Letters


An Honor And Privilege To Serve On Board Of Finance

Published: October 04, 2017 at 12:00 am

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To the Editor:

It's an honor to run for re-election to the Board of Finance and truly a privilege to have served Newtown over the past years. Our family has lived in Newtown for 26 years. I served on the Board of Finance from 2001 to 2011 (time of inception until time elected to the Board of Selectmen); 2011 to 2015 Board of Selectmen; and Board of Finance 2015 to 2017. I have served as chairperson and vice chair of the Board of Finance. Many know my wife, Stephanie, who was president of Newtown Scholarship Association, and my children who attended Newtown schools, Tara, Jimmy (volunteer firefighter with Hook & Ladder), Kelley, and Owen (and their sports.) I have also served as vice chair of the Family Counseling Center and am warden of the Borough. We believe strongly in giving back to our community that has given us so much… a picture of John F. Kennedy hangs in the entrance of my office.

At Lehigh University I double majored in finance and economics with an emphasis in public finance, and a minor in government. From my studies it was easy to understand the peer review and mathematical/statistical models regarding closing schools and property values - conclusion: the closing of the Hawley School Elementary School would not save money. For the past 25 years I have been a small business owner running my law offices. I understand the need to make a payroll each week. Understanding local small business is important when sitting on the Board of Finance.

The coming years will present financial challenges to Newtown. Specifically, Newtown is in the top 25 percent tax/per capita towns in the state. It is one of the factors that must be addressed in order to achieve a Moody's AAA rating (bonding savings). The other holdback is our grand list. It needs to be increased by smart commercial development. A way to remember our policy directives at the voting booth would be - "it's about T.E.D." meaning it's about Taxes (controlled), Education (Blue Ribbon), and Development (smart!). Like any business, we need to find further efficiencies and economies of scale. We should also continue to focus on senior tax relief. Education (Blue Ribbon quality) is not only important for the economic and cultural health of our country, but it drives the demand to move to Newtown. That demand raises property values and increases the grand list. Commercial development alleviates the property tax pressure on Newtown residential taxpayers. It needs to be smart, though. We all love Main Street and the rural feel of Newtown. These need to be preserved. Once our treasures like Main Street, the flagpole, volunteer fire companies, cultural arts, Edmond Town Hall, the Meeting House, etc are lost, they are gone forever. Without them, the demand to move to Newtown is diminished and our property taxes rise.

Please visit newtownctdemocrats.org for more information.

Thank you for your consideration. Please remember to vote on 11/7/17!

Sincerely,
Jim Gaston
18 Main Street, Newtown         October 4, 2017

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2