Letter: Laubin on why she is running for Shelton alderman

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

I believe in public service, and I believe that when you see a job that needs to be done, and you are in a position to do so, you should do it. That’s why I agreed to serve on the Board of Apportionment and Taxation four years ago. I watched, listened and learned a lot from my colleagues on the board.

The next year, we were able to form a coalition with one of the Republican members of the board who saw that education was being underfunded, and we were able to pass a bi-partisan budget that represented a compromise on both sides, but provided fair funding for education. I was proud that we were able to work across the aisle to make that happen.

I was disappointed that the mayor and the Board of Aldermen proceeded to reject the recommendation of the Board of A&T in 2019 and frustrated that they continued to cut money from the education budget and force more teachers and staff to be laid off, undermining our school system and ultimately, our tax base, as more families who seek a strong school system choose to move out of Shelton, to buy homes in communities that place more of a value on education.

Other Shelton residents have told me that they have chosen to send their children to private schools because there are better opportunities for their children there. We have incredibly dedicated and talented teachers and staff in Shelton, and tremendous pride as a community, and it hurts to see that talent and pride compromised by the underfunding of the school system year after year.

Not only did the mayor and the Board of Aldermen cut the education budget again in 2019, but they decided to go one step further and try to eliminate the entire Board of A&T from existence through their charter revision proposal. This was a clear act of retaliation against the Board of A&T for having the temerity to act as an independent board. Fortunately, the voters of Shelton wisely voted down this ill-conceived charter revision proposal last November. So, the Shelton Board of A&T still exists. Unfortunately, this year, despite our best efforts to bring transparency and accountability to the budget development process, the three Republican members now serving on the Board of A&T voted as a “rubber stamp” to approve the mayor’s budget without further discussion or consideration, which is a tremendous disservice to you, the taxpayer.

So, I have decided that the only way for me to make a real difference in Shelton government is to run for a seat on the Board of Aldermen in Ward 4. If you live in Ward 4 (vote at Mohegan School), you know that there has not been a Democrat on the ballot running for Alderman in that Ward in many years, and I’m proud to be able to offer the voters in Ward 4 a choice for the first time in a very long time. I’m thrilled that Mandy Kilmartin, current Board of Education member, will also be on the ballot with me in Ward 4, and I hope that we can both count on your support. We are running on the Envision Shelton bi-partisan slate because we believe that we can do a better job for Shelton when we work together, as one team, putting our community ahead of all other considerations. I look forward to meeting many of you over the next few months. Please visit the Envision Shelton website at www.envisionshelton.com or follow Envision Shelton on Facebook to learn more about us, volunteer to work on our campaign, or just tell us what matters to you. I also have a Facebook page called Michelle Laubin for Alderman, and I invite you to like my page, follow my posts, and contact me there. Or, you can email me at mclaubin@comcast.net. I want to hear what you care about. Let’s envision Shelton as a better place that works for all of us, and make it happen.

Michelle Laubin

Candidate for 4th Ward alderman