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Weinstein and Muller: More Work To Be Done

Patch spoke with Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein and Selectman David Muller — both Democrats — who are each seeking another term.

(Editor’s note: Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein and Selectman David Muller, both Democrats, are seeking reelection next month. A piece on their opponents — Selectman Dan Gilbert and Dennis Tracey — .)

Two years isn't enough time for First Selectman Gayle Weinstein and Selectman David Muller to see their vision for Weston come to fruition.

Weinstein and Muller are seeking reelection next month.

“I think although we’ve accomplished a lot in the past two years, I still feel like we have a lot more to do,” Weinstein told Patch. “We’ve crafted responsible town budgets. But I’m still concerned — given the financial environment that we’re still in — about crafting affordable budgets so all of our residents can remain in town.”

Weinstein said she and Muller ran on a platform of “fiscal responsibility and the compassion to do what’s right.”

“We need to make sure residents have a roof over their head, food in their mouth and access to outstanding education,” she said.

Muller said he’d like to continue working with Weinstein.

“I think we have a really good team. I think we work very well together,” Muller said. “We see eye to eye, and listen to each other where we don’t agree from the outset.”

Financial management is the top issue facing the town, Weinstein said.

“We have to think of creative ways to keep our budget in check.”

Charter revision

The two Democrats offered some of their thoughts on the Charter Revision Committee.

“The charter’s not been revised since 1979. At the very least, it needs to be updated to reflect 21st century living,” Weinstein said, adding there’s “administrative details” of the charter which should be polished, and there are also “larger political issues.”

“What happens if a budget is turned down?” Muller said. “There’s nothing in the charter about it. Do we have to go back through the same [budget] process?”

Muller weighed the pros and cons of two-year and four-year terms for selectmen.

“When you look at Congress, you see what happens in a two-year term. It seems like they’re always running,” Muller said. “I think it’s too short for efficient management.”

Weinstein said after two years, you’re “finally getting your vision set. . .and you pause to campaign right when you head into budget season.” If someone were then to get elected who didn’t have experience in town government, it could have serious implications for town administration.

Lachat property

On Oct. 20, following a public information session, a town meeting will be held at town hall to help .

“Assuming that passes, then we’re going to start a community conversation as to what we want to do with that property,” Weinstein said.

“It’s important to address the house immediately,” she said. “We’re not going to spend town funds to renovate it, but give the public the opportunity to raise funds.”

Muller said estimates at restoring the farmhouse have hovered near $500,000.

Cobbs Mill Inn

Weinstein said she was “very concerned” about the new proposals for the Cobbs Mill Inn property, which she said are “very vague” so far.

“What is most important is to keep Weston’s bucolic nature in tact,” she said.

Muller said the setting of the property is “spectacular.”

“It would be lovely to see the spirit maintained of an inn that serves great food,” he said.

About the candidates

Weinstein served as a selectman for two years before being elected First Selectman in 2009. She also served as president of the Weston Intermediate School PTO.

Muller has served on Weston’s Board of Finance, Planning and Zoning Commission and library board. He was also part of a special committee in 2005 which provided help to a sister city in Lousiana following Hurricane Katrina.

Carol Baldwin October 10, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Lachat Restoration - Noted historic restoration architect, Bob Hatch, has drawn up plans and costed them out with contractors and the estimate is $255,000...this amount would stabilize the 1770 Homestead and create a 2 bedroom upstairs apartment for a farmer/teacher/town farm program coordinator. Not $500,000! Friends of Lachat is actively raising private funds and pledges. -Submitted by Friends of Lachat.
Justin Reynolds (Editor) October 10, 2011 at 06:18 PM
Carol, I don't believe Mr. Muller was saying $500,000 was a firm number, rather a number that's been tossed around.

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