The information below was compiled by the for its 2011 Voter's Guide. For details on the guide, voting information, and a full rundown of candidates on the ballot in Darien, visit here.
Questionnaires were submitted to all candidates, asking one or more specific questions. Responses, which were limited to a specific word count, are printed exactly as submitted. Any responses over the word limit could not be printed in full. Photos (if submitted by the candidates) are available in the gallery at right.
An asterisk signifies that the candidate is an incumbent.
BOARD OF FINANCE
- The Board of Finance (BOF) is responsible for formulating and recommending the town’s financial policy. The board is made up of seven members who serve overlapping terms.
- All candidates this year are unopposed.
- Term of office: four years (unsalaried)
- Number to be elected: three
- Vote for any two candidates
- Question: As a member of the Board of Finance, what do you consider your most important role?
Gwen M. Mogenson (Democrat)*
- 141 Leroy Avenue
The most important role of a Board of Finance member is to act as a prudent financial steward of the town’s finances: to develop and approve budgets that balance required spending with a property tax that is not unduly burdensome, to prioritize spending using fiscal restraint, while meeting taxpayer expectations for adequate town services, public recreational opportunities, and strong support for our excellent school system. I am proud to have served as such and am eager to continue.
I have a BS in Accounting from Marquette University, an MBA in Finance from New York University and previously worked as a CPA at Ernst & Young and was Director of Financial Forecasting and Shareholder Relations at Freddie Mac (before they went to the dark side). I am currently employed in financial reporting for the Community Fund, Land Trust and Aging in Place+Gallivant.
Elizabeth Smith Mao (Republican)*
- 37 Holly Lane
The Board of Finance is responsible for the prudent financial management of Darien’s assets, and for setting the Town’s annual budget and consequent mil rate, which it then recommends to the Representative Town Meeting for approval. These responsibilities also include the approval of capital projects, and the issuance of the fiscal instruments, notes and bonds, to finance them.
Coupled with the exercise of prudent financial management, I believe my most important role on the Board of Finance is to understand Darien citizens’ concerns about the importance of keeping our schools and town facilities in excellent condition while minimizing tax increases.
- 21 Leeuwarden Road
Darien is a well run town and blessed with one of the highest fiscal capacities of any town in Connecticut. I have much to learn about the intricacies of the budget process. My most important role, albeit a modest one, will be to work collegially with my Board of Finance colleagues of both political parties and hold our departments to a high degree of accountability for every expenditure. Secondarily, I hope to make a meaningful contribution to Darien’s management of its bonded indebtedness.
I spent 10 years in the Connecticut General Assembly, including serving as chairman of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee during my six years in the State Senate. I studied public finance at Harvard’s Kennedy School and have worked on Wall Street for the past 20 years including senior operating roles. I understand the drivers of an organization’s cost structure and know how to affect operating efficiency.