Letter: Political parties do not matter in local government

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:

Party affiliation should be irrelevant in our local races. Campaigns should be about the local issues that are important to our community.

We need elected officials who represent our voices on the issues that are relevant and specific to the residents of Shelton. The actions of our mayor, aldermen and other elected leaders are completely unrelated to the agendas of national political parties.

For the last 15 years that I have lived in Shelton, the only “issue “I have ever heard from the mayor is “low taxes.” Nobody disagrees that Shelton’s taxes are attractive to residents, yet a few questions arise: Are our low taxes sustainable? And is Mayor Lauretti the only person who can support low taxes?

I believe that keeping sustainably low taxes requires honest budgeting as well as an oversight from our Board of Apportionment and Taxation, and according to the overwhelming rejection of the city’s charter revision last November, about two-thirds of the taxpayers agree with me.

However, once again, during the budget hearings this year, legitimate questions by the Board of A&T, our financial oversight board, were shut down. Alternative budget proposals that would have maintained a mill rate reduction while providing better funding for our city departments were shut down straight across party lines. These partisan decisions are a disservice to our community and need to stop.

Our Board of Aldermen should better represent all citizens. Their focus should be on finding common sense solutions, and decisions should be based on facts, not partisanship. Elections, therefore, should not focus on which candidate is a Democrat or Republican, but which candidate will make decisions based on what’s best for all our residents. Furthermore, our aldermen are unpaid volunteers who feel the call to serve their community, not aspiring career politicians.

As our current Ward 1 Alderman David Gidwani said, “At the local level, we do things differently: We solve problems. We fix potholes for all residents, Republicans, Democrats and independents.”

The bipartisan group of Envision Shelton’s candidates are already working together to do great things for our community. I encourage people to visit envisionshelton.com to learn more about David Gidwani (Ward 1), Michele Bialek (Ward 2), Chris Jones and Matt McGee (Ward 3), Mandy Kilmartin and Michelle Laubin (Ward 4). Get to know who they are and where they stand on real issues that affect our everyday life here in Shelton. Not in Hartford. Not in Washington.

This November, I will be voting for Envision Shelton’s candidates who believe in keeping taxes low, supporting and improving first responder services, promoting smart development, quality education, transparency, communication, and accountability at the local level.

Laure Kovacs

Shelton