Michael Gutowski (D), Tax Collector, Candidate Bio and Statement

Michael Gutowski and his wife, Clare, are six-year Easton residents with their children Catie, Drew, and dog Willow. As an accountant in private and public accounting, Michael has led various companies as CFO, controller and director. Michael is passionate about accounting and committed to teamwork, excellence, process improvement, and helping others. He has led and volunteered with Swim Across the Sound, Trumbull EMS, and his Church. As tax collector, he enthusiastically looks forward to helping his neighbors.

Michael is driven by his commitment to community. After high school, he graduated from Fordham University as a Theology and History major. Fordham’s emphasis, besides academics, was community and while there he became more involved with Church, helping the homeless, and Fordham EMS.

Upon graduation, he returned home to Trumbull to pursue an MBA in Accounting at Sacred Heart University and become involved more with Church, Trumbull EMS, and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Community Volunteers Association (which later became the Swim Across the Sound movement).

Michael turned his passion for community, helping neighbors and family into a career, improving processes, documentation, and making a real difference in organizations through financial planning and accounting. In the roles of Controller and CFO, he recommended and implemented a payroll process that took 2 people 4 business days to complete to 1 person for 20 minutes to complete.

He is presently working on a project to reduce the monthly close process of a company from 25 days to 2 days. He’s passionate about finance and accounting and his goal is to bring this passion to the Office of the Tax Collector, helping neighbors, and making a real difference.

Candidate Statement

Three issues challenge us the most: Finding stable leadership, Finding ways to proactively drive efficiency and create better processes, and bringing transparency to the office of Easton Tax Collector.

1) Providing sound stable leadership

As a professional accountant, I will collaboratively work with the Boards of Selectmen, Finance, and Easton neighbors to operate the office of tax collector with civility and bipartisanship. I hope to promote a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment. Ultimately, the goal is to provide world class customer service to neighbors and town departments. After all, we should expect nothing else from those that serve us publicly.

2) Proactive focus on Process improvement and internal Controls

Every organization I’ve worked with has needed some help in these areas. Some more than others. My goal would be to document existing processes, evaluate and automate what can be improved, and strengthen internal controls. Are we using our information systems the right way and maximizing their performance? Are other town officials getting timely information that simplifies the budgeting process? Through this process, I hope to bring cost savings and efficiencies to Easton neighbors and provide quality, integrity, the highest standard of ethics, and a sense of pride in Easton government.

3) Transparency in the Process

Many voters I’ve talked with ask me, “What does the Tax Collector do?” Besides the obvious, collecting the taxes. I would promote fair and equitable tax policies. For example, does every taxpayer in town, pay their fair share of taxes? How does this compare to surrounding towns? Can we provide help to our seniors and disabled? From my passion about community and Finance and accounting comes compassion toward neighbors and a willingness to listen and get the job done right.

I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 2.