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Need a Professional

Published Oct. 24, 2018

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Clinton readers’ most important vote this November will be voting “Yes” on Question 3.

Over the last four years, the Clinton Economic Development Commission (EDC) has met with executives and developers in many towns in Connecticut. These are towns that we compete with for residents, businesses, developers, grants, and investors. The overriding takeaway is that the towns with professional management excel in their economic development.

Our town and its economy and needs have changed, but the way we manage the town hasn’t. We can’t afford to continue with a system well-designed for the 1700s. To get our town “unstuck” economically and moving again, we need to adopt a town manager-town council government. It’s the most common form of government in the U.S. Note: Our selectmen form of government is found in less than one percent of towns in the U.S.

We all know that Clinton is a great place to live. It’s also a $50 million, 24/7 business; a major employer providing services for protection, educatio,n and our quality of life. Running Clinton is no longer a job for amateurs (apologies to our past and current selectmen friends). We hire only the best professionals to run our great police department and school system—people with the skills to effectively manage and lead. Yet, for first selectman (chief executive), our two main political parties select well-meaning, civic-minded candidates—with one winning basically a popularity contest. It’s unreasonable and unfair to expect that any first selectman, no matter how well-intentioned, without a background in town government and strong relationships with Hartford, federal agencies, other towns, developers, etc., can effectively and efficiently manage Clinton compared with a person who does. We need a professional.

The EDC supports voting “Yes” in Question 3, the most important vote we can make for Clinton.

John V. Allen, Chairman
Clinton Economic Development Commission