When I first bought a ski house in Killington in 2001, I never dreamed that in 2015, my wife, Rebecca, and I would decide to move up to live here full time with our two sons. There’s no question that Killington is a great place to live, but it has its issues (like any community), and I would like to help our town financially stabilize and move forward.
My primary goal for Killington is to ensure that we keep focused on maintaining essential infrastructure – our schools, roads, and town facilities – while also getting our finances in order and implementing a budget that accounts for all of the town’s capital needs.
I do not believe that the town should be in the business of speculation. The town speculated on the golfing business, assumed revenue generation, and now it is a financial burden due to the decline in the golf industry. The course has been mismanaged for a number of years and we as a town do not have a true sense of its financial requirements. The management company brought in has done an adequate job highlighting the capital needs to sustain the course. I feel the Select Board needs to include these numbers in the golf budget so we, as a town, get an accurate picture of exactly how much the course is costing the town and can then make an informed decision as to the future of the golf course.
In addition, it is critical to build a new public safety building. The existing firehouse is not to code, and would be prohibitively expensive to upgrade. Going without a firehouse in town would result in higher insurance costs not only for homeowners, but businesses as well.
The budgeting choices that previous select boards made have put us in a dire financial position. I hate paying taxes as much as everyone else and do not like seeing tax increases, but we are talking about basic infrastructure needs in this budget. The presented budget is a start to improved town finances and I will be voting in support of it.
My background in finance technology requires me to be detail oriented, plan for the future, and take a practical and implementable approach to solving problems. These qualities are necessary to drive reform of the town’s financial position and declining infrastructure. I will bring these qualities to the role of Select Board member, if elected.
My name is Chuck Claffey. Please remember to vote next Tuesday, March 5.
Chuck Claffey, Killington