continue opposing any such plan with all our efforts. Affordable housing is an important issue to be addressed. It does not belong as part of the core plan for Fairfield Hills.
Offer more Empowerment – We believe that local government is best when every member of the community is enabled to participate in the actions and outcomes of their community’s governance. We want the people of Newtown to hold more power over the spending and planning decisions that have long lasting effects in our community. We pledge to drive the following three strategic thrusts that will provide our community with much greater empowerment:
- Promote a Bifurcated Budget: Allowing the people to vote individually on the town and school budgets, combined with offering them meaningful advisory questions, gives individuals more power over their tax dollars. We believe that combining bifurcation with Track, Score and Report is a game changer for accountability, transparency and voter empowerment.
- Promote the Repeal of the Fairfield Hills Authority Ordinance: We don’t need an authority to manage nonexistent commercial development. Our own exclusive realtor has confirmed that it is not economically viable to restore any of the existing buildings for commercial redevelopment. The recent real estate boom, one of the biggest of all time, did not provide a single commercial redevelopment opportunity. Therefore it’s time to begin planning for how to pay for the demolition of those buildings. We will push for a repeal of the Fairfield Hills Authority ordinance, which will ultimately give the people of Newtown final power of approval over any and all leases at Fairfield Hills. We also fully support a binding vote on any master plan of development, which to date has been a power denied to this community.
- Improve Planning: Long-range planning requires establishing a vision for Newtown’s future that will help guide our leaders in determining the priorities and making the decisions that shape us as a town. Success depends on firmly establishing consent from the community for the overall plan, and for the prioritization of its parts. Our current planning process lacks a cohesive vision and it does not obtain consensus from the community. Instead, what currently serves as a long-range plan changes each year with the whim of our elected officials. We will support a long-range planning process that prioritizes the biggest capital expenditures with the help of annual advisory questions offered at the budget referendum.