Name: Daniel P. Hunsberger, Sr.
Occupation: Captain Stamford Fire Department/Attorney
Political party: Democrat
Running for: First Selectman
Why are you running?
I live in Monroe, believe in Monroe and want to continue to be able to afford to live here. I have grandchildren who I would like to see be able to live in Monroe. I believe Monroe is facing a number of choices concerning its future that will affect everyone’s ability to live in Monroe. Choices concerning taxes, economic development and maintaining municipal assets are the most significant.
Monroe needs strong leadership during the next several years while difficult decisions are made. I can provide the leadership that is lacking in the First Selectman’s office.
What are the three biggest issues facing Monroe?
- Ever increasing residential taxes without developing a stronger commercial tax base.
- Nearly non-existent economic development program
- Deteriorating infrastructure and assets
What can the first selectman do to keep the town in the right direction?
There is so much that the First Selectman can do to keep the town in the right direction. First and foremost, the First Selectman sets the Town’s attitude. The First Selectman must lead the town by creating a positive image. The First Selectman must build a business plan for the town through organizing the boards and commissions in establishing the town’s goals and objectives to be included in that business plan.
As the First Selectman, I would follow through with the business plan established by the boards and commissions by sitting down with department heads and to establish an action plan for implementing and monitoring the progress of the individual departments.
As part of the plan, as first Selectman, I would hire an Economic Development Coordinator/Grant Writer who will actively represent Monroe in Hartford looking for alternative sources of revenues, ensuring that those alternative revenue sources are fully investigated to see whether Monroe can participate in those alternative revenue streams.
As the First Selectman, I would have the town actively partner with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development to seek out those businesses that are appropriate for Monroe and seeking to develop or expand their businesses.
With increased economic growth, the dependence on residential taxes will be reduced while providing additional revenue for infrastructure maintenance and repair.
What skills and attributes make you a good fit for first selectman?
My education, training and life experiences have prepared me for the position of First Selectman. I have a law degree. While studying, I took elective courses in business, personnel related issues and constitutional law. My education has given me an understanding of government and how good government should function. More importantly, during law school, I was taught and I learned how to think out a problem, looking at an issue or a problem from all possible angles to resolve the matter.
I put what I learned to work negotiating contracts with municipal and private sector employees/employers. During those negotiations, I facilitated settlements by bringing both sides together, reaching a common satisfactory resolution. In my career as an attorney, I have analyzed both municipal and corporate budgets. I have participated in cost/benefit analysis to determine financial solutions. Those negotiations skills are necessary and critical to successfully performing the duties of the First Selectman.
I used those life experiences on Monroe’s capital projects committee under Former First Selectman Tom Buzi and again on Monroe’s Board of Finance and while currently serving on the Inland Wetlands Commission.
My education and experience will help reduce over over budgeted legal fees, help keep the Town from violating FOI laws and proposing a sound, sensible and realistic budget.