RTM Republican response to State of Town address

RTM Republicans response to State of Town address

January 29, 2018

  • Traffic congestion making Fairfield feel more like a small city. Seniors being forced to leave due to the never-ending cycle of state and local tax increases. Salary agreements reducing monies that could be spent on classroom programming and materials.
  • Fairfield is facing serious problems and we need serious people who are willing to work together to solve these problems.
  • As we have all witnessed, Connecticut is in the midst of a financial storm. We cannot separate our local financial well-being from the mismanagement in Hartford nor can we simply go on as if it’s business as usual. As your elected RTM Representatives we need to be fiscally prudent with taxpayer money, now, more than ever.
  • After listening to the First Selectman’s address, however, you’d think it’s just another warm, sunny Saturday afternoon at Jennings Beach and that we were attracting major corporations to Fairfield not losing them—but we all know that’s not a vision grounded in reality.  
  • Let’s be clear: If we’re to lower the tax burden on families and seniors, we must grow our commercial tax base. Thriving commercial districts require good roads so people can get to and from work—not 30-minute bumper-to-bumper traffic to cross town.
  • Ask yourself: Under the Tetreau Administration, has traffic congestion in Fairfield Town Center…on Post Road in Southport…or on Black Rock Turnpike gotten worse over recent years? We all know the answer here—it has gotten much worse, and it’s impeding our economic progress.
  • Economic development follows well-designed transit. Not the other way around. What type of infrastructure programs has the First Selectman proposed in recent years to improve traffic flow and to help attract businesses of significance? Now, think about that for a moment.
  • Unfortunately, none come to mind outside of the Metro Center, which to date has no commercial development—let alone public restrooms for commuters. Where’s the First Selectman’s vision?
  • Our seniors are struggling, and many are moving out of town. We need to change this, and make Fairfield the destination of choice for retirees in Connecticut.
  • Each year our Town allocates several million dollars toward Senior & Disabled Tax Relief, yet only a small percentage of seniors take advantage of this program. Why? Because tax relief tops out at too low of an income level.
  • We need to raise the upper boundary of the income eligibility so that the money we’ve slated for seniors is used by more seniors. As the RTM reviews Senior & Disabled Tax Relief this term, Republicans are committed to true tax reform that lives up to the spirit of the program.
  • The ultimate question here is: Does the First Selectman and his ruling RTM Majority truly believe that we can tax ourselves into economic prosperity?
  • Increasing taxes, or what some like to refer to as “Tetreau-nomics,” is not the solution, but, instead, it is, part of the problem.
  • Leadership in town should focus on finding new and more efficient ways to deliver government services. Smarter investment in technology and the use of privatization needs to be on the table as avenues to reform government, to lower taxes and to improve services.
  • Leadership without vision is like a backpacker in the deep woods without a compass.
  • Again, where’s the First Selectman’s vision?
  • The Republican RTM Minority is committed to all the citizens of Fairfield, young and old alike. We will continue to advocate for all of our constituents by reminding the First Selectman that simply thinking in the “here” and “now” is not good enough.
  • We must think about the future, there must be a vision, and there must be spending priorities that focus on that vision…to grow our commercial tax base…to lower taxes for seniors…to unlock traffic congestion…and to maintain and strengthen high student academic achievement.
  • When Fairfield is united, we are unstoppable in what we can achieve. We urge the public to join us in building a better vision for Fairfield’s future.
  • Thank you, good night and God bless.

Here is the link to the RTM Republican response to the State of the Town address, via FairTV: https://dv2.discovervideo.com/play/?vod=50904

Delivered by Michael D. Herley, Deputy Minority Leader on behalf of RTM Republicans.

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