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Emily Wilson details her platform for 142nd District state rep run

Emily Wilson
Emily Wilson

NORWALK, Conn. – I strongly believe in the Common Sense Commitment, five principles that can guide Connecticut to a strong, stable economy.

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They are: spend no more than you make; borrow only what you can afford to pay back; if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, but if it’s not working, get rid of it; the more government tries to do, the less it does well; and we should have all the government we need, but only the government we need.

We can use these principles as a road map to implement lasting solutions to Connecticut’s economic challenges.

Connecticut’s current budget was neither fully vetted nor based on honest accounting principles. Spending outpaces revenue, and debt is incurred for operational expenses. We must pass a budget with no gimmicks and with no tax increases. We must respect the Constitutional spending cap, and restrict the use of debt only to projects that benefit the public.

Tax Freedom Day arrives here in Connecticut last among all 50 states because of the heavy tax burden. The huge tax increases in the last two years have worsened the situation for families, while not solving the budget problems. Rather than continue with high taxes that hinder every aspect of life, we must reduce the tax burden on individuals, families and businesses. We must pass tax reforms that encourage growth, including property tax reform, and eliminate those taxes for which administration costs exceed revenue collected.

Because of cumbersome regulations, Connecticut is forcing businesses to move out of state, taking jobs with them. The high cost of doing business in the state undermines job creation and economic growth. We must create a pro-business climate of responsible regulation, welcome new business into Connecticut and promote small business development. For Connecticut, economic growth is vital to achieving fiscal sustainability.

Connecticut’s liabilities and unfunded obligations have become unsupportable, whether it is compensation for government employees or insufficiently funded retirement promises. As an employer, the state of Connecticut must ensure employees receive compensation that is both competitive and fair to taxpayers. Current state pensions and retiree health obligations must also be restructured so that the benefits remain sustainable.

Fairfield County is home to two regional corridors of transportation, Metro-North and I-95, which are vital to the regional economy. As we have read over the last few weeks and months, our roads and rails are in dire need of investment and modernization. We must improve safe mobility through the state of people and goods to improve Connecticut’s competitiveness. Legislation to stop the raiding of the Transportation Fund was a good first step.

The Education Cost Sharing program was intended to ensure that students across the state had fair access to quality education. Unfortunately, as currently implemented, the grant process has resulted in an unbalanced distribution of state funds, impacting the schools in Norwalk. We must revamp the current state education funding formula so that it is both equitable and adequately funded.

While many states have turned an economic corner, Connecticut remains in trouble with excessive spending, taxing and borrowing. Families and business are being driven out of state. But, with some common sense, Connecticut can be on the path to reaching its great potential once again: a state where families can afford to live and raise a family, where businesses can grow and create jobs, and where people want to stay and retire.

The primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 12

 

Comments

13 responses to “Emily Wilson details her platform for 142nd District state rep run”

  1. piberman

    Straight talk, indeed. Imagine if our local GOP espoused these admirable principles. Then we’d see a rebirth here too in Norwalk. CT has become a national poster child for failed governance with employment remaining well below pre-Recession levels. Even the tooth fairy can’t understand how City voters can believe keeping liberal tax and spend Democrats controlling our state governance can improve matters.

  2. Mike Mushak

    It is refreshing to see common sense and support for small businesses mentioned in Ms. Wilson’s platform. I agree that we certainly need more of both. How ironic then that Ms. Wilson’s record on the Zoning Commission, on which I served with her for several years, is lacking in both of these areas.
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    The list is long, but highlights include Ms. Wilson’s stunning vote to kill the zone change earlier this year for Main Ave., which was recommended in a professional planning study as well as our 2008 Master Plan, to limit big box stores in that dangerous stretch (one of the most dangerous roads in CT) that already has 140 small businesses, many locally owned, that will be seriously impacted with crippling traffic and competition from big box development in that corridor. Not to mention the traffic overflow into Silvermine and Cranbury that a poorly planned big box corridor would bring.
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    It’s as if Ms. Wilson learned no lessons from the CT Ave planning nightmare, where traffic overflow into residential neighborhoods of West Norwalk and Flax Hill destroyed the quality of life for many, including reducing property values along the busiest roads which weren’t designed for regional traffic taking shortcuts, and where taxpayers are now picking up the tab for $80 million in road improvements to try to fix the crippling gridlock. Main Ave will also need to be widened with taxpayer funds, in Ms. Wilson’s “vision” for that area, requiring eminent domain of parking lots of many existing businesses. She said she supports “property rights” of owners to build anything they want at any size in that corridor, but don’t the existing small businesses have rights too?
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    Where is the common sense and support for hundreds of locally-owned small businesses by killing a smart zone change that experts and our own Master Plan recommended to protect those very businesses? When staff produced bogus data to support the zone change (a clear example of the corruption of our planning process where politics influenced our staff), Ms. Wislon didn’t question it at all even though I immediately pointed out the absurdity of it’s conclusions, including the potential of 8 convenience stores to be built right next to each other on the property where BJ’s was proposed! Common sense? There was none present in the meeting room that day, for sure. It appears Ms. Wilson’s definition of “small business” includes an international conglomerate like BJ’s, that would have taken all of its profits out of Norwalk unlike the hundreds of true locally owned small businesses in that area it would surely have impacted.
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    Of course, BJ’s withdrew their application at the last minute, but thanks to the actions of Ms. Wilson, there is no protection in place to prevent another CT Ave-style planning nightmare in that corridor, and NO protections for the Silvermine and Cranbury neighborhoods that will surly get the shortcut traffic overflow we have seen ruin other parts of Norwalk, and which is why the zone change for Main Ave was recommended in the first place by a leading national planning firm and included in our Master Plan. I mean, why even have a Master Plan if you believe it is just a nuisance, to be ignored?
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    Ms. Wilson has served as Chair and Co-chair of the Zoning Commission for years (been though the city website curiously describes her as being appointed for the first time in July 2013, which is wrong), and has led the negotiations for the settlement for the West Norwalk mosque by representing the Commission.
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    Yet, even in this leadership position, she has not supported any updates to our obsolete zoning code by implementing millions of dollars in plans and studies that are gathering dust on the shelves of City Hall, including the TOD Zoning Overlay that will encourage small business in SoNo which is years behind schedule, and the Parking Master Plan by a leading planning firm that recommended Norwalk encourage small business development and more housing by lowering its obsolete parking standards (25% reduction recommended by 2014, which is now, but which still hasn’t happened).
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    Lately she has dragged her feet on simple parking reductions for Rowayton, by asking for contradictory information for months, stalling and delaying instead of helping make a simple change to help small businesses in that area of town by reducing draconian 70’s era parking requirements (which all the experts recommend we do), and which other cities in CT and around the country have already done. Where is the common sense support for small business in her actions here? Why should parking requirements designed for suburban strip malls in the 70’s apply to Rowayton, or any other area of Norwalk of that matter? Acres of empty parking all over town attest to our broken system, as well as ridiculously punitive expenses incurred by small businesses who have to build or lease parking spaces they often do not need, just to get that coveted zoning approval they need.
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    Is it any wonder we have hundreds of vacant storefronts and properties all over Norwalk, often blighted, killing economic development and quality of life as well as burdening the rest of us with huge property taxes? Ms. Wilson also claims to want to reform property tax in her platform, but again, her record on the Zoning Commission has NOT reflected any desire for reform at all, but maintaining the broken status quo (often politically motivated).
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    Ms. Wilson has also stood back silently during the many antics of her cohort on the Zoning Commission, Joe Santo (who she trades places back and forth as Chair and Co-chair over years, in a stunning display of partisan power grabbing). These antics are well-known, include stalking and harassing other Commissioners including me, and playing petty politics with the agenda by keeping things off in order to retaliate against commissioners he doesn’t like, mostly because they just ask too many questions. (That was always Mr. Santo’s gripe with me. Imagine, a zoning commissioner asking questions of developers and experts. The nerve!).
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    In the Wilson/Santo era of the Zoning Commission, doing the city’s important business is secondary to playing petty power trips, and Ms Wilson has been more than happy to play along without any protest on her part that this nonsense stop. The partisan game-playing at the expense of doing real work to help Norwalk is frightening, and let’s hope if Ms. Wilson makes it all the way to Hartford she will snap out of that pattern and actually do what she is promising.
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    Ms. Wilson goes on to say she supports reducing stifling regulations that discourage small business, yet her steadfast refusal to implement immediate the across the board 25% reduction in Norwalk’s crippling parking regulations our taxpayer-funded experts have recommended indicates she is talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
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    Based on Ms. Wilson’s voting record on the Zoning Commission, we can only conclude that her platform calling for common sense and less regulation to help small businesses must exist only as distant concepts in her head, as a “wish list” perhaps, as it is certainly not in her record. She does have another chance soon at amending our regulations to help desperate small contractors find space in Norwalk, which she promised to address after years of pleading by the community and me when I was on the commission (up until July 1st). The large (and frustrated) contractor community will be watching this carefully, to see if Ms. Wilson will actually practice what she preaches. Ms. Wilson still has time to prove she is for small business and less regulation, especially if she wins the primary and goes on to November.
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  3. EastNorwalkChick

    Mike, Ms. Wilson’s stellar track record on the Zoning Commission of continuing the 1970’s outdated/small business stifling zoning regulations must fall under in her mind, her 3rd principle of “Common Sense Commitments”, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.
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    For some reason whenever some politician trots out the phrase “Common Sense _____”, fill in the blank, I immediately think of Sarah Palin….sorry, but that’s just how I feel about that over used talking point.

  4. Oyster

    Funny yoy should mention those Common sense” tropes. Larry Cafero wrote those and the party has been using them for every campaign since.
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    Cookie-cutter politicians that don’t think for themselves are exactly what Norwalk doesn’t need.

  5. Norewalk Lifer

    If Ms. Wilson believes that Connecticut legislation is the reason why this state isn’t “business friendly” she should do a little more research; the movement of tech to CA in the 1980’s was the impetus of the job drain.

    She doesn’t seem to be able to recognize all the calculus in this equation.

    Would she say that Connecticut and Connecticut alone drove jobs from Waterman Bic, Norden’s, Perkin-Elmer, Sperry Remington, and other companies from Connecticut? is it possible that the calculated move to CA formed a more stable relationship with the Asian corridor?

    It certainly did, if Ms. Wilson wants to create jobs in Connecticut, she should take a lesson from the Dodd legacy; Chris Dodd and his father did a lot to attract jobs to Connecticut, as did Prescott Bush, and others.

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

  6. The Aga Khan

    I would urge Norwalkers to vote against Ms. Wilson because of her dishonesty and implicit bigotry. As I have mentioned before as a candidate for Common Council she distributed a flyer which criticized Harry Rilling for “supporting” settling the lawsuit with the mosque, whilst making no mention of her own participation in negotiating the agreement. The language used in the pamphlet contains numerous Islamophobic dog whistles meant to appeal to the prejudices of voters such as labeling Muslim citizens of Norwalk “outside special interests.” Norwalkers were smart enough not to elect Ms. Wilson to Common Council. We should not be sending her to Hartford.

  7. Norewalk Lifer

    Dear Mr. Mushak:

    If what you state here is true, then Ms. Wilson is not a leader, but a follower, and that is not the necessary tool to represent this city in Hartford,
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    From reading her platform, I would say she doesn’t understand what it takes to attract businesses to Connecticut; look Florida and other states are paying heavily for their business friendly attitude, so did Louisiana post Hurricane Katrina.
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    The relaxation of environmental agreements, to have roads removed that lead to the basin in NOLA, helped to exaggerate the effects of that monster storm. The Oil industry who promised to remove these roads after delivering large off shore equipment during the construction of the rigs, helped the flood waters to successfully wipe out whole parishs.
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    The natural shoreline acts as a barrier to flood waters, and of course, politicians and legislators in LA being just that, they were allowed to make a decision of a scientific nature after hearing the facts.
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    I fear that those who are the followers of certain interests, will inadvertently thru ignorance, and lack of good stewardship cause these kinds of situations in Connecticut.
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    Connecticut has experienced a tremendous job drain, it is still suffers from the effects of 2008, there is no middle class engine to bring it back to it’s feet, that is true, but the constant drum beating for less regulation, more tax breaks for corporations, while those that “LIVE” here suffer under a tremendous tax burden is almost laughable.
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    That may not be why we have gotten into the mess we are in now, but it certainly has not helped us to recover any quicker.
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    California, a hub for Silicon Valley is seeing their housing market recover, and they are seeing jobs come back. Why? because the tech sector stays constant, it is truly a recipient of a global economy. That used to be Connecticut, Boston, and the Route 128 corridor in the 70’s and early 80’s.
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    So tell me, what industry does Ms. Wilson proposed to attract to Connecticut?

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

  8. Mike Mushak

    We should all be wary of the GOP formula for stimulating the economy through business tax cuts, as the disaster in Kansas illustrates so well. The GOP state leadership cut taxes 25% a few years ago, and not only did the economy collapse, but the credit rating of the state was downgraded, thousands of jobs were lost, the state lags the rest of the country in growth, and all the businesses the leaders promised would appear actually never showed up. (They are erroneously claiming new businesses were formed, but it was just existing businesses reorganizing into sole proprietorships that were assigned the lowest tax rate, cutting revenues even more).
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    As tax revenues plummeted, local aid from the state was cut, forcing towns and cities to close schools and cut essential services. It’s now predicted that a seismic shift away from GOP control and their failed policies will occur with this November’s election in Kansas.
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    Malloy isn’t perfect for sure, but he is still better than the alternative, which is the failed GOP Kansas-style economic policy of worshipping at the altar of tax cuts. Don’t take my word for it, just Google “Kansas Economic disaster”. Or read this link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2014/07/15/whats-the-matter-with-kansas-and-its-tax-cuts-it-cant-do-math/
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    It appears Ms. Wilson is offering up those same failed Kansas-style policies for CT in her platform.
    Perhaps she will have a chance to explain to us more in detail about how this formula will work differently in CT.
    .

  9. Joanne Romano

    And what are the Democrats offering up? Note tax and spend picird that drive mom and pop businesses out of business and middle to low income people can no longer afford to live here. No businesses in their right mind want to set up shop here..look what NYC has done with certain areas..they have offered tax free for 10 years to new businesses to help them establish themselves and thrive. Many States offer incentives to attract and establish businesses as well as well for businesses to expand! What does CT do? I understand the need for each party to undermine the other in order to get elected but let’s be realistic ..CT isn’t exactly the most business friendly state..in fact it Has the prestigious title of being the worst of all 50 states. Here’s a novel idea, instead of our politicians walking around like a bunch of peacocks..how about working together to represent those who put you in officr ? Not only on the state level but the Federal as well.

  10. Joanne Romano

    Sorry for mispells but my phone auto corrects..and not necessarily so its legible. Second sentence should say more tax and spend policies.

  11. One and Done.

    @Mushak. I’ll take the ‘disaster’ in Kansas any day. Their economy has grown an average of 2.3% in the past four years and ours has grown 0.4% in the same time.
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    At least that’s what Obama’s BEA report says. http://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014/pdf/gsp0614.pdf
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    What’s more is that considering they cut their government spending and we increased ours, it show’s that their private sector economy is growing great while ours is shrinking.
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    Try again.

  12. Mike Mushak

    One and Done, no need to “try again!”. Where are you getting your statistics? If Malloy stopped funding future pensions and infrastructure improvements like Kansas did, we’d have bigger growth numbers to show too! Also, Kansas has the booming huge agriculture and natural gas sectors of their economy that CT does not have. Remove those, and you see a state economy in KS that is doing much worse than CT, considering we are now investing in our future relative to past administrations. Our state economy has a huge reliance on the financial and insurance sectors, which took a big hit in the Great Recession which is taking longer to recover from.

    The truth is, Malloy inherited an abysmal state economy from decades of bad decisions, by GOP Governors and Democrat legislatures. Plenty of blame to go around there. Our pensions were grossly underfunded for decades, beginning in 1995 by Rowland and continued under Rell, and approved by Democrats at the time. It was a costly gimmick that Malloy is fixing by increasing contributions to the pension fund, as well as increased investment in education and infrastructure improvements (transportation spending up 165%, while raiding the Transportation Fund to cover other shortfalls which GOP and Dems both did will stop this year). What you call increased state spending others call paying their obligations and investing in the future, after decades of disinvestment.
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    In Kansas, the mess is not being cleaned up, but is being made worse, which caused yet anther credit downgrade just last week for KS. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/06/usa-kansas-ratings-idUSL2N0QC1MO20140806

    Over 100 Republican leaders around the state have endorsed the Democrat running for Governor, based on the irresponsible tax cuts by GOP Governor Brownback that are tanking the KS economy. When your own party thinks your supply-side policies aren’t working, I just want to know how those same policies will work here in CT? Please explain!

  13. One and Done

    @MM. We must starve the beast. That is the only way. It might be painful short term, but CT residents have shown their stripes in helping those truly in need, while Hartford has shown its stripes in helping itself. The numbers I cite are from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. The fact that Government spending in CT is up 8% per year under Malloy and the fact our total GDP is up only 0.4% shows that our private sector economy is shrinking dramatically. Cutting taxes in CT accross the board, while maybe not by 25%, will reallocate capital to those who make sound economic decisions as opposed to those who decide to build $600 million bus lanes for 3000 commuters when the bridges on MNRR are falling into the river that serve 200000. This insanity has to stop. The status quo isn’t working. Time for a change.

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