Fairfield challenged to solve problems facing towns; could win grant

Fairfield has been chosen to participate in the first Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge, a competition that challenges U.S. towns and cities with more than 30,000 residents to come up with creative, local solutions to the problems affecting communities from coast to coast.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to engage our community in coming up with an idea about something new the town should do or something we’re already doing that we want to expand into something bigger,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is looking to spread innovative local solutions to national problems and celebrate the creative problem solving and innovation that is happening in town halls across the country. The challenge is about identifying a need, solving a problem and sharing that knowledge to benefit other municipalities.

One municipality will earn a $5 million grand prize. Four additional municipalities will each win $1 million. Winners will receive national recognition for their bold ideas and will have access to experts and other resources.

According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, winning submissions must present ideas that solve major challenges and improve life in cities or towns.

Ideas should:

• Address serious social or economic problems;

• Improve customer service for residents or businesses;

• Enhance accountability to or engagement with the public;

and/or

• Create efficiencies that make government work better, faster and cheaper;

or all of the above!

The application asks if the idea is:

• Brand new and never been implemented;

• Something that has been implemented elsewhere, but is new and improved in our town; or

• An existing pilot or demonstration project we wish to expand.

Fairfield is among 394 municipalities across the country that has entered the competition. The application is due Sept. 14.

Residents and businesses may send ideas to the First Selectman’s Office by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, by email to [email protected], or mail to First Selectman’s Office, 725 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. “Mayor’s Challenge” must be in the email subject line.

Examples or the application, for reference only, can be viewed at bloomberg.org/mayorschallenge.

More information is available from Jennifer S. Carpenter at 203-256-3030 or [email protected].

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