November 2, 2009

Journal Inquirer > McCoy Vernon’s choice: progress or innuendo

Journal Inquirer > Letters To The Editor > Vernon’s choice: progress or innuendo: "Vernon’s choice: progress or innuendo
By Jason L. McCoy
Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 12:05 PM EDT"

Vernon’s choice: progress or innuendo
By Mayor Jason L. McCoy

In the election for mayor and Town Council in Vernon, our residents have two choices: They can choose progress fiscally, technologically, and environmentally by supporting me as mayor of Vernon, and the folks running with me — Town Council candidates and members Dan Anderson, Bill Campbell, Dan Champagne, Mark Etre, Judy Hany, Brian Motola, Sean O’Shea, Harry Thomas, and Board or Education candidates and members George Apel, Laura Bush, Anne Fischer, and Vicky Rispoli. Or they can choose accusation and innuendo not based on fact or reality.Recently there has been a lot of rigmarole advanced by political operatives who try to confuse issues they have created to blur the progress over the last two years in Vernon. They have made personal attacks on me; these political operatives have made personal attacks on anyone who has supported progress and change in Vernon.

In the last two years the budgets I have proposed to citizens of the town of Vernon have been supported by the Vernon Taxpayers Association, as well as the Vernon teachers association (Vernon Education Association).These last two years have been difficult for our town and every town in Connecticut, just as they have been difficult for the public. These people have worked to control the unnecessary growth of this town’s governmental spending, they support cooperation between the Town Council and the Board of Education, and have worked to increase non-property tax revenues to the town so it is not totally reliant on real estate property taxation to fund its budgets. They have held town governmental spending at less than 1 percent, and brought you two budgets with two tax rate or mill rate decreases. They have found cost savings each year that amounts to over $2 million in areas like in health insurance, passed policies that reduce fixed costs for governmental fuels and electricity, increased the police job clearance rates, increased the Connecticut Mastery Test scores for students each year, and paid off $1 million in debt the town owed, thereby reducing future budgets before they even start.

They also have implemented electronic citizen complaint systems; hired top department heads to implement policy initiatives; repaired dangerous bridges after the town had ignored the danger for the last 20 years; completed school building projects on time, without delay and under budget; replaced 20-year-old math books and replaced reading books and resources for grammar-school students; added school readiness at each grammar school; saved sports for kids without implementing pay-to-play programs; supported our school bands; with new uniforms; passed budgets on the first referendum in 2008 and 2009; implemented senior tax-relief programs; required school budgetary transfers be made only after the Board of Education’s elected officials vote to approve the budget transfers; passed a hybrid vehicle tax exemption ordinance to encourage citizens to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

We have implemented a legislative support program through hiring governmental relations experts to work on Vernon’s behalf to work on stopping state laws that force requirements that drive our budgets up every year for no reason. You have seen huge support for Vernon from Gov. Jodi Rell when she funded the Roosevelt Mills project, funded the completion of the Town Hall renovations and funded the Vernon Arts Center at the old kindergarten building and the Vernon-Bolton Lakes Water Pollution Control Authority, along with the redevelopment of Village Street.This was done in the face of the 2004 and 2005 road and school bonding of $100 million of bond debt starting to be repaid in 2008, a decreases in local revenue totaling of nearly $604,000 for recording fees, building permits, conveyance taxes, along with a reduction in state revenue sharing from the State of Connecticut and Vernon in the amount of roughly $1 million. Just take a look at your tax bill — it tells the story of the decrease in revenue, $19 million this year and $20 million last year.All of these things have been accomplished by these folks I refer to who are running with me, with the support of department’s heads I have hired and or managed, without pay cuts, without layoffs, without threats of service reductions.

Over the last two years you never heard me as mayor or these folks I refer to who are running with me threaten to cut services for residents or hike your taxes. We have only said: We can figure it out. I am sure that would have been easier. No tricks, no threats, just good fiscal management of our government. As your mayor along with people running for Town Council and the Board of Education we have restored Vernon’s budget to an honest and open document requiring transfers to be voted on and approved.

I ask that you support lower taxes, controls on spending, better schools and safer streets by voting for me, Mayor Jason McCoy and the folks running with me for the Vernon Town Council Dan Anderson, Bill Campbell, Dan Champagne, Mark Etre, Judy Hany, Brian Motola, Sean O’Shea, Harry Thomas, and Bd. of Ed candidates and members George Apel, Laura Bush, Anne Fischer, and Vicky Rispoli.

The writer is the mayor of Vernon.

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