I pledge to give Ridgefield strong and effective representation in Hartford

A voice for all of Ridgefield

 

Affordable Housing

I oppose state legislation that would restrict and dictate towns’ local planning & zoning practices.

I support affordable housing solutions that do not devalue our historic districts, lower homeowners’ property values, or strip away the character of our town. The current 8-30g state mandate is not achieving its intended goal to provide affordable housing opportunities. Instead, it facilitates and creates high-density housing.
 

Affordable housing initiatives must take into account the specific challenges faced by the creation of high-density housing in smaller municipalities, like Ridgefield. Heightened need in the following areas will necessitate an increased tax burden on the mostly single-family home community:

● Fire and Police Department response
● School District capacity
● Human Services support
● Infrastructure demands


I will advocate for the alteration of 8-30g by examining the specifications that could be reworked to provide affordable housing without the unintended consequences.  I will also oppose new proposals to levy an additional tax on towns that are below the 10% affordable housing threshold, like Ridgefield. 


Elements for consideration should include:

● The lowering of the overall goal of 10% deed-restricted affordable housing to a more achievable goal
● Town credit for rentals and homes that have rented or sold at or below the affordable housing benchmark for decades without the deed restriction attached

 

I will support efforts to provide affordable housing that simultaneously considers the needs, restrictions, and historic preservation ideals of the town.

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No Tolls

I oppose Tolls. Connecticut is taxed enough already.

As one of only a handful of states with both a State Income Tax and a State Sales Tax, adding another tax in the form of tolling is outrageous.

Tolling trucks will have unintended consequences including possibly

  • Bankrupting small trucking businesses or small businesses with their trucking delivery services contained within.  

  • An increase in delivery costs, causing an inevitable up-charge in the prices of goods sold to Connecticut consumers.

  • Deterring future businesses and industries from choosing Connecticut as their home.

The current majority in the State Legislature has attempted to sell the idea of tolls as “for trucks only,” but it is only the first step toward imposing tolls on every vehicle traveling over Connecticut’s highway system. Once the expensive build-out and infrastructure for tolling trucks are in place, the need to pay for it will be used to rationalize the tolling to other vehicles. Inevitably, over time, tolls only ever increase in quantity and cost.

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Forced School Regionalization

I oppose forced school regionalization.

Proposed as an effort to save money, Democratic leadership in the state legislature has been aggressively pursuing forced school regionalization. School regionalization measures do not necessarily equal cost savings, and in some instances, can increase the costs for one or more of the districts involved. Ultimately, school regionalization impedes the ability of the local school district to do what is best for its particular student and teacher population.

Instead of heavy-handed mandates, I will advocate for policies that support opportunities for towns to voluntarily work together to share resources if the communities decide it’s in their best interests.

I will also fight any attempts by the majority in Hartford to hold municipalities’ hostage by withholding vital funding for not complying with overreaching legislative mandates, such as this one.

Knowing that many families move to Ridgefield for the excellent school system, I will always work to improve education and adamantly oppose any attempts to mandate school regionalization.

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Making Connecticut Affordable and Restoring Economic Prosperity

Working together, we can improve our infrastructure, protect our environment, improve our schools and achieve goals for public health and safety.

Connecticut has a spending problem.  Right now, our reckless spending is saddling future generations with crippling debt.  If we’re going to bring jobs back to Connecticut, attract new workers, and enjoy economic prosperity, we need to get our fiscal house in order and stop taxing businesses for programs and projects we can't afford.    

I will work for economic security by:

  • Supporting policies that prioritize state spending that make Connecticut an affordable place to work and live, and I will not support passing more expenses down on municipalities.

  • Addressing the massive fiscal and competitive problems we face with high taxes, gasoline prices, electricity costs, continuing budget deficits, and the highest per capita debt and unfunded retirement liabilities in the nation.

  • Advocating for income and property tax reform that makes sense and is not based on political agendas. The legislature must look at repealing many of the unnecessary mandates and fees currently in place. 

  • Establishing a Business Advisory Task Force made up of a cross-section of business owners to work with me to develop legislative proposals to reduce unnecessary regulation and encourage job growth.

  • Focusing on Economic Prosperity as the key to growth in order to pay for unfunded liabilities and create access to good jobs to help disadvantaged communities.

 

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Supporting Law Enforcement

The United States of America was founded on the principles of liberty, justice, and the rule of law. I reject any assault on the men and women of law enforcement.

The CT House of Representatives recently passed the "Police Accountability" bill.

 

This legislation would, among other things:

  • Remove qualified immunity for law enforcement personnel, making the police and municipalities potentially liable in civil lawsuits.

  • Have serious financial implications for Ridgefield and other towns throughout Connecticut.  

  • Will make our state much more dangerous by removing valuable equipment from our police departments, and subjecting our officers to personal liability for any alleged harm that occurs in the performance of their duty.

Our police officers have strong leadership, are well-trained, and enjoy strong community support. They work tirelessly to keep our neighborhoods and schools safe. As a result, Ridgefield has consistently ranked as the number one safest town in the state, and also as one of the safest in the country.

I disagree with elements of the recent Police Accountability bill for reasons stated above.  I support increased and ongoing training for our police officers and community outreach programs.

 

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Supporting Small Businesses

Communities thrive when their small businesses succeed.  Bob is a successful and experienced leader in building businesses and creating good jobs.  

As a Ridgefield Selectman who helped to lead the Reopened Ridgefield task force, Bob understands the challenges posed to local businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a 40-year career in banking in real estate finance, with much of it as an entrepreneur helping businesses and creating jobs, Bob recognizes that small business owners need tax and regulatory stability to grow and thrive. He knows that Connecticut’s focus should be on job creation and attracting business through economic prosperity.

 

  • Undo the recent business filing fee increase

  • Streamline the professional licensing process

  • Restore tax credits encouraging entrepreneurship

  • Repeal state sales tax on unemployment training

 

Because of his experience and views on rehabilitating our State’s economy, Bob has been endorsed by both the CT REALTORS Association in the National Federation of Independent Business. He's also signed onto the Rebuilding Connecticut bipartisan pledge from the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

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