Op-Ed: New Canaan Republican Penny Young Seeks to Retain Town Council Seat

Community service is an integral part of my DNA, so as the municipal election season got underway, it was a natural decision for me to ask the voters to re-elect me to the Town Council.

Penny Young

As I look at the issues facing the town today, some have had a long shelf life and really need to either be birthed or dismissed. Others are new and require deep research and creative thinking to get them out of the starting gate and on their way to approvals. Over my tenure on the Town Council I’ve dealt with a range of issues; it is this deep and broad experience and institutional knowledge that will be valuable in establishing a framework within which to germinate solutions to today’s challenges.

My husband, Bob, and I are longtime members of New Canaan. With our two children well situated in the public schools, I returned to school myself to earn a master’s degree in Gerontology. This focus on older adults grew into the development of the Lapham Community Center, leadership of the Connecticut Area Agency on Aging, and gubernatorial appointment to the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children and Seniors.

My attention is not solely on one age group, but on services for all ages. Many of these services are provided by the government and, as a steward of your tax dollars, I serve with a keen eye to the budget and organizational structure. With this concern for good government, sound budgeting and responsible tax policy, I proposed the Charter Revision Commission and co-chair the Town Building Evaluation and Use committee.

As is the case every year, there are several challenges facing the town which I would be honored to contribute my energies into addressing. My priorities are:

  • The greatest challenge facing the Town Council is containing the cost of government without sacrificing services or the high quality school system expected by our citizens.
  • Town leadership must make an explicit effort to protect our taxpayers from excessive financial burdens levied by Hartford legislators to fund their self-made problems which they are unwilling to address.
  • Recognize and respond to the extremely critical issue of substance misuse. This is a community-wide problem and warrants immediate and committed response.
  • Critically analyze upcoming recommendations from the Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee structured to preserve and protect valuable town assets and provide a foundation for effective annual budgeting and strategic financial planning.
  • While respecting the authorities of elected officials, commissions and committees, and Town Hall staff, promote more proactive, collegial and timely problem solving of the critical issues of cell and natural gas services, workplace and senior affordable housing, parking, open space, and preservation of our bucolic suburban community.
  • Support continued collaboration between municipal and school district departments to eliminate duplication and promote cost and operational efficiencies. Continue efforts to streamline the budget process.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve on many community organizations and the Town Council. I respectfully ask for your vote to retain my seat. Thank you.

Penny Young

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