By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
The city’s Democrats and Republicans are readying themselves for the 2019 municipal elections, but have come together to cross endorse Thomas “T.J” Barnes Jr., to serve as city treasurer, his fifth and final term before the position becomes an appointed one.
Barnes has served as city treasurer since 2011 but said this was the first time he was endorsed by both parties.
In Barnes’ mind, the position of treasurer is an apolitical one as the role is one of cash management, as he said “we aren’t making policy, we’re making investment decisions.”
The role of treasurer is important to a municipality from a financial standpoint, as they pay the city’s bills, negotiate with banks, and works as a banking center for the city.
In his time as city treasurer, Barnes sits on the city’s Retirement Board, he has sat on the board since 2002, and has been the chair since 2005. He said that due to how the city’s pension fund has been managed, Bristol has not had to contribute to the State of Connecticut’s pension fund in several years. In Bristol, the total pension fund is approximately 160% funded, which adds to the city’s good bond rating.
Barnes works in investments and insurance as an investment manager with Riverside Investment Services.
Both parties nominated and endorsed two candidates to serve on the Board of Assessment Appeals. This board is comprised of three members total, so three candidates will be elected by voters.
The Democrats nominated Shirley Salvatore and Thomas Ragaini. The Republicans nominated Erick Rosegred and Mary Alford. Currently, Alford, Ragaini, and Salvatore sit on the Board of Assessment Appeals.
The Board of Assessment Appeals and the office of city treasurer are two year terms.