Note: In the days leading up to Election Day the Ledyard Patch will run short profiles of all town candidates for council and board of education, along with their responses to three questions that we asked. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Name: Steve Eichelberg
Education: A.S. Data Processing, Thames Valley State Technical College; B.S. Computer Science, Eastern CT State University; MA Candidate Leadership and Business Ethics, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
Work Experience: 23 years Analyst and Project Leader Sonalysts, Inc.
Civic/Political Experience: 7 years on the Ledyard Economic Development Commission, 3 years as chairman; member of the Zoning Rewrite Committee
Family: Married to Mrs. Dionne Eichelberg
1. Why are you running for this office?
In my view, among the most significant challenges facing the town of Ledyard is maintaining and even improving the quality of life that the townspeople enjoy, without raising taxes so high that living in Ledyard is unaffordable. I believe a large part of the answer is economic development. My seven years of experience and leadership on the town’s Economic Development Commission, coupled with more than twenty-two years as a businessman in a small, local business, put me in a position to understand the issues and help move the town in the right direction. I believe I have the understanding and leadership skills to help the town’s government address the most obvious and compelling needs facing its residents.
2. What do you believe is the greatest challenge Ledyard faces today, and what would you do to meet this challenge?
As I stated previously, I consider the maintaining or improving of the quality of life of its residents to be the principle focus of town government. In the town of Ledyard, with many state and federal economic challenges affecting us all for the foreseeable future, easing the financial burden on the townspeople through rigorous but intelligent commercial expansion should be a top priority for the mayor and town council. Town services cost money. The obvious solution to improving town services is the removal or reduction of fiscal constraints. In the current fiscal environment where residents are being squeezed from every side, raising taxes should not be an option. Fiscal constraints therefore, should be addressed through more creative solutions such as regionalization, sustainable economic growth, and reducing the town’s overhead through wise, careful handling of taxpayer revenue.
3. How would you rate the performance of the current council overall, and what, if anything, would you do differently?
I believe the current town council has done very well, especially in light of the significant challenges they have faced in the last term. Issues such as the dissolution of the Ledyard WPCA and subsequent work to outsource the handling of water control, as well as the ineffectual relationship with the mayor’s office, have made the past term a difficult one. The councilors, from both parties, have worked well and diligently to ensure town government fulfilled its roll of serving the townspeople with all due faith.