by Terry Rogers
On Saturday April 27, the City of Milford will hold an election for a council seat in the First Ward. The election will be held at City Hall from 10 AM until 6 PM and only voters registered with the City who live in the First Ward are eligible to vote. The deadline for registering to vote with the City was March 28. Samuel Passwaters and Daniel Marabello are vying for the seat which was vacated when Councilman Chris Mergner chose not to run for reelection. Marabello was asked the following questions and his answers appear in his own words.
Q: What are the main objectives you would like to accomplish if you are elected to City Council?
A: My main objective to accomplish is to help ensure that our local government performs effectively, efficiently and transparently in all areas and continually strives to improve in those performances. Some of these areas would include public works, infrastructure, safety, beautification, job creation and education. We need to have a clear vision of where we want our city to be in the short, mid and long term future and make it our mission to succeed with that vision. If we adhere to these guidelines, Milford will continue to get better and better as a place to live and work.
Q: What do you feel will be your biggest challenge(s) as a City Councilperson?
A: The biggest challenge that I foresee is to keep focused on our vision and the mission steps to achieve that vision. All important government decisions should be measured as to how they conform to the mission. Another challenge would be to improve communication with our residents so as to keep them continually informed of major plans and decisions. A periodic newsletter might be a useful additional method of communication. We have to find ways to instill a sense of community pride in more of our residents and make them feel that they have a stake in what decisions are made by our government.
Q: The City is planning a new police station. Do you believe that this is necessary? If so, how do you propose to accomplish this?
A: I do believe that a new police station is needed. Our police force will rise together with expected growth in population and they need a larger facility further away from the river. Some funds can come from our reserves and other governmental grants but the other funds needed can be raised through a referendum. The money raised through referendum can be paid and amortized over time from current streams of revenue. There should be no need for a tax increase!
Q: The City recently facilitated mandatory rental inspections and hired a new code enforcement officer in order to better address code violations in Milford. Do you agree with these measures and can the City improve in this area?
A: I absolutely agree with having additional in-house and external inspectors to enforce the codes of the city. Why have codes if we don’t enforce them? If we want to attract home buyers and job producing businesses to Milford, we should make our city attractive in every way possible. Code enforcement should greatly help in that endeavor.
Q: Milford School District has made the decision to keep the former Milford Middle School property as a school. Do you believe a new school is necessary and what impact do you feel this would have on the City?
A: The facts discussed at the Board of Education meetings indicate that a new school is necessary. Adequate school facilities along with quality teachers are necessary for a community to grow and prosper. The former Middle School seems the logical location, from an economic point of view, to build an additional school. How to pay for the school is the question. Recent unexpected large school tax increases have angered a lot of homeowners. Another referendum will be hard to pass if we cannot assure that any school tax increases will be reasonable and that the cost will be fairly distributed to all homeowners.
Q: Milford has been called the “next boom town,” and the City is expected to grow tremendously over the next decade. How do you intend to handle this growth?
A: If Milford’s population grows as predicted in the next decade, we must be proactive in planning for that growth. Using historical data, we can estimate the money needs for future capital projects and include those needs in our annual budgets.
Q: The City recently hired five new police officers, funding them from reserve funds for the next three years. Do you feel paying for the officers from reserves was a good decision? How do you think funding for the officers should be handled at the end of three years?
A: Safety is of paramount importance in our city. Our reserves have grown steadily over the past years and using them for the next three years will not seriously impact our reserve position in the short term. The additional taxes received from new housing developments should contribute a significant amount of funds need to replace the use of reserves.