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Author: Don Obrien

Finance Official Hopes To Be Second Generation Council Rep


Published: Sep 30, 2021 04:15 PM

To the Editor:

Back in the late-1970s and early-1980s, when I was a student at the new Head O’ Meadow Elementary School, my dad would often be up late at his desk surrounded by stacks of paper, punching numbers into an oversized calculator. As a member of the Newtown Legislative Council from District 1, he took seriously the responsibility of helping to manage our town, whether it was scouring the budget for efficiencies, debating the merits of a capital purchase, or fine-tuning language for a new ordinance.

Fast forward about 40 years. I am honored to have been nominated to be the next generation of my family to represent District 1 on the council. Having grown up in Newtown and having volunteered in many capacities since moving back after college in 1998, I am prepared to serve and look forward to representing my neighbors as we continue to build a better Newtown for all.

This has been a challenging time for our community, and I commend our town and school leadership for continuing to guide us through the pandemic and its associated public health and financial challenges. More difficult decisions will need to be made, and that will require leaders who will listen, maintain an open mind, and be able and willing to find common ground with others even if they disagree.

For the past two years I have served on the Board of Finance. I have listened, learned, questioned, collaborated, and led discussions to keep our town finances stable and our schools properly funded. It took a team approach to reduce taxes without sacrificing services each of the past two years, and it shows that government can operate efficiently and smoothly when people work together.

If you’re up at dawn on a Sunday, you’ll sometimes find me on Main Street with a paint brush working to keep our flagpole shiny and clean. I volunteered five years ago to be Newtown’s “Keeper of the Flag” through my elected service on the Borough of Newtown’s Board of Burgesses. I have been a burgess for eight years and senior burgess for the past two. I am the former chairman of the board of Newtown Youth & Family Services and have coached youth softball, baseball, and soccer in town.

Professionally, I work in communications at Yale School of Medicine. My wife, Kath, is a speech-language pathologist and we have two children: Andrew, 20, a junior accounting major at the University of New Hampshire, and Caroline, 16, a junior at Newtown High School.

I am completely invested in Newtown. I look forward to representing you whether you grew up here like me, or you recently moved to town (welcome!). I want to hear your ideas, listen to your concerns, and work with you to keep Newtown strong for the next generation.

I would be humbled and honored to have your vote on November 2.

Respectfully,

Chris Gardner

Newtown





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