Shelton Board of Aldermen Ward 4 candidate: Bernie Simons

Bernie Simons

Bernie Simons

Contributed photo

Party: Republican

Incumbent?: Yes

Current Job: Insurance agent; Past employment: Commercial banker financial advisor/stock & bond broker; Product Marketing Manager for an electrical/electronic; aerospace manufacturer.

Volunteering: Trumbull Center Lions Club (current member); Shelton and Orange Rotary Clubs (former member); Shelton Quarterback Club (former member).

Education: St. Ambrose School, Bridgeport; Trumbull High School; Sacred Heart University (B.S., business administration, marketing)

Previous Offices Held: Shelton Board of Education; Public Building Improvement Committee (current chair); Shelton Board of A&T (former chair); Shelton Board of A&T Finance Committee (former chair).

What prompted you to run for office? I have served as a volunteer for several boards and committees of the City of Shelton for more than 30 years which has given me great insight into the operations of our City. I would like to use that knowledge and experience, as well as my personal background in fiscal planning and management, for the benefit of our community.

What are the major issues/changes you are focused on if elected? I served two terms on the BOE and would like to utilize that experience to help facilitate a relationship of cooperation, not competition between the two boards. The cooperative spirit between the Mayor, BOA, BoE and the Shelton public school administration has already produced savings for the taxpayers of Shelton. I also feel we need to require that all City departments operate in a fiscally prudent manner. That, and balanced growth, will benefit all of our City’s residents and businesses.

How can you make any proposed improvements yet keep taxes at the stable level they are at present? By focusing on key infrastructure projects, paying particular attention to department budgets, and documenting fiscal management of the City.

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? I am in favor of the city operating our school system’s transportation system as it has resulted in a phenomenal savings for Shelton taxpayers, $1.6M during FY’s 2019-20, 2020-21 and the current fiscal year. Having the Shelton school bus transportation system moved in-house has resulted in taxpayers dollars being saved, and I see no reason for changing management of the school buses back to an outside vendor.

In addition, the upcoming enhancement to the school transportation system, to allow parents to track their child’s location while being driven to and from school, will be a great benefit to all and is well worth the cost. Finally, the BOE’s simplified budget presentation to the BOA earlier this year allowed the BOA to better understand school operations and requirements and created the opportunity for cost sharing between the two boards.