14 October 2007

Municipal Spotlight: Colchester

The race for First Selectman in scenic Colchester is in the Norwich Bulletin today, with the paper writing about the coming challenges for whomever the new First Selectman will be. The seat is open for the first time in 15 years, as the former First Selectman, Jenny Contois, took a job as the District Director for Congressman Joe Courtney.

The Republican in the race is RTC Chair Diana Giles, whose Norton family has long been active in Colchester politics, most recently with her brother Andrew Norton, who was the state representative from Colchester before becoming the Chief of Staff at the House Republican Caucus. Diana is running on a platform of renewal and reform, as Colchester's budget battles have become almost epic in the past few years. Diana has already had to overcome intra-party squabbles this year, handily winning a primary challenge back in September. Her plan for Colchester relies on business growth and prudent spending.

Her challenger is Democrat Linda Riley Hodge. Hodge is calling for a business development task force to improve the tax structure. Her proposal for solving the fiscal challenges will be to form four committees and talk the problem to death. Talking about education, she is quoted thus in the "fact sheet" included in the article: “Businesses look at education. They ask if you have a good education system. They look to see what you are willing to put into your education system.” Hmmmm....

This race should prove to be very interesting this Election Day, as provide insight into the property taxation debate as it continues in Connecticut's towns, large and small.