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Thursday, April 26 Opinion

Letter: GOP leaders put town's future at risk

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 our town relies on and are the very reason most of our residents chose to move to Fairfield.

We cannot maintain our standing without investments that protect our schools, public works, public safety, and many of the services that 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.

Republican leaders 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 indicates they understood the consequences. Even they can't abide by the assault on our town with votes that show a thorough lack of good common sense and fiscal responsibility, as many of these cuts will actually cost us more down the road. The vast majority of the constituents all of us heard from asked that we not make any further reductions to the bipartisan budget handed down by the Democratically controlled Board of Selectman and the Republican controlled Board of Finance.

Republican state Reps. Tony Hwang, 134th District, and Brenda Kupchick, 132nd District, recently followed suit 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 nonprofits such as Operation Hope, and the state's investment in both school safety upgrades and local road and bridge improvements. Businesses will not relocate to a state that doesn't invest in itself or its citizens, and certainly not one that is ignoring decades of crumbling infrastructure our economy relies on. What is their economic vision?

It makes no sense that two fairly well-liked state reps would play politics with our future. Reps. Hwang and Kupchick can no longer be considered moderates, as evidenced by the fact that only eight out of 54 Republicans in Hartford supported these cuts. They have become ideologically driven in supporting unsustainable cuts that will hurt our state, our town, and our economy.

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 their 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 dimishing our quality of life. It's time to assess the damage being done and contact your representatives, on both the local and state levels, to demand an explanation as to how far some of them will go to promote their philosophy instead of supporting our town.

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Elizabeth Zezima

RTM District 6