Opinion: Greenwich's Republican BET candidates outline benefits of 'pragmatic conservative policies'

Town Hall in Greenwich, Conn.

Town Hall in Greenwich, Conn.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Greenwich is a wonderful place to live, work, invest and raise a family. In addition to the benefits of incredible natural beauty and geography, we have great public schools, wonderful parks, terrific libraries, a nationally recognized museum, low property taxes and a strong balance sheet that results in a Triple A credit rating. The surge of new residents over the last year reaffirms that we are truly blessed to call this place our home.

Many of the benefits we enjoy today are the result of strong fiscal management by the Town’s Board of Estimate and Taxation. Our party’s pragmatic conservative policies have worked extraordinarily well for our town. Nisha Arora, Mike Basham, Bill Drake, Karen Fassuliotis, Dan Ozizmir and Leslie Tarkington ask for your support to build on these successes. Please vote Republican — Line B — on Nov. 2.

The expense of government should not be an ever-increasing burden on our residents’ finances. Greenwich’s mill rate is one of the lowest in Connecticut, which benefits all our residents. Over the long term, spending wisely is the only way to keep taxes manageable and property values high.

Under Republican leadership, our town has built first-class infrastructure without burdening future generations with long term debt. In the last 10 budgets, the BET has approved $570 million to create new and improved infrastructure. Some of the notable projects funded were the Music Instructional Space and Auditorium at Greenwich High, a new Central Fire House, the scenic waterfront Cos Cob Park, the North Street Animal Shelter, and an updated Byram Park with its magnificent new pool. The most recent budget appropriated $18.7 million to construct an all-new Eastern Greenwich Civic Center. These major projects were supplemented by many millions more in routine road paving, bridge repair, sewer and drainage projects, updated radiators, new boilers, new roofs, flooring, upgraded bathrooms, doors, windows, electrical systems, plumbing, lighting, new vehicles, and other additions to our excellent infrastructure. We are also protecting our children and residents with major environmental and conservation upgrades inside town buildings and soil remediation projects on town land.

Republicans have long supported our public schools and the results have been outstanding. Multiple surveys have confirmed that, in addition to our low property taxes, our excellent school system is one of the key reasons young families move to Greenwich. Our school budget is the largest portion of our annual operating budget, and our teachers and staff are among the best compensated in Connecticut. Over the last 15 years, we have supported capital funding to reconstruct Glenville School and Hamilton Avenue School, construct a new New Lebanon School. and, most recently, to build a new football stadium and new entryway for Greenwich High School, among other projects. Along with the Board of Education we will continue to focus on maintaining our schools and assuring compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, improving school air quality and providing better security for every student and teacher.

Our policy has been to finance most of this infrastructure with borrowings over seven years, much of which has been repaid by now. This approach has worked extremely well for the residents of Greenwich. Thanks to our short maturities, Greenwich has avoided the large debt overhangs which in other municipalities have been shown to increase annual operating costs and are more expensive for future taxpayers.

Our town also has unique and beautiful natural resources that must be preserved and protected. As Republicans, we promote responsible environmental stewardship and open space and conservation efforts based on sound science combined with evidence-based best practices. We support our town’s active and passive recreational facilities and programs that make Greenwich a special place to live.

Also, we recognize that an essential role of our town government is to ensure first-rate public safety. Our police and fire departments, together with the Greenwich Emergency Medical Services will continue to have our unequivocal support.

Greenwich is a remarkable town. You have our commitment to work to protect our property values, maintain an outstanding public school system and preserve our unique combination of coastal, suburban, and country living.

We ask that you support and vote for all six of us on Line B this Nov. 2 so that we can continue to build upon our proven track record and pursue the policies that keep Greenwich the best place to live and raise a family, work and retire.

Nisha Arora, Mike Basham, Bill Drake, Karen Fassuliotis, Dan Ozizmir and Leslie Tarkington are the Republican candidates for election to the Board of Estimate and Taxation this Nov. 2.