To the Editor:

An open letter to Will Haskell, State Senator for the 26th District, representing Wilton, Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston and Westport.

Thank you for your recent email highlighting your major accomplishments during your first term in office:  paid family leave; a $15 minimum wage; and sexual harassment training. Your focus on these issues while we have major fiscal and economic problems in Connecticut is a demonstration of your political naivete and how out of touch you are with the majority of your constituents. Your performance reminds me of the old adage, “Nero fiddled while Rome burns.”

As you are well aware, Connecticut has lost population for the last five years as residents flee to other states with a lower cost of living, lower taxes and a more robust economy. I’m sure these residents are not leaving the state because there was no paid family leave or because the minimum wage was less than $15 when they perhaps couldn’t find a job at ail.

Perhaps your accomplishments in your first year in office include your tacit approval of “kicking the can down the road’ with regard to our woefully underfunded pension liabilities rather than enacting structural reforms which begin to address the problem. Perhaps your accomplishments include your early support of Senator Duff’s school regionalization bill. Finally, your accomplishments include your continuing strong support for highway tolls in Connecticut, a prime example of how you’re honoring your campaign pledge to “make Connecticut more affordable for all our residents.”

Yes, Senator Haskell, you’ve had a terrific first year representing your constituents!

However, if you decide to run for a second term, rest assured, I will not be voting for you or your opponent. It’s you, and Senators like you, with your upside-down politics, who have only reaffirmed my decision to leave Connecticut.

Charles Wessendorf

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