I had a chance to answer questions proposed by the local newspaper in regards to the Town of Brooklyn Supervisor election I am currently running in. Here are the questions and my responses.
Town of Brooklyn Candidate Questions
• Please tell us about yourself and why you're running for office. Do you have employment, life, or other experience that you feel makes you a good fit for the role of Supervisor?
My name is Jay Selthofner and am a high energy, enthusiastic young man ready to help serve our community. I have been married for almost 11 years and have three children. Our family lives on part of my wife's family farm and we host the "From the Land" festival in October each year in the Town of Brooklyn. We are in our 10th year with the festival, which is a success each year due to local residents. The festival draws participants and attendees from around the state and nation.
In addition, I have managed a successful insurance and investment practice for over a decade, which relied heavily on direct communication, interaction and networking with residents of my community. Over the past couple years I have transitioned into a community organizer, increased my volunteer time tremendously, and contributed to many projects directly in our community. As part of what I feel are my civic duties, along with encouragement and support of family, friends and colleagues, I have become very politically active, not only locally, but statewide. From steering committees, to board of director positions, to serving as secretary for non-profit organizations, to organizing events, I have assisted and worked in all of these areas with great proficiency.
• In your opinion, what are the town's strengths and weaknesses?
I believe the Town of Brooklyn has a diverse group of people to draw from to solve issues that come up. We are all neighbors and care about the well being, health and prosperity of the area in our own ways. This is also one of our great weaknesses, for it creates smaller groups of individuals pursuing their individual agendas, rather then pooling resources for the common good of our residents. We all know that there are two sides to every issue, but being able to resolve conflicts of interest and ultimately come to solutions that appease a majority of both sides is very important.
• If elected, what goals do you have as Supervisor?
When elected I will serve the constituents with the best of my ability, formulating goals for the town based on the information and issues in front of us. My personal goal is to help more people who care about the community find their voice and ultimately have more of our residents involved in town business and government.
• What is the most pressing issue facing the town in the next one to three years, and how do you propose to address it?
Collectively we can solve many of our pressing issues, but divided we will not. We need to resolve any conflicts of interest and generally have more people involved in the issues facing our town and communities. Of course with budget constraints, finding savings without cutting services and without raising taxes or fees will be vital. As our economy heals, we need to make sure our residents are not hurt in the process and that includes school funding, recycling, and programs designed to help those struggling. I plan to address these issues by exploring the facts, community opinions, calling on the experts and the people affected before I would make any decision.
• What kind of experience with fiscal management can you bring to the town?
During my 10 years with Northwestern Mutual as a financial representative I essentially managed all aspects of my own business, as well as assisted others with reaching financial security through risk management and systemic review of objectives, concerns and needs. Many, if not all of the adventures I have undertaken in life have prepared me for this type of position. I would serve my community and am proud to have been asked by my neighbors to run for Town of Brooklyn Board Supervisor.
The Board consists of Chairperson, four Supervisors, Clerk and Treasurer. The Clerk and Treasurer are non-voting members. The Town Board has 2 year terms. Two supervisors are elected every year on a rotating basis. The Town Board serves as the community's legislative body, having responsibilities for enacting Town Ordinances, appropriating funds to conduct Town business, and providing policy direction to Town staff.
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