I was born and raised in Seymour, CT, a suburb of New Haven. I have lived in New York City, Waterbury, CT and Stuttgart, Germany before settling in Mountain Brook in 2015. My wife, Aja, and our two daughters live in Brookwood Forest, and I am a National Sales Manager for a building materials manufacturer.
Why am I running for the Mountain Brook City Council?
There are several reasons why I decided to run for the City Council. First, I plan to be an advocate for the small business community. Many local small businesses were badly hurt during the early days of the pandemic due to forced closings, including my wife’s. She is the operating owner of a children's clothing store in Crestline. The MB City Council at the time voted 5-0 to close small businesses deemed “non-essential.” While these businesses may be non-essential to the City Council members, they are 100% essential to the families and individuals who own them.
Additionally, I strongly believe that we need to keep all political groups and politically motivated curriculum out of our schools. I will fight to ensure our Board of Education keeps the curriculum focused on the fundamentals of education: math, English, history, science, social studies, and the arts. I also believe we need to review and enhance foreign language programs and advanced computer/coding curriculums for younger students. Studies have proven that the earlier these subjects are introduced and reinforced, the more students excel. In a global and technology-driven business climate, these subjects are increasingly important. I also think the City Council should explore moving the BOE seating process to an elected model vs. the current appointed position model.
If elected, I will also conduct a deep review of the funding of the Mountain Brook Athletics programs. Currently, operations, upkeep and improvements are severely under-funded by the Board of Education and the City. The rough operating cost for the combined 21 girls’ and boys’ sports programs at the high school level is approximately $500,000. The city budget allocates roughly $140,000 annually to the high school athletics, leaving a deficit that falls entirely on the parents and student-athletes. For example, a student-athlete in the high school baseball program must cover about $2,000 annually to participate. The student/family must directly pay about 1/3 of that, and the other 2/3 is funded through advertising that the student/family most sell. I believe we can better fund our athletics programs, departments, and facilities to keep our student-athletes focused on excelling in the classroom and winning on the fields and courts.
I have much respect for the current administration and am thankful for their service to MB. However, I have been in the Council Chamber on several occasions as a spokesperson for neighborhood issues. In those meetings, I never felt that the City Council was truly willing to engage our concerns and understand the issues at hand. This position requires a passion for people and addressing their needs. I want the voters of Mountain Brook to know that I will be accessible to all, not just those who vote for me.