Party politics dead in Warren? Council hopefuls sound off
The following are the full texts of e-mail responses to a question on the importance of party politics and political designations in Warren, posed by the Warren Times this week to Warren Town Council candidates. The answers were abridged in print for brevity, and in keeping with the topic of the question.
Scott Lial (I)
I do not subscribe to the premise that the voters of Warren would be better off voting for any Candidate based on their party affiliation. There are many issues facing this town, ranging from simple to complex in nature. None of these issues would be better served by a following a party's politics. In fact, the majority of citizens reflect this sentiment by choosing to register as unaffiliated. Simply put, they understand that they retain the ultimate power to choose their local government based on the qualities of the individual candidates and their stance on the issues.
Richard Silva (D)
The Democrats are a party of unity and work together as a team in the development of all Warren. In the past, the democrat town council majority has always been business friendly who believe small business contributes to the success of Warren. In addition, the impact to the town is vetted out as part of the diligence process when new issues are presented. This philosophy continues today and with a majority vote will work together for the betterment of Warren.
Chris Stanley (R)
Voters will gain huge dividends by casting their ballot for the “Lone Republican” who has worked tirelessly to fulfill the role of a “watchdog.” I have acted judiciously over the years exhibiting strength, determination and common sense. Undoubtedly, it is my record of success, not party affiliation that clearly demonstrates my ability to: listen attentively, compromise, act decisively and provide strong leadership to the council. My only pledge while serve our community is to “do my best.”
Throughout my tenure on the town council I fought hard to end overspending; demanded an investigation into charter violations and unapproved spending by the town’s administration; worked to cut the net cost of town government; proposed changes to the enabling legislation that govern both the school district and the water authority in an effort to enhance fiscal accountability; voted to relax zoning requirements to accommodate Tom’s Market; and initiated the creation of a downtown walking map. I acted with clarity, resolve and professionalism when leading an effort to bring a fair and immediate end to the crisis caused by a manpower shortage in the police department only a few years ago.
Today, as President, I continue to affirm that the council must provide our community with strong, practical and decisive leadership. As Council President my efforts have focused on Open and Honest Government; Fiscal Responsibility; Providing Quality, Affordable Education; Responsible Preservation of Open Space; and Economic Revitalization. My commitment and immense efforts to unify the council have held the municipal and school budgets in check, re-established professionalism and ensured that council meetings are orderly.
Surely, I will continue to quietly lead and build true consensus. By encouraging creative redevelopment projects such as the kitchen incubator the town will better deal with population density, reduce taxes, create local jobs, restore rundown properties and capitalize on Warren’s unique character. Finally, I will continue to address the extraordinary inequity that exists between Bristol and Warren relative to the school budget. By working collaboratively local leaders we can change the law to ensure that Warren is fairly represented in planning the school budget thereby protecting Warren’s right to financial to self-determination.
Brian Mellor (D)
Warren residents are better off voting Democrat because a Democrat majority would concentrate on a plan of action to develop small businesses, bring in more grant money and create value for residents. Democrats have two Small Business People on the Town Council. A majority would help them develop ideas that would be good for business. We need a team effort on the town council. The Democratic party is committed to restoring Warren to a viable healthy community by growing Small Businesses and helping to reduce taxes .Democrats don't have agendas and would create a plan for all of Warren, not just Water street. I'll do my best to represent all of Warren.
Cathie Tattrie (D)
I believe that at the municipal level there are very few advantages to being a part of a political party. Long gone are the days when one party could control all aspects of the municipal government. In our town the Charter went a long way towards making sure more and varied voices are heard. Having the Council hire a Town Manager also keeps that office from being a part of a political machine.
That being said, as a Democrat, I feel I have a more direct line to other Democrats holding higher offices both statewide and in Washington. This enables us direct contact for things we need and want for our town. It has enabled us over the years to get money for projects we felt were important to Warren, whether it be improving infrastructure or cleaning up Jamiels park.
Joseph Depasquale (I)
As an experienced and effective Independent Town Councilman, I am prepared to represent the people of Warren. I will continue to respect the Home Rule Charter and the Comprehensive Zoning plan and utilize them as tools to keep our government open and helpful. We need a proactive council that listens to the needs of the people and plans for the future of Warren. When I last checked, 64% of all registered voters in Warren were unaffiliated and my loyalties are with the people. I will continue to appoint the most qualified candidates to our boards and commissions. The next council will appoint a new Probate Judge, and finalize the Comprehensive Zoning Plan and my decisions will be free of partisan influence and manipulation. I will continue to ask questions and make my decisions based on what is best for our Town free of Party Pressure. I have never held elected office as the member of a political party and do not see the need at the local level. There is not a Republican or Democratic Party way to solve our problems. I pledge my continued support to the dedicated efforts of our Town Boards and Committees, and value highly the experience and guidance they bring to each important issue. Through our combined efforts and hard work we will achieve our collective goals, knowing Warren is a great place to live.
Davison Bolster (I)
Two years ago, the voters of Warren spoke loud and clear when they elected Independents Scott Lial and myself, and almost elected Brandt Heckert the third Independent, to the Town Council. Voters were tired of the poor representation they were getting from the old Democrat and Republican parties, which seemed to exist just to perpetuate themselves, and not for the betterment of the Town of Warren.
Independent Town Council members can bring new ideas and are not weighed down by baggage of the bygone era of political parties. Today, the difference between the Democrat and Republican members of this Town Council is unnoticeable. They vote together as a block, and commonly vote for board candidates who are politically connected or have served forever, over more qualified candidates. This is not healthy for Warren or any community that wants to make sure their tax dollars are being spent as wisely and efficiently as possible.
David Frerichs (D)
That's a fair question. I honestly believe that people should vote for the candidate that they believe in. We're here to do the job for everyone, and I think today it's not so much about the party. It's about the person that's running.