Burchett wants your vote

I’m Joel Burchett Jr. and I am running for town council in Pulaski. I’m 51 and I’ve spent all of my life here in our town. I have a wife and son. I have gotten to know many people here from students, parents and others through the many things I have been involved with.

I have taught here for over 25 years. From the age of 15, I’ve worked as a waiter, youth program director, Realtor and council member. Before that I shoveled snow, cut grass, picked apples and threw hay on the back of my grandfather’s truck.

Through the work experiences and the most important life experience of fatherhood, I have stuck to the values of do what’s right, work hard, the students come first and represent clients to the best of your ability.

Voting for me will get you those things. The only issue concerning me before making decisions will be what is really best for the citizens I represent? It will not be my mission to work for any individual or group interest if it’s contrary to the interests of Pulaski.

I have heard it said by politicians that no citizens come to meetings to discuss matters affecting them, therefore they can’t complain. Although that may be partially true, I believe an elected official must represent a constituency and should convey its desire through their vote.

From gathering signatures to enter the ballot, I am convinced the citizens of our town are 100 percent opposed to all rate and tax increases of any kind. People want all blighted areas of the town cleaned up. People are concerned about the selling of assets and possible privatization of them, especially the firehouse if it’s not cost neutral to replace. They ask what did we get in return for the selling of assets?

My goals are simple and attainable. First, I will vote against all tax or rate increases unless it’s to prevent eminent catastrophe, such as public safety concerns. I want the town to commit to efficiency at every level which will increase service to citizens, save costs and better compensate the town employees. I want to effectively partner with organizations and other governments to improve the quality of life for people living here. I want living in town to represent something of value.

Finally, I will fight on your behalf to make things more transparent. Having witnessed firsthand in 2007-08, the Hogan’s Reservoir fiasco, I am certain that the more the public sees in open session the better. In only highly sensitive cases should the town government enter an “executive session.” Executive session means the council, mayor, various town officials, and sometimes private individuals or businesses go to the backroom to discuss things. The public is not allowed to attend.

Although official decisions can’t be made in executive session, you can understand the risk. I believe government should always be subject to public scrutiny. I will do my best to limit that practice in Pulaski. Knowing I face the public at the grocery store, rec games and other places, I don’t plan on shying away from anyone and welcome your concerns.

I will work for you. I don’t plan on forgetting that. You will get exactly what I have laid out here if you vote for Joel Burchett Jr. This is your town, vote like it May 1.

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