Party affiliation: Republican
Are you an incumbent for this seat? no
Campaign website: http://votesusan2011.com
Education/degrees: Currently pursuing Associates Degree at Quinebaug Valley Community College, Deans List
Anticipated graduation Spring 2012
Civic involvement: Norwich Republican Town Committee member
Chamber of Commerce
Poll worker for Registrar of Voters in past elections
Volunteer time with Norwich Youth Services/Bully Buster Program (Deb Kievits)
Endorsements: Norwich Republican Town Committee
Previous offices held and other government service: none
What are the major issues for your town? The overriding issue is the efficient, economical use of the resources at our disposal; more specifically, public safety, education, brown fields and the downtown environment.
While we are gaining three new police officers in early 2012, more are needed. We need to return the SROs to the schools, and we also need neighborhood police officers (feet on the street).
Education currently costs the taxpayer 67% of the annual city budget. Our school system is heavily impacted by the transient population shifts caused by our proximity to the casinos. Student turnover last year in k-8 amounted to the equivalent of six full classes. This directly impacts the NCLB mandates and our low test scores indicate so. Throwing more money at the situation is not going to fix it.
Remediation of brown field properties is imperative. We cannot continue to allow them to stagnate and crumble. To encourage growth and development in Norwich, it is necessary to provide a fertile environment. In this highly competitive economic cycle, where investors are seeking the best value for their dollar, we have to offer the best opportunities in the region.
We need to change the downtown environment. As long as the perception is that it is unsafe or uninviting, people are not inclined to frequent any businesses there. I believe we need to relocate the various social service offices/agencies off of Franklin Square; we need to look at zoning regulations. The downtown area is on both the National and State Historic Registers. Maintaining the historic architectural facades of the buildings while bringing them into 21st century standards is only a beginning. The Mayor's office needs to continue to aggressively pursue new business entities to occupy the various buildings. Whether people arrive in Norwich by road, rail or water the atmosphere should be a welcome and inviting one. This is not a short term project, but we have to start now.
The issues we face did not arrive overnight and there are no quick fixes. However we do have some very key resources already in place and need to invest them in our long term future. Our children's future.
What makes you the best candidate for this office? I am the best candidate for this office for several reasons. I am practical, tenacious and rooted in reality. I have always approached life with ingenuity and common sense. I have traveled a good many of life's paths and the experience gained does not go wasted.
As a single mother for a decade, I had to meet the challenges of balancing two jobs, raising children in the roles of both Mom and Dad, and keeping a roof over our head and food on the table.
As a small business manager/proprietor I had to make decisions on a daily basis, under pressure and maintain the accounting, including filing all of the burdensome government forms. Managing personnel, dealing with suppliers and keeping customers happy taught me important business values.
Working in the travel industry for 20 years, customer service and the ability to communicate with people from all walks of life has become second nature. Handling the duties of being a market analyst in yield management for a major airline furthered my understanding of getting the most out of the resources available, on a continual basis.
Finally, I am fortunate enough to be able to devote the time, energy and passion that I feel the residents of our City deserve to make all of our futures brighter and more prosperous.
What was the last book you read, and what did you think of it? Tough question to answer as I am deeply engrossed in about 50 pounds of textbooks at the moment.