Cross post from HatCityBLOG
With Election Day less than a week away, I wanted to take a differnet approach to covering races in my neck of the woods and provide candidates running for state office in Greater Danbury an oppurtunity to talk about how they would address issues of concern in the area…my first stop is the race for State Senate in the 24th district with former New Fairfield First Selectperson Susan Chapman.
Susan Chapman has lived in Connecticut for over 20 years. Susan and her husband Ken have been married for over thirty years. They have three children, all of whom graduated from Connecticut public schools: Blake is an Air Force officer in medical school, Ryan is a West Point graduate and a Captain in the Army and Grace is a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design with plans to go to veterinary school. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.
Susan has served over a decade in municipal office. Susan served as the First Selectman of New Fairfield for four and a half years and, prior to that, served as a member of the Board of Selectmen for an additional three and half years. Susan also served on the Planning Commission to include a term as Chairman.
Regionally, Susan served as the Secretary and then the Vice Chairman of the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (COG) and also as the Vice Chairman of the Housatonic Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
Susan was instrumental in in the complex merger of former Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials and the former South Western Regional Planning Agency into the COG, which represents eighteen member-communities.
During her decade as an elected official, Susan has:
Maintained a AAA municipal bond rating, the highest rating possible
Consistently managed within budget and even produced budget surpluses
Kept taxes low while also implementing elderly tax relief
Improved municipal infrastructure without bonding
Enhanced emergency response time and capabilities
Advocated for open space and championed creating a green belt to preserve nature for future generations.
Susan has always been an active volunteer in the community. While her husband, served on active duty with the Army for eight years, Susan was active with Family Support Groups, helping military families cope with the rigors of military life and long deployments.
Here in Connecticut, Susan has served in many community organizations including the Danbury City-Wide PTO. In New Fairfield, she served as Middle School PTO President, New Fairfield High School PTO Co-President, member of the Community Service Club, and a founding member of Preserve New Fairfield where she worked to save historically significant homes. She also managed the Town’s emergency shelters during storms Sandy, Irene and Alfred.
Earlier this week, I interviewed Chapman (and her dog Etta) and provided the challenger an oppurtunity to talk about her views on topics of interest in the district, as well as her advocacy for providing food for people of need.
(SIDENOTE: For more information on the food pantry at Walnut Hill Community Church, visit their website by clicking here).