Coyner: I have the knowledge and experience

Like you, I choose to live in Fairfield because of the outstanding quality of life. I plan to retire here one day. But given the stressful economic times, it has been increasing difficult for people of all ages to remain here. As your elected state representative in Hartford, I will take an active role in helping to ease the tax burden and boost the economy for the people of our community. I believe that I have the knowledge and experience that is needed in Hartford and that I am the candidate who can best serve Fairfield during these challenging times.

I am uniquely qualified for the position having worked in both the private and public sector, plus having served in our nation’s capitol, drafting and monitoring legislation for a U.S. senator. I have worked in Japan to promote trade and tourism between Alaska and Asia. I have more than 14 years of experience in international finance with Morgan Stanley and Citibank. And today, I am helping others as a professional firefighter.

In the fall of 2011 the state legislature passed a jobs bill, and this past spring made progress on the education front. But this is not yet enough. In order to move forward, we must make Fairfield, and the state of Connecticut, a growth leader with policies that will result in jobs for our people and an enhanced quality of life for all residents. We must balance government budgets while still providing exemplary education that leads to further job growth, affordable quality health care for all, and retirement security. We can do this. We have seen it done before in the 1990s when the economy was strong and government budgets actually turned to surplus.

We must strengthen the programs created in last year’s jobs bill by broadening the definition of small business. We must provide adequate funding support for technology, engineering, precision manufacturing and green energy and we must provide the job skills and training that these new industries will demand.

A vibrant economy can only be sustained if there is a solid foundation of educated citizens throughout the state. We must continue to develop and improve our schools, supporting our teachers and administrators with a realistic evaluation system that is clear and fair, with early childhood education and strong family support.

We must also address the brain-drain that is increasingly impacting our state. I propose a college student loan program that provides loan forgiveness for every year that the student works in a 21st century job here in Connecticut following graduation.

High taxes are a problem for both homeowners and businesses. They discourage new investment and make it difficult for our young adults and seniors to remain as residents. We need to develop a fair and effective system of real estate assessment. Property taxes should not force individuals, especially seniors, from their homes. Nor should high property taxes be a barrier to young adults trying to establish themselves as new homeowners.

Fairfield is a beach town, a college town and a family town. Fairfield has so much to offer all of us, but we need to do more. I want to improve services to senior citizens and seek funding for improvements in the Senior Center. I want to expand mass transportation and improve transportation options for seniors. I want to invest in infrastructure projects for aging bridges and highways. I want to preserve neighborhoods, protect open space and explore options that will protect shoreline properties from storm impact.

It is my belief that all people deserve an effective, efficient and accountable government that consistently delivers high quality services. For this to happen, we need the right people in government. People who are experienced, dedicated, creative and motivated to work hard for all the right reasons — to make Fairfield and Connecticut one of the best places to live in the United States.

On Aug. 14 I ask for your vote so that I can work to make Fairfield, and Connecticut, a place where we always want to live, work and retire.

Kevin Coyner, Democratic candidate for state representative in the 132nd District, faces Sue Brand in a primary Tuesday, Aug. 14.

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