Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An introduction to Anne Giddings (Council, at-large)

Here's the first guest post I've received from one of the candidates for the Cheshire Town Council, Anne Giddings:Thanks, Tim, for offering me some space on your blog.

I am happy to be a candidate for Cheshire Town Council at Large and look forward to meeting residents and working to preserve Cheshire ’s character and assets.

As a result of a decision two years ago to let my hair grow for Locks of Love, I look a bit different than in the Land Trust photo you had a link to
, so I will send you a recent photo.

I will also send you a little information about myself and some of the ways that I have been engaged in community service in the past. This includes my contact information.

Now that I am retired, I have a lot more time to be involved in community work. As an educational administrator in the Newington and Ansonia school districts, I learned to manage many of the challenges that towns face. It is always important to be judicious in handling the public’s assets, and it may be more important now than at any time in memory. Working together to find the best solutions for problems is also imperative. Getting full information and openly examining the advantages and disadvantages of all possible choices is the way to operate. I believe in full disclosure—I’ve had my salary printed on the front page of a local paper several times and survived!

Recently, I have been doing what can be considered community service, since I am a certified math teacher: serving as a math tutor for homebound students and doing some substitute teaching.

Also, although my husband, Dr. Bob Giddings, has been heavily involved with the Friends of Boulder Knoll and the Community Supported Agriculture program that the Friends have started on the town-owned farm next door to our home, I am not a member of either group. I just volunteer at the farm and donate plants to the program. This is the type of operation that I believe in. Grass roots volunteer efforts to provide a source of locally grown vegetables and educational efforts with students. Having survived the mud traps during the rainy season (was that all summer?), I enjoy weeding the herb garden and working with the Waterbury youth who learned about gardening. It is important to use the wonderful open space that the town has preserved, and this is one good way to do so.

And for the record, this is unedited... and there was no need to edit either. That's a small reason, but one of many reasons, why I'll be voting for her on November 3.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

"Getting full information and openly examining the advantages and disadvantages of all possible choices is the way to operate."

We need people like Anne on the Town Council who are more concerned about what's good for the town than political self-interest.

OnceBitten,TwiceShy said...

As a former education administrator, is she going to recuse herself from voting on education-related budgets? Well, she should, along with any teacher/former teacher/spouse of a teacher/ on the BOE as well. We don't need another member of the education establishment on our council or Board of Ed., regardless of his/her party affiliation. I've yet to see a school administrator that publicly opposes union salary demands
or the myth that smaller class size ensures a better education.

Anonymous said...

Question for Anne: Do you support abstinence only sex ed in the schools? (which is what it is now in Cheshire).

fiscal conservative said...

8:51, this is a question for the Board of Ed. The council has no say on sex ed.

7:42, it's fair to ask her where she stands on educational funding, waste, and issues. But saying that a former teacher should recuse herself from voting on education is like saying that a service veteran in Congress should recuse himself from voting for military funding.

Anne Giddings said...

I am glad to let anyone know my position on educational funding, waste, and other issues.

Easiest one first: I hate waste of any resources, whether money, time, or other. I am a thrifty person (my children have sometimes used more pejorative terms, but I prefer thrifty) and I feel an increased need for care when given responsibility for someone else’s resources, such as the public’s. I do realize that what I consider “waste” may be considered essential by someone else—that is where discussion and the political process come in.

As to education funding, that is one area among many where people disagree as to the necessity of spending levels. A certain minimum expenditure is required in order to provide schools, teachers, busses, learning materials. The disagreement is over what expenditure is necessary. (Please see the last sentence of the previous paragraph.) I do not presume that any amount requested by the Board of Education is necessarily essential. I consider myself amenable to reason and factual evidence.

All town expenditures should be examined in order to determine whether they are necessary in order to provide needed community services. Since the Council can only set the total amount for the education budget, not make changes to items included in it, it is especially important for the Council to know why a requested amount is needed for the schools. When I attended the public hearing on the budget, I felt that the necessity for some expenditures was not fully spelled out.

One advantage of being a former educator is my strong belief in the importance of planning, both short- and long-range. Example: right now the Council is considering repairs to the building section of the town pool. There have also been options for the long-range destiny of the pool covering. My concern is that the two be linked. We should not spend a large sum on refurbishment of the building section, if that refurbishment does not fit with the final decision regarding the pool covering. We need to know the final decision as well as the immediate one, and we need to be sure that the pool can be used (although I am not myself a user of this facility).

Unfortunately, my contact information was not included in my original information to Tim. I will include that and invite anyone who would like to discuss these or other issues to contact me. I welcome the opportunity to have discussions with residents.

Anne Giddings
915 Boulder Rd.
cell: 651-9790