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March 28, 2020
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Politics Should be Removed

Published July 24, 2019

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It’s about time that politics should be removed from Branford Town Hall. The positions of tax collector and town clerk have nothing to do with political viewpoints or political gains. These two positions are clearly for servicing the Branford citizens in record keeping and collection of taxes.

The town clerk is responsible for recording, filing, securing all land records and vital statistics, and maintaining document preservation. It is responsibility of the town clerk to collect all municipal fees and state conveyance taxes with property transfers.

The town clerk also has purview over vital statistics includes issuing marriage licenses and recording both birth and death certificates and issues state and local permits, such as dog licenses, hunting and fishing licenses, shellfish permits, and business name registration. The town clerk offers notary public services; is an ex-officio member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), Branford’s legislative body by town charter; and also serves as clerk to the Board of Finance.

The tax collector collects taxes on real estate, personal property, and motor vehicles.

I advocated several years ago that both political parties work together to remove both positions from the elected political process. I’ve been advised a study would be conducted on the Branford Charter and other laws and regulations in pursue to accomplish my recommendation.

Political cross endorsing is just kicking the proverbial can down the road.

We have extremely competent and dedicated people serving in both positions. Roberta Gill-Brooks and Lisa Arpin are true professionals and should not be subject to spending their time campaigning for their employment. It is a very appropriate time to make their positions non-political.

I am aware of representatives from both political parties that whole heartedly agree with this concept. Hopefully they will be successful in separating these two positions from the elective process.

Stanley W. Konesky, Jr.