We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running for election on Nov. 3, 2015.
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 Nov. 3, 2015 municipal election.
Identical questionnaires have been sent to all major party 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 West Hartford voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 3.
If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] ASAP.
Name: Denise Berard Hall
Party, position seeking: Republican. Town council Candidate
Family information: Married to Tom Hall, 2 children, 5 grandchildren
Other occupation, if applicable: Senior Vice President, Webster Bank Treasury Sales Manager
Political experience: Republican Minority Leader since first elected in November 2009.
Other relevant experience: Currently Board member of the Board of Nichols College Institute of Women’s Leadership, UCONN CLAS Dean’s Advisory Board, and Fellowship Housing Board. Previously volunteered on: West Hartford Investment Advisory Committee, Risk Management Advisory Board, Treasurer, West Hartford Veterans Memorial Committee, and as Past President of the Board of Trustees of Mercy Housing & Shelter. Associate member of CT Government Finance Officers Association.
Why are you running for office? I am running for office as I believe in giving of ourselves to the community that we live in. Serving on the Council is the most effective way to share my experience in municipal finance and banking with the Town in order to address our biggest challenge – the cost of government and its impact on our residents.
What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? The Town’s finances have been my primary area of focus, especially as it relates to our pension and health care liabilities.
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today? We have over $200 million in unfunded pension liabilities and over $100 million in unfunded health care liabilities. Our funded status is approximately 42%, and one of the lowest in the State. The contribution we make each year to help fund these obligations is what leads to higher taxes, and makes the Town less affordable. This, combined with other factors dictated by the State such as the under funding of the Education Cost Sharing Grant and the ongoing onslaught of unfunded State mandates, make it difficult to be in control of our finances.
What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? I believe that my background and experience in municipal finance, social services, and work in promoting women in leadership roles bring a unique perspective to the Council.
(Optional) Anything else you would like to share? Development in West Hartford is a dynamic issue, and projects like the eventual disposition of the UCONN West Hartford campus can have a huge impact on our community. I look forward to working on the Council to not only help West Hartford deal with our financial challenges, but also help direct our future growth and development.
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