Mansfield Mayor talks municipal elections 

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The Mansfield municipal building is seen from Storrs Road. An election is being held for the Mansfield municipal council on Nov. 5, 2019.  File Photo / The Daily Campus

The Mansfield municipal building is seen from Storrs Road. An election is being held for the Mansfield municipal council on Nov. 5, 2019. File Photo / The Daily Campus

The town of Mansfield will hold elections for town office positions on Tuesday, Nov. 5.  

Mansfield Mayor Paul Shapiro is among those not seeking re-election, as well as Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Joanne Goodwin, Planning and Zoning Commissioner Bonnie Ryan and Board of Assessment Appeals members Carol Thomas and Anne Greineder, according to Patch Media.  

In a statement regarding his reasoning for not seeking re-election, Shapiro said, “I have served on the council since 2011 and as mayor since 2015 and I’ve done my best for the people of Mansfield…I think that it’s time for someone else to have a shot to step up.”  

Shapiro said that he thinks the Democrats are going to do “well, as they usually do in Mansfield.”  

“The question is,” Shapiro said, “Whether or not one or both of the unaffiliated candidates will perform better than the Republicans.” 

According to Shapiro, there is a “bond issue” on the ballot for the upcoming election, proposing a single, consolidated elementary school to replace the three existing elementary schools. 

“I feel very confident that [this] referendum will pass,” Shapiro said, “I am working in strong support of it.”  

The proposed “consolidated elementary school” will be a school of the 21st century, Shapiro said.  

“[The school will be] as close to net zero as possible, as energy efficient as possible and [provide] many things programatically that our current schools cannot,” Shapiro said. 

Shapiro urged Mansfield residents to vote for the referendum, saying the repair cost of the three existing elementary schools is not covered by the state and will fall on the taxpayers.  

“We cannot afford to keep three small elementary schools,” Shapiro said. “Two of our three schools have less than 200 students.”  

In response to the town’s economic future, Shapiro said the town is on the brink of some “great” opportunities.  

 “There is a significant possibility that we are going to see some very strong business development in Four Corners,” Shapiro said, “[The area] lies within an Opportunity Zone.” 

 Qualified Opportunity Zones, as mentioned by Shapiro, are the result of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, designed to spur economic development and job creation in undercapitalized communities throughout the country by providing tax benefits to investors who invest into these communities, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  

 “This is a good opportunity for the town to develop [Four Corners] and to add businesses to its non-homeowner tax base,” Shapiro said, “Mansfield needs to be a more self-sufficient town and less dependent on state aid.” 

An additional priority of the town council will be to search for a new permanent town manager, according to Shapiro. Previous town manager Derrik Kennedy was removed in July 2018, according to the Willimantic Chronicle.  


Grace Burns is campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu.

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