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Dear West Hartford residents,
I am pleased to announce that I have been re-elected to the City Council. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve the people of West Hartford, first as a councilor and now as a minority leader. I believe that we all have to represent voices, especially those who cannot speak for themselves. We need to expand representation and thinking beyond the majority party.
West Hartford is a wonderful, vibrant city. But we have our challenges. Public safety is at risk as the crime rate has not only increased but also escalated sharply. What used to be stolen cars has turned into shootings, car theft, some car thieves armed with guns. We cannot tolerate crime in our city and we have to support our first responders in their work. I am part of a law enforcement family and have always supported our police, fire departments, and other public security officers. We must ask our democratic legislative contingent to help resolve the problems, laws and practices that affect juvenile delinquency and crime in general. Public safety is the main concern of the residents who contacted me.
We also need to stop adopting unsustainable budgets. Our costs are skyrocketing, leading to tax hikes, even with the federal aid our city is receiving for the coronavirus. Seniors and young professionals say the city is not affordable for them, largely due to the high property taxes. Additional housing units, where homeowners can add housing units to their single-family homes, has been encouraged by the Democrats to make the city more affordable by making single-family homes possible to rent.
The $ 300 million annuity bond has left the city with long-term debt with no guarantees that our annuities will remain fully funded. Giving tax breaks to builders of St. Joseph’s property on Park Road for the first time is both reckless and dangerous. Has this set a new precedent? In order for a top city in the country to have to stimulate investment through tax gifts, the city didn’t have to. The St. Bridget’s purchase might not end well either, as we saw with the UConn property.
We also need to support our business world, both large and small. In our city center, business owners are shouting for help as stubborn guests ask for help late into the night, garbage strewn all over the place, and bad behavior that causes noise and worse late into the night. Our business world needs our support and I thank you for your presence in our city.
Finally, I believe that we need to be more diverse, more inclusive and more respectful with different views and voices. “Breaking off culture” and attacks on conservatives are not only immoral, they are extremely dangerous. Just because Liberals are in the majority doesn’t mean the season is open to different views and voices. Conservatives, like liberals, have free speech, and drowning it out and silencing people is not only un-American, it goes against everything our country believes in, was founded in and what our military fights for: freedom. City conservatives are afraid to speak up and have voiced their concern, whether as high school students wanting a Republican Young Club or citizens who fear for their jobs if they volunteer to speak or disagree. This certainly stifles input, thought leadership, and advocacy for the right thing. Our city repeatedly declares that it values diversity and inclusion. Does diversity of thought count? As I said earlier, I will stand up for each vote to make sure they are all taken into account and that we rule West Hartford for all.
I thank our residents, business owners, friends and neighbors who supported me. I look forward to your support in November.