Party politics aside: Republicans focus on taxes, financial growth



It’s been just over a week since voters across the country made their ways to their local polling places to cast a vote for the candidates they felt were best fit to lead their municipalities. In Southington, Republicans took the supermajority across all elected boards.

“Our candidates worked hard during this campaign and knocked on over 3,000 doors, and they got their message out directly to the voters,” said Southington Republican Town Committee chair Steve Kalkowski. “Our platform was aligned to what our citizens want and need. We must continue to balance our expenses effectively between town services, education and taxes.”

Kalkowski said the party put forth a “very strong slate of candidates,” which included experience along with new faces. That, along with a marketing campaign that included newspaper notices, mailers, signs and social media, helped the party get their message across, he said.

Kalkowski said that Southington citizens need leaders who will listen to its people, and operate with “the utmost integrity.” Over the next two years, the party will largely focus on keeping taxes low.

“We will reinvigorate the growth of business and industry, be aggressive in the preservation of open space, work with the town manager and staff to keep costs under control, look for ways to control education costs and continue to invest in the improvements of our infrastructure,” he said.

Though the town Democrats lost majority on the town council, Southington Democratic Town Committee chair Bob Berkmoes said the party will push onward.

“Of course, when you work that hard and put that much effort into a campaign, you feel a bit disappointed to lose,” said Berkmoes. “That being said, I think we did everything we could do. As always, we look to make Southington a better place, and we will continue to tackle the issues that face the town such as making sure we provide a good education, good government practices, providing and upkeeping our parks and recreation, preserving our open space, being mindful of infrastructure—all the things our citizens have come to expect of us.”

Berkmoes said the party made good progress over the last two years while the Democrats held majority on the council, and will continue to work hard for Southington in the minority.

“Our elected people look forward to jumping in and working alongside the Republicans, and trying to get our voices heard in the most effective way,” said Berkmoes.

Both party heads agreed that the passing of the referendum that will allow the town to purchase the municipal center is a positive thing for Southington. Berkmoes said it was a “smart decision” on behalf of the voters, as it was something that voters “knew had to be done.” Kalkowski said it was “positively the right thing to do for our town and citizens.”

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