The below information came from a news release.
SOMERS — Somers Democratic Town Committee announces their team of candidates for Board of Selectmen, offering a slate that will bring diverse experience, energy and innovative ideas to Town Government. Kathy Devlin will run for her seventh term this year on the Somers Board of Selectmen. Entering in the race is William Salka, PhD, full professor at Eastern Connecticut State University and a committed, serving member of the Planning Commission. In his 5 years in office, Salka oversaw the community survey that helped to reconstruct the revised Plan of Conservation and Development. He also coached the instructional soccer program for Somers Soccer Association. Bill and his family (wife Allison, daughters Dara and Madeleine) have been residents of Somers for 10 years.
In her years on the board, Devlin was able to bring about savings, efficiencies, long range planning and continues to be active in budget preparation, Town employee benefits, policy reviews, continuous improvement assessments, and emergency management where she has assisted Mrs. Pellegrini at Emergency Operations Center through the major hurricane and snow storms. Kathy is an active member of Somers Plan of Conservation and Development, has been reappointed to the Connecticut Council of Municipalities Committee on Policy for Public Health and Human Services, and actively participates with Connecticut Council of Municipalities, Town Insurance bids, and revision of the Somers Town Employee Handbook. Devlin, as Corporate Executive Director for Johnson and Johnson, applied business principles learned from Fortune 100 employers to Town of Somers operations.
Bill Salka has been teaching and conducting research in state and local government and public policy for the past sixteen years. His research expertise will prove useful in exploring innovative solutions to current and future Town challenges. He has also served on or chaired numerous policy making committees at Eastern, where he was able to address University problems by adapting solutions used elsewhere to his University’s situation. He has also held several administrative positions, serving as chair of his department, president of the University Senate, and is now the Director of the University Honors Program. Each of these positions has provided him with administrative, policy making and budgeting experience. Bill has also been involved in drafting and implementing the two most recent five-year strategic plans at Eastern. In the most recent round of strategic planning, Bill led the planning process.
Devlin and Salka are committed to working with Mrs. Pellegrini to work hard to provide programs and services that are best for all residents of Somers, without being constrained by traditional partisan differences. They will provide leadership in town governance, including the formulation of Town policies that meet current needs and strategic and long-term planning, while being more involved in the day-to-day operations of Town governance. The Devlin/Salka team are committed to fiscal responsibility by exploring ways to increase the efficiency of Town operations to improve current services without substantial tax increases; increase the pressure on state legislators, particularly in the Democratic majority, to ensure that PILOT funding from the state is returned to pre-recession levels; and assist Mrs. Pellegrini with identifying and writing grant applications to enhance the Town’s revenues.
Devlin and Salka are also committed to working with all Town Boards and Commissions to ensure that our schools continue to provide a high quality education, which is so important to the success of our Town, by supporting the vision outlined by the Board of Education and the Superintendent; focus on the needs of seniors by continuing to support senior and community services, and exploring new initiatives, such as tax abatements and state programs to ensure our seniors enjoy a financially secure retirement; help with youth recreational programs by encouraging the various associations to work toward consensus so that all teams have equal access to Town resources, as this collaboration will instill a sense of respect, leadership and sportsmanship in our youth; and continue to ensure the safety of all residents by supporting our fire, police protection, emergency management, health and safety practices, and seek ways to improve these areas to meet changing conditions.
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