D- Peter Giarratano
Question 1: The most critical governmental matter facing Newtown is providing services to our growing town population while keeping it affordable to live here. I intend to contribute toward addressing this issue by maintaining a careful eye on town and Board of Education expenditures through the budget process. I believe that we can satisfy all of the needs of the town while being fiscally conservative.
Question 2: The most single valuable skill or talent that I bring to the table is my extensive practical business experience of 18 years. The practical business experience that I have will allow me to apply cutting-edge business solutions to the many issues and challenges that the town will face in the upcoming years.
Question 3: I think the Board of Education and the districtâs leadership might better administer the investment of the tax dollars spent on education by better prioritizing the various capital projects that are on the drawing board. The Board of Education needs to satisfy the needs of the town while at the same time balancing the qualitative aspects of each project.
Question 4: I would like to see Fairfield Hills Authority members balance the commercial and recreational utilization of Fairfield Hills by developing it in such a manner so that any commercial projects will be net generators of tax while at the same time recreational utilization will be maximized for the benefit of the town.
Question 5: The most pertinent charter provision I feel that should be amended, refined, or eliminated is the restriction prohibiting an undesignated fund balance. The charter provision prohibiting an undesignated fund balance probably played the greatest role in Moodyâs decision to maintain Newtownâs current Aa2 bond rating. Finance Director Ben Spragg indicated, âMoodyâs doesnât like the provision restricting the use of the townâs municipal fund balance. Even though Newtown maintains a strong history of conservative fiscal management and an ability to manage within this constraint.â It is estimated that in Newtownâs recent bond sale this provision cost the town $750,000 in additional interest over the life of the bonds. I for one would have loved for the town to use this money to fund education projects.