Local Republicans Tout All Volunteers Coming Forward To Serve
In their latest pre-election position paper, local Republicans recognize the “special kind of person” who steps up to volunteer and serve Newtown on a board or commission. The local GOP also takes the opportunity to affirm how many Republicans and unaffiliated voters the party has met, interviewed, and helped successfully transition into some area of local public service.
“Finding people willing to serve is not an easy task,” the paper points out. “Often times, serving the town means many hours spent away from family and friends with no compensation other than the satisfaction of trying to make Newtown a better place.”
While the party acknowledges that people lead busy lives and have many competing demands, many local Republicans feel they have a responsibility to attract new people to serve, grow, debate issues, and lead.
“Over the last several elections we have developed new strategies to bring many new faces to the table,” the GOP paper states. “The Newtown Republican Town Committee has hosted a number of events to find new candidates, while providing them an opportunity to meet their sitting and experienced elected officials, understand the level of commitment required to serve and give them with the opportunity to decide if they would like to be involved to serve Newtown in any capacity.”
According to RTC officials, since 2013 the party has held several large events that included 32 new, interested parties, some of whom are already serving on various boards and commissions.
“We open our doors monthly to all Newtown Republicans and unaffiliated/independent voters to attend our regular meetings where they can hear about current issues, meet their elected officials, learn about opportunities to serve and understand how the local government works,” the paper states.
The Candidates Committee of the Newtown RTC has a longstanding practice of ensuring every interested candidate is interviewed.
“If we are fortunate enough to have multiple qualified, interested parties for the same seat, both the new candidate and the incumbent interview to ensure the integrity of this process,” the paper states. “In order to fill the 2015 Republican slate, the RTC started canvassing potential candidates in the spring of 2014.”
That canvass produced 62 people who were interviewed for both the upcoming election and for various openings on appointed boards and commissions that became available in that time frame.
“This past year we had so many candidates for the major boards that there were not enough seats available,” the position paper states. “Fortunately, those people, out of a willingness to serve, agreed to alternate positions.”
Another key point — of those 62 people interviewed in the last two years, 14 have been unaffiliated voters who were interested in serving but wanted to maintain their party independence. And among those 14, seven are now serving Newtown as board or committee members as recommended by the Newtown RTC, the paper states.
In all, the local RTC has recommend 42 new candidates for 12 different boards and commissions, seven who appear on the 2015 slate for the November elections.
“Republicans have worked hard to ensure our candidates have the right qualifications to lead. We are not willing to leave a seat uncontested or to just insert a placeholder,” the position paper states. “Our candidates have the right background for each position, their concern is for the big picture not just a single issue and are well informed about current and future issues.”
Residents and voters are invited to one of the regular RTC meetings at the Senior Center on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm, and to view Republican candidate bios on line at newtownrepublicans.org/election-2015.