Meet the Democratic candidates for East Hartford Town Council

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Mon., Oct. 28, 2013
- Contributed Photo

The following candidates are running for Town Council on the Democratic ticket. These are their answers as to what they think the most important issue facing the Town Council in the coming year will be and why they believe they are qualified to be on the Town Council:

Richard Kehoe
Incumbent, current Town Council chair

Balancing the budget, providing services in a most efficient manner, maintaining the quality of life in East Hartford are critically important.  But, the most important goal of any town council, including East Hartford's, is to maintain a close working relationship with all councilors, with the mayor, with the board of education, with the housing authority and with our state senator and representatives.  Nothing good is accomplished through acrimony and non-communication.  The current town council – all nine members – work really well together and with other municipal leaders.  It is the way it should be, and East Hartford will continue to grow and improve.

During my years of service on the board of education and the town council, I have worked well with many public officials from many different backgrounds and perspectives.  I believe in the collaborative process but also in coming to very definitive solutions after discussion.  The town of East Hartford is rightly proud of the quality and extent of its local services – we can preserve those services as long as we maintain a tight rein on the budget and future commitments of town funds. 

William Patrick Horan, Jr.
Incumbent, current Town Council vice chair

A major issue that faces the Town Council every year is the need to continue to provide the citizens of East Hartford with the highest quality of services available while still maintaining a fiscally-sound and balanced budget.  Our citizens enjoy the finest police, fire and EMS services available anywhere, in addition to timely and efficient trash collection, leaf pick-up, snow removal, and a host of opportunities and programs through the Parks & Recreation Department. The town has also undertaken an aggressive road rebuilding and resurfacing program to enhance many streets and roadways.  All of these services are quality of life issues for our citizens, and providing them without creating an undue tax burden remains an everyday challenge. 

I feel that the skills I have honed as a trial attorney for more than two decades enables me to better see both sides of issues, and to advocate for my electorate.  I have been on the Town Council since 1998 and the vice chairman since 2003.  During my tenure there have been different mayors, board of ed chairmen, police chiefs, fire chiefs and superintendents, and I feel that I have worked well with all administrations and town personnel.  I have worked on 15 consecutvie town budgets, most of them during difficult financial times, and each budget was balanced, thoughtful and fiscally-sound. I hope that the citizens of East Hartford return me to the Town Council to continue to work for them and for the betterment of our town. 

Barbara-Ann Rossi

As elected officials, we must continue to improve the quality of life and deliver the necessary public services to the people of East Hartford.  Elections are report cards from the voters about the delivery of municipal services.  In East Hartford, we have emergency services that are second to none.  Our police and fire rescue are models for other towns.  We have a full complement of senior and youth services.  These must be provided in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.

Since moving to East Hartford in 2002, I have become involved in political, civic and religious activities in town and have developed a proven record of commitment to the community.  I am a good listener and that quality has helped me gain the respect of – and for – many people that I have encountered over the years and has helped me attain the position of town council majority leader.  Further, my years of experience – and years in general – have provided me with a great deal of perspective and talents.

Marc Weinberg

I have been involved with East Hartford since 1985.  I always did and always will look out for the best interest of East Hartford.
I believe in building a good image for the town so people will not just visit our town but move to East Hartford and get involved.
This is a town that is and will have the makings of a town that will strive for greatness.

Linda Russo

The most important issue to me as a member of the East Hartford Town Council is to continue to work closely with the East Hartford Board of Education to ensure that our children receive a public education characterized by strong, challenging curriculum. A strong public school system serves as the foundation for a thriving community by attracting families to live and raise their children.  The growth will build upon itself and serve as a catalyst by attracting new businesses to come to town to service the increasing population, which in turn, will increase the town tax base as we strive to keep property taxes low. The challenge continues to be low property taxes, while maintaining town services.  Economic development is vital to achieving this objective.

My eduction, experience in government and work on the East Hartford Town Council for the past four and a half years and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Connecticut Attorney General's Office, I believe equips me to continue the representation of the citizens of East Hartford. 

Ram Aberasturia

Outside of delivering the services that our community is accustomed to, we on the Town Council should strive to have a greater engaged citizenry.  It is not enough that we pay our taxes; citizenship requires action.  While door knocking, one hears, 'it does not matter if I vote, my vote does not count,'  'all politicians are crooks,' or 'nothing will ever change.'  If these statements ring true to you, then I say get involved.  Be the change you want to see in our community.  East Hartford's success is dependent on all of us.

Having served on the Board of Education, Town Council, and my present work for the State of Connecticut, I have had the opportunity to experience the challenges we face and how to overcome these challenges through collaboration, dialogue and fiscal responsibility.


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