To the Editor:
It has been an incredible honor to serve as your First Selectman for the past six years. I am proud of our accomplishments during this time.
We have made significant changes to transform Monroe into a business-friendly community, now independently recognized as having achieved best practices in land use and economic development. These changes are evident with the continued, responsible growth of our commercial zones that has grown our grand list.
This growth, along with conservative budgets and successful grant applications, have allowed us to keep taxes under control, averaging an increase of less than 1-percent per year. During my administration, we have secured over $5 million in grants, not including federal and state statutory grants.
Monroe’s financial health is evident from our AAA bond rating. This success is from the financial discipline that we have sustained. Monroe’s annual budget process has been revamped, adding a full month of review, discussion, and opportunity for public input at no less than six meetings, including two public hearings, prior to the referendum. Our annual budget documents are the most transparent and more detailed than ever before.
During this time, we improved Town services, roads, and infrastructure, including completion of major projects at the Town’s prized Wolfe Park.
Of course, we also lived through the challenges of an historic pandemic, during which we continued to provide routine services, kept our parks open, and supported our local businesses. We kept our community informed with weekly emergency updates, while providing testing and vaccinating thousands of residents.
This success is only possible with the strength of an entire team. I have been incredibly fortunate to have great people, working in collaboration, to move our town forward. The team includes our town staff, volunteers, and our elected and appointed officials.
One of those elected officials is Town Council member Terry Rooney, who deserves your vote for our next First Selectman.
Many people are unaware of the magnitude of Terry Rooney’s involvement in Monroe’s local government. In his capacity with the Republican Town Committee, Terry has worked to recruit the vast majority of the volunteers that serve on our Town boards and commissions. These groups may serve in a variety of advisory, regulatory, or policy-related capacities, and have a direct impact on Monroe’s quality of life.
As a member of Town Council, Terry Rooney is one of the hardest working individuals of whom I have had the pleasure of serving. His work as Chairman of the EMS Building Committee went above and beyond the call of duty. This committee, under Terry’s very present leadership, provided outstanding oversight and discipline to this project.
Beyond these numerous meetings, Terry simply took it upon himself to be in constant communication with the contractor, visiting the site regularly, and simply solving problems. There are many times Terry would contact me to report a problem that was identified during construction, along with his planned solution. Terry served well beyond his responsibilities as Chairman of this committee, and took on a role of volunteer project manager.
Terry Rooney is not someone who sits on the sidelines. Terry Rooney is incredibly engaged and clearly has a strong desire and ability to solve problems and improve his community. He doesn’t just want to talk — he wants to get things done.
In my six years as First Selectman, it would be hard for me to think of a week that went by without a call or visit from Terry. Sometimes he would call with a question or clarification he sought on a matter on the Town Council’s agenda. He might contact me to discuss a candidate being considered for appointment. He would often be in touch regarding a concern he had identified or a constituent inquiry.
Terry takes his service to Monroe seriously. Whenever a resident or business owner contacted Terry, he would always reach out to me to get information on how to help them, or to connect them with the right Town department that could address their concerns and solve their problem.
Let’s build on Monroe’s success, and continue to move Monroe forward, by electing Terry Rooney as First Selectman and by remembering the strength of the entire Republican team when you cast your vote.
All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.