Glastonbury is recognized as one of the best-managed and desirable towns in Connecticut.
Our quality of life and public safety are top-notch, and our school system is nationally renowned. Moreover, Glastonbury is a leader in conservation, “green initiatives” and land preservation, and our AAA Bond rating is an acknowledgment of our years of skillful and responsible fiscal planning.
Glastonbury is a remarkable blend of early American history and 21st Century prosperity. The Town features abundant orchards and farm stands, a diverse housing stock that includes dozens of Colonial-era structures alongside modern and efficient homes, and nearly ten miles of shoreline along the gorgeous Connecticut River. In our Town, you may take a ride on the oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States, walk through a quaint, picturesque downtown, find entertainment in well-maintained parks, exercise on state-of-the-art athletic facilities and a broad network of bicycle and jogging paths, and enjoy a variety of restaurants that offer many unique dining experiences.
Glastonbury Republicans take great pride in the job performance of our dedicated elected and appointed Republican officials who have persistently striven to preserve, protect and enhance our local treasures.
If you would like to become involved and volunteer your time, please visit the Contact tab above, or reach out to our leadership directly by visiting the GRTC tab above.
If you would like to make a contribution to the Glastonbury Republicans, please visit the Contribute tab above. Any support that you may provide will be greatly appreciated.
A Statement from Our Elected Town Leadership
By 9 o’clock this evening, March 23rd, the 2021-22 Glastonbury town budget will be set. Democrats hold a majority of seats on the Town Council, and therefore they control the balance between spending and saving, between taxing and cutting, and between saving for our future and kicking the can down the road. We hope that, in this year of unprecedented challenge, our Democratic colleagues will join us in supporting a fiscally prudent and restrained budget that is equally respectful of our taxpayers, our town employees, and those who rely on our excellent town services.
Sadly, the letter in last week’s Citizen from four Democrats on the Town Council suggests that their strategy is to borrow from the future by closing their eyes to the harsh reality of our pension obligations today. This will be the second year in a row that the Democrats have created phantom “savings” by making unrealistic and unfounded assumptions about our liabilities. It was a mistake to do this last year, and it is an even bigger mistake to repeat that error now. For more than a decade, our Board of Finance—acting as fiduciaries for our town—has worked diligently to bring down our assumed rate of investment return from the heady levels of bygone eras to levels more consistent with the reality of today’s financial markets. They have done this carefully and with unanimous bipartisan support.
Up until last year, the Town Council consistently followed the Board of Finance’s recommendations about meeting our pension liabilities. Past council members on both sides of the aisle recognized our duty to be serious about fulfilling the promises we have made to hard-working town employees, and they took seriously our collective obligation not to saddle future taxpayers with enormous unfunded liabilities.
Today’s Democrats want to give up these gains as cover for unnecessary spending. But this is not the year to shirk our pension obligations. Despite the pandemic, we are fortunate to be a well-managed town with solid revenue streams. We have more money in our town’s cash savings than prudence requires. Our Town and Board of Education budgets are not facing large cost pressures. We do not have significant new liabilities to address. This year Glastonbury can more than afford to fund our current level of high-quality local services and address the longstanding and long-recognized need to invest more money in our pensions. It makes no fiscal sense to kick this can down the road now, as it will only be more difficult to make this adjustment later. Now is the time to bring our expected rate of return further in line with financial realities.
The Democrats respond by insisting that they are saving taxpayers money. The state’s financial crisis shows the failure of this logic. We cannot save money for our taxpayers by ignoring the true cost of our pension liabilities. Instead, we dig the hole deeper while pushing off the day when taxpayers are required to fill it. Repeating this mistake will simply bring to Glastonbury the same fiscal death spiral that is sinking the City of Hartford, the State of Connecticut and many other municipal and state governments across the country.
The Democrats argue that being fiscally conservative is “not always the best practice.” We know better. For elected officials making decisions that affect the taxes we pay, the services we provide, the education we give to our children and the ability we have to keep our promises to town employees, being fiscally responsible is always in Glastonbury’s best interest. We know that the community depends on all elected officials to be fiscally responsible in all of the decisions we make for our town. This means giving up some nice-to-have spending so we can shore up our pension obligations and keep a lid on tax increases during a pandemic.
Although we don’t currently have the votes to force our Democrat colleagues to make sound budgeting decisions, we will keep trying. And we proudly reassert our commitment to fiscal transparency, accountability and responsibility. These are always sound principles, and scrupulously following them is necessary to ensure Glastonbury’s strong reputation, quality services and continuing fiscal health.
Chip Beckett Glastonbury Town Council Kurt Cavanaugh Glastonbury Town Council Whit Osgood Glastonbury Town Council Lillian Tanski Glastonbury Town Council
Jennifer Sanford Vice Chair, Glastonbury Board of Finance Rob Lynn Glastonbury Board of Finance James Zeller Glastonbury Board of Finance
Rosemary Coggeshall Secretary, Glastonbury Board of Education Ray McFall Glastonbury Board of Education Evan Seretan Glastonbury Board of Education
During these extraordinary times the Glastonbury Republican Town Committee is partnering with town resources to assist our neighbors who may be struggling with limited resources. Please view the contacts, below, to access directions to assistance provided through a variety of social services:
Contact Glastonbury Senior and Social Services at 860-652-7638 or Grocery Orders and Delivery Options — for assistance #GoodNeighbor