The following is a letter to the editor by Joe Paul, who will face fellow Democrat Beth Daponte in a Sept. 10 party primary for the right to represent Democrats in the election for mayor against Republican incumbent John A. Harkins this November.
I’ve spent five months going all over Stratford listening to residents.
You said you don’t feel the town is moving in the right direction and the mayor has no strategic vision for our future. Taxes are too high and services are at an all-time low. We’ve had polling locations closed and voting districts changed; simply to confuse citizens and disenfranchise ordinary people from voting.
Do we want four more years of this or have we had enough? That’s why I’m running for mayor and asking for your support.
I can draw on 39 years experience as a senior executive in the banking industry. I played a leadership role in implementing products and services that made local, state, and federal government more efficient. I have the necessary management skills and fiscal discipline to move us in a positive direction toward growth and prosperity.
I will be the chief executive our town desperately needs.
I love this town. I was born and raised here. I grew up in Stonybrook and attended Stratford public schools. My wife Linda and I raised our four daughters here. My grandchildren attend Stratford public schools.
I’m thankful for all that Stratford has given us, but I’m concerned about what the future will bring. I have experience and skills to offer our town; I feel a responsibility to serve, for my family and for yours.
As your mayor I’ll wake up every day knowing that I am your public servant. I’ll be available to meet with you on a regular basis. I’ll hold open office-hours and regular community meetings. Doesn’t that sound like a refreshing change from our current situation?
I’ll lower taxes by using my business experience to bring real economic development to Stratford. Zoning codes will be updated to remove barriers to new business development and establish compatibility with the town’s 10-year Plan.
I’ll be an advocate for increased tourism and the development of the Shakespeare Theatre. Funds that have long been approved for repairs to the White House and Shakespeare Theatre will be immediately released.
I’ll partner with local, state and federal officials to ensure the right decisions are made in Stratford’s best interest. This includes fighting for our fair share of the state Education Cost Sharing funds.
I’ll introduce performance-based management and budgeting that will promote accountability and responsibility from everyone in my administration -- the same way I did when I worked in the private sector.
I’ll work with other towns and municipalities to establish a consortium to take advantage of common purchases and receive the cost savings from discounted pricing. My administration will share ideas with towns across Connecticut in an effort to leverage best practices -- something the current administration has failed to do.
With the right leadership, we can lower our mill rate, help our elderly afford to stay in Stratford, improve our education system, and clean up industrial waste.
It’s all about finding solutions and taking advantage of opportunities.
Let’s work together.