The Bolton Democratic team faced off against our Republican colleagues during a cordial candidate forum this afternoon at the Bolton Senior Center. Candidates for the three major boards (selectmen, finance, education) introduced themselves, described their qualifications, and talked about what they hoped to achieve if elected.
Our thanks to the many Bolton seniors who attended and asked questions.
Although both parties agree on some things (the need to preserve our rural character, keep taxes down, and find new sources of revenue), we presented quite different visions for how to move forward.
The Republicans urged more of the same: the same leadership that’s been in place for, in some cases, decades; pursuit of the same policies—policies that over many years of Republican control of all three major boards have not resulted in significant (or even any) progress on important issues such as senior housing or the expansion of our tax base by bringing new businesses to Bolton.
As Board of Selectmen candidate Gwen Marrion aptly stated,
“The more things stay the same in Bolton, the more they need to change!”
The Democratic team, led by First Selectman candidate Sandra Pierog, talked about the need for new leadership and the sorts of changes we would implement. For example:
- a town newsletter to keep citizens better informed about issues facing the town and how the various town boards and committees are addressing the needs and concerns of citizens.
- a commission, modeled on the Heritage Farm Commission, to explore and bring to fruition a plan for developing affordable senior housing in Bolton.
- development of a long-term plan to address the more than $5 million in needed improvements to our existing infrastructure—improvements that have been continually deferred or ignored by the Republican-led boards of finance and selectmen.
- modernization of our 100-year-old Town Hall so that it’s not only more accessible to citizens but more responsive to their needs.