To the editor:
This is the election season when political rhetoric is plentiful. I ask everyone, before believing what you read or hear, research the facts. Ed Rosenblatt Chair of Southington Democrat Town Committee presented his party’s five-point platform based on deception and misrepresentations.
1) Return balance to development, residential vs. commercial, and industrial development. This is a typical Democrat solution, government over ride of the land owner’s rights. Determine private property owner’s ability to sell their land and for what purposes to provide balance, government will decide how much property can be sold each year for commercial and industrial vs. residential use. Southington Democrats are planning to bring Washington D.C. and Hartford government to Southington. The current balance includes: Connecticut On-line Computer Company (COCC) purchased 75,000 square feet to create a state of the art facility, initially employing 240 people and adding and additional 400 employees; Joseph Moruzzi purchased a 153,000 square foot office building and added a 20,000 square foot professional space; A NASDAQ listed company acquired a 120,000 square foot office building, transitioning 140 employees from Rocky Hill; Lake Compounce put a $2 million investment in Southington; Crystal Bees is converting a 30,000 square foot warehouse into a restaurant and entertainment center; a 47,817 square foot medical office building is being developed on Queen Street; Sign Pro built a 30,000 square foot facility to employ 39 people and add eight additional employees.
2) Rosenblatt claims that the mill rate increased 25 percent under Republican leadership. Have your taxes gone up 25 percent? Intelligent people know the mill rate alone is a meaningless number. It must always be used in conjunction with the property valuation. The mill rate in 2005 was 29.43 and ten years later in 2015 it is 29.14, essentially the same. Facts: Under Democrat leadership (2007 to 2010) tax average increase per year was 3.825 percent.Under Republican leadership (2011 to 2015) taxes increased an average 1.64 percent per year.
3) Tax relief to seniors. Republicans have provided many benefits to our seniors, including transportation for both in- and out-of-town medical visits, initiating a new senior center to meet many other needs. There are special tax considerations for seniors relating to their income.
4) Rosenblatt says, “sewer billing system must be investigated,” implying corruption. Money collected from sewer billing covers sewer operations. Going back seven to 10 years under Democrat control, our sewer plant, sewer billing process, roads, bridges, and all infrastructures were allowed to deteriorate. The sewer facility, operation, and billing is a break-even operation managed within its own budget and fund. Under Republican leadership the sewer plant has been repaired, and the billing process has been corrected to run a balanced budget. A reduction in billing fees has begun in October.
5) Restore integrity would imply Republican leadership has been deceptive. This is transparency. Town Council, Board of Finance, Board of Education Planning and Zoning meetings are televised and available for web streaming, and minutes are available to all, OpenGov service used for financial transparency. “Government Financial Office Award” was received for going above and beyond in financial reporting. We are ranked fifth best in the state for most transparent records.
Our 12-point 2015 Republican Platform shows real forward thinking leadership:
- Actively support student safety and excellent education for every child.
- Foster respect and support for our senior citizens.
- Support the new Calendar House.
- Continue to expand our open space.
- Continue to expand our green energy program to reduce taxes.
- Continue our much needed road repair and upgrading.
- Promote economic development and growth in our tax base.
- Data-driven decisions will continue to be our focus.
- Responsible fiscal planning, applying good business practices.
- Proactive planning and collaboration for all Departments and boards.
- Continued support and focus on public safety – Police and Fire Department.
- We support “Activate Southington,” which promotes healthy living for our youth families and senior citizens.
Brian Callahan, Chair Southington Republican Town Committee