Editor's note: The following candidate profile comes from a questionnaire the candidate filled out.
Laura Tanner, 40, a Democrat, is running for a town council seat.
Tanner lives in Oakdale and considers Montville her hometown, and says that it's where she's chosen to raise her family. She grew up in Norwich, and attended Norwich Free Academy.
She works at the Oakdale Elementary School.
Tanner has held no elected positions, but has served on the Montville Parks and Recreation Commission, Montville Youth Advisory Board, Montville Education Foundation, Montville Little League as a board member and coach, and on the Community Advisory Panel for Smurfit-Stone Container, now RockTenn.
Top three issues facing the town:
1. Economy/tax increase: While campaigning and listening to citizens, who I would be representing, I found their top 3 issues/concerns facing our town to be economy/tax increase, water for fire suppression and education.
My ideas to help with the economy/tax increase concern would be to work with other members of Town Council to devise a plan to help promote economic growth in our town. I would look closely at department budgets and spending and suggest making cuts where/if needed.
Montville as a whole does not have out of control spending but I do feel there are areas that could be reviewed more closely to keep taxpayers getting the most for their dollar.
2. Water for fire suppression is a town wide concern, as we have had three major fires that may have yield a different outcome if we had a functional fire suppression system. A new system will require a lot of planning across several town departments and possible regional support will be required for finding water sources.
Not having a modern fire suppression system costs every homeowner in their homeowner’s insurance premium. For example, what each is paying for high insurance premiums collectively could easily pay for a municipal bond to construct and upgrade our suppression system. Keep in mind that the tank/pumper system is an effective and solid method for fire suppression system, but it requires dedicated fireman and more equipment to operate that system.
3. Education: As I listen to citizens' concerns about education I’m finding they aren’t negative concerns. Most are concerned too many cuts will be made and programs will be lost or not added. Education is important to our taxpayers. They are aware that we are educating our future and want to have the best for young Montvillians.
If elected, I would work to encourage the Board of Education to look closely at their budget, make cuts in areas that aren’t “active” line items, and add new programs to suit our student body. With the diversity of Montville changing, new programs are needed to accommodate those changes. Adding such programs require money and I feel Montville Board of Education does a wonderful job at making those accommodations with the money that is allotted them.
As you enter our town you see “Montville, Proud of our School” signs. This is a very true statement. We are proud of our schools and feel keeping our education moving forward to meet the needs of our citizens is important.
One thing that most people don’t know about you: One thing most people don’t know about me is that I am a fighter. I am a “what you see is what you get” type person. I have no hidden qualities nor have I done things in my past which would require an investigator to find.
I am genuinely concerned about your town, my town, OUR town and the way it is currently being run. I feel I can do better because I care and I will listen, I will advocate, and I will fight for the issues that affect our town. I will be the positive voice with fresh ideas that will move Montville forward.