Town Treasurer Challenged In Election

by LonSeidman

Local government has three ‘legacy’ positions that are sometimes held for many years by the same person. Wolcott has had such legacies with former Town Clerk Elaine King and current Tax Collector Lorraine McQueen. The Treasurer’s position turns over once in awhile, but for sixteen years current Town
Treasurer Roger Levesque has been unopposed. “Why won’t someone run against me?” he sometimes laments.

This year he has his challenge.

The office is tasked with managing the town’s pension and bank accounts. The job sounds somewhat mundane, but clearly is very important during a turbulent and uncertain economy. One of the hurdles to running for the office are

This year, former Republican State Representative Dennis Cleary is challenging Levesque. Both candidates addressed voters at a recent forum at Tyrell School which is being aired on Channel 96 Sunday. Cleary calls Levesque a friend but asks voters to take a new look into the systems in the office.

Dennis Cleary (R)

“Some of the things Roger has been doing, I’ve worked on in Hartford.” He cites giving town treasurers greater authority in pension funds and investments. While a state representative, Cleary served three terms on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and also oversaw the state budget on the Appropriations Committee.

His personal experience includes runnin two businesses involving healthcare and energy. He has a BA in Accounting.

Levesque told the same forum about how he has improved the town department. “We didn’t even have a computer when I got in. I’ve invested in many different applications to make it easier and affordable. I haven’t hired anyone either, but have worked closely with the tax collector’s office.”

He also echoed working with the Mayor’s office in refinancing Wolcott’s municipal bonds in the past two years. “As you know, the interest rate has been vew low in the past few years. Timing is everything. We’ve reinvested in new bonds that are cheaper, saving millions of dollars.”

Levesque also emphasized how he sometimes shops around to different banks for the town’s savings accounts. “We get very little, but we have to follow through to get the best rate for taxpayers.”

Cleary says his experience in Hartford has improved the town’s economics overall and would work with the Mayor in making it even better if elected.

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