DARIEN, Conn. Jerry Nielsen is at his family business, Nielsen's Florist , every day getting feedback from Darien residents and feeling the pulse of the town. Nielsen has a passion for Darien and is seeking re-election to the Board of Selectmen to continue to work for the town.
The most important thing he says he wants to accomplish is to finish moving the Senior Center to Town Hall . When Nielsen was first elected to the board, he didn't know much about the state of the Senior Center. But after a visit, Nielsen has seen how it has fallen into disrepair.
"I was so embarrassed as a citizen," said Nielsen, especially because the town's senior population has always been supportive of projects that would help Darien.
"When we were building the new high school, we held a referendum and many people thought the older people wouldn't support it. They came out overwhelmingly in favor of it. The seniors in this town recognize the value of the having a good community. It's time to pay them back."
Nielsen also wants to get rid of partisan politics, which he says have no place in local government. Though partisan splits have occurred on issues such as the shuffle project, he says that many have overlooked how often the board comes together.
"There have been some 3-2 votes, but the majority haven't been. We do work together on a lot of projects," Nielsen said, pointing to the Weed Beach and police station renovations as examples, as well as budget cuts. He wants to continue to build that unity.
"I want to encourage more volunteers and get more people involved in the government," he said. There have been problems getting people to sign up to be part of the RTM. "I want people to sign up, to be on it and to enjoy being part of the process."
He also wants to find fiscally responsible solutions to the town's flooding problems and work to encourage downtown development. As an active member in the local business community, Nielsen says it is important to attract new business to Darien.
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