Interview with Mary Terhune

Mary Terhune is a candidate for Board of Assessment Appeals and for Planning and Zoning. We sat down with her for a quick interview.

Thanks for sitting down with us today, Mary. What made you interested in running for Planning and Zoning?

As a real estate appraiser for about 30 years, I have familiarity with P&Z regulations in many towns, including Bolton. I also understand the impact of regulations on developers, property owners, property values, and the environment.

And Board of Assessment Appeals?

For the past 10 years I have worked for a municipality in eastern Connecticut as the Property Appraiser, and I have also attained the assessor certification CCMA II. You could say I know “both sides of the coin” on assessment appeals. I strongly believe in every person’s right to appeal their assessment, which is the basis for their tax bill, but I also know how appeals may effect the town’s net Grand List, which is part of the formula to derive the mill rate. Fair and equitable taxation is always the goal.

Most of our candidates either have (or had) children in the Bolton schools or attended Bolton schools themselves. You and Bob DePietro might be the only exceptions. Yet you’re still supportive of the schools. Why?

It’s true. I didn’t attend Bolton schools, and I don’t have children. Some people might ask, is it really my responsibility to then support the Bolton school system with my tax dollars? After all, approximately 60% of my property and car tax goes to education. My feeling is that, absolutely yes, I have a responsibility!

America is a cooperative, and education is part of the Commons. It is in my best interest for kids in my town to be well educated and highly employable. Paying my taxes may not bring a smile to my face every year, but it does bring me satisfaction knowing I have contributed to the common good of my fellow Boltonians.

Mary&Marilee

P&Z and Board of Assessment Appeals candidate Mary Terhune (left), with fellow P&Z candidate Marilee Manning.

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Dear Neighbors

On Tuesday, the Journal Inquirer published a letter to the editor from BDTC Vice Chair Adam Teller. Here’s the originally submitted version, which was slighted edited to meet the JI’s length requirements.

Dear Neighbors,

After more than twenty years of Republican control, Bolton needs to clean up a mess in Town Hall, find innovative ways to grow the tax base, keep our tax burden reasonable, and maintain the tradition of excellence in Bolton’s schools. Want something better for Bolton? I urge you to vote for Bolton’s strong Democratic team in the November municipal elections.

Sandra Pierog is an outstanding candidate for First Selectman: a former First Selectman, longtime member of the Board, and an experienced CPA. She is joined by Kim Miller (an IT program and project manager with a master’s degree in counseling) and Nicole Sullivan (an engineer by training with experience as a project and process manager) as candidates for Board of Selectmen. Sandy and her team will bring to Town Hall a combined 60+ years of experience in problem solving, project management, planning, and process improvement—precisely the expertise we need to make town government:

  1. more careful with taxpayer money (no more sloppy project management and poor record-keeping putting $400,000+ of taxpayer dollars at risk in a pending state audit of the Town’s handling of its most recent major construction project);
  2. more responsive to citizens (no more unreturned phone calls, unkept promises, or a Town website that frustrates residents who want timely and complete information); and
  3. more transparent (you’ll know what they know, when they know it).

Board of Finance candidates Robert DePietro, Richard Tuthill, and Eric Bevans will apply their experience as managers, business people, and successful communicators to a board that has struggled to provide clear and concise explanations to taxpayers. And their expertise in overseeing large projects will help them develop needed oversight mechanisms to ensure town funds are never again put at risk.

Incumbent Board of Education candidates Christopher Davey, Katherine Gallé, and Alison Romkey are committed to preserving Bolton schools’ tradition of excellence, professionalism, strong management, and continual improvement. Chris, Kate, and Alison have been an effective force on the BOE. During their first term, the district has worked aggressively to keep healthcare increases to a minimum, added new high school courses (including new AP courses) at minimal cost to the district, updated scores of policies, launched a highly successful robotics program, implemented an effective system for communicating with parents in emergencies, won grants to assist with technology upgrades, launched a new-and-improved website, and switched to a new course management system that will save taxpayers money in the long term. And in recognition of its excellence, Bolton High School was named a National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing School last year.

These Democrats have a proven record of leadership both in the schools and in the community, which makes them #BetterForBolton. For more information and detailed profiles of these impressive candidates, find us online at boltondems.com, and on November 7 vote Line A for Sandra Pierog and the Democratic team!

Sincerely,
Adam J. Teller

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Bolton Joins Crumbling Foundations Grant Application

Bolton has joined Coventry and five other towns to apply for a $250,000 Small Cities Community Block Grant to help home owners test for crumbling home foundations. Bolton’s Board of Selectmen (BOS) approved the move at its October 10 meeting.

On October 16, BOS member and First Selectman candidate Sandra Pierog attended a public hearing on the grant application in Coventry. The hearing was well attended, and all present supported the application. Coventry’s town manager was authorized to apply for the grant on behalf of Ashford, Bolton, Columbia, Coventry, Tolland, Union, and Willington.

pyrrhotite-sphalerite-quartz-195225

Pyrrhotite, the mineral that’s at the heart of the failing concrete foundations. (Source: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikipedia)

To qualify for grant money, a house must have had a foundation poured after 1983 and be owner-occupied. Leased or rented properties may qualify if tenants meet income guidelines.

Preference will be given to low- and moderate-income families (defined as those with income below 80% of the median income for the area, as determined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development; see HUD 80% median Income limits for 2017).

How to Apply

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-awarded basis until funding is used up. Home owners should apply by mail or in person at

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We’re on Facebook too!

In addition to finding us here and on Twitter and Instagram, we also have an active Facebook page. Check us out!

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What Being Transparent Means to Me

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines transparent as “free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, readily understood and characterized by visibility or accessibility of information.”

To me, transparent means being accessible, honest, timely, predictable, coherent, and plausible.

You should be able to reach or meet me.

You should get a response without waiting days or weeks.

You should understand how I think, what my motives are, and what I’ve taken into account to make a decision. My responses should be clear and believable.

You should know what I know. Nothing hidden, nothing behind closed doors.

You should be able to see the connections between the details and the big picture—without being overwhelmed with information (unless, of course, that’s what you want).

To me, transparent means being accountable for my actions. It means developing, sharing, and sticking to comprehensive policies.

These are the principles I adhere to in my professional life, and I’ll bring them to the office of First Selectman.

—Sandra Pierog

Sandra Pierog is a current member of the Board of Selectmen and the Democratic candidate for First Selectman. She’s truly #BetterForBolton, and you can find out more about her here.

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Bolton Events 10/10–10/13

It’s a busy week in Bolton.

On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen meets at 7:00 at Town Hall. The agenda includes an update on the Charter Oak Greenway trail, the budget, the state plan of conservation and development, “granny pods,” the natural gas project, and Bolton’s 300th anniversary celebration.

On Wednesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 7:30 at Town Hall. The agenda includes the continuation of a public hearing on proposed amendments to the town’s “irregular lots” regulation and an informal discussion of potential plans for the Bolton Mobil gas station.

On Thursday, the Board of Education meets at 6:30 in the Bolton High School Library. The agenda (available here) includes a special item inviting staff and community input on the 2018–2019 budget, a presentation from EASTCONN Food Services, and consideration of numerous policies. (BOE meetings are recorded for broadcast on the Community Voice Channel.)

On Friday, the Bolton Lions Club presents a pasta dinner at Bolton Center School from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Let the Lions cook for you tonight, catch up with friends and neighbors, and support an organization that does great things in town.

For anyone interested in catching up on the issues our local government is considering, this is a great week to try to get out to a meeting or two.

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The Less Things Change . . .

Did you know

  • that Republicans have controlled the First Selectman position for at least the last 20 years?
  • that Republicans have controlled the Board of Selectmen for nearly all of the last 20 years?
  • that Republicans have controlled the Board of Finance for at least the last 20 years, often with 5-2 supermajorities?
  • that Republicans have controlled the Planning and Zoning Commission for at least the last 20 years, always with 5-2 supermajorities?

GraphicHave Republicans made Town Hall work better for you? Have they accomplished anything on issues that matter to you, like senior housing or bringing new businesses to Bolton?

Did you know that the only elected board Democrats have led in the last 20 years is the Board of Education? Contrast the results accomplished by their leadership with the results of the Republicans leading other town boards.

For example, did you know

  • that Bolton High School is a national Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing School?
  • that Bolton regularly rank among the top districts in the state for student performance on state tests?
  • that Bolton’s superintendent is highly respected, recognized across the state as an outstanding educator and administrator?
  • that the #1 reason people give for why they move to Bolton is the high quality of the schools?

If you’re unhappy with things in Bolton, if you feel the town is moving in the wrong direction, ask yourself, Who’s been in charge for the last 20 years?

The Bolton Democratic team, led by First Selectman candidate Sandra Pierog is #BetterForBolton.

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