Sen. Kelly and state Reps. McGorty and Perillo host Q&A

Sen. Kevin Kelly and state Reps. Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) held an intimate question-and-answer session with 20-plus Shelton residents at the Plumb Memorial Library to hear some of the residents’ main concerns for them to take back to Hartford.

Topics discussed ranged from a proposed tax increase by the governor to the state’s excessive spending on employee benefits, the current state of the budget, and a variety of other concerns brought up by residents.

Perillo spent the first portion of the meeting addressing the state’s budget and how it is already “unbalanced.”

“The problem is it starts off unbalanced,” said Perillo.

Perillo said he feels the state spends too much on employee benefits.

He and McGorty both said they are against and have publicly opposed Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed idea to implement tolls in Connecticut.

“This is not an attack on the governor, but his ideas,” said Perillo. “Our opinions on tax cuts have fallen on deaf ears. The problem isn’t that we’re not being taxed enough, we’re taxed too much.”

The meeting also included a discussion of whether car manufacturers should be able to sell directly to consumers versus distributing through a third-party dealer.

Perillo said the discussion for this to be made legal is ongoing, but a lot of the discussion involves job security of employees and the business model of car dealerships.

The topic arose because Tesla, an American automotive and energy storage company that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric cars, electric vehicle power train components, and battery products, said it is “unable” to sell its vehicles through dealerships, according Perillo.

“I mean, Bentley and Maserati have dealerships in Connecticut, so they seem to make it work,” said Perillo. “Car dealerships all over, even in Shelton, have built their model around this model; we can’t just up and change it.”

Shelton resident, Tom Harbinson said he would like to see the law changed, as other states have adopted that ruling.

Harbinson also addressed package stores’ ability to sell alcohol at earlier hours than farms and wineries are allowed to sell products.

“It doesn’t really make sense,” said Perillo. “It’s one of those topics that’s discussed every year and we make progress on every year but we have yet to change.”

The residents who attended all thanked the legislators for attending and for actively listening to their concerns.