The Shelton Herald sent questions to each Board of Aldermen candidate. These are the responses by the aldermen, Second Ward candidates. Candidates are in alphabetical order. Incumbents are noted.

Kevin Kosty (D)

1. What major projects would be your focus once elected?

Downtown redevelopment including parking and improved pedestrian access and safety. Revitalization of city parks. And planning for the future of Shelton, ways to encourage new business investment, attract new residents, and develop the city properly.

2. What is the most significant issue facing the city? What is required to address this issue?

True financial stability. Shelton’s low mill rate is threatened by the bond rating being lowered twice in two years and by the city reserve having been spent down to nearly empty. We need aldermen who will take a thorough look at the city budget and analyze how city money is currently spent to realign that spending with our current needs and goals while establishing metrics to make sure we meet them.

3. Questions have been raised about transparency of the budget process. What steps, if any, are needed to make the spending of city funds more transparent to the community?

The budget should be more than a list of accounts and how much money is put into them, it should have goals to be achieved within those departments and citizens should be able to find it on the city website. But we need transparency beyond the budget process as well, the Board of Apportionment & Taxation are supposed to provide bipartisan oversight of city spending to make sure it is honest and ethical but they are not being allowed to fill that important role. We need to put some authority back into the A&T.

4. What are your thoughts on the relationship with the Board of Education? Has it improved in your mind, and what would you do to make the relationship even stronger?

There was a striking moment at the last joint meeting of the Boards of Aldermen and Education that I feel is representative of the problematic relationship between the two. The aldermen were asking questions about how the bus company was being run, and the answers were provided by the BOE administration. Since the city is running the bus company the aldermen, they shouldn’t need the BOE to tell them how it’s being operated, they should already know and be able to answer any concerns brought by the BOE. I’ve been to many city meetings where the BOE and BOA meet and it always seems the BOA is demanding things and the BOE does their best to placate those demands and I haven’t seen any improvement in that dynamic this year. Once elected alderman, I want to see the two boards establish shared goals for Shelton’s schools and work together to achieve them rather than the BOA act simply as oversight of the BOE’s spending.

Stanley J. Kudej (R), incumbent; Eric J. McPherson (R), incumbent

The candidates chose to provide a unified response to The Shelton Herald questions.

1. What major projects would be your focus once elected?

The major projects we have focused on and will continue to be our focus is the downtown revitalization. Both of us have been strong and tireless advocates for the Downtown. We have been strong supporters of Mayor Lauretti’s vision for the revitalization of the downtown and for Shelton. The two of us will continue to work to attract new investment, business and residents to the Downtown.

2. What is the most significant issue facing the city? What is required to address this issue?

We feel the significant issue facing the city is to continue the policies that have made Shelton a highly sought after community. It is important that we continue these policies and to support Mayor Lauretti’s vision for Shelton and to follow the City’s comprehensive plan and balanced growth. We will continue to work for and support policies that will keep Shelton an affordable place in which to locate a business, to live and to raise a family. Both of us strongly support policies that keep Shelton fiscally strong and that keeps taxes the lowest in the area.

3. Questions have been raised about transparency of the budget process. What steps, if any, are needed to make the spending of city funds more transparent to the community?

The budget process is transparent. The budget meetings are open to the public and the budget is a public document. We believe this process is very transparent.

4. What are your thoughts on the relationship with the Board of Education? Has it improved in your mind, and what would you do to make the relationship even stronger?

Both of us believe the relationship with the Board of Education will be much better and positive than it is now with the current board. With new leadership at the Board of Education, and quarterly meetings with them and their conversion to the city’s budget format there will be accountability and transparency. We believe this will be positive and will result in a better and stronger relationship.