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2011 - Campaign for SelectmanWayne Hileman and
Susan Luckett Jahnke,
Pledge ‘New Approach’
As First, Second, Selectmen
On July 21, 2011, Washington Democrats caucused in Town Hall and voted to endorse Wayne Hileman for First Selectman and Susan Luckett Jahnke for Selectman. Wayne and Susan pledged to move the Town in a new direction, away from the opaque practices of the Lyon administration, toward a more open form of government with greater participation by all Washington citizens--whatever their party affiliation. (Read the candidates' biographies.)
Independent Appeals Across Party Lines
With his nomination by the Democratic Caucus, Wayne will appear on the November ballot on the Democratic line. He has long been registered, however, as an “Unaffiliated” voter. Indeed, prior to his nomination by the Democrats, Wayne had already announced his independent candidacy for First Selectman in March and formed his own campaign committee, “Wayne for Washington” (www.wayneforwashington.com).
“I’m thrilled to have the endorsement by the Democratic Party,” says Wayne. “It’s a real vote of confidence in what I stand for. The Democrats understand and are cool with the fact that I will continue to run my own independent campaign, and I look forward to coordinating our efforts. I’m attracting not only independents, but also Republicans who are disillusioned and dissatisfied with how Town Hall is being run under the current administration. Originally, my independent candidacy sprouted from this dissatisfaction, and that remains its main source.”
“I’ve studied the Democrats’ platform,” Wayne continues, “and we’re in synch in terms of values, goals, and initiatives. I’m proud and honored to head the exceptionally qualified team of candidates that the Democrats have endorsed.”
Washington’s ‘New Reality’
Wayne and Susan believe that the old way of doing things in Town government is not working anymore. “Like it or not, change is happening all around us. So we must, as a Town, accept the new reality and deal with it.”
Significant changes that have already occurred include:
· The number of young adults in Town has fallen by half.
· Because of this, the number of children is steadily falling to half.
· Over the past seven years, the school budget has increased by 20 percent, while enrollment decreased by 20 percent.
· Washington’s senior population has grown by a third, many of whom are forced to leave Town when they downsize, because we offer no market-rate senior housing.
· The number of weekend or part time homes has doubled in 20 years.
· Businesses in Town are struggling and disappearing (witness the vacant-lot eyesore that once was Vinnie’s Texaco).
What if We Don’t Adapt?
Wayne and Susan are very concerned about where we will wind up if we continue to pay no heed to the changes that are happening around us. The direction we’re heading in is not encouraging:
· Out of our $14 million total Town budget, over $9 million goes to educate 404 students. In less than a decade, we’ll pay more to educate fewer than 300 students in aging facilities operating at half capacity.
· Municipal funds are being pared back to offset rising education costs. This strategy may lead to reduced funding for roads, open space, parks & rec, etc.
· With our young adult population steadily declining, we may not be able to maintain our all-volunteer Fire and EMS services. Eventually that may lead to a substantial increase in taxes to cover paid services.
· Without viable housing alternatives, our downsizing seniors will continue to be priced out of town.
· Our business districts are struggling. Without a renewed focus on our village centers, they will lose economic diversity and viability.
Time for a ‘New Approach’
Washington Democrats—as well as many independent-minded voters--believe that it’s past time to confront the fundamental changes that have already occurred—let alone, the changes waiting down the road. That’s why the Democrats nominated the independent-minded Wayne Hileman for First Selectman and Susan Luckett Jahnke for Selectman.
Wayne and Susan recognize that the old way of doing things in Town Hall is no longer working in the Town’s best interest. They will adopt a new approach.
“Susan and I want to bring the ‘town square’ into ‘town hall,’” explains Wayne. “We think that Town Hall has to be much more accessible to our fellow citizens and transparent in its dealings with them.”
Changes from ‘Day One’
Wayne and Susan are committed to letting a breath of fresh air into Town Hall.
“From day one of our administration,” Susan says, “we will make sure that all Town Hall operations are transparent, above-board, and offer equal opportunity to all comers.”
· All job openings, appointed positions, and rentals of taxpayer-owned property will be publicly posted so everyone has equal opportunity.
· All contracted road and maintenance work will be put out to bid.
· One Selectmen’s meeting a month will be held at night or on Saturday so that working people can attend.
· All Selectmen's meetings will be recorded and placed online.
Adapt to a New Reality
Wayne and Susan believe that the Town must adapt smarter strategies for dealing with the new reality that change has brought.
· Education. Wayne and Susan believe it’s too important to be left only to a regional board. Selectmen, too, must take a public stance with conviction. Wayne and Susan will engage the citizens of Washington to pursue all of their options.
· Housing. Wayne and Susan favor allowing smaller homes in and around our village centers. Result: more choices for young adults and downsizing seniors, plus revitalized village centers.
· Economic growth. Wayne and Susan will spearhead a drive to attract new business to Washington. We must find a way to provide businesses with modern data and communications infrastructure.
Support Wayne and Susan
If you think a new approach to Town government is called for, then help to elect Wayne Hileman and Susan Luckett Jahnke.
· Volunteer to work on the campaign. Contact Debra Radosevich at (860) 868-2214.
· Visit Wayne’s independent web site, www.wayneforwashington.com.
· Contribute to the campaign. Send checks, payable to “WDTC,” to:
Washington Democratic Town Committee
P.O. Box 5,
Washington Depot, CT 06794
· Kick-Off Rally for Wayne and Susan
Sunday, Oct. 2, 2 PM to 4 PM,
Join us at Riverwalk Pavilion (bottom of School Street, behind Washington Primary School).