Tymniak asks for an update on G.E.

Chris Tymniak, candidate for Fairfield First Selectman

Chris Tymniak, candidate for Fairfield First Selectman

Statement by Chris Tymniak, nominated candidate for Fairfield First Selectman:

It’s been more than 80 days since G.E. issued its public statement that sent shock waves through the state. G.E.’s statement was seen as serious by many elected officials and it even altered the budget conversation. Unfortunately, Fairfield has seen no real action. GE has plays a vital role in our community. They employ over 6,000 people in our State, support a supply chain of small businesses in Connecticut, and just as importantly support many of our community nonprofits.

It appears that the Laissez faire attitude of the First Selectman continues well into August. Residents have seen no statements, public gestures, meetings, or ideas floated about how to keep GE in Fairfield and how to make both Connecticut and Fairfield more attractive places to do business.

I do not intend to complain without offering my solutions. First and foremost, I would be lobbying aggressively with Governor Malloy for a repeal of anti-growth taxes, reducing excessive regulatory burdens, addressing the huge unfunded retirement obligations, and deteriorating infrastructure that are driving both companies and people out of our state. Fairfield residents need to know that they have a strong ally in pushing for needed changes in these and other key areas.

Second, I would be meeting with the G.E. relocation team asking them what exactly they are looking for and how Fairfield can become a better partner.

Third, I would hire a business developer in the First Selectman’s office. Clearly we need to do more to attract new companies to Fairfield as well as keep the ones we currently have. I understand that several state policies hurt us but we also need to take steps to grow our tax base faster than the Town budget.

Finally, I would set up a Business Advisory Panel made up of members of our business community. Business should be telling us what challenges they see and we should be supporting them in any way we can.

The bottom line is that Fairfield is an exceptional place to live, but our town government can be managed much better. We can grow our grand list, improve local service and maintain and improve our outstanding schools — and we can achieve those things and more without asking taxpayers for more money each year. Both Connecticut and Fairfield need to be open for business and our town leaders need to take steps to make both Connecticut and Fairfield more attractive for both today and tomorrow.

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