Griswold Finance Board race focuses on communication, senior citizen center

GRISWOLD – Small town politics are nice, said Alexander Grzelak, Republican Finance Council candidate, because it is not entirely partisan.

“It’s really about doing good for the city,” Grzelak said.

Gordon “Butch” Santerre, a Democrat running for a seat on the same board, feels the opposite of Grzelak, saying party lines prevent things from being done in town, pointing out that this happened about the center for the elderly.

“I see a huge divide between the parties, and I want that to change,” Santerre said. “We are a small town.

Three seats on the Griswold finance board are among those up for election on November 2. Democrats on the Jobs ballot are Santerre, Gary Beaulac and Amanda Brycki. The Republicans in contention are Grzelak, Tom Palasky and Valerie Grills.

Bulletin staff asked applicants to comment on issues, including the senior center, new financial growth, and the importance of communication and transparency.

Grills did not return a request for comment.

Griswold Seniors Center

One of the most important issues that came before the Finance Board last year is the Griswold Senior Center. The project, with debt of $ 945,645 in March, has sparked a lot of talk about how to pay things off and what to cut. However, the project was saved thanks to grants from the USDA and other sources.

“I think there was a course correction and there was communication between the build committee and the board,” Brycki said. “We want to finish it so that the elderly can enjoy it. “

Brycki, a sitting Democrat appointed after the project began, said continued communication between different parts of city government and the public would help prevent problems, like those with the senior center, from recurring. .

“I think it’s important that there is a lot of two-way and multi-directional communications for project updates,” Brycki said.

Grzelak, also a sitting member of the finance board, agrees with her as the finance board now has monthly updates from the main center committee as he felt it was mismanaged before.

“The more transparency the better,” said Grzelak.

Following:What to know before voting in Griswold on November 2

Create business, expand public services

Beyond the question of the senior center, another is that of economic development.

Palasky said the city has faced the challenge of being fair in managing the budget. However, he also said it was difficult to bring large businesses to the city without being a burden on the city, due to the city’s currently limited public service capacities, although the city has bonded 6.07 million. dollars for an extension of water and sewer lines in May 2019.

“It has always been a problem; to try to increase the tax base, ”Palasky said.

Palasky noted that some of the city’s largest companies include American Industries, Ocean State Job Lot, and Tractor Supply Co.

Beaulac also said that “expanding the tax base and keeping the thousandth rate under control” through projects such as expanding public services is important.

After school activities

Santerre said one issue he is concerned about is being able to organize extracurricular activities for the children. Santerre said extracurricular activities are expensive, even as students and parents organize fundraisers.

“Just a little more would be nice,” Santerre said.

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