Special Election: Kiley looks to return to board as a dem
Kiley, appointed to the board in July 2012 to fill a vacancy, was denied the opportunity by the Republicans to seek election to a full term in 2015. He switched parties earlier this year.
“Community service and giving back to our town has always been important to me,” Kiley, 59, said. “For 22 years, I have served on various town boards, including the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance and the Representative Town Meeting.”
Kiley said he wants to bring that knowledge, and his business experience, to make “positive” long- and short-term decisions for the town’s health. “We must balance our needs versus our wants, against our ability to pay, while making smart investments in our schools, public safety, libraries and town infrastructure.
He said keeping the town affordable for everyone is critical, and he strongly supports enhancing and expanding senior tax relief programs.
Married, two children
237 Steiner St.
Employment: Vice President of Finance and Human Resources, Management Health Solutions, Inc., Stratford, Connecticut
Elected positions: Representative Town Meeting 1993-1997; Board of Finance, 1997-2012; Board of Selectmen, 2012-2015
The state’s fiscal crisis has made itself felt on the town’s budget, with the loss of millions in revenue.
“The first step is to continue to stand up and fight back against current proposals in Hartford,” Kiley said. But the town must also grow its grand list, he said, to generate more tax revenue from commercial sources.
With little land available for development, “we must make the most of every commercial opportunity, without invading neighborhoods or destroying our town character.” Kiley said it is important the stalled Metro Center and the Exide Battery site be developed. “Beyond that, we need to locate and expand other commercial opportunities where we can increase tax revenue,” he said.
On the expense side, Kiley said the town must continue to try and find efficiencies in every town department, by updating technology, consolidating department duties, possibly combining some town and education functions, and expanding “green” initiatives.
With the Strategic Plan Committee just getting started, Kiley said the group must “challenge themselves to think about the Fairfield of 2030 — let’s set the bar high — think on energy, rail and roads, pedestrians and bikers, schools, seniors and community activities — ways that we will maintain our character and ensure the continued prosperity of our people.”
Kiley said the committee should “harness the intellectual energy” from Fairfield and Sacred Heart universities, and gather all resources available to it.
“This is an opportunity to identify new areas of growth and direction for Fairfield,” Kiley said. “How do we grow our grand list, expand revenues and contract expenses? We need to identify how our town will look over the next few decades — what services we will be providing and how we will pay for and deliver those services.”
The commercial development of the Metro Center and the Exide property, he said, will be the drivers of the local economy and take priority. But the town needs to work with the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, Economic Development Department, various state agencies and local neighborhood groups.
One business the town is attracting is assisted-living facilities. Kiley said the diversity of development fortifies the town, offering a “natural hedge against over-reliance to one demographic or one category.
“I recognize the attractiveness of assisted-living facilities to a town like ours,” he said. “As with any development, I would want to make sure that the town did the proper amount of due diligence on the development to ensure it works to the benefit of our town as a whole.”