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Q&A: Town Council Candidate Steve Eichelberg

Republican EDC Chair Seeking Seat on Town Council

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

Age:  42

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.

Edee Smith October 29, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I hope you are not blaming the ineffectual relationship with the mayor's office with the mayor. Let's remember it is this Town Council that begged him to run and than they turned on him because he is a strong mayor working for the people and not for the Town Council. If you are blaming this on the mayor you lost my vote.
Edee Smith October 29, 2011 at 03:40 PM
A nice bunch of platitudes but nothing specific. If Mr Eichelberg bothered to attend Town Council meetings he might have a different perspective of the relationship between the council and the mayor. As a regular attendee of these meetings I am shocked at the the tone and disrespect that certain council members take on when addressing the mayor in these public meetings. I am more amazed at the self control the mayor exhibits when responding to these openly hostile council members. If you doubt this go to the town web site and the videos of the meetings and fast forward to the end when the Mayor address the council. The council is advocating a Town Manager form of government so that all power will lie with the council, a big mistake.
Tom Wadecki October 30, 2011 at 01:59 AM
Let's get this straight. The four Democrats on the Town Council did not support Mr. Allyn running for any office. The Republican Town Committee agreed to let him run when he volunteered. There was no begging.This Republican Town Committee saw the errors of their ways and overwhelmingly did not support him for a second term and supported Mr. Rodolico instead. Let's not play so loosely with the facts.
Sharon Pealer October 30, 2011 at 03:32 AM
It is not even needed to listen to the words at the meeting. The faces and body language displayed by all members of the council show clearly that they refuse to listen to or work with the mayor for the sake of the town. They believe they know best. Perhaps the town should consider getting rid of the town council form of government. Many other towns in the state have progressed quite nicely with a selectman based representation.
Edee Smith October 30, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Thanks Sharon, said well. Facts or not the disrespect coming from the town council is inexcusable. This is your mayor and agree or not a little respect is needed.

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