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I am excited about getting back to work for residents of Bristol

To The Daily Sun,

To Bristol voters:

I am writing this letter to ask for your support in the election to the Bristol Board of Selectmen. I am excited about the potential of getting back to work for you. After being away from the board for the last year it has humbled me and taught me to never take anything for granted. It has made me realize that serving in local government is a passion of mine as I want to do what is best for our community without any personal agenda, just like I have done in the past.

The time away has also helped me gain some clarity into what should be priorities for our community. I believe we need to focus on economic development in an effort to continue making Bristol a great place to live, work, and play. Economic development puts citizens to work, allows our community to shop locally, and continues to improve our infrastructure while also positively affecting the tax rate.

I also believe we need to continue to connect the new revitalized downtown with the surrounding neighborhoods by repairing our sidewalks through grant funding and effective budgeting. Improving our sidewalks will provide better access to downtown and the schools.

Finally, we need to assess and invest in our current operational facilities.

For years our facilities have received a Band-Aid to address the needed repairs. Some departments are out of space while other departments are making do with what they have, which may not make for best operational practices. In many instances "making do" within the departments is costing more, as it is taking more personnel time and resources to complete the task at hand. This is just a snapshot of a longer list of priorities that need to be tackled — all of which will continue to make Bristol a better community.

During my previous tenure as a selectman, I had an intricate role in the downtown revitalization project, implementing single-stream recycling, installing two new bridges, implementing town financial policies, upgrading the water and sewer system, and many other town improvements. The many projects completed were done so through significant grant funding with minimal impact to the taxpayers.

The Town of Bristol's outstanding departments are committed to making this a great town and have made these projects come to fruition with their hard work and dedication while keeping daily operations moving forward.

It is unfortunate that a small vocal group of citizens in our town have chosen to brand our community as "falling apart" and that they are the ones to fix it. I am here to say they are very wrong. Our community is in great shape and there are many positive changes happening, all of which have been in the works for many years and not due in part to any involvement of this small group. It takes teamwork and compromise to do this job and I think I bring both of these attributes to the table, which is far from what has been expressed this past year.

Under past budget recommendations of which I was a part, the Bristol voters accepted the recommended budget. Even during the recession with increasing costs that have been pushed down by the state, we were able to keep the budget level. While doing this our tax rate was and still is in the bottom third in the state. That should make every resident proud.

Let's keep things positive, conservative, and keep our community moving forward. Please consider voting for me on March 11. It would be a privilege and an honor to serve you as a selectman.

Rick Alpers

Bristol

 
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