Candidate Name: Douglas Lefko
Office Sought: Board of Finance
Are You an Incumbent for this Seat? Yes
Party Affiliation: Republican
Campaign Phone Number: 561-371-1493
My wife Laura and I have three sons of whom we are very proud. They have given us seven amazing grandchildren. We made Killingworth our home in 2019 after a two year search because we felt that the town had a strong sense of community and a fantastic rural character which we wanted after living in Woodstock, CT for over 10 years. In our spare time we love to work on our home, gardens and take care of our 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 miniature donkeys and 4 chickens. We both love to cook and enjoy the many great restaurants in Killingworth on the shoreline.
I have a bachelor's degree in English and organizational business management and a masters degree in leadership with a minor in adult education.
I volunteered for many, many years as a baseball coach and board member with Okeeheelee Baseball in West Palm Beach, Florida. My wife and I have volunteered with soup kitchens and food pantries over the years. I am a current active member of the Killingworth Republican Town Committee.
Elected/Appointed Offices Held
I was appointed by the Killingworth Board of Selectmen to the Board of Finance to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of a member and was subsequently appointed by the BOS to the Economic Recovery Committee.
Other Government Service
My first job out of college was for the Town of Huntington in New York and one of my roles was to focus on crafting the capital budget for the town which had a population of 200,000. I met with each department head to review expenditures and meet the approved budgeted number for each department. This was a great challenge as well as an incredible learning experience, which I believe gives me a unique skill set on Board of Finance.
What led you to seek this office?
I currently am a member of the Board of Finance and have really enjoyed working with the other members of the board. I believe that the Board of Finance position transcends politics and party. In my view, the position has a responsibility to the taxpayers of the town to ensure that their tax dollars are spent wisely.
What are your qualifications for this position?
For the last 15 years I have worked in the technology and collaboration business space in a leadership position currently as the Northeast Regional Vice President for a national technology company. In this role, I am responsible for a large budget and multiple employees. As I said above, I have past experience working with town budgets and town employees. I want to continue to bring my experience in both the private and public sector to help the Town of Killingworth achieve its strategic fiscal plan and ensure that the town keep spending at a rate that is sustainable while maintaining essential services.
What do you see as the top three issues or priorities for this position?
One of the key issues that the Board of Finance must address is the fact that Town Hall has not been properly maintained for some time and needs to be renovated. Also, the Fire Department Building needs renovations and improvements. I have recently been appointed to the Economic Recovery Committee by the Board of Selectmen. In my research, I believe we can spend some of the funds that we are receiving in the American Rescue Plan, which allows the funds to be used for "Capital investment in public facilities to meet pandemic operational needs" and also allows for the "purchase or remodeling of public buildings". While these funds cannot be used to reduce taxes, the funds can be utilized for capitol expenses. These projects are essential to continue to provide crucial services to the Killingworth residents.
Another issue that will have lasting impact on the town is the PFAS problem that is affecting so many families in Killingworth. Although it is in the initial stages of investigation and a source of contamination has not yet been discovered, will have to be done to address the contaminated wells and the property values of those affected. I believe this is a challenge that Town Hall will have to address.
And finally, of great importance, is the rise in crime in our area. We must work with the BOS to find ways to increase the level of law enforcement in our town. That may mean partnering with neighboring towns, hiring a part time constable force, or upgrading our current agreement with the State Police.