Champagne receives Republican endorsement for mayor
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Wed., Jul. 24, 2013
Dan Champagne, a 22-year veteran of the Vernon Police Department, has received the Republican endorsement to run for mayor.
Champagne said he nearly didn't make it to the Republican Town Committee's nomination meeting on July 23, because he was returning from a family vacation to Europe, but he did, and was glad to be able to accept the honor in person.
Having lived in Vernon since age 9, Champagne said Vernon is “in his blood,” and that is a big part of his motivation to run for mayor. He said he was also urged by many people to consider running, ever since he was on the Town Council.
“There were a lot of people asking me,” he said. “I love this town, and it was a decision I had to make with my family, because of the amount of work that goes with it.”
Champagne said he wants to continue to support education and public safety, and the advancements in technology in which the town has been taking part in recent years. “Fiscal responsibility has to be there, too,” he said. “There are still a lot of people suffering from the economic down-turn. It's about keeping taxes in check by looking for savings throughout government, while also maintaining services.”
Champagne said he hopes to work closely with the Board of Education to formulate plans and strategies for improvement, and “looking for cost savings wherever we can.”
As for the process of government in Vernon, Champagne said he hopes to see less of partisan politics and a better flow of practical ideas. “I'm open for any ideas,” he said. “I don't care where the ideas come from, as long as it's something that is going to move Vernon forward. I'm willing to listen, and I feel I am very good at working with everybody. I'm just hoping we can get rid of the bickering. Both sides have to want to work together. I want to find a middle ground.”
Having grown up specifically in Rockville, Champagne said he hopes to encourage the proposed 1st Alliance development, and/or others like it, to revitalize the former mill town. “These businesses that want to come to Vernon – I hope that that comes through, and I think the rest of Rockville will follow,” he said. “We need some change down there.”
Champagne said that, if elected, he will be diligent. “I just want to work hard and do everything I can to make Vernon continue to be a great place,” he said.