NORWICH – With elections less than three months away, a new candidate is making his case for the vacant Ward Five seat on the Norwich Common Council.
Norwich resident Dave Zieno officially kicked off his campaign last week, establishing a campaign platform to maintain affordability for taxpayers, build a more timely city budget that adheres to the 2 percent property tax cap, and increase transparency in city government.
The Democratic candidate said Ward Five residents “deserve a choice” on the ballot come November. He has filed petitions to appear on the Democratic line as well as an independent line titled “No New Taxes.”
“This is where I was born and raised … Really, it’s my hometown and I want to see my hometown do well,” said Zieno. “I think I can offer a lot of experience in this role.”
A 30-year veteran business analyst for NBT Bank, Zieno said he has experience that would help leverage his role on the council. He’s also no stranger to city government, having served on the city’s reassessment board since 2008.
It was the city’s recent decision to reassess all properties within city limits that Zieno said spurred him to run for office. Earlier this year, the Common Council pitched the idea for a city-wide reassessment for all homeowners in an effort to restore every property to near 100 percent of their value for the 2017 assessment role – an undertaking that Zieno argues will yield more losers than winners.
The current average property assessment in the City of Norwich is approximately 65 percent the full value. City officials have made a case for reassessment by saying that roughly one-third of property values will decrease with reassessment, thus lowering people’s taxes. Another one-third of property values will increase, and the remaining one-third would see little to no change...