Shelton Board of Aldermen candidate Ward 1: David Gioiello, Jr.

David Gioiello

David Gioiello

Contributed photo

Party: Democrat

Are you an incumbent? (if yes, how many years in office): No

Current job: Consultant

Volunteering background, if any: Sterling House Food Pantry

Education: BS, MS

Previous offices held: Board of Education, two terms

What prompted you to run for office? The need to have a voice for education on the Board of aldermen.

What are the major issues/changes you are focused on if elected? Fiscal reform, adequate funding for the Board of Education, development that reflects the citizens of Shelton

How can you make any proposed improvements yet keep taxes at the stable level they are at present? The income of the City based on tax revenue continues to raise, that increase is more than adequate to fund any increases in spending. Funding for City Departments should reflect actual needs not be inflated to provide a surplus.

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?

Having been on the BOE I have seen firsthand what the lack of adequate spending has done to programs and services that children need and are not getting. While in the past the BOE budget requests may have been inflated because they knew cuts were coming, the fat has been cut, the meat has been cut and we are down to the bone and the children are now getting short changed.

Before any changes are made to the bus company, we first need to understand what it is really costing the City. The BOE should issue a RFP for the 22-25 school years for bus service. This should be done in January. The City must develop a true cost not what they are charging the BOE, but what we are paying to run the buses. The City also must factor in the cost of replacing the buses. The buses are approaching an end of life and need to be replaced. Most School Bus Companies replace buses on a five year life cycle, ours are well past that. Once we have a true cost than the City can determine if in the end we really can save money. If we can the City must hire a professional who knows the business to run it. The current manager while doing his best is not an expert in this type of business.

I have lived in Shelton for 40 years and watched the City change and grow. I have spent four years on the BOE and witnessed firsthand the challenge of educating children in the 21st century. What worked 30 years ago doesn’t work today. We can’t approach the problems like we did in the ‘80, ’90 or even 2000. It is the role of the BOA to provide the needed services for all our residents. This can be done in a responsible manner without bankrupting any of our citizens. It is done by proper financial management and oversight by the BOA. The BOA is the responsible fiscal body of the City. The BOA needs to do its job and hold the administration accountable, no matter who is mayor.

As a small business co-owner I have worked with my partners and we have operated successfully for 41 years. One needs to learn to work with your clients and your staff to be successful. Overseeing the City is no different. We need to establish goals, give the staff the means to meet those goals and then hold them accountable when those goals are not meet.