LEWISBORO, N.Y. With the Democratic and Independence party endorsements under his belt, incumbent Town Councilman Dan Welsh is hoping to be elected to another four-year term when voters go to the polls next Tuesday.
Welsh said that the town needs to face its fiscal challenges head on and solicit input from all quarters in order to get the job done.
Of course town finance and taxes are our biggest challenges, but you cant talk about the dollars without getting explicit about what you expect from your government, he said. We need to face the issues, actively solicit inputs from all quarters, and then take a stand even knowing that there may be an opening for critics.
The councilman has a background in engineering and has overseen international projects that he says have equipped him with the organizational and budgeting skills needed by town board members.
In my years as country manager in China for an international engineering firm I was responsible for maintaining a productive interface for large, complex projects and challenging, cross-cultural relationships, he said. As commercial director at the same firm, I oversaw contract administration and did financial analysis for direct investments in production facilities and engineering subsidiaries. Having enough of the road warrior life, I career-changed into IT, now serving as the one-stop shop for database management, system integration and troubleshooting for an area school district.
Welsh has also been an activist for environmental and social justice issues, but said theyre all tied together with the towns fiscal challenges.
While Lewisboro, and the planet as a whole for that matter, would be nowhere without the natural resource base that we depend on, I view the natural, human, financial assets of the town as an integrated whole, he said. We need to preserve and enhance these assets, leaving them in good shape for the next generation. They are fungible; if we allow our water assets to degrade, there will be a financial price to pay, even if we leave it for the next residents. If we continue to overburden our residents with taxes, we will drive out the youth and the elderly and lose valuable diversity. These assets are the capital that underpin any positive community-building we may do, and any policy initiative may be judged by how it affects them negatively or positively.
Welsh was critical of Supervisor Charles Duffys last budget, and compared the S&P credit drop to the monetary woes the federal government experienced this past summer over the debt ceiling.
The 2011, Duffy budget opted to emphasize the visuals of a near-zero percent tax increase, rather than allowing for a minimal increase to start us back on the path of stability, he said. In a disturbing parallel to the national brouhaha over the debt ceiling, the ratings agency demotion during this term was recognition that the town government chose politics over making this minimal nod to restoration of solvency.
I believe my passion for the issues, boots-on-the-ground experience in business and technology, leveraged over cumulative management skills has proven of value in my tenure on the board thus far, and will only be more so if I am joined by Peter Parsons and Peter Gross on the town board, he added.
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