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Creative Thinking For Newtown

To the Editor:

There is a perception that the financial hardships seniors face are exaggerated?

But seniors have contributed to the town's development are upset over the continuous increased spending. They were able to save money by being frugal.

But their discontent seems to bother other residents.

One interesting response I got from someone when I brought up the topic  was “Well if you can't afford to live here... sell and move!”

Many have sold and left discovering  that Connecticut is one of the highest taxed states in the country. Their pensions are taxed.

There are few exemptions on the state tax return. Is any one discussing some kind of new tax reduction to offset the new tax increases. Are seniors worthy of this consideration?

It does not seem as important compared to the need to spend more money to improve education. But the reality  is that there are alternative ways to improve instruction and education. A recent Harvard study confirms the fact that in spite of all this increased spending students continue lack critical skills necessary for college. And do not forget we have Board of Education that  at one point was considering spending $100,000 to search of a new superintendent. Is this our reality?

 Americans have reputation for spending money to solve problems. It was reported that we spent over $100,000 to develop a pen that would write in space. We consulted with our Russian friends to see how they solved the problem. Their brilliant answer was that “they used pencils in space.” In the decade of the seventies there was discussion about putting more police in the streets of New York city to fight rising crime. The city’s budget could not afford to hire more police .But the thinking focused on the logical solution, “spend more money.”

A well known expert Dr Edward de Bono who is considered the world leader in the field of creative thinking offered a very innovative solution which appeared in New York magazine in 1972. He offered  a Lateral Thinking solution: “put more eyes on the streets.” Let individuals who often look outside their window call the police when they see a crime taking place......this became the Crime Stoppers Program. This approach helped the City avoid spending more money to fight the crime.

Has anyone ever considered using this Lateral Thinking technique to generate innovative solutions? Major corporations have used it. Prudential insurance used it to create “living benefits.” Dupont used it to develop Kevlar. Peter Uberoff used it for the first profitable Olympics. This kind of creative thinking has also helped to solve municipal problems.

Are our leaders willing make a deliberate effort to expand their perception and thinking. I believe at one point they may have to. Have we gotten there with this current budget?

 Is it possible that there are creative ideas and solutions that are never considered? Can  some of our seniors offer alternative solutions to stop continued tax increases? Please let’s  hear about your creative ideas .

Rudy Magnan

60 Watkins Drive, Sandy Hook                                      April 23, 2013 

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