Every Friday until Election Day, GOOD Morning Wilton publishes Letters to the Editor that we’ve received about the candidates and/or election-related issues. Learn more about our election coverage guidelines and policies, including requirements for Letters to the Editor. Letters are printed in the order in which they are received. To send a letter to the editor, email it to editor@goodmorningwilton.com.

Haskell Understands Problems Facing Our Region’s Transportation

To the Editor:

Please join me in supporting Will Haskell as our next State Senator. Will represents the best of a new generation of dynamic, intelligent young candidates this year who are willing to challenge the status quo and move us forward.

Take for instance the issue of transportation.  As a former Westport Transit Director, I believe Will understands the complex transportation problems facing the South Western Connecticut region. For years now, there has been an emphasis at the state level on projects oriented along a north-south direction (for example, the Greater Hartford High-Speed Rail & Bus Rapid Transit) while comparable projects along the much more heavily traveled east-west coastal corridor where we live and work have been virtually ignored and underfunded. Will understands that the towns in South West Connecticut must work together to maximize funding, reduce duplicative waste and enhance public transparency around spending priorities. Will’s opponent, who currently serves as the co-chair of the Transportation Committee, continues to perpetuate our region’s disarray, choosing to blame others instead of advancing solutions, like transportation planning reform. She should be held accountable for her long record of inaction and inertia in Hartford.

Friends, it’s  time to elect leaders, not longtime politicians, who are willing to confront complex problems with logical solutions that put our region on a path to a better future. Voting for Will is a step in that direction.

Jennifer Johnson

Westport

Lavielle Serious about Restoring CT’s Business Climate

To the Editor:

CNBC used the term “business migration crisis” to describe the high number of businesses leaving Connecticut. This hardly comes as a surprise, since Connecticut leads most states in terms of taxation and over-regulation. It’s obvious to everyone – except apparently Hartford – that the situation is dire. Gail Lavielle has long understood the need for an economic development policy that shows we are serious about tax and regulatory reform – and about restoring our business climate. Rep. Lavielle is serious about stopping businesses from leaving, and having new businesses choose Connecticut. With so much at stake, we need to re-elect Gail Lavielle.

Patricia Belote

Lavielle’s Leadership So Important as CT Struggles to Get Back on Track

To the Editor:

When Governor Malloy proposed last year to shift millions of dollars in teacher pension costs to the towns, Rep. Gail Lavielle was among the first–and the loudest–to punch back against this unfair, and ill-conceived plan. I cite this as an example of Rep. Lavielle’s strong leadership, which is so important as Connecticut continues to struggle to get back on track.

Rep. Lavielle has consistently supported efforts to rein in spending and stop the predictable reliance on tax increases.   Earlier this year, she was a leader in delivering a balanced budget that reduced spending and included no new taxes.  That budget actually passed the legislature, as Gail helped convince her colleagues of its merits, but was later vetoed by the governor.

Rep. Lavielle is a respected member of the legislature, who has earned increased responsibilities as her reputation for hard-work and conviction have become apparent.  She currently serves as assistant minority leader, and has leadership assignments on the education and finance committees – which of course are of paramount importance to our town.

We are fortunate to have Rep. Lavielle fighting for us, and I believe she will be an important voice in ensuring our state’s prosperous future.

Hella K McSweeney

Elect Legislators Who Will Stand Up to the NRA

To the Editor:

Despite Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and Parkland, it’s still easier in many states to buy a gun than get a driver’s license or register a car. While many groups have demanded common sense gun regulations, including universal background checks and banning high capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons, few states have taken enough action. Instead, legislators have focused on heightening school security. While kids might be safer in schools with bullet proof glass, what about at the library, YMCA, soccer field, or grocery store. What will prevent someone with a gun and high capacity ammunition from shooting innocent people in any public space?

The NRA and politicians opposed to any type of gun regulation cite the 2nd Amendment. The people who drafted it never anticipated the US would have a standing army or local/state police forces, just as they never anticipated the internet. This isn’t 1791. The 2nd Amendment is no longer a valid argument for refusing to institute common sense gun regulations.

We need to elect legislators who will stand up to the NRA and enact the legislation necessary to help reduce gun violence.  If we don’t, we are as responsible for gun violence as those who pull the trigger.

Carey Field

Lavielle–Wilton’s Tireless Champion

To the Editor:

Wilton voters set the bar high with expectations for our elected officials, and Gail Lavielle continually outperforms.  From restoring early morning service on the Danbury branch, securing lighting for the Wilton train station, fighting mid-year education funding cuts, to leading the fight against tax increases, Gail has been our town’s tireless champion.

Among her legislative colleagues, Gail is regarded as an intelligent hard-worker, who puts aside politics and partisanship to get the job done.  As a member of the House Finance Committee, for example, she helped persuade members from both parties to agree to a balanced budget proposal that actually reduced spending and called for no new taxes.  The governor vetoed that proposal, but the fact legislators were able to agree generated significant headlines.

Rep. Lavielle is also approachable to all Wiltonians.  You can find Gail in attendance at most town events, and she always has time to stop and chat.  Her door is always open, and communication runs both ways.

Another important consideration is that Gail’s opponent lives in Norwalk. If Gail were to lose her election, Wilton would have zero house members who truly understand the needs of our community. That matters, and is just one more reason why I will be supporting Gail Lavielle next month.

Lisa Pojano

Lavielle has ‘Sterling Record’ in Protecting Environment

To the Editor:

Among State Rep. Gail Lavielle’s many legislative accomplishments, is her sterling record in protecting the environment, which includes opposing many ideas that would have caused significant damage to our precious natural resources.

For the fourth time, Gail has been endorsed by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) for her leadership on environmental issues. She was cited for her protection of the public water supply, advocacy of public transportation and opposition to disposal of fracking waste in our state.

CTLCV does not hand out its endorsement lightly, yet Gail received this coveted stamp of approval. She has earned my vote!

Donna Harakas

Lamont’s Approach is Realistic

To the Editor:

It’s very instructive to contrast Bob Stefanowski’s fiscal approach to Ned Lamont’s. Stefanowski wants to eliminate the personal income tax and employ zero based budgeting to reduce government spending. That plus growth spurred by business tax cuts will balance the budget. He never really says how he will replace almost 56% of the State’s revenue (49.1% income and 4.6% corporate). The hope of higher revenue by reducing business taxes is a known failure in Kansas (Forbes June 2017, The Great Kansas Tax Cut Crashes and Burns). The State legislature had to raise taxes over the Governor’s veto to fund vital public services.

As for Zero Based Budgeting, a 2013 study by the Government Finance Officers Association (of which I’m a member) stated, “Alternatives to ZBB exist. These alternatives can answer many of the same cut-back budgeting questions as ZBB, while sidestepping some of its disadvantages.” In other words, it is just a technique and not a panacea for balancing a budget.

Ned Lamont’s approach is realistic. He recognizes the need to control spending, reduce the pension liability and restructure our mix of individual, corporate, sales and property taxes to increase growth, ensure fairness and reduce our reliance on what is one of the highest reliance on property taxes in the nation (Tax Foundation, 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index). It’s not magic or pandering, it is a realistic approach to solving our problems and moving forward.

Bob Sabo

Connecticut needs Will Haskell

To the Editor:

It is wonderful to learn that Barak Obama has endorsed Will Haskell in his campaign against Toni Boucher in Connecticut’s 26th Senate District. Will is among a handful of Connecticut candidates endorsed by President Obama, which reflects on the optimistic, forward-looking vision that Will brings to Wilton.

Anyone who meets Will quickly learns how extraordinary a State Senator he will be. He brings the intellect, knowledge, and energy that Wilton and the 26th need in Hartford. President Obama joins several other thoughtful groups that have endorsed Will, including the National Organization for Women. Please learn about Will’s principles and policies on his webpage. Better yet, meet him at any of the many events that he is attending. Please join me in supporting Will Haskell for State Senate.

Tom Dubin