Why Bother with the Facts?

Whether you are driving to work or trying to get your kids off to school, all of us make a thousand decisions in a day.  Some decisions are made quickly based on past experience and some take more time because of the complexity of the situation.  The bottom line is that whether the situation is simple or complex, the facts must be taken into consideration.  Ask yourself the question, “Would you buy a house without considering interest rates, how long you expect to live in the area, or the condition of the house?”

Consider this… Would you expect town officials to spend your tax dollars without studying the data relative to the decision?  Our focus is simple.  We, Republicans, feel that optimizing services and programs for Newtown’s citizens demonstrates good governance.  This is especially important while we live through this time of shrinking resources.  Structural change cannot be accomplished without careful analysis of relevant, accurate, and timely data.  In the vernacular of the times, this is called data driven decision-making.  We feel it is the right and best approach for effective management and productive leadership.

The commitment to and the disciplined practice of data driven decision-making is a hallmark of Newtown’s current government, including the Board of Finance, the Legislative Council, and the Board of Selectmen. These efforts are led, for the most part, by our First Selectman, Pat Llodra and Finance Director, Bob Tait. Their use of current and relevant data is connected to many of the significant structural changes already achieved and those planned for the near future. In each case, specific, relevant, and timely data is collected and analyzed to determine if a service or function could be modified to provide the same or better outcomes at less cost. 

Did you know the Town financial policies are being updated?

  1. Development of comprehensive financial plans made up of policies and best practices related to fund balance, use of capital non-recurring, reduction of debt, and management of a contingency or reserve account for the Board of Education

  2. Development of the annual capital improvement plan based on available resources within the debt cap

  3. Re-examination of debt cap in order to provide greater flexibility in operating budget

  4. New policy consideration for year-end surplus

Did you know our government organizational structure and processes are under examination?

  1. Transfer of responsibilities from private contractor management of the Fairfield Hills Campus to day to day operation of Town departments

  2. Initiation of a five-town study for regionalizing emergency communications and dispatch

  3. Initiation of an organizational analysis and consolidation feasibility study in collaboration with the education department; consolidation where possible for better efficiency, transparency and cost reduction

  4. Upcoming space needs study to assess municipal space needs, including the reuse/repurposing of existing facilities

  5. On-going audits to best determine energy contracts for both the Town and the education department

  6. Streamlining work process orders to better understand and plan work assignments and human resource management

  7. Creation of a forecasting model for financial decision making and strategic planning

Did you know employee benefits were restructured to lessen the burden on Newtown taxpayers?

  1. Change from a premium based to a self-funded employee medical benefits program

  2. Continuous examination of and activity in the medical benefits market to achieve best price and service delivery

  3. Recalibration of the rate of return and wage assumptions in the municipal employee pension plan to reflect the current economic conditions and ensure that the plan is funded at an appropriate level

Did you know a new model was developed for determining road and bridge improvements?

  1. Reallocation of resources for road improvement based on actual data collected from on-site reviews of road conditions on five attributes, including drainage, sight lines, surface conditions

  2. Planned replacement schedule for capital items such as bridges, based on assessment of conditions and available resources

What do Republicans Think?

Republicans believe effective government makes data-driven decisions.  Making data-driven decisions is the simple practice of looking at the facts just like every family does and the same way Newtown should.  It’s just common sense. In the recent past, Newtown has been using a disciplined approach to understanding the facts and has been successful in eliminating the noise to establish prudent benchmarks.  These actions have served Newtown well in reducing the cost for each and every Newtown family.  Republicans believe your taxpayer dollars should be spent just as you would in your own household - using relevant, accurate, and timely data.