I am Sean Askham—husband to Jacqui Leopold, Father to Ellie and Audrey, brother to Adam and Meghan, Son to Peter and Patty, friend and peer to so many of you. I grew up here, was educated, and matured as a leader here in Simsbury.
I have the honor of being the current Deputy First Selectmen, the chairman of public safety, liaison to the board of finance, and ten year member of the board of selectmen. Today I am excited to announce that I will be running for the role of First Selectmen of Simsbury.
The role of first selectman is one that requires a steady hand, thoughtful leadership, and a strong background in what makes Simsbury such a wonderful place. The role requires collaboration with the other members of the board, the town manager, town staff, elected boards and commissions, and our various sub committees. It requires someone that will listen but also lead in times of uncertainty. In my ten years I have honed my skills in these critical areas to be that trusted, proven leader to keep Simsbury moving forward.
I have worked in a bipartisan manner on countless issues to ensure all residents are considered when we make decisions. I have strongly supported improving and enhancing our quality of life here in Simsbury, most notably the recent drive to approve funds for the Meadowood acquisition. During my ten years on the board, I have also given my support to improve the Simsbury Farms complex, acquisition of the area surrounding the flower bridge and renovations to create a beautiful park, improvements at the performing arts center, and the final phase of Ethel Walker woods.
You all know how much I love a good budget, thanks to my father, and every year I have been at the front of creating and fine-tuning the Board of Selectmen and capital budgets. I have advocated for and approved additional funding for our police department, our social services department, streamlined services at town hall, invested in spend-to-save ideas to reduce spending in the long run, and been thoughtful with every dollar spent to ensure we maintain and improve our community.
I would like to thank Eric Wellman for his trust and vision to appoint me as Deputy First Selectman. It was the right decision for this town. We are a rare example of partisan politics being put aside for the good of those we are elected to serve. He and I have worked seamlessly together these past two years, and accomplished so much with our peers on the board, despite a global pandemic and challenging economic time. As your Deputy First Selectman, I have proven that I can work with the Board of Selectmen, town manager and staff, finance, elected offices and volunteers to arrive at a solution time and again that we can all be proud of, regardless of the issue at hand. I have been in the emergency operations center during times of turmoil and been present when a local volunteer is honored for their service. All of this experience has prepared me for this next challenge—that of being your First Selectmen.
I am sad to see my friend Mike Paine move on from the board, but am excited for him, and his wife Jean, as they enjoy their time together. Mike, thank you for all your service to our great community.
Like always, Mike has left his team in good hands, as Jackie Battos, Heather Goetz, and Travis Schweizer join me in running for the Board of Selectmen. This is a diverse team of talent, of ideas, of background, and I couldn’t be more pleased to run with each of them. Thank you all for stepping up to serve our community.
I conclude today with two asks of each of you. The first—we need your support. That support can come in many ways, it comes with your time, with your thoughts, with your feedback, with your passion, and with your contributions to our campaign. You are the messengers of our team. Please talk about our team and our town with your friends, your family, and those with whom you volunteer and spend your time. The more folks we engage, the better our town is served.
The second ask is that you vote for me and our team on November second. This sounds simple enough, but it is so critical to ensure that we elect the trusted, proven leaders to keep Simsbury moving forward.