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2021 Coventry Campaign Platform

Our Promise to You:
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We pledge to pursue Excellence in Education
– Coventry’s children are an asset worthy of investment, not an expense to be avoided.

Coventry schools continue to flourish under the leadership of Democratic Chairman Jennifer Beausoleil.

Under Democratic leadership, George Hersey Robertson School (“GHR”) was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. US News & World Reports ranks Coventry High School in the top 8% of all public high schools in the state and in the top 9% of all public high schools in the nation.

Under Democrat leadership our school was one of the few districts in the state to be fully open during the ’20-’21 school year. This allowed our students to stay engaged with friends and support staff, and working families to have a reliable schedule. Our student test results show less pandemic learning loss than  their peers in other districts.

The Board of Education responsibly manages the funds entrusted to it by Coventry Taxpayers. The Director of Finance and Operations received the 2021 Best Practices Award from the Connecticut Association of School Business Officials. Coventry spends less than 80% of the schools in Connecticut on a per pupil basis, while its students excel. This “Academic Return on Investment” is evidence of the care that Coventry’s Board of Education puts into balancing the needs and goals of the school district with the strictures of the budget.

Democrats on the Board of Education engage in strategic long-term technology planning preparing Coventry students for the future. This planning allowed our schools to continuously reach students during the COVID-19 Pandemic through the assignment of one-to-one devices. However, Republican BOE members consistently push against implementation of 1:1 devices, refusing to recognize their importance to 21st century education and careers.

Under Democratic leadership the schools will continue to emphasize the well-being of Coventry students, capitalizing on the lessons of the COVID-19 crisis to improve access to resources in a cost-effective manner so that each student reaches their highest potential.

The Board of Education, under Democratic leadership, has made cost-effective investments in necessary programs that have benefited Coventry children, including the growth in programming at NYAEC certified Hale Early Education Center Preschool, the establishment of the Coventry Academy, and the development of programming supporting autistic students. In contrast, Republican Councilors and BOE members continue to question the HEEC preschool program and refer to it as “babysitting”.

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We pledge to plan Strategic & Responsible Fiscal Management.
Fiscal responsibility means being prepared for known expenses as well as for an uncertain future.

The Town of Coventry maintains a 1.5 percent fund as a safeguard against unexpected tax burdens in response to emergencies. Furthermore, a healthy 1.5 percent fund balance improves Coventry’s bond rating – allowing the town to borrow money for large projects at a lower interest rate. Coventry Democrats are dedicated to maintaining and growing the fund balance as a pillar of fiscal responsibility.

Infrastructure and building maintenance are essential to extending the longevity of our shared community resources. Ongoing and timely maintenance - including staying on top of financing for our roads, our lake and other infrastructure projects - prevents unnecessary and unbudgeted repairs and emergency measures. Failure to adequately fund routine maintenance may save a few dollars now but inevitably results in a higher, unanticipated, tax burden later. Coventry Democrats believe in active stewardship  to ensure a stable future for our town budgets and for our physical infrastructure.

 Capital Improvement Project funds for both the Board of Education and the Town have been underfunded during Republican leadership. While their approach may reduce taxes in the short term, it leaves Coventry unable to maintain infrastructure and ill-prepared for any large projects that may come up.For instance, Democrats carefully built up the COVRRA fund in preparation for a future relocation of the transfer station. Republicans raided that fund, providing taxpayers with a small temporary reduction in fees. Now, not only has Republican leadership increased the COVRRA fee, but Coventry now must  use over $200,000 of dollars in Federal money for the transfer station move. This money could be better spent on other capital improvement projects.

Democrats led the charge on finding alternative energy sources, including the microgrid project and installation of solar panels, saving Coventry taxpayers energy costs into the future. Yet, when high school students proposed that an energy conservation and efficiency commission be established, they were refused by the Republican majority. When new Democratic leadership took office, the Council quickly established such a committee. This action has resulted in significant energy savings for the town.

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We pledge to ensure High Quality Public Safety
- Making the safety of Coventry citizens our top priority.

Democrats on the Town Council have supported financial expenditures to improve public safety in Coventry. Democratic leadership believes in funding protective and life saving equipment for our first responders, many of whom are volunteers. Democratic leadership made sure that Coventry was able to pay for ambulance service as our volunteer corps dwindled. Through careful planning, we now have 24/7 ambulance coverage for our citizens. As requested by Police Chief Palmer, Coventry was one of the first towns in the State to implement body cameras and apply for CALEA accreditation, both of which were fully supported by Democratic Town Council members. Democrats support full staffing of our Police Department. The Democrats on the Town Council continue their history of support so that Coventry continues to be a place where we all feel safe.

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We pledge to support ongoing Infrastructure and Public Works maintenance
– smart investments prepare Coventry for the future.

The waste management industry in Connecticut is evolving, increasing costs for individual towns. Democrats on Town Council continue to examine Coventry’s waste-management practices to find changes that can be made now to ease future burdens.  Republican leadership’s refusal to adequately fund capital improvement projects, is creating a looming crisis that will require a large tax increase if not managed now.

Republican leadership initially opposed applying for federal grant funds to extend sidewalks from the high school complex to Lisicke Park, but Democratic Councilors prevailed. In the past, Republican leadership refused $800,000 in grant funds to make our village walkable from the high school complex to the library, thus denying safe pedestrian passage for our children and for residents of Orchard Hills. Democratic leadership was later able to secure grant funding for the project so that our children and community  can walk safely in our village.

Coventry Democrats believe that all residents should be able to stay in town through raising a family and retirement. Democratic leadership established the Senior Housing Alternatives Study Committee. We continue to support the development of affordable and manageable housing options for retired citizens who want to stay in Coventry.

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We pledge to continue to preserve, protect and enhance our natural resources and recreation opportunities
– Coventry’s ample natural resources are a defining feature for our town.

Coventry is known as a beautiful place to live and visit, in large part because of its two beautiful lakes, Coventry Lake and Eagleville Lake. These lakes require protection. For example, the non-native hydrilla species that has been found in both lakes requires regular treatment to prevent it from spreading. Coventry Democrats are dedicated to ensuring the lakes continue to receive the care they need and for this purpose established the Coventry Lake Advisory and Monitoring Committee. Public parks throughout our town serve as recreation areas and provide opportunities for hiking and quiet contemplation. Democrats are dedicated to the enhancement and protection of these natural resources that have been especially essential during the COVID19 pandemic. Republican leadership opposed bonding for open space and have reduced the open space line in the Capital Improvement plan.

The Coventry Girls Softball League has long been looking for a home field. Coventry Democrats support them and will make sure that our girls have an equal playing field. Republican leadership has been disrespectful to the Softball Fields Committee, sending them back to the drawing board many times and disregarding their recommendations. They have not been transparent through the process and again refuse to make up-front money-saving investments.

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