Shelton Board of Aldermen Ward 1 candidate: Porter McKinnon

Porter McKinnon

Porter McKinnon

Contributed photo

Party: Republican

Incumbent?: No

Current Job: Vice President of Art & Print Production at Penny Publications

Volunteering: President of the Shelton Quarterback Club; Coach for Shelton T-Ball, Youth Soccer, Flag Football and American Youth Football programs; Shelton-Derby Rotary Club.

What prompted you to run for office? I have lived in Shelton for 25 years; my kids have grown up in this town. I have seen it grow from a small town with a rundown downtown that nobody wanted to go to after dark, dilapidated businesses up and down Bridgeport Avenue, one supermarket and very few restaurants, to a town with a thriving downtown, an exciting nightlife, strong growth up and down Bridgeport Avenue, three major supermarkets, and dozens of restaurants. I want this town to continue to prosper as it has for the past 25 years.

What are the major issues/changes you are focused on if elected? There seems to be a great divide between the BOE and the BOA. I want to help build the communication between the two and find ways to build our school system to even higher levels that it is now. I also want to focus on smart growth downtown and across the entire city.

How can you make any proposed improvements yet keep taxes at the stable level they are at present? Simply spending. Budgets are finite, we all have to live within our means and the city budget is no different, otherwise debt gets out of control. I have years of experience of looking at budgets and figuring out ways to get the most out of every dollar. I will do my best to do the same thing as Alderman.

Thoughts on BOE spending, city-run bus company? Do you agree with the spending levels set forth in the past for the BOE, and is running a bus company (and the costs associated) worth it to the city? The BOE is the single largest line item on the city's budget and is very important to a significant portion of the town residents. I have had some time to review the BOE budget and look forward to the opportunity to dive deeper into it. I believe that there are some areas where expenditures should be increased. And at the same time, I believe that there are areas that can be reduced. As for the buses, it seems that the city and BOE has saved several millions of dollars over the past two years since the city took over its operation. That is good for everyone. I know there have been problems and the city and the BOE are working to improve the service. Most of the problems with bus services are not limited to Shelton. There is a nationwide labor problem and the city is working through it as best they can; in fact, they are doing better than many private bus companies. They are also working on other improvements, including the installation of a tracking system that parents and student can use to know exactly where their bus is at any time. Students can track when they need to go out to the bus in the morning and parents can track where their kids are at all times. This is a great thing for everyone, and just one example of what the city and the BOE are doing together to make this a better experience for everyone. Nothing is ever perfect; what we need to do is work together to make it as close to perfect as we can.