After recently filling a vacancy on the Board of Finance, James McLaughlin is hoping to use his experience to keep Darien fiscally sound.

McLaughlin, who has had the opportunity to participate in a few BOF meetings, said he is in favor of the shuffle project because the interest rates on bonds will never be as good as they are right now.

"We have capital assets that need to be managed, and I think we're acting in concert, and now is a great opportunity," he said.

As the economy continues to struggle, McLaughlin said part of the Board's strategy if state funding continues to dry up is to take a different look at the budget and look where adjustments might be made.

"We don't want to just go line-by-line, but ask key questions about our strategy," he said. "We have the opportunity to do something significant and better."

Pensions can pose problems for communities especially if they go unfunded. McLaughlin, who said he spent a significant part of his career managing pensions, said the town is in good shape.

"I worked in this part of the business for most of my career and our pension fund is well managed," he said. "We could do some things to make improvements but there is not reason for alarm."

One of the biggest challenges facing the BOF is the ever increasing Board of Education Budget. McLaughlin said there are a number of factors in the BOE budget, such as special education costs, that are difficult to control.

"Special education is a significant issue outside of our control," he said. "We will also have to watch health-care costs because there is pressure on all levels."