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Stevenson and Campbell Talk Achievements, Agenda at Senior Center

The Republican candidates made the case that the proposed facilities shuffle is fiscally responsible and favorable for Darien residents.

With less than three weeks to go before the Nov. 8 municipal election, First Selectman Dave Campbell and his potential successor, Jayme Stevenson, laid out their platform and first term achievements Wednesday in a press conference at the .

The two Republicans are running for reelection to the Board of Selectmen alongside Jerry Nielsen, with Stevenson replacing Campbell this year at the top of the ticket.

Focusing largely on their signature facilities shuffle — from the Board of Finance the night before — Stevenson and Campbell reiterated the argument that the proposal is fiscally responsible and ideal for Darien residents.

"I believe the impact to the taxpayer is manageable and will bring much needed space and desired services to our entire community, which will likely reflect well on our property values," Stevenson said.

Stevenson added that she was "not willing to accept the blanket statement that we shouldn't do this because people might move away."

"Several people have commented that the seniors in our community move away ... and I pose the question of, why is that? Why do they move out of Darien?" she said. "I might argue that ... we don't have the right kind of housing for them to downsize into, and perhaps we are lacking in certain amenities that older people might appreciate in the type of community they wish to stay in as they age."

At Campbell's request, the Representative Town Meeting for the plan before the election.

Noting that she "strongly and categorically" disagreed with charges by Democrats that the current administration had been fiscally irresponsible, Stevenson pledged to "rely on my value-investing principles to guide everyday decisions that will impact Darien's future for years to come."

She added that having "people in the administration with business experience" had been "a real benefit to the town."

"We've been able to achieve these accomplishments in much shorter time horizons than would traditionally happen under a typical government bureaucratic schedule. And while for some it's a little unsettling — they feel that it's too quick — time is money, both in real dollars and human capital," Stevenson said.

"We can't lose focus in this election on what we have already done for this town," Campbell said. "We got this town a moratorium, when it could have been gotten any time in the last seven years. We got the town fireworks, which they hadn't had in nine years. We got the town a cleaner spring pickup with creative thinking. Our budget this year — the Board of Selectmen side of the budget — is less than it was four years ago."

Campbell said he expects to see "a very gradual increase on the town side" operating budget but noted that the Board of Finance had worked to keep Darien's debt level low and fund balance high compared to other towns in the area.

The candidates also talked at length about flood mitigation, a perennial concern in town. Stevenson said she was proud that the current administration to construct a detention basin in Baker Woods.

"In my opinion, that project was not only ill-conceived, but there were unintended consequences in that project that were never analyzed," Stevenson said.

"It's a trade-off. You have to weigh tax dollars versus what you're getting, the results. And this was a case where the trade-off didn't make any sense financially," Campbell said.

Instead, Stevenson said, "we will and are moving forward on recommendations from the professionals who have studied our watersheds," including more regular cleanings and maintenance of catchbasins across town.

"We'll continue to do what makes sense from a long-term value perspective," she added.

Stevenson, Democratic first selectmen candidate John Lundeen, and Ultra-Conservative Party candidate Chris Noe are set to meet in two debates next week.

The first, the ’ Candidates’ Night, is set for Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the  auditorium (with selectman and first selectman candidates debating from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.). The second, a media-moderated roundtable, is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the .

Campbell, Nielsen, and Democratic selectman candidates David Bayne and Vickie Riccardo are also set to participate in the LWV event.

The Republicans' full platform is available here. For a look at the Democrats' platform, .

Chris Noe October 21, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Looking back... Evonne Klein, the Baker Woods detention pond. The project was pushed along to be timed to Evonne's reelection. The plan was incomplete, there were significant aspects that were never finalized like: It needed three enormous easements across properties on Maple Street. So, the plan was not completed as Evonne headed into reelection. Are there similarities today? Yes, the "Shuffle" has the same thing going on. We don't really know what will be built on the old senior center property and who gets the sweetheart deal. They say, "No costs to Darien." Please... I'm sorry, but I know better. Just scratch the surface in laymen's terms, are there sidewalks on Edgerton Street? Do seniors want to live next to a sreaming ballfield? Where will the people using the ballfield park? They will arrive with their music playing, doors slamming, car alarms blasting, dogs barking, trash... I forgot, who wants to live there??? Seniors? Look at 35 Leroy. This is an awesome DOWNTOWN location to be used as administrative offices??? This is crazy. It's all crazy. Chris Noe RTM District 2
interested citizen October 21, 2011 at 09:56 PM
I am with Noe and Marshman that this shuffle is wrong. I have never understood why seniors would want to be in town hall near the tax assessor and the First Selectman. When I am a senior I would prefer to be right in downtown (on the bus line!) and be able to go to a matinee or shopping or get my hair cut. I have lost all respect for any "business sense" Campbell pretends to have. Would he really invest his own money like this? This is a travesty and the result of pig-headed political fighting. If the Democrats suggest anything the republicans can't even consider it for fear of looking weak or something. Politics stinks as what is truly best for Darien is far behind the egos, and recently, the Republicans have been the worst. I am an independednt because I can't stand either party.
sebastian dangerfield October 21, 2011 at 10:35 PM
23 months ago, darien voted campbell in with over 70% of the vote--in a dramatic statement that the democrats were taking the town in the wrong direction. A political outsider was chosen over Callie Sullivan who had been on the board. My sense is that the vote will be even bigger in favor of Jayme Stevenson. The Republicans listen to the voters of darien--and what the democrats are suggesting is not what the town wants. Therefore , the republcians are doing the right thing.
John Sini October 21, 2011 at 10:56 PM
Over the years, Mr. Marshman opposed every very popular capital project in town including, the new high school, the Middlesex Middle School renovation, the new library and the Procaccini property purchase. Anybody who uses his judgement as a guide should feel free to vote for Mr. Lundeen and is running mates!
interested citizen October 22, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Nice conclusion. Real logical. Smart. Winning as a Republican in an overwhelmingly Republican town like Darien is nothing special at all. Anybody calling themselves a Republican could win. Even a toad, as long as the RTC was behind it. So what it comes down to is that what Evonne pulled off was remarkable and a testament to how great she was.
Chris Noe October 22, 2011 at 02:22 PM
If I win this thing... for practical reasons I should get everyone's vote. I will become a babysitter to the two parties. The parties are the cause of this great country's downfall. Let me describe the most classic example of our failed government. Global warming. The Republican's say it isn't happening and the Democrats say it is. There is not a Democrat or Republican qualified to say it is or isn't. 15 years ago when the three world renouned scientists said the earth was warming and had proof that is was warming rapidly. The scientists said we would not notice the temperature but we would experience more severe weather. Today, no one can deny the world is experiencing more severe weather, especially rain events. The parties are like bad children who need to be separated. The only way to do it is drop another party between them. That is just what I have done. I don't follow either parties agenda. The problem in Darien is clear. One party or the other has voting power to bully the other minority party. Never more clear than with the current BoS. 4 years on the RTM. I am qualified for the job and will take it quite seriously. I will babysit the two majority parties and not allow our issues to become political stalemate. You don't have to like me, you don't have to know who I am. The way I see it... it's the only way out of this madness Vote Yes for Noe Chris Noe Ultra-Conservative for 1st Selectman
sebastian dangerfield October 23, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Yeah interested citizen.... You are a real independant. Whatever---what is it with some people?? By the way, you might want to check out the history of the town a bit more. Im pretty sure you will find that there have been as many republican first selectmen as Democrat say in the last 25 years. But --then again--the truth would not appear to be anything of interest to you. I guess I could say Im an indepedant as well? Right? Keep posting all your left wing/pro democratic stances and then assert you are independant. Walter Casey is a Republican---who really cares, I guess. Your views are obviously not independant--but if you need to say that in order to gain credibility-- whatever.

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