By Ariana Fine
Stratford Crier’s mission is to inform and update Stratford residents on various categories of interest, community events, pertinent information, and/or input into specific tasks or project. We would like to highlight the work, dedication and projects of our elected officials, beginning with the town council members
Council Chairman/ First District Councilman Christopher J. Pia
It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak directly to the residents of Stratford. I have had the honor of serving as the town’s First District Councilman since 12/11/17 and as the Council Chairman since 12/9/19 and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Allow me to explain.
Why do I do what I do? I get asked this often. The answer is quite simple: I care. I care about my home. I care about the street I live on, my neighbors and their families. I care about my neighborhood and the people in my district that I was elected to represent. Most importantly, I care about the town that I was raised in and that has given me every opportunity to succeed in life. Since a young age, I was raised to give back. Whether it was through faith, youth sports, Boy Scouts, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, volunteering on committees and commissions in town, or other things. Giving back has been a foundation in how I have lived my life.
1. What do you see as the needs of your district at the present?
Serving as the elected representative of the First District has been a tremendous honor. In this role, I have been able to get involved with the everyday needs of my district and community as a whole. From helping constituents identify trees/limbs that could cause a potential hazard to working with Lordship School and Public Works to improve the safety of the surrounding sidewalks and walk paths, these are just a couple examples of the many ways I get to help the community around me.
2. What is your vision for your district’s future?
Each district in town sees different needs that arise from time to time. The most effective way of dealing with those needs is to always have a constant flow and open line of communication with the administration at all times. My colleagues and I have just that. When an issue arises that I identify myself or that are brought to my attention from a constituent, I immediately attempt to gather more information. Once I bring the item to the administration, I stay on top of it and follow up with all parties involved. I believe that by simply following up with people and doing what you say you are going to do is the most important aspect of public service. A brief phone call or email response goes a long way.
3. What is your vision for the town?
My vision for the future of my district is no different than the vision I have for the entire town of Stratford, making it a better place to live and work in every possible way. The single most effective way of accomplishing this is through collaboration and working together for the greater good. Every decision I make is for the greater good of the town as a whole. For example,. When I can put on the agenda and vote on energy savings projects and the refinancing of old high interest bonds brought to the council by the administration, these are both immediate and long-term savings to the town as a whole, which get filtered down directly to every single individual taxpayer in the town. Working with our Police Department, Fire Department, EMS and Public Works on an annual basis to not only ensure they have what they need to do their jobs as effectively as possible, but making sure they know how much the community cares about what they do to keep us safe and moving on a daily basis.
4. What is your vision of collaboration between the town administration and residents to help make Stratford a stronger community? How do you see town residents’ roles and participation?
Communication and collaboration. This is truly what has helped move our town along in a positive and effective way over the past few years. Mayor Hoydick and her administration are not only consummate professionals, they are effective communicators to the public and to the town council. I tell people all the time, the most important thing is to communicate your thoughts and ideas to your elected representatives. It is then their job to bring it forth for further consideration and discussion. When you elect people who truly approach their position with a volunteering and giving back mindset, you will see how your community as a whole move forward in the most collective way possible.
Reach out to Council Chairman and First District Councilman Christopher J. Pia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-385-4035.