I’d like to thank the Oronoque Villagers who attended the candidate forum, the Oronoque Study Group of the Bridgeport Area League of Women Voters and the Oronoque Men’s Club for hosting the event. I truly enjoyed meeting everyone who took time to speak with me and express your concerns, issues and needs for your community.
There are a few salient points that came up in the debate between Mr. Kubic and I that are worth reiterating:
When asked about other major issues in Oronoque, Mr. Kubic held the strong opinion that the Villagers were better served as two districts, having double representation on the Council and two seats on boards and commissions. While he does make a valid point, it was clear from the majority of Oronoque residents who spoke to me after the forum that they did not feel the same way.
Had Mr. Kubic stayed for the meet and greet, he would have heard more than one resident express their 10-year irritation that splitting the Village into two districts was a “punishment” designed to dilute and weaken their voting power when they ran an Independent candidate many years ago (who won).
Redistricting is coming up again in 2013. If I learn through ongoing constituency meetings that Oronoque Village wants to be unified, I will work tirelessly to make them whole.
In talking about road repair and quality of life issues, I made the point that 11 (it was actually 12) Public Works’ positions were eliminated in the last two years, despite a which would keep them intact. Mr. Kubic suggested that I would raise taxes to restore these positions.
There were two cost-saving solutions I immediately presented, and the biggest was the nearly $2 million spent in the Town Attorney’s office. Since the Council controls the funding for that office, the Town Attorney can be made a salaried position and save a tremendous amount of money. That savings can pay for the restoration of Public Works employees, an Economic Development Director and more.
Lastly, Mr. Kubic supported regionalization for the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) and cited his role as commissioner on the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority (GBTA) as an example of the benefits of regionalization.
I disagree with regionalizing the WPCA. As an example, a regionalized GBTA changed the bus route that negatively affected the Wilcoxson school area. The parents and residents were finally successful in winning the necessary bus changes. Accordingly, Stratford would lose control if the WPCA were regionalized, and sewer fees would increase to compensate for the needs of the other communities.
While I don’t bring the experience Mr. Kubic cited as a positive qualification to the Town Council, I also don’t bring the legacy issues of political infighting, contentious Council meetings, disrespectful debate, and the win/lose mentality that has haunted Stratford during his terms. We’ve been there, done that.
What I do bring is fresh perspective, a willingness to listen, a commitment to transparency and a sense of professionalism. Let’s put the personal and the political aside and focus on progress. I invite your ideas and thoughts, and to become part of our community on Facebook.