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Article Published October 16, 2019

Energy, Ideas, and Skills

By Belinda Jones

Westbrook is a town suspended in time. Some individuals’ property taxes have increased by as much as 50 percent in the past 12 years of the current administration. The slow, upward creep of taxes often goes unnoticed by its citizens, as taxes have inched up a small amount each year since 2007. Some Westbrook property values have also plummeted over the past decade. The town lacks critical economic development and suffers under a self-imposed austerity program that provides Band-Aids instead of long-term planning and a serious effort to seek grants and shared services.

Similar in size, the Town of Essex has aggressive grant writing and its mill rate has gone down twice, while our mill rate has risen to 24.67. No one in this town wants higher taxes. But Westbrook citizens do expect due diligence, transparency, and well-researched solutions so every taxpayer dime is spent well. It is clearly time for a new generation of leadership with 21st-century skillsets and expertise.

Westbrook needs town leaders with energy, fresh ideas, and technical skills to enable creative problem-solving that will move this town forward to reach its full potential. I will be voting for Hiram Fuchs for first selectman in Westbrook. A state marshal and a former small business owner, he has worked with the public for decades. With a degree in economics, Hiram has an eye for important details and the energy to seek out best-in-class solutions for present and future challenges. He has a long-term vision for Westbrook, and a pro-active plan with a vigilant focus on the bottom line.

I encourage your readers to me in voting for Hiram Fuchs for first selectman and George Pytlik, Jr., for selectman. Both are willing to go the extra mile to build a healthy and sustainable Westbrook for families and businesses.

Belinda Jones