Our Vision in a Nutshell
📈 Long-term fiscal stability & finishing the East Haddam Village project
🏗️ Smart growth & expanding our Grand List
♻️ Sustainability & protecting our environment
👩🏫 Investing strategically in our excellent school system
👨🏽💻 Upgrading to an online, centralized platform for business licensing, permitting and payments (& dog permits as well 🐶)
🌳Addressing our dead & dying tree crisis
Our vision of next generation economic development is based on the conversation we've had with local business owners and research we've done on what small-town like ours are doing to do to adapt to emerging markets and business needs. We're focused on three major areas which are not exhaustive but a powerful place to start.
Technology- Our town needs an online, centralized platform for business licensing, permitting and payments.
Regional Cooperation- the RiverCOG is a collection of towns who pool their resources and are able to better solicit aid from the state to complete economic and infrastructure projects. They completed a study in 2016 looking at the regions needs for sustainable, meaningful economic development that matches the character of our towns. http://www.growsmartregion.org/…/growsmart_finalreport_0204…
Marketing- We live in an enchanting area with lots to offer. From our town's website to web-based content that captures the magic of our town we can generate both interest from potential tourists and continue to foster pride amongst everyone who has decided to call East Haddam home.
Dead & Dying Trees
We're the only team focused on the issue of dead and dying trees because we know it's a major public safety issue and a major cost that our town will have to deal with in the next 10 years. From property owners worried about thousands of dollars in costs, to motorists worried about driving along roads with looming dead trees to residents worried about how our town will afford to address making sure that dead trees are removed from our 100+ miles of roads and conserved land.
As a town we need to be proactive in exploring grants and alternate funding sources to address this issue. We also need to lobby at the state level to have dead and dying trees included in the definition of what Local Capital Improvement Fund grants can be used for. Our team has experience working at the State level, applying for grants and has established relationships with key stakeholders. In addition, we believe that the federal government should step in with support as they do with other natural disasters. We're working with our Federal representatives to have this crisis declared a natural disaster so our towns and residents can get the support they deserve.
From Rob Smith
I, like most residents want reliable, accountable and efficient police services that provide the most cost-effective coverage for our taxpayers.
•I have no desire nor has it ever crossed my mind to disband the East Haddam Constabulary (police officers), whether part-time or full time.
•I respect all the East Haddam police force's efforts combating the opioid epidemic in our community.
•I am not interested in hiring a second Resident State Trooper.
•During 2019-2020 Board of Selectmen Budget meetings regarding the School Resource Officer (SRO) position, I questioned how the position would be used and the cost to the taxpayers of an additional (5th full-time) Police Officer. I proposed, and First Selectman Lyman agreed, that as part of 2019-2020 budget cycle, one of the existing full-time Police Officers be reassigned to the SRO position, abiding by any rules of the Union contract. This would have saved the taxpayers about $100,000. However, the Board of Finance put money back into the budget to create an additional Police Officer, which would be the SRO.
•With five full-time Police Officers, including the Resident Trooper, it seems that we should be able to cover 14 shifts per week. However, it is not uncommon to have shifts uncovered, often on weekends. If an emergency or law enforcement incident occurs, these open shifts then need to be covered by Troop K and sometimes Troop F. The reason behind the hiring of the 3rd and 4th Police Officers was to prevent having shifts not covered by an East Haddam Officer. Open shifts are supervision and management issues that must be resolved.
•With three decades of law enforcement experience, most of it supervising other law enforcement officers, I assure all East Haddam residents that I understand the importance of having Police Officers visible and on patrol. I understand the need of creating a safe and peaceful environment for our citizens and have always supported the many hard working officers that worked with and for me over the years.
A First Selectman's job is to gather as much information as possible about an issue, then make balanced decisions about our Town to received needed and desired services without over-stressing taxpayers. This how I approached issues during my entire career, during my two years as your Selectman, and how I will approach issues as your First Selectman.