REDDING, Conn. – Running for First Selectman of Redding on the Republican ticket was an opportunity that Chris Hocker didn’t want to pass up when it was suggested to him earlier this year.
“I saw it as an opportunity to put many years of experience to use for the town,” Hocker said. His 30 years of experience in project planning, licensing and permitting gives him the experience needed to deal with issues such as the Georgetown renovations, he said, citing the growth opportunities in that part of town.
“It’s really the only major opportunity for the town to increase its tax and revenue base,” Hocker said. “And I think that’s what the town really needs right now in getting the Georgetown renovations going.”
He said taxpayers in town have been tapped out. By getting the renovations under way in Georgetown, the town can bring in more businesses and expand the tax base beyond the homeowners, Hocker said.
Another important issue for the community to focus on is the affordable housing, which is mandated for every town in the state, he said.
“We need to find ways to build affordable housing where we can,” Hocker said. "The good news is that there already is a plan for incentive housing development that has been put forward. It’s a matter of formalizing that plan, getting the final approvals.”
One of the best ways to do this, he said, is to have a developer to purchase a piece of land and submit plans that hopefully fit in with the whole aesthetic of the town.
When asked for the differences between himself and his Democrat opponent, Julia Pemberton, Hocker said it was mainly in his approach and experiences.
“I think that the top priority of the town needs to be in the development of the Georgetown area, that is going to require an understanding of legal, financial, technical aspects," Hocker said. “Which is all part and parcel of what I’ve been doing for years. And it think that’s what the town needs right now.”
Over the 20 years that Hocker has lived in Redding, he has served in various positions, including on the Region 9 Board of Education and the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Redding-Easton.
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