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Why I Voted 'Yes' on the Budget

In this day of partisan politics, a politician can either be partisan and get nothing done or be practical and be successful for his or her district.

Editor's note: Jason Santi is a Democrat representing Stratford's Fourth District on the Town Council. He joined five Republicans in for fiscal year 2013.

I wanted to thank my fellow Council members in the majority and the mayor's office for working together in a bipartisan manner on the budget first of all.

Second of all, I made it no secret that my top goal was to save from eventually being closed or the school being shafted because of politics. For the last 3 years, it has been at the top of the list for closure, even up until March, when the budget was given to us.

Even though there wasn't any direct public threat this year to close it afterward, there were times, I had heard privately, the school may be closed if funding was cut.

During these tight budget times, I wasn't taking any chances. I made this very clear to whomever I spoke with -- I will do what I can to keep the school open. There was even talk of zeroing the Board of Education budget out, which, we know for a fact, our school would be the first to go. I have a duty to the voters of the Fourth District to do what I can to make sure that school is not messed with or closed.

I made it no secret that I was willing to work in a bipartisan manner to craft ideas for a budget that held Democratic ideals. A lot of things put forth were taken into consideration; i.e., more cops, more positions for public works, more money for community services, and other things.

But the votes weren't there to pass these additional items. Anyone on my side of the aisle can go around and say I support this and that and easily say 'no' because of politics. I am not like that. As much as this may upset people because of the way I voted -- I respect that.

I have one goal and that is to do what I can to keep Franklin School open and get it fixed up so it will be viable for years to come. I will not hide and put my head in the sand. If it means working in a bipartisan manner to save our school I will do that. Ultimately if the voters think I am doing a bad job then they will vote me out. I have tirelessly represented my district and will continue to do so.

Here's what working with the majority got with a bipartisan budget added: more money for sidewalks and public works services, no layoffs or cuts in services, more money to combat blight, more money for the school board, which saved any schools from closing and added back freshman sports, certain spending contingencies were cut, library hours were increased to be open on Sundays, and other items were funded. Please note these were ideas from both myself and the majority.

We couldn't get everything, because the votes weren't there. I supported all the other items, but I had to be realistic about things we could get passed.

In this day of partisan politics, a politician can either be partisan and get nothing done or be practical and be successful for his or her district. I read that someplace once. Good words to live by. I am being practical. Just to be partisan, without ideas, you will never get anything done anywhere.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and your support.

Cynical May 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM
So, in your own words "Even though there wasn't any direct public threat this year to close it (Franklin School)..." you voted for a bad budget. A budget that you couldn't stand up and fight against, just because the votes weren't there. Basically, you sold out the rest of the town, just to save a school in your own district that wasn't really in trouble. So, I am sure we can believe that in the future, the Republican majority and the Mayor can count on you to fold any time there's a whisper of something they want. All they need to do is hold out their hand with something you want and you'll just vote with them. No conscience for the Town as a whole. Guess they have you in their pocket now! Being practical is standing up for ideals and having the guts to say "NO!" when you see something wrong! It's not folding just to save your butt! I'd hate to see what would happen with you and one other person in a sinking boat with onl one life jacket! Let's remember this in the next election, people!
Mike Reynolds May 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM
And lets not forget that a few years ago Mr. Santi, a huge Jim Miron supporter, publicly stated in the CT Post editorial section that toxic Raymark waste should be buried in a residential neighborhood. He went on saying that the EPA knows what's its doing and people, ie Save Stratford, shouldn't get in its way. So as diligently as Mr. Santi fought for the 4th district he has no compunction about selling out another district in Stratford.
Jason Santi May 10, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Anyone can hide behind fake names and bash people who stand up for their districts. Hey you are entitled to your opinions. You should come to a public forum and state your real name for the record. I fight for what is right for my district and no matter what opinions people may have of me, ultimately it is up to my constituents who call the shots. I stand by my vote and did what is right for Franklin School and my district. Again if you feel you can do a better job then please run for office and make a difference.
George E. Mulligan May 11, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Had Jason voted no, it would have been a 5-5 vote. Harkins tie breaker. Jason is honestly passionate about Franklin school. Jason bought up issues about NO PAPER WORK that at least caused Malloy - Harkins - Collier - Geen to pass out Paper Work On the MAY 2011 Bonding issues + two weeks later on the attempt to raise sewer fees, which didn't pass. I woke up the Council asking for LOWER Sewer Fees + NOTHING could justify even the $ 280 price. Twice GEEN violated FOI posting rules. The difference was it was on tape-what I said about the $ 280 + there was NO notice per increase. With PATCH Chris Carroll sitting directly behind me with his LAP TOP, + STFD STAR Kovach typing on his LAP TOP, GEEN was caught breaking FOI notice LAW. Jason + Catalano meet with head of DOT + raised safety + traffic issues. STILL: MAIN STREET - floods + pedestrians HIT! There are many angry people who've realized they've been played + betrayed by those who give JOBS, CONTRACTS, PAY INCREASES, CHANGE ORDERS, BENEFITS, etc When children get cancer because the EPA / DEP patrons either intentionally or not poisoned GROUND & WATER, which POISONS AIR ..it's TIME to MAN UP! When property values are crushed + taxes kited LIKE gerrymandering, so POLITICALLY connected pay less .... Lordship Realtor Kay O'Connor has prove of disproportiate Taxes. When RANK POLICE / FIRE ANNUAL PENSIONS are HIGHER than 1 - Base Pay 2 - Lifetime Pension Contribution Lawyers? poopie-kaka

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