The Selectmen’s Corner - November 2011
Greetings to all.
As your newly-elected First Selectman, I want to thank my supporters for your confidence in my ability to lead our community; I won’t let you down. And I fully intend to win over the rest of you as together we move forward into an exciting and prosperous future. Beacon Falls has been home to my family for twenty-five years, and although to some, we will always be “newcomers,” our hope and desire is to see Beacon Falls remain as it is, a community where our children and our children’s children will want to live and will, in fact, be able to afford to live.
Our newly elected Board of Selectmen will meet as a team with all of the town departments, in an effort to understand their day-to-day challenges. I will not make changes to personnel or policy merely for the sake of change. Where things are running smoothly and under budget, they will not be tinkered with. If something is not working, our team will carefully study the situation and take the necessary steps to remedy the problem. Ultimately, our goal is simple: to provide our town employees with the resources to fulfill the mission of each department. We will implement a culture of excellence.
Moving forward, I will familiarize myself with each ongoing project, and finish those nearing completion. Over the past five months, many issues have been brought to my attention, and I will address each one in turn, evaluating them for urgency and impact upon the town.
I am putting delinquent taxpayers on notice; with the exception of the occasional, relatively small grant, taxes are our only source of revenue, and therefore, unpaid taxes will be aggressively pursued.
I ask that as a community, we in Beacon Falls make it a point to reach out to our neighbors in times of natural disaster. I will be meeting with our Homeland Security official to draft a plan that will include data on all homebound and elderly residents. Homes such as mine, with generators and alternate heating methods, if they so volunteer, will be identified; no one will have to endure hardship alone. We will all be educated in life skills so as to be self-sufficient in the face of power outages and worse. The administration will work hard to provide what resources it can, but ultimately, the responsibility for ourselves and our less able neighbors lies with each of us.
Finally, I wish all Beacon Falls residents a happy holiday season. We certainly have much for which to be thankful!
Gerard F. Smith