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Owen Charles

Green Candidate for Board of Finance, Madison, CT

Candidate Bio

I have lived in Madison for 13 years with my wife Lynne and my three children who have all attended Madison schools. I am the only candidate to have served on the Board of Finance - in 2007-2009 as a Democrat, serving as liaison to the Police Commission and Library Board. I have an MBA focused in Healthcare Management, and have worked in the healthcare industry for many years in business and finance roles and am also a Registered Nurse.

I plan to bring to the Board of Finance an independent voice for public good: forward-looking vision- to investments in the future like the best public use of historic Academy school. I will advocate for a much-needed ethics board to ensure against conflicts of interest, as many other towns have done. But also transparency and opening up public input to more people around town then just a vocal few, through social media, outreach, and more public forums. In my previous tenure on the board I was a strong voice for public schools, and affordability and services for seniors (tax deferral and the senior center), and adequately funding future needs, such as road maintenance capital funds, and future pension-related liabilities.

Two decades in corporate budget management have taught me to analyze spending carefully: To always look for off sets like non-value-added expenditures, unnecessary spending, and to recognize when an expenditure is (or is not) justified by Return on Investment (ROI). There are often areas where we can find cost reductions that enable us to invest in other areas.

Integrity and Vision: We are all in This Together- we need to join together to recognize that democracy is not a spectator sport. Participation in government is about the will of the people being recognized and honored and that is what I intend to do. For too long local politics has been "us against them". This is unfortunate as there are many issues on which people coming together can unite in mutual interest- Strong Schools, Senior Tax Freeze, Investment in Green Energy and technology…It's not a right or left thing… and, importantly, not everything we approve we have to benefit from personally (or immediately).

I will put an emphasis on listening to what folks have to say. Welcoming the core group who turn up for town meetings (a pretty small club) but also inviting and soliciting input from those who have very busy lives and do NOT come out to a lot of town meetings. Open door policy, Social media, & surveys are ways to ensure your voice is heard, and not only on Election Day.

Additional Background:

After leaving office I served as Nominations Chair and Volunteer coordinator with the Democrats, and have co-founded activist groups such as the CT Shoreline Vegans, an advocacy group hosting films, speakers, and potlucks, and most recently the Shoreline Green Party. We are a third party offering a local alternative to politics-as-usual. Shoreline Greens are running events and candidates in Shoreline towns from Branford to Niantic. I was a very active organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign (2015-2016).

  • 2011- present: Madison Cable Access Group Board of Directors, Town of Madison, CT
  • 2010-2012: Chairman, Nominations Committee, Madison DTC, Madison, CT.
  • 2007-2016: Madison Democratic Town Committee (DTC), Elected office, Madison, CT. Volunteer Coordinator for multiple campaigns.
  • 2007-2009: Board of Finance, Elected office, Town of Madison, CT.
  • 1999-2012: Member, Drug Information Association (DIA) (1999-2012).
  • 2014-present: Member, Scientists without Borders (NYAS).
  • 2008-2011; 2016-present: Member, New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS).
  • 1999-2001: Town Representative to the Connecticut Regional Mental Health Board.
  • 1999-2004: Member of Deep River DTC.
  • 2001-present: Manager and Vendor Relationship Lead, Pharmaceutical company

Meet the Candidate - Owen Charles, Board of Finance, Madison, CT

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