Jul 27, 2014
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Letter: RTM Member Says GOP Fiscal Policies 'Harm Our Quality of Life'

Letter: RTM Member Says GOP Fiscal Policies 'Harm Our Quality of Life'

Dear Editor,

Local Republicans, slaves to a philosophy that the less we spend on our town the better off we will be, are content to slash the services much of the town relies on and in many cases moved here for. We cannot make progress or maintain our standing without investments that protect our excellent schools, public works, public safety, and many of the services that directly benefit our seniors.  There have been several letters written lately pointing out harmful economic policies of Republican town leaders and I am glad Democratic leaders like Heather Dean are standing up for our community and calling out local politicians for supporting damaging and unnecessary cuts. They have become too radical even for members of their own party. A total of 15 Republican members of the RTM voted against a number of these cuts, which tells you they know full well the consequences of those actions. Even they can't abide by the constant assault on our town and its citizens with votes that show a thorough lack of good common sense and fiscal responsibility, when many of these cuts will actually cost us more down the road. The vast majority of the constituents all of us heard from asked us not to make any further cuts to the bipartisan budget handed down to us by the Democratically controlled Board of Selectman and the Republican controlled Board of Finance.

Rep. Tony Hwang and Rep. Brenda Kupchick recently followed suit with their local like minded counterparts and voted to eliminate funding critical to our town. Their irresponsible vote to eliminate long term investment in the state's aging infrastructure would have denied us $12 million in safety upgrades to Metro North, grants to local not-for-profits like Operation Hope, and the state's investment in both school safety upgrades and local road and bridge improvements. What is their economic vision?

It makes no sense that two fairly well liked state reps would play politics with our future. Keep in mind that only 8 out of 54 elected Republicans in Hartford supported these draconian cuts. These are our local voices at the State level. If they don't represent their actual constituents, who do they represent?  Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick are no longer moderate Republicans. They have become ideologically driven in supporting unsustainable cuts that will hurt our state, our town, and our residents.  This is not the way to attract business. Companies are not going to move to a state that does not invest in itself or its citizens, and certainly not one that is ignoring decades of crumbling infrastructure.

Our town needs to get engaged and pay attention to the actions of those we elect to represent us when it becomes apparent they don't have our best interests in mind.  Putting a dangerous political ideology ahead of the needs of our town will mean steep cuts and reduced investment from the state, which perversely ends up increasing our property taxes while harming our quality of life. It's time to assess the damage being done and contact your representatives, on both the local and State level, to demand an explanation as to how far they will go to promote their philosophy instead of supporting us.

Elizabeth Zezima
RTM District 6

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