by Adam Gutcheon
This year’s town election campaign could have been very different.
If you follow the news from surrounding towns like Bloomfield, Windsor Locks, Enfield, Farmington, and Coventry, you’ve seen harsh personal attacks, careless (and occasionally justified) accusations of incompetence and mismanagement, and dirty campaign tactics straight from Richard Nixon’s playbook. This isn’t really a surprise. After all, politicians at the state and local level tend to follow the tone set by national politics, and the toxic politics of division and fragmentation, of grievance against one’s neighbor, emanating from Washington is impossible to ignore.
Yet we in Windsor have managed to keep up our neighborly spirit through this campaign. Although there are real differences and disagreements between the parties, we all know that when election day is past, we must all work together to maintain what we cherish about our town and make it even better. This has been a good, clean, positive campaign, and I thank my counterparts in the Windsor Republicans for keeping it that way.
I’d like to set out some of the key values that have guided Windsor Democrats through this campaign and will animate our stewardship if we are chosen again to lead the town.
First and foremost is patriotism. I’m not talking about wrapping oneself in the flag, but in love and commitment to our community. To me, this was the most important criterion in selecting our candidates: do they love Windsor, our history, our rivers and streams, our people? Are they committed to the hard work that goes into maintaining civic peace and neighborly spirit in an integrated community? The Democratic ticket consists of men and women of different creeds, colors, ethnicities, genders, ages, and income levels, but we are united by a shared commitment to the past, present, and future of Windsor.
Windsor Democrats believe in inclusion. This means that when we make decisions, we make an effort to draw in people who will be affected and make sure their voices are heard. It means that even before we know what decisions need to be made, we draw out voices in this gloriously diverse community that may not have been heard before, turning outsiders into participants and empowering people from all communities in town. And it means that the minority party is never shut out of the process; our leadership on the Town Council and Board of Education makes sure that those bodies work together as a whole, not as a duo of scrabbling parties. In the next two years, we will continue to provide candid, respectful, and collaborative leadership that is inclusive.
One of the things that sets Windsor apart from other towns is that it offers excellent town services and opportunities for our kids to learn and grow, while still remaining affordable. This balancing act is not always easy, as it involves constantly balancing our desire for excellence in our schools and services for families and seniors with the need to stay affordable; economic development to provide jobs and offset the cost of services with our desire to keep Windsor beautiful, peaceful, and green; our desire to maintain services that people love with the imperative to ruthlessly evaluate program effectiveness. If elected, we will continue to pass responsible budgets and pursue economic growth that will keep Windsor’s taxes among the lowest in the region. We will examine the possibility of expanding Pre-Kindergarten in our schools, preserve open space, manage traffic and neighborhood nuisances, and protect our waterways from PFAS contamination in a fiscally responsible manner.
Whatever your leanings and whoever you support, I urge you to make your voice heard on the direction of our town and vote this Tuesday. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you need a ride to the polls, just call 860-580-9287 and we will provide door-to-door service free of charge. Thank you for doing your part in building the future of our community together.