Report by Paula Antolini
November 6, 2017 6:03PM EDT
Bethel First Selectman Candidate McCorkindale Takes Her Message Above the Rest
Spotted in Bethel today, flying high above the CJH Municipal Center, and other areas of Bethel on the eve of the election, was a small airplane with the message “VOTE4CYNTHIA.COM” waving on a banner behind it. You could see First Selectman candidate Cynthia McCorkindale’s message all around town.
McCorkindale was busy today directing her team as they called residents reminding them to vote for Cynthia McCorkindale tomorrow.
Message from Cynthia McCorkindale, as stated on her campaign page:
Here are some final thoughts as we move into the homestretch of the election.
First, please know I take full responsibility for any failure on my part to communicate my message on these forums. It’s my responsibility to get my point across clearly and I’m grateful to have your attention.
As residents of Bethel, I believe we have a great deal in common. We’re human beings, we love our Town and we love our children and families. However, even with those things aligning us, we often differ on what actions we need to take to get the best for them.
Rest assured I am well aware of the steep learning curve for anyone who is chosen for this job. I absolutely don’t know everything about it, but I have always and will continue to seek the advice from the experts – experts who work for the town or others who live in our community who have so much to offer.
For many years I have been part of discussions about ways I’d like the current First Selectman to consider doing things, both as a resident, and currently, as a 2017 candidate. What I do know is what this position is NOT, which is why I have aggressively pointed out areas where I believe my opponent has failed to honor the process and has used his authority inappropriately. I do not support cronysism, nepotism, or overreach.
It is my opinion that my opponent’s priorities are often NOT the best priorities for all of Bethel’s taxpayers. It seems that in his world, the bigger the better, and the sky is the limit. There’s such a thing as growing too quickly – for a business or for a community. We might consider pressing the pause button for a minute.
Most of you reading are aware that I am a fiscal conservative. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t care about the well-being of our residents and their families. Most importantly, it means that before asking taxpayers for new (additional) money, I believe it’s the responsibility of the Town leader to get in there and see if there’s any “old money” we could be utilizing. For example, just within the current fiscal year there’s close to $8000 remaining from the Social Services Director’s approved salary.
Last year, 17 junked vehicles – many that we were still paying registration and insurance for – were auctioned off for approximately $20K. While I’m proud that I was one of the more vocal advocates for making that auction happen, I am not happy that it took three years to do it. And, we need to make every effort to find out if and where this windfall could be re-allocated.
My frequent “no” votes stem from the unwavering confidence I have that there are many areas where the Town could be making better use of available funds – prior to any consideration of raising our taxes. If elected, one of my top priorities will be to uncover any of these resources and put them to use.
As soon as we complete a full inventory of town and school furniture and supplies, I know that we will find deficit in some areas and maybe even a surplus in others. Redistribution does not cost the Town anything but time.
It is my opinion that the number of administrative positions in the school district need to be reviewed. It is not appropriate that a teacher should have to buy their own supplies and actively raise funds so they can teach kids how to play floor hockey. It’s not fair or acceptable to me that lower middle-income families are expected to pay $300+ a year because they are $50 above the poverty level. While it’s not in the First Selectman’s power to “abolish” Pay2Play, it is within the First Selectman’s scope to prioritize looking for any cost savings in other areas that can be applied, without adding to the budget.
We need to stop this “all or nothing” approach. This is not about things being taken away or children being put at risk. That has absolutely never happened in Bethel – no matter who was First Selectman. I believe it’s aboutfinding ways to maintain and increase high quality across the board WITHOUT taxing 30% of the residents out of their town.
Seniors and low-income housing for them must become a priority. We need more developments like Reynolds Ridge. We need it just as much as we need any other
improvements in Bethel. Senior citizens are the people who have lived long lives, who know the stories, who’ve been through it all, so why are we not taking as good care of these people as we are our children? We need to stop talking about it and take action. We cannot push them aside any longer.
We need to focus on opiate awareness. I have stated in prior posts that I will establish an ad hoc committee for this and I already have two volunteers. This issue has reached a crisis level and requires all hands and resources on deck!
In a nutshell:
• Seniors – They need our attention NOW
• Low-income housing
• Save money by finding “old” money
• Audit every department for efficiency
• Restrain spending
• Use any savings to get rid of Pay2Play and provide Senior tax relief
At this moment, the major Town projects are being handled. Now it’s time to focus on the PEOPLE of Bethel.
That’s it. It’s an ecosystem.
My opponent did not fully understand this as First Selectman role overnight and neither will I, although I’m happy to say that in the past four months, I know much more about this position than I did six months ago. I know that this will continue because, with any job, we learn as we go and ask for advice or help when needed. If elected, I’m quite certain it’s going to be a hard job,mbut I am ready and I very much willing to take it on.