Elections Government Politics

Meet the Candidate: Beth Kerrigan

Beth Kerrigan. Credit: Cara Paiuk (we-ha.com file photo)

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the Nov. 5, 2019, municipal election. 

Compiled by Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the candidates running for office in the 2019 municipal election.

Identical questionnaires have been sent to all candidates, and each profile received has been submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign management. The responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our publication style. Questions left blank have been deleted.

As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com is not making endorsements of any political candidates but we are publishing this information in order to assist voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 5.

If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Name: Beth Kerrigan

Age: 64 years of diverse and enriching experiences.

Party, position seeking: Democrat, re-elected to the Town Council

Family Information: I am married with twins, Fernando and Carlos, who are seniors in West Hartford Public Schools. We have 2 rescued dogs, a parakeet, as well as a large extended family. 

Other occupation, if applicable: I began my career as a high school shop teacher. Later I co-founded and built an insurance agency that was purchased by the Travelers. I am self-employed and specialize in Medicare/Medicaid and Long Term-Care planning.

Political experience: I am completing my second term serving on the Town Council and presently proudly serving as Deputy Mayor. 

Other relevant experience: I served on the Governor’s Healthcare Policy Committee in 2018 identifying healthcare challenges and making recommendations to create a healthier Connecticut. I served as a Commissioner on the West Hartford Housing Authority helping to grow work force and mixed-use housing in West Hartford. The Connecticut Supreme Court decision granting Marriage Equality bears my name, Kerrigan vs Commissioner of Public Health. Like so many parents in West Hartford I served as a room parent, mystery reader, and overall “step-in-and-help-to-get-what-needed-to-get-done” done parent.

Why are you running for office? Public service is both an honor and a privilege that I enjoy. I run to have the opportunity to work, once again, alongside the other councilmembers and to help protect and maintain all that West Hartford has become, a desirable town in which to live, work, play and raise a family. I run to bring your voice to the table and make decisions that are in the best interest of the future of our town.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? West Hartford must continue to be a safe and welcoming community for all. We are fortunate to live in a community that is rich in civil engagement. Whether your concern is parking, a dog park, safe streets for pedestrians, bikes and cars, or stolen cars, we must continue to be responsive to our residents and business owners. I believe we must always strive to be better and more efficient at everything we do. Together we must address how seniors, like myself, can continue to live in West Hartford once we are living on a fixed income. We must continue to be both attractive and affordable to all generations. We must never accept less than our best. 

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today? This is how I responded to this question last campaign: “I believe it is sustainability. West Hartford is a great town in a state that is struggling. We are a well-managed, thriving, exciting place to live. We need to focus on what can we do to sustain ourselves. Money is always the driver. We must continue to sharpen our pencils and shave off expenses where possible. We must continue to be a business friendly town in order to thrive. We must remain open to new ideas and talk about ways to do things differently, if necessary. We must avoid the trap of doing something because “it’s always been that way”. There are exciting opportunities for us to entertain and decide as a whole if they are a good fit for West Hartford’s future”.

I believe this is still our challenge, smart economic growth.

Please provide a brief statement regarding your opinion of the Town of West Hartford’s fiscal situation, and what if anything, can be immediately addressed. We are a AAA bond rated town. We are fiscally sound. Like many of the towns in Connecticut we are not without our challenges. MDC’s increasing ad valorem sewer tax plays a significant role on our budget and ultimately on our property tax. Our town created a Fiscal Stability Report outlining our strategy for meeting our obligations and moving West Hartford forward.

What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? I believe all of the candidates running for Town Council really care about our town and our town’s future. I’d like to believe we have more in common with each other than what sets us apart. What brings us together is a deep love for West Hartford, both for all that it is and all that it can be. I have lived outside of our town, I have lived outside of our town. I have lived in New York, Boston, Dallas, and on Kibbutz Nachsholim in Israel. I built a company from the ground up. I have met many challenges in my life with an open heart, a commitment to succeed, and a willingness to work hard with others.

Anything else you would like to share? If you would like to talk more about what we can do for West Hartford I can be reached at (860)922-9288, [email protected] or visit my facebook page KerriganforCouncil. I hope you will support me. Beth Kerrigan on November 5.   

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