What have Republicans Accomplished?
and
 What are our Next Steps?

Two years ago, Republicans sought town-wide support from voters based on the following five core objectives: fiscal responsibility, planning, quality of life, Fairfield Hills, and education. Republicans received overwhelming support and were fortunate to be elected, on the basis of these core objectives.   During the last two years, these five core objectives have been central in our focus and dialog.  Republicans believe that promises and character matters.  To that end, let’s take a look at what we have accomplished and what we believe are our next steps in the upcoming two years.

What have we Accomplished?

1. Fiscal Responsibility
a. Control operating expenses
* Town budget has remained virtually flat since 2007-08
* Refinanced debt, just like many of you have done on your homes, saving the taxpayers millions
b. Look for operational efficiencies and new ways to operate
* Self-funded health insurance for BOE and Town employees saving more than $1 million
* Renegotiated labor contracts with scaled down medical plans, increased cost share, and very low wage increases to be consistent with the times and the private sector
* Commodity savings of $2.3 million in the 2009-10 overall budget having very little effect any services
c. Re-evaluate financial policies
* Modify debt policy with a goal of moving from 10% debt ceiling to 9% debt ceiling
* Modify fund balance policy to increase our savings account for unexpected emergencies and improved financial standing 
* Modify capital project planning to save for, not borrow, capital expenses over time 
* Manage pension plan so as to not shackle the taxpayers with an unfunded liability avoiding the troubles in surrounding towns

2. Planning
a. Long-range planning for Park and Recreation
b. Strategic planning for the EDC
c. Upcoming municipal facilities needs assessment
d. First-ever road care and bridge rehabilitation plan, as evidenced by the weekly road maintenance newsletter

3. Quality of Life
a. Completed senior center
b. Protected funding for seniors, Park & Recreation, and library
c. Continued commitment to future open space
d. Ground breaking for animal control facility
e. Completed Skate board park
f. Management of Eichler’s Cove now under Park and Recreation
g. Support local businesses owners, such as SHOP, HEAT and the Newtown borough, through better communication with the Economic Development Commission
h. Position Newtown for future commercial initiatives: Sandy Hook Streetscape, Sandy Hook waterline and Hawleyville sewers
 
4. Fairfield Hills
a. Development and implementation of 3-stage plan for Fairfield Hills:
* Convened a nonpartisan Master Plan Review committee to help shape the direction of Fairfield Hills
* Significant reduction in the role of the private management firm and security operations saving tax dollars and folding into normal town operations
* Updated Fairfield Hills ordinance to allow collaboration of other town agencies in regard to leases
b. Additional passive recreation such as trail initiatives

5. Education
a. Presented first ever combined Town budget in collaboration with the Board of Education
b. Supported Board of Education presented 2011-12 budget as is to the voters
c. Advocated to keep teachers in the classrooms rather than add additional administrators
d. Engaged industry expert to examine possibility of consolidating Town and school overhead functions

What is our focus for the next two years?

1. Fiscal Responsibility
a. Continued diligence in finding operational efficiencies
b. Continue to borrow less and save more for capital items
c. Continue to analyze fiscal policies to serve the Town better
d. Utilize consolidation report to find efficiencies in Town and Board of Education administrative functions
e. Singular purchasing policy
f. Plan to refinance in March 2012 – savings in excess of $500,000

2. Planning
a. Incorporate the results of the Board of Education space needs study into town-wide space needs assessment
b. Work with town boards to continue and follow-through with the utilization and implementation of the Plan of Conservation and Development, the single most important planning document in Newtown
c. Continue working on the road and bridge maintenance plans
d. Continue working on long-term Park and Recreation plan

3. Quality of Life
a. Continue analyzing data to support changing demographics in our town, the largest sector of growth is our seniors.  
b. Continue to develop our commercial core through streetscapes, traffic flow improvements and business centers
c. Continue Hawley sewer line
d. Continue working with borough officials to protect our historic streets and ensure Edmond Town Hall continues its role as cultural center and historical venue on main street
e. Continue to work with Newtown Hook and Ladder to relocate their facility within the borough
f. Remain committed to open space purchases

4. Fairfield Hills

Republican leadership has identified and implemented a process and, in conjunction with the Town authorities, will honor the outcome and integrity of that public process.  We remain committed to the public process that we began involving the recommendation of the Fairfield Hills review committee to realize a campus that all citizens can be proud of and enjoy. 

5. Education
a. Continue town-wide approach of crafting budgets that will benefit the entire town
b. Continue to look for efficiencies in Town operations
c. Based on the data presented in the population study, address the changing needs of the district
d. Work to establish to help manage budgetary 
e. Advocating establishment a Board of Education savings account so that money can be saved for future expenses year over year
f. Consolidate town and school administrative positions for better efficiency and transparency

What do Republicans Think?

We Republicans have enjoyed serving Newtown these last 2 years and indeed many years before that.  We would like to finish what we started and carry forward these new ideas and initiatives that will help Newtown prosper.  Republicans believe we have created responsible budgets and plans that have fostered a new climate of cooperation in our Town.  Republicans are making the “right decisions”, doing the “right work” with the “right team” for Newtown.