Broken System

September 1, 2015

The residents of Connecticut are beginning to see and feel firsthand the effects of trying to tax away problems. The way any organization works to its highest and best potential is by utilizing ALL of its assets. Governing with only one side in the room is not producing the results that are necessary to move this great state forward. Instead we are seeing continued deficit spending and tax hikes on more and more of the items we use each and every day.

When serving as First Selectman in East Lyme and facing the start of what was to become the Great Recession, I asked to speak to the East Lyme Democratic Town Committee as I knew them to be a dedicated and passionate group of 40 people committed to the best interest of our Town.

Although the Republicans held majorities on every Board and Commission in Town, I knew we did not have all the answers. It was by working together; sharing ideas and expertise and forging solutions that all of East Lyme reaped the benefits. The Day of New London proclaimed, “East Lyme is a Town that works”.

As I worked through my first legislative session as your State Senator from the 20th District, I watched firsthand what happens when exclusivity trumps inclusivity. I believe that the public sniping back and forth in the press and elsewhere is not moving us toward any real solution, rather it’s a symptom of a process in need of repair.

Our Republican Senators and Representatives reached out individually and through our leaders to present ideas. We offered no tax increase alternatives to discuss. We debated in committees and offered amendments to bills heard on the floor of both legislative chambers. We knew that our ideas alone would not cure Connecticut, or solely be the answer to reducing the burdens on our citizens. As elected representatives of our districts we know that we can help; that we can offer ideas that can and should work their way into bi-partisan solutions.

Those legislators who do not share our ideas as presented have a right and an obligation to disagree just as we do. But are we so representative of a broken system that we can’t even try to talk to one another?

I stand ready; we stand ready and with your help let’s convince the majority party that they should be ready to work together and put down the poison pens. Connecticut deserves our very best collective efforts.