What specific plans do the candidates for the Board of Selectman have for economic development, e.g., expanding Clinton’s Grand List to relieve the ever-increasing tax burden on residential taxpayers? It’s hard to grow the Grand List without an initial investment by taxpayers to incentivize commercial and industrial interests to come to Clinton. What about the establishment of an economic development corporation to market to and shepherd interested parties into Clinton? State law allows it and provides a road map to accomplish such a goal. It’s time that Clinton’s leaders step up and take charge of the town’s financial future.
What are the candidates’ plans for the capital budget? If you don’t take care of it, then it will need to be replaced. It’s a rudimentary concept, but difficult to accomplish in the real world. To illustrate the point, consider that the average Clinton taxpayer does not know how much debt the town is currently servicing annually. Paying down debt will be a substantial annual expense for taxpayers if the Grand List remains unchanged.
Elected volunteers, who possess no municipal finance experience, in charge of a combined education and town operations budget of $50,000,000 is literally ludicrous. Go to any public meeting about appropriations and you will know what I know: The Town of Clinton desperately needs professional management of our monetary and human resources. Professional management alone will not make everything in Clinton feel like rainbows and kittens, but it is certainly a deliberate and necessary first step to increasing real estate values, attracting industrial and commercial development, and ultimately growing the Grand List.
All of the candidates should support the hiring of a professional town manager, and I hope Clinton taxpayers will, too, when they vote on Nov. 7.