Ron Schurin, a current Mansfield Town Council member, is running for re-election in the Democratic party.
A professor of American government and political science at the University of Connecticut, Schurin said his position as both a resident of Mansfield and a member of the UConn community gives him a unique perspective on the relationship between the two.
“I would like to think that I can facilitate communication between the university and the town; that I understand the concerns that both the town and the university have about various issues that come forth,” Schurin said. “I respect both the people of the town who are not affiliated with UConn and the people of UConn who want to make this the best possible university town to attract outstanding students, outstanding faculty and have a good environment for all.”
Schurin said if re-elected, he will continue to work to find a way for the town of Mansfield to reap the benefits of its unique situation.
“Mansfield has the advantage of being both a college town and a semi-rural community. The biggest challenge that we face now […] is how to take the greatest advantage of those things,”
Schurin said. “We need to navigate how to deal with commercial growth in a way that benefits the town and creates more taxable property and creates more commercial opportunities and maintain while doing that the rural character of much of the town.”
Schurin was elected to the Region 19 Board of Education, which serves Willington, Ashford and Mansfield in 2011. He also believes in fighting for effective funding for Mansfield public schools.
“While I won’t claim that our schools are desperately underfunded here, they’re certainly not awash in cash and it’s an obligation for all of us as citizens and particularly the board to ensure that every dollar is well spent,” Schurin said.
Previously a resident of other university towns such as Princeton, New Jersey, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Ann Arbor, Michigan, Schurin said his experience living in other college towns will lend him insights he can use as a member of the Mansfield Town Council.
“I would like to think that I’ve learned things in each of those towns that are good and worth replicating, as well as some things that aren’t so good,” Schurin said. “It helps give me a broader perspective and gives me some ideas that would be useful in this town.”
Nick Smith is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.