To the Editor:
To the Editor:
Jim Gaston, the Democratic candidate for the Board of Selectmen, is a politician who is the perfect package. He has a proven capacity to lead, the willingness to be part of a collaborative effort, the skill to articulate hard truths without attacking the character of opponents, and the creative ability to imagine practical solutions to common problems.
For the last ten years Jim has served on the Board of Finance where he has been a strong voice for education advocacy and fiscal responsibility. In 2009, Jim was the Board of Finance representative to the Legislative Council Ad Hoc Facilities Committee, a group that studied how to effectively manage the large number of buildings owned by the town. He worked collaboratively with a diverse group to research this large topic, and formulate sound recommendations. Jim believes that the proposals that emerged from this report should be implemented.
As the Borough Warden for the past five years, Jim has been the executive of a small town. Without reduction in services, Jim has created fiscally sound budgets. In fact, the mil rate has not changed in the last four of those years.Â
In articulating the Democratic Town Committeeâs Return to Reason platform, Jim correctly identified lack of civility in public discourse as an impediment to solving town problems. Jim knows that personal attacks of elected officials produces anger and fear that impede clear thinking. Jimâs demeanor never changed; he listens carefully to everyone, responds honestly and forthrightly to the issue, and never assaults the character of the person who disagrees with him.
In his Vote Reason platform, Jim proposes additional ways to move Newtown forward.
1. The Board of Finance and Legislative Council should establish a contingency fund that âwould enable the Board of Education to more effectively budget for yearly expenses and avoid the risk of under-funding consequences.â (Return to Reason Platform)
2. All of the objectives produced by the Newtown Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee in 2008 should be implemented, specifically the development of a plan that places Newtown students in the top 25 percent of the DRG in test results, and the creation and implementation a clearer communication process between the Board of Education and parents.
3. Because they have provided superior service at a cost-effective price for 60 years, the Board of Education should create a fair bidding process that enables owner-operator bus drivers to participate.
Jim Gaston has served Newtown with distinction for ten years. Because of his proven ability to lead, work collaboratively, listen to and respect everyone, solve problems pragmatically, and clear thinking skills, he deserves to be elected to the Board of Selectmen.
Jan Lee Brookes
38 Hundred Acres Road, Newtown Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â November 1, 2011