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Third GOP candidate joins selectman race

May 21, 2019

GREENWICH — Another candidate has entered what is quickly becoming a crowded Republican field for selectman.

Representative Town Meeting District 1 member Dan Quigley has joined the race, bringing the total number of GOP candidates for the part-time position on the Board of Selectmen up to three with more possibly on the way. Quigley, who is a member of the RTM’s Finance Committee, announced his candidacy in an op-ed submission to local media.

On Tuesday, Quigley said he understands the function of selectman has traditionally been more of an ombudsmen role and he appreciates that part of the job. But he said based on conversations with Republican Selectman John Toner, who is not running for reelection, he believes the position can be more.

“I see it as a position that I can expand if I am elected,” Quigley said. “If you have issues you want to focus on and you want to work closely with the first selectman on, then this is a great way to do it.”

In his op-ed, Quigley criticized Hartford for pushing higher taxes in wealthier towns in Connecticut and said the proposal to bring tolls back to the state’s highways would be a regressive tax. He said he would push for a steady mill rate in town and fiscal discipline when it comes to town budgets and capital expenditures

Quigley also pushed for improvements on Greenwich Avenue, which is a part of District 1, and said the town needs to engage in dialogue with local property owners to fill the empty downtown storefronts and address issues like parking through a townwide parking and transportation study to look at public parking spaces and investments in public transportation.

“We need to be a friend to our business community and the retail property owners in our commercial centers to help them overcome an increasingly challenging operating environment,” Quigley said.

In looking at town spending, Quigley said there is a disconnect between what the community wants and what it needs. He specifically focused on an ambitious capital plan being put forward for the Greenwich Public Schools.

“Tough decisions on these issues will have to be made and it is imperative to our fiscal well being that we examine each item carefully,” Quigley said.

Quigley, a married father of one, has a background in finance, having worked for Merrill Lynch in a variety of positions, including vice president on the global money markets desk, for 14 years, and the Greenwich-based Chatsworth Securities. He is currently a stay-at-home father.

He said he was encouraged to pursue the Board of Education or Board of Estimate and Taxation but felt the selectmen position was best given own priorities for what he’d like to see accomplished.

“Being on the Board of Selectmen and being in the first selectman’s ear would give me a real chance to push the issues I care about, much more than being one of 13 or 14 people arguing about the capital plan and the mill rate,” Quigley said.

He also pledged to address what he said is an overburdened emergency room at Greenwich Hospital since Port Chester’s United Hospital closed in 2005. A dialogue needs to be opened between Greenwich and Port Chester to “explore what can be done to assist them in offering medical services to their community and reducing the stream of non-emergency visits to our hospital ER,” he said.

With at least three Republicans in the selectman race now and two running for first selectman, a primary in September could be likely.

“I love challenges,” Quigley said. “I loved them throughout my career in the financial services industry and for the last three years I’ve had to apply my problem solving skills to the many challenges of being an at-home parent. The issues facing our community will require thoughtful and creative solutions by our elected local officials.”

He joins former RTM member Granit Balidemaj, a business development manager for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, and Joe Kelly, owner of a commodities trading firm in town and coach of the Greenwich High School rugby team, in seeking the position.

Democratic Selectman Sandy Litvack has not yet revealed if he will seek a second term in office but he once again indicated on Tuesday that an announcement is forthcoming.

First Selectman Peter Tesei, who has been in office since 2007, is not running for a new term. The Republicans have two well-known candidates seeking to replace him, in state Rep. Fred Camillo, R-151, and Board of Estimate and Taxation member Michael Mason. Additionally former Tax Collector Tod Laudonia is a potential Republican candidate as well.

Town Democrats have not formally announced their plans yet for the upcoming municipal races.

Quigley cited his family as a main reason for running for public office, along with his love of the community he was raised in.

“As Warren Buffet once rightly said, ‘If you’re born in the United States you’ve won the lottery in life,’” Quigley said. “By extension growing up in Greenwich is like winning the Powerball.”

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

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