As you may have already seen in this week’s Westport newspapers, I have been nominated for election to the Town Board of Finance. The election, November 3rd, is clearly a long way off, and even though I have lived in town since 1978, I am relatively unknown on the political scene. I write this note to ask for your early support.
Forgive me please for stating the obvious. Westport is not immune from the significant downturn in the economy. Our residents have lost wealth from their eroding home values, their IRAs and other retirement plans. Personal incomes, commissions and bonuses are significantly lower, and many have lost their jobs. Our businesses are suffering from sharply reduced sales and prices. While municipal revenues are property tax based and somewhat insulated from recessions, the ability of our town’s people to pay taxes of any type has taken a material hit.
At the same time, Westport is correctly committed to providing the highest level of education, strong and responsive public safety, and other essential recreation and public services. Additionally, the town has to find ways to pay for mushrooming pension obligations.
These current issues are the new reality. They require a corresponding new resolve and leadership from the Westport Government Team. If we are to maintain municipal service levels and a reasonable tax rate, every component of service delivery must become more efficient as a matter of necessity. This productivity imperative will be a significant but not impossible challenge. I have faced similar issues in the corporate world, and for the most part been successful in solving such problems which at first glance seemed insurmountable. I think I can add value, and therefore I am seeking to join the Westport Government team.
I share the Democratic ticket with Helen Garten who has been part of the successful majority on the current BOF. They have achieved no tax increase for the first time in over a decade while maintaining Westport’s Aaa municipal bond rating. Additionally, Helen has led the formation of an effective and sufficiently funded internal audit function. We are both committed to address solutions to the town’s financial challenges with realism, responsibility, and collegiality, while maintaining our commitment to excellence in education and quality municipal services.
I am asking for your support in a number of ways. First, and most important, I ask for your vote in November. Second, since I am relatively unknown, please talk positively about me to your household members and other friends. Third, I shall be funding the vast majority of this campaign personally, however, I have been asked by some folks if they can financially support. If you wish to make a contribution the financial forms are attached.
I would be delighted to sit down with you to discuss the town’s issues, and listen to your suggestions for making the town and the Board of Finance function effectively and efficiently.
Yours sincerely and best regards,
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Brian Stern, James Randel,Treasurer.