Geoff Alswanger (D)

Stamford Board of Finance

Board of Finance member. Director, Long Ridge Camp. Geoff spent 20 prior years helping to lead technology companies. Volunteer service includes Stamford Fire Department Commissioner, Board of Education member (2010 - 2017), President four of the seven years.

Rebuilding our City infrastructure to meet (not only the current needs but) the future needs of Stamford. This means not only catching up to the backlog of roads and bridges that need to be rebuilt but planning for expansion for areas that suffer from congestion today. Included in infrastructure is building new schools and/or significantly rebuilding others. We have an ambitious vision for achieving rebuilt schools and achieving that vision will require strong fiscal discipline.
The Board of Finance plays a critical role in overseeing the finances of the City, thereby balancing the needs of the taxpayers with the demands of a growing community. Reviewing and acting on budgets set for by the Mayor is an essential role. Providing accountability to ensure the City is meeting its financial reporting obligations and that the City is providing accurate governance data is a critical check and balance on the power of City government.
In addition to serving on the Stamford Board of Finance for the past 4 years (a difficult period of time with the COVD pandemic), I bring over 20 years of leading technology companies from a financial, operational and strategic basis. I bring an open-minded approach to solving problems and search for ways to bring people together wherever possible.
In my opinion the Charter Revision changes should have been placed on next year's election due to the fact that the Charter calls for a major election (Presidential, Gubernatorial or Mayoral) elections) for Charter changes. In addition, in Stamford History, we have allowed voters to individually vote for specific Charter changes instead of having one "all-encompassing" question thereby denying all of us to weigh in on proposals we may approve of.

Voters have risen to the Charter Revision challenge in the past by weighing in on transformative changes to City governance - e.g. the prior Charter change approving of Unification of Fire Services a decade ago between the Volunteer and City fire departments.

The current Charter changes do not change the role of the Board of Finance, although a significant attempt was made by the Charter Commission to transfer budgetary authority away from the Board of Finance and give it to the Board of Representatives. This change was reversed towards the end of the Charter Revision process.

The additional legal staff that would be added to the represent the Board of Representatives on a permanent basis (part of the proposed Charter change) would increase the budget and therefore raise taxes for all taxpayers.

Therefore, for all of the reasons above, I cannot support the Charter changes as presented on the ballot.