I wanted to take a moment and personally write to the residents of the Town of Stonington to announce that I will be departing as First Selectman effective November 30.
It has been an honor and privilege to lead the Town of Stonington and treasure the opportunity to serve you during my time in elected office. Serving in elected office has great satisfaction, but also a great toll and results in many good people choosing not to enter this arena. I dedicated a significant amount of my time and effort which resulted in a difference in my career and family in this position. I have made my “public life” public and look forward to returning to the private sector and having my “private life” private.
I am very proud of our accomplishments during these 7 years. With 3 Streetscapes completed, 5 natural disasters weathered, 2 new employers recruited to town, new athletic fields and miles of new roads and drainage reconstructed, founding a downtown concert series, starting town prescription program, and innovative economic development approaches. We also developed virtually no-increase town budgets for last five years, which resulted in Stonington having the lowest mill-rate in Southeastern CT. which increased our attractiveness to prospective businesses and new residents. Now, it is time to move on to the next endeavor in my career and life.
I look forward to concluding some final initiatives as I finish my time. First, I want to thank my Second Selectman George Crouse who has been a trusted friend and ally. He will provide an experienced stewardship to this position for the remainder of the term. I am confident he will continue the vision that we have worked on through these years.
I also want to thank the Town staff, Boards and Commissions who have worked hard to bring many of these accomplishments to completion. I have the expectancy that the next elected leader of Stonington will continue the practice of serving the residents by being “visible, approachable, and accessible”. Stonington has been accustomed to commitment in these last seven years and deserves it going forward. My door has always been open to ALL the residents of town and I have continued to have the “Welcome” sign above it that I installed after the first election in 2007.
In conclusion, I think it is best said by Teddy Roosevelt in his speech:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”