Letter: How will Democrats spend smarter?

To the Editor:

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about the upcoming election. The conversations are about people’s concerns. The interesting thing about that is, I haven’t really heard any. No complaints, just a few questions or updates. It’s nice to get out there and see what people are really thinking about because if you talk to a small group in this town you would be convinced the sky is falling and the ground is going to give way below your feet.

As a Town Council member, up for re-election, I have been told I can’t be objective because I’m “political.” This makes me shake my head in wonder, as if I gave up my right to be a resident when I started to volunteer my time to the town. Granted, I have learned more about the nuts and bolts of the town than the normal taxpayer, but that just makes me look at certain topics in a different way.

Taxpayers are far smarter than some people give them credit for. They know when I go to their door we are talking about the same things in their households as we are in mine. The same concerns about the town that I have. We shop in the same stores, eat in the same restaurants and have or had children in the same school system. It isn't politics and it isn't rhetoric; it's our lives. It's two people talking about what is important to them.

I’ve been serving the town for five years and a resident for 14. I’m still a taxpayer and a parent. This is about my pocketbook and yours, the condition of our town, roads, infrastructure, parks, schools and the all the rest that makes up our town.

The Democrats’ candidate claims she will reduce the mlil rate to attract business, stop the lawsuits like the one trying to get the contractor to pay for sewer repairs due to poor quality construction, and fix the relationship with Bridgeport as they try to rob us blind with sewer fees.  How? The Democrats’ candidate has worked four budgets now and never offered an alternative, a “smarter spending” plan, while she was there. Not once.

As a taxpayer I want to know how. How is she is going to reduce the mill rate? What town departments will be slashed, what programs will be eliminated, how many jobs lost, what will taxpayers have to do without in order to reduce the budget enough to see an actual reduction in taxes? As wages and healthcare cost increase, the day to day of doing business increases and, as Hartford makes more demands and reduces assistance, we have a right to know.

How will she fix the "private property" Trumbull Center, fix the roads, fix the sewer system, fix issues with Bridgeport and increase the budget for the BOE all while reducing the mill rate?

None of that is an unreasonable request. She either can or she can't. As a taxpayer, I want to know how.
 Cindy Penkoff,
Town Council, District 2