Farmington Council Candidates Q&A

Responses have been edited for length and grammar.

2nd District - Jeff Apuzzo, 55, Republican

Married to Thalia

Children: Twin daughters Victoria and Cassandra (18)

Occupation: Attorney

Education: University of Connecticut – bachelor’s degree, economicsWestern New England University School of Law – juris doctor

Experience: Town council (2014-2016), Chairman, Farmington Pension Commission (2014-2016), Chairman, Economic Development Commission (2004-2014), Past member, Charter Revision Commissions Alternate, Town Plan and Zoning Commission

Contact: jefferyapuzzo@sbcglobal.net or 860-948-8989

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington’s town council.
I am a 25-year resident of Farmington. My previous experience on the Farmington town council and on other boards and commissions in town, together with my track record of holding the line on excess spending, make me the most qualified candidate in this election. I am committed to maintaining existing town services, especially police and fire, as well as maintaining our excellent school system, but I am against wasteful spending such as we saw with a high school proposal that failed overwhelmingly at a referendum. I will represent all residents, not just special interest groups. We need experienced leaders on the town council now more than ever, given that the state is reducing aid to municipalities like Farmington. I can and will bring that experience to the town council.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
First, we need to go back to the drawing board and examine all options to address FHS, not just the most expensive one. We need to better understand the long-term needs of our student population — not just school administrators — as we restart the process of addressing the high school. Second, we need to eliminate Farmington’s practice of creating ad hoc building committees. The creation of a standing building commission, comprising individuals with knowledge of the building and construction trades, will go a long way in identifying the legitimate needs of the high school and presenting responsible solutions. Third, the process going forward needs to be open and transparent; many residents didn’t even know a new high school was being considered until the referendum. If we want the support of our citizens, we need to keep them better informed of the process and ensure that we are listening to their concerns.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
If elected, I will not simply pass along a tax increase to our residents that mirrors a reduction in state aid, nor will I vote to issue bonds to cover the short fall. I will propose that reductions in state educational grants be absorbed by the board of education budget, which is in excess of $66 million dollars, and that any reduction in municipal aid be absorbed on the town side of the budget, which is approximately $38 million dollars. We need a top-to-bottom review of how we spend money and I will ask our town manger and our superintendent of schools to find inefficiencies in their budgets. We need to do more with less, just like any business would do when revenue declines.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town's most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?
The components of Farmington’s high quality of life are the numerous town services we offer, our excellent school system, a relatively low mill rate, the Farmington River, our Rails to Trails system and a beautiful town which, for the most part, has not been overdeveloped. I will not vote in favor of cutting these services and I will work with my colleagues to find and eliminate waste in our existing budget in order to keep the mill rate as low as possible. I will encourage responsible commercial development near the UConn Health Center and in the Farmington Industrial Park. Development in these areas will allow our grand list to grow, thereby reducing the tax burden on homeowners, while at the same time maintaining the character of our town and not putting additional traffic on Route 4.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in five sentences or less.
Holding the line on spending and taxes. When we spend money to maintain the quality of our schools and our town services, we commit to spending money wisely. Current expenditures should be paid with current revenue, not by issuing bonds which simply kicks the can down the road. Position Farmington to be less reliant on grants or other aid from the state of Connecticut. Vigorously oppose any efforts by the state of Connecticut which would require towns like Farmington to subsidize other cities and towns which have been financially mismanaged.

1st District - Justin Bernier, 41, Republican

Married to Jennie

Children: Three daughters and one son, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1.

Occupation: Financial advisor and portfolio manager

Education: Fordham University - Bachelor’s degree
Georgetown University - Master’s degree, international relations
​​​​​​​University of Maryland - Master’s degree, international security and economic policy

Experience: Farmington High School Building Committee, Farmington Veterans Memorial Committee, Past Commander, Farmington Veterans of Foreign Wars, Commissioner, State Compensation Committee for Elected State Officers and General Assembly Members Former Executive Director, Administration of Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Former Senior Legislative Assistant, U.S. House of Representatives

Contact: jbernierct@gmail.com or 860-269-4010

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington's town council.
Like many others who have served in the armed forces, I understand that teamwork is the best way to achieve a common objective. This has been my approach to work as a military officer deployed to Afghanistan in support of joint intelligence operations, an official in [former] Gov. Jodi Rell’s administration and a financial advisor at a Fortune 500 company developing financial plans.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
The FHS building committee failed to provide a reasonable option for the voters in part because it did not look at the big picture. FHS needs a solution as soon as possible, so the next town council should replace the building committee with a standing building commission that will develop a comprehensive, long-term plan to meet all of Farmington’s infrastructure needs in an affordable way. [If elected, I will work to] establish a standing building commission of experts and charge it with developing a comprehensive, long-term plan to meet all of Farmington’s infrastructure needs; ensure that the town council provides rigorous guidance, oversight and feedback to the commission throughout the process; [and] send only responsible proposals to referendum for approval by the voters.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
The Farmington town council should focus on maintaining a great school system, mitigating traffic problems and avoiding tax increases that can drive retirees and businesses away. The state of Connecticut’s financial mess has politicians in Hartford eyeballing the suburbs for more resources. Government works best at the local level, so I will work with my colleagues to ensure that Farmington is not forced into any regionalization schemes that reduce local control of our school system and property taxes.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town's most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?
I grew up in Farmington and moved back as an adult because of its beautiful landscape, low taxes, excellent schools and, most importantly, my family and the people I have known for decades. I am concerned that many residents and businesses could have problems staying in the area as the state ratchets up taxes and living expenses rise. The town council should work hard to keep our property taxes low so that senior citizens can afford to stay in Farmington and young families can afford to move in.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in five sentences or less.
​​​​​​​
A responsible solution for FHS. Maintain town services and excellence in education. Hold the line on property taxes. Smart town planning and development, reform the traffic study process. Protect Farmington from state overreach and school regionalization.

2nd District - Patricia Boye-Williams, 41, Democrat

Married to Chad Williams

Children: 2 children, in fifth and seventh grades

Occupation: Environmental and Renewable Energy lawyer at Murtha Cullina LLPFormer Assistant Attorney General for the state of Connecticut representing Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Education: Cornell University – bachelor’s degree, natural resourcesChicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology – juris doctor Certificate from Program for Energy and Environmental Law

Experience: Girl Scout Leader (2012-present), Volunteer, West District School PTO (2011-2017), lacrosse team manager for Farmington Youth Lacrosse Bantam Girls (2017)

Contact: PattiForTownCouncil@FarmingtonDemocrats.org and Facebook/PattiBoyeWilliamsforTC

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington’s town council.My experience as a transactional attorney has honed my skills at creating compromise to achieve an outcome that all sides are satisfied with. Responsible governance requires that the town council operate responsibly, ethically and with transparency while welcoming everyone’s ideas. Responsible governance also requires implementing budget strategies that avoid waste and maximize the value of your tax dollar. We need to preserve our excellent services, but spending must not place unnecessary financial burdens on our residents and we must consider today’s economic climate when evaluating town expenditures.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
The high school project as proposed by the town council and building committee failed to consider a wide enough variety of opinions and concerns about the high school. Members of the community felt uninformed and when inaccurate information was released, the town council did not correct it. As a result, the project proposed did not have community support. Further, the building committee did not include individuals most affected by the final plan: teachers, students, parents. Expanding any building committee to include a wider segment of the population will be important to ensure that any plan that is developed has wider support within the town and is appropriately designed to incorporate necessary solutions while avoiding waste. Our high school has challenges that must be addressed. These are significant concerns that must be addressed to continue to attract the high-quality faculty and staff that help our students to learn every day. For any solution to gain town-wide support, a more open dialogue with residents needs to take place to improve community understanding of what is required to maintain accreditation, examine the options for addressing these concerns while also considering our future needs and honestly asses short and long-term impacts on our town.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
The town must continue to work with organizations that support towns like oursto ensure that Farmington continues to have a seat at the table for important budget discussions. Further, as a member of the town council, I will stay in contact and communicate with our state-elected officials to remind them of Farmington’s needs and push to have these needs included in state discussions regarding the budget. However, the town cannot control the state budget. Long-term financial planning to provide for and evaluate town services is needed to ensure that we can plan for our future and allocate existing funds appropriately. We need to plan for a future that doesn’t include the state funds that we have received in years’ past and we need to closely evaluate the budget to ensure that spending is as effective and cost efficient as possible. Additionally, we need to evaluate whether there are other sources of funds to complete town projects, such as whether there is federal funding available to improve traffic patterns.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town’s most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?Farmington and Unionville are vibrant, well-cared for communities. People of all ages are attracted to our town to live here, play here and work here. Farmington serves all of these populations well. Vibrant, diverse communities attract younger employees, in turn, attracting more businesses who are seeking a talented workforce. Inclusive, diverse communities such as ours also support local seniors.In order for our children to grow into well-rounded adults, they need to experience a variety of activities and Farmington offers these activities. These programs and services need to be preserved.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in five sentences or less.Collaboration, cooperation, and innovation will be the keys to managing Farmington and Unionville into the future and maintaining our exceptional services, including its schools. We need to work together, cutting across party lines, to achieve positive solutions to address the challenges that our town will face as a result of potential state budget cuts. I will be cognizant of overspending and ensure that town processes and projects are transparent and inclusive.

Additional Comments:As an environmental and renewable energy lawyer who often represents municipalities, I am also familiar with programs available to assist town government in becoming more energy efficient and grants that allow towns to clean up contaminated properties and return them to the tax rolls. Such programs can be cost-saving measures that also allow our town to reduce its environmental impact.

1st District - Bruce Charette, 49, Democrat

In a 20-year partnership with Dan Bailey

Occupation: Information Management System Software Engineer, Cigna Corporation

Experience: Alternate, Farmington Plan & Zoning Commission, Alternate, Farmington Historical Commission, Capitol Region Council of Governments (present), Past member, Plainville Downtown Revitalization Committee

Contact: www.bcfortc.com

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington’s town council.
My goal is to give back to my community. I want to continue using my experience as a 30-year professional career with Cigna Corporation to help my town. It’s time to create a town council with members who are willing to take real responsibility to get things done. I believe my personal, professional, elected, and volunteer opportunities have equipped me with a diverse skill set I feel are instrumental to the town council’s success.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
Better communication is key. We need to get the facts out there and ensure that people can fully understand our message. Information can’t be stagnant, sitting on someone’s desk at the town hall. It’s imperative for the information to be brought to the public, and that’s why I support the introduction of more meetings known as charrettes to make this possible. In order to move forward with the high school, I believe we need to be able to distinguish between our town’s needs and wants. The high school has real infrastructure deficiencies and accreditation issues that need to be immediately addressed. It’s essential that we hear the voices of those most impacted by these issues — like students, teachers, local residence, and seniors — and work to prioritize these issues in order to find productive ways to address the most immediate concerns. More community involvement is imperative. Only when we understand our communities needs and wants, can we work towards creating outcomes that support a solid plan of action.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
Farmington needs a dedicated committee — separate from the former building committee — to do an assessment on all the town buildings and provide a comprehensive report. This is crucial for proper planning. It’s important to remember we’re not just responsible for the upkeep of the high school, but all the buildings in town.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town’s most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?
Every Farmington resident wants to be able to offer its children a world-class school system, whether you have children or not. The state of Connecticut is going through a difficult time now and property values all over the state are suffering. Our schools draw new residents to our community, and we need to work hard to ensure our reputation for offering a world-class reputation remains untarnished, which is why an assessment of all Farmington schools is necessary. We’ll be made aware of potential updates and have the ability to plan our future. The vitality of the Village and Unionville Centers is vital to both of our towns’ continued growth. We need to ensure residents can safely maneuver around town and enjoy all the services each vibrant town has to offer. People have a better quality of life knowing their money isn’t being wasted and Farmington residents are no exception. We need to preserve our low taxes by ensuring we are making the best use of our dollars. That means developing a solid 3-, 5- and 10-year plan for the town’s maintenance and repair issues.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in five sentences or less.
As a member of town council, my goal is to give you accurate information and listen to your ideas to present a unifying opinion. We need a government that operates with full transparency and inclusion with ethical leaders who have the experience to get the job done. We need a budget that doesn’t waste your tax dollars, and to create a cost-effective government for our town and schools.

Additional Comments:
The current leadership has let us down. Ethics are being questioned. Opinions are being ignored. It’s time for a change. Good people with good ideas who deserve a government of transparency and inclusivity where everyone’s voice is heard. This is why I want your vote for town council in the 1st District.

2nd District- Paul Cianci, 31, Republican

Married to Angela Cianci

Children: 18-month-old son

Occupation: Structural Engineer

Education: Villanova University – bachelor’s degree, civil engineering; master’s degree, civil engineering

Experience:Branford Standing Building Commission Professional organizations including: American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the American Concrete Institute (ACI)Past member, Farmington Exchange Club

Contact: p.a.cianci@gmail.com

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington's town council.
My background as a structural engineer and small business owner give me unique experience to not only understand construction designs but also ask the right questions to ensure that town projects are being run and coordinated in the most efficient manner possible.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
The next town council should replace the building committee with a standing building commission that will develop a comprehensive, long-term plan to meet all of Farmington’s infrastructure needs in an affordable way. The building commission should revisit the structure of the project, by working from a top-down approach, working within the means of a workable budget. [We must] ensure that the town council provides rigorous guidance, oversight and feedback to the commission throughout the process, including, but not limited to, increasing the level of competition and feedback during the preliminary design process.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
The Farmington town council should focus on maintaining a great school system, mitigating traffic problems and avoiding tax increases that can drive retirees and businesses away. I believe that government works best at the local level. Therefore, it is important that we ensure that Farmington says "no" to any regionalization schemes for education that reduce local control of our school system.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town's most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?
My wife and I decided to settle in Farmington because of the great school system and affordable tax rates. Farmington has a great quality of life. Connecticut used to be known for the same great standard of living. It is imperative that we protect Farmington from falling into the same financial struggles as the state.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in five sentences or less.
Develop responsible solutions to all schools in town, including, but not limited to, FHS. It is imperative that we maintain town services and excellence in education. With the state reducing aid to Farmington, we must hold the line on property taxes. We should utilize smart town planning and development to help offset potential lost revenues from the state. We should also protect Farmington possible state overreach and regionalization of the school system.

2nd District - Edward Giannaros, 34

Single

Occupation: Financial analyst/consultant, The Traveler’s

Education: The George Washington University – bachelor’s degree, international business
The Barney School of Business, University of Hartford – master’s degree, finance

Experience: Farmington Zoning Board of Appeals (2006 – present)

Contact: EdforTownCouncil@FarmingtonDemocrats.org

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington’s town council.
The combination of my education and financial background give me a unique perspective for the town council. This, coupled with my 11 years of public service on the ZBA, has prepared me to work with different groups to tackle complex problems. Training and expertise in finance is very important but so is the ability to work with people of different viewpoints to build consensus. Unless people are willing and able to do this, we will find ourselves in the kind of gridlock we see elsewhere. We need people who can work across the aisle, as well as listen to and work with the public, to do what is best for our community.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are the three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
[We should] study carefully FHS’s identified deficiencies, such as security issues with more than 23 entry points and ADA code non-conformity. Appoint a building committee that includes professional experts in the appropriate fields with the charge to provide alternative cost-effective solutions in addressing the high school’s needs. A cost-benefit analysis for each alternative would [also] be helpful. I would propose to the town council that we evaluate the alternative solutions presented and rank them from a long-term effectiveness perspective both from an educational and tax-payer’s view. Ultimately, we must preserve the high-quality education we offer in Farmington.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
Financial challenges will be with us for some time to come and this reality challenges us to work harder to find creative solutions to maintain our high quality of services. I’ll focus on efficient budgeting and eliminating waste. Other strategies to keep costs down include expanding cost sharing with neighboring towns by shared buying of goods/services, better contract bidding and long-term planning. I’ll also be a strong advocate for state funding. Our fiscal reality will require advocacy year-round and not just at budget time. Fighting for our town’s fair share of state funds, including Educational Cost Sharing, will be a priority for me.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town’s most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?
We live in one of the most beautiful and historic towns in Connecticut. Few towns have the unique combination of assets we do. Most importantly, our high quality of education has been recognized [both] statewide and nationally and prepares our young people to best compete in a global world. Our schools often determine the decision of people to move to our town and drive our strong property values, which also helps keep our tax rate lower. We’ll have to think more creatively to support the assets that collectively make this a wonderful place to live. I’ll fight to find funding through means such as grants, private/public initiatives and state funds. Tough times mean we have to prioritize our resources but we’ll find a way to pass the assets we value on to future generations to enjoy.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in fives sentences or less.
I’ll focus on efficient budgeting that eliminates waste while keeping the taxpayers in mind. I’ll work hard on creative financial strategies to maintain our high quality of services such as the senior center and our excellent schools. I’ll work hard to expand our tax base by bringing businesses that are a good fit for our community and be responsive to town businesses here to help them thrive. This helps ease the tax burden for all town residents.

Additional Comments:
I’ve been door knocking the district listening to voter’s concerns and suggestions. I’ve learned a lot from them. In a democracy, you get your cues from the people you represent. Should I be elected to the town council, I’ll keep those ideas and concerns in mind and I’ll continue the dialogue we’ve started while in office. I ask for your vote on Nov. 7th. Thank you.

1st District - Beth Kintner, 49, Democrat

Married

Children: Three sons, ages 15, 10 and 8

Occupation: Full-time mother, with 15 years previous experience as a social worker in case management, program supervision, program planning, and grant writing and administration.

Education: Syracuse University – bachelor’s degree, social workSouthern Connecticut State University – master’s degree, social work

Experience: Co-president and president, Farmington Future, school district volunteer

Contact: bethfortowncouncil@farmingtondemocrats.org or 860-404-6484. Facebook - Beth Kintner for Town Council

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington's town council.
My professional experience as a program manager and grants administrator in the non-profit field required a critical look at where and how to allocate limited funding. I utilized performance-based management to ensure program efficiency. As a member of the town council, this will be a tool in making the most effective use of tax dollars. As a leader of Farmington Future, I gained an extensive understanding of our town budget process. I appreciate the delicate balance between maintaining our excellent schools and services and ensuring our relatively low mill rate. I have seen the importance of listening to diverse perspectives in addressing the difficult decisions our elected officials are required to make.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
The process of the high school project and the results of the referendum must be heeded as an experience from which to learn. Local government must always work diligently to bring the whole community into such an important process. Our elected officials and town hall employees must communicate often and in many different ways. They must publish and promote only accurate and easily understandable information, and respond quickly and appropriately to false information or misinterpretations. Residents need to feel informed, involved and believe their opinions and perspectives matter in order for the process to be successful. I am concerned about the very real and significant problems that exist at the high school, many of which will continue to get worse. The extent of these problems, along with the scope of the educational specifications indicate that there will be no quick fix for the high school facility. Our community must be made aware of the extent and urgency of these issues and how that will likely affect our approach. The urgency of these deficits indicates that we must not waste time in moving forward and cooperating to find an answer. The current town council appointed a building committee comprised of only seven voting members, with eight non-voting members, and its membership did not include any parents, students, teachers, or staff. The process to address the issues at the high school must include a wider variety of voices from the community.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
We must take a prudent approach to maintaining and improving town services, schools and infrastructure. In these challenging fiscal times, we must ensure that our town’s staffing and programming are delivered in an effective, efficient manner. For several years, Farmington has moved away from relying on state funding. That approach must continue. Taking a longer-range view than what is currently the focus will be vital to planning for and adjusting to a climate where we can no longer continue to count on money coming in from state grants, and in which the state is likely to shift even more costs to municipalities.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town's most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?
We’re very fortunate to have a good amount of open space, active and passive recreation areas in our town. We are technically “land-locked”, yet we have the beauty and benefits of the Farmington River. Our overall education standard is high, as are our town services — for everyone, from the very young up to our seniors. We manage to keep taxes reasonable and we get an excellent value for our tax dollars. But what really makes Farmington and Unionville great is the people who live here. Our residents are extremely generous with their time and money in supporting many programs, activities, and organizations. People are warm and welcoming. We have a strong sense of history, but we have weathered many changes and improvements to our town. The key to continuing to uphold our quality of life here is listening to the ideas and concerns of our residents, and encouraging the involvement of our residents in crafting solutions to problems and ways forward.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in five sentences or less.
Farmington is ready for a change in its leadership. I will work hard to keep the town informed and truly listen to ideas from residents as we address town issues and projects. We need to be sure that we are using the most effective budget strategies that make the most of our tax dollars. I believe in an overall budget process that is open, cooperative, and respectful among elected officials, town departmental staff, and administrators. I am ready to lead with inclusion, transparency and integrity, drawing on my professional experience and community work in our town.

Additional Comments:
For more information, visit the Farmington Democrats website at www.farmingtondemocrats.org, on Facebook/Farmington Democrats or Facebook/Beth Kintner for Town Council.

1st District - Jon Landry, 42, Republican

Married to Erika

Children: Two daughters, Alexis and Olivia

Occupation: Director of I.T., The Simon Konover Company

Experience: Town Council (2013-Present), Board of Education (2009-2013), Zoning Board of Appeals (2007-2009), Past President, Farmington Exchange Club Past Director, Farmington Rotary Club Chamber of Commerce Justice of the Peace

Contact: http://www.jonlandry.com

Please briefly explain why you are the most qualified candidate to serve on Farmington's town council.
I feel that our Republican team is a strong group of individuals who have a true pulse on the community. We would like to represent the town of Farmington as a unified group that is willing to listen to the will of the people and do the best that we can to deliver on that will. We are proud of our long term vision of a standing building commission and responsible budgeting going forward.

The town spoke clearly in the June referendum on the high school project when voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed plan before them. However, it remains to be seen how both short- and long-term concerns will be addressed at Farmington High School. In your opinion, what are three key points to address in order to develop solutions moving forward? Please include any specific plans or ideas you hope to implement if elected.
In regards to developing a new plan for the high school, I feel strongly that we should take a common sense approach to renovating the existing building and addressing the most pressing needs immediately. We can make huge improvements by working with the board of education to make simple scheduling adjustments, such as adding one minute to passing times which would be more in line with most high schools in Connecticut. We can immediately address the [Americans with Disabilities Act] issues with renovations and replace the seats in the auditorium to start. We need to look into a standing building commission that can determine the true long term needs of all of Farmington’s infrastructure including all buildings and road projects to address traffic. There must be citizen engagement supported by town and elected officials and consensus building.

Every municipality in the state has its eye on Hartford in light of the state budget crisis, and Farmington is no exception. If elected, what are your specific plans to navigate the town through, and protect the town from, future fiscal challenges?
It is clear that the state intends to shift more and more costs to the towns. You see this with the recent news about education grants being cut to towns like Farmington and the proposals around the teacher’s pension obligations being shifted to the towns as two examples. In my years on the council, I have always taken the approach that we need to budget as if the money isn’t going to be there. This is why it is so important that we keep our AAA bond rating, that we don’t take on enormous amounts of debt and that we keep our fund balance (reserves) at the appropriate levels. I will continue this approach and continue to advocate for fiscally responsible long term budgeting.

Many Farmington residents cite a high quality of life as the town's most valuable asset. What specific component(s) of life in Farmington do you feel contribute to this? How will you strive to preserve this if elected to the town council?
Farmington is a wonderful community to live and to raise children in. The key reasons we moved to Farmington was for its excellent education system and its beauty. I will continue to advocate for excellence in education and smart development. I want to revisit and reform the traffic study process to get a better handle on smart development and traffic control. The residents in Farmington have come to expect excellent core services and I will work continue to protect those services.

Summarize the key issues of your platform in five sentences or less.
A responsible solution for FHS. Maintain town services and excellence in education. Hold the line on property taxes. Smart town planning and development, reform the traffic study process. Protect Farmington from state overreach and school regionalization

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