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HEMPHILL: WE HAVE TO WATCH COSTS

r_hemphillName: Joseph Kelly Hemphill (Republican, incumbent)

Occupation: General contractor

Age: 63

Length of Residence in town: 63 years

General Questions:

1. What do you see as the top three issues in town?

The top 3 issues in town are: Taxes, Wages/Pension Control, The Town’s Infrastructure/Services/Parks

2.What specifically are you planning to do to address those issues?

The 3 issues are all tied together. In order to keep taxes down, we have to manage our expenses very carefully.

3. What will be the challenges in getting these goals accomplished?

The challenges in getting these goals accomplished are complicated. The state government has capped tax increases at 2% while at the same time the state pension system is ready to increase our  contribution by 20-23%. Although these are outside our caps, how do we pay for these and other increases without raising taxes? The only way is to manage our expenses that we can control. That  forces us to look at all of our “cost centers” for potential savings.

4. What expenditures, if any, do you see as ripe for trimming in order to keep the budget growth under the mandated two-percent cap?

In order to keep the budget growth under the mandated 2% cap, we are asking all our department heads to re-evaluate how they perform their tasks for our town, and look for where there maybe cost savings. This has to be done very carefully so as not to erode the services/infrastructure and parks that our residents deserve.

5. Do you see any potential sources of revenue that need to be tapped?

Sharing services and consolidating expenditures is a key factor for potential revenue savings. Shared services will become a much greater target for our energies. We already share our building  department with Fair Haven and we are looking for other consolidations with our neighboring towns for future shared services.

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6. What, if any, municipal services should be consolidated among towns? Same answer as above.

7. What is one thing voters need to know about you, but may not? The voters may not know that I have always had an active interest in accounting and computer sciences. In college, I majored in both areas, long before computer science became so vital in our lives.  After college, I worked for a large, local bank and rose to the position of general auditor at age 30. I then went on to run my own business as a local contractor for the past 31 years. That accounting background and the practical application of my business knowledge is what I bring to the council to negotiate through these difficult times.


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