Meet the candidates running for First Selectman in Thompson
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Mon., Oct. 21, 2013
In Thompson, Democrat Ken Beausoleil is running against Republican Paul Lenky for the First Selectman’s seat. This is what the candidates said about why they are running and what they hope to accomplish if they win:
Ken Beausoleil (D) said, “The major issue we’re facing is the economy. A lot of people aren’t working and our tax base is dependent on residential taxes. We’re trying to keep a stable budget with very minimal increases. We’ve been managing to do that for the last four years that I’ve been on the board. We had basically a 1.3-percent increase on the selectmen’s side of the budget.
“The economy is our biggest hurdle," he continued. "We’re trying to keep everything affordable and within check because of the hard economic times. People are doing the same things in their households. As we head into the winter, everyone is worried about the costs of heating oil, electricity, and all of those things that go along with that. The town faces the same challenges as well. We are trying to stay within our budget, keep it in check, and spend money as wisely as we can so we don’t have to go back to the taxpayer.
“It’s not easy," said Beausoleil. "We’re trying to do as much as we can with what little we have.
Beausoleil has been on the Board of Selectmen for four years. “I feel my professional and public office experience will help guide Thompson forward,” he said. “This is something that I want to do to give back to the town.”
Paul Lenky (R) said, “Thompson’s tax base is very low. We have to look at long-term plans to introduce businesses to Thompson. We have a wonderful Route 12 corridor. We have some upcoming projects that can be developed, but that is for the future. It’s not going to happen in the next year or two. We have to try to bring some type of business into town to extend our tax base. Twelve percent would be a good number. Right now our home owners are overburdened with high taxes. How long can people go before they can’t afford to pay them?
"Our infrastructure needs work," said Lenky. "We have to develop a long term plan to take care of our roads to get them back to the standards that they should be.
“I’m not looking to run for the First Selectman’s position as a politician. I am looking to run as a public servant. My job is to serve the people. It’s their voice and their opinions that count. This town is made of many citizens, and that’s what we have to work with.
The strength in our community comes from everybody in the town. We have to have leadership that grows and gains its strength from its citizens,” Lenky said.