Fairfield Board of Selectmen candidate: Tom Flynn
Tom Flynn is running for Selectman on Brenda Kupchick’s Republican ticket after 14 years on the Board of Finance.
When Kupchick asked him to join her ticket, Flynn said, he was excited about the opportunity to be part of her administration.
“I have an enormous amount of respect for her and work well with her,” Flynn explained.
He ultimately decided to pursue the Selectman seat out of a desire to change the mode of leadership in Fairfield. Flynn believes that the town is being run too reactively at the moment, and he wants to transform the Board of Selectmen with a proactive approach to governance.
“The town is being administered and not led,” he explained.
He cited many examples of issues he believes the town has reacted to rather than anticipated: the fill pile debacle, Greenfield Hill group home developments, the departure of General Electric, the development of the Metro Center and the closing of the Community Theater.
Having served as chairman of the Board of Finance of 10 years and spent his career in the private sector, Flynn hopes to take a financial approach to leading Fairfield.
Current job: Alvarez & Marsal
Education: Wolcott High School, Syracuse University - Dual Degrees in Journalism (Newhouse School) and Business (Whitman School), Post Graduate study in leadership at Cambridge University
The most important issue in this election: Fairfield needs to balance affordability (taxes) with quality services. A key is to diversify our tax base through “smart” economic development, maintaining the character of the town. We must be “easy to do business with,” being more efficient by prioritizing town services and leveraging public/private partnerships and technology.
Other issues: Trust in government, remediation of field contamination, private property rights/values, quality education, preserving the character of the town and neighborhoods, public safety, sound financial management and long-term strategic planning to preserve the quality of the town for the next generation - We must be pro-active, not re-active.
Family: I met my wife, Amy (a pre-school teacher), in college. We have been married for 26 years. We have three children: Meghan, a journalist in NYC; Tommy, a sophomore at Syracuse University; and Ryan, an eighth grader at Fairfield Woods Middle School. We also have three dogs: Elmo, Otto and Daisy.
Previous elected offices, community group affiliations: Town of Fairfield Board of Finance (Chairman for 10 years, member for 14 years); Member of the State of Connecticut Green Bank Board of Directors; Member of Beardsley Zoo Board of Directors; Lector at Holy Family Church; Member and past treasurer of Gaelic American Club; Former member State of Connecticut Property Tax Cap Commission; Former coach for Fairfield National Little League
Campaign website: flynnforfairfield.com
“The town is a broken business model,” he said, “We need a 21st-century town government.”
As a Selectman, he would like to broadly rethink how the town spends its money.
He believes the town needs to make it easier for businesses to move in by leveraging electronic application materials and streamlining the process.
“In order to compete in an ever-changing economy you need to be easy to do business with,” Flynn said.
He also wants to control the town’s expenses by considering what services they do and do not provide, and looking at transferring some of those services to private contractors. To make this determination, he would plan to go through every department and evaluate each program.
Flynn also believes that the town needs to be smarter about how it invests in education. Too often, he says, funding does not effect real change in students’ lives.
“I would press to make sure that the money reaches the classroom,” he said.
With this financially-minded approach to governance, Flynn is looking to win a Selectman seat and establish a proactive, forward-thinking approach to running Fairfield.