Submitted by Scott Frantz, former State Senator, 36th District and Bill Nickerson, former State Senator, 36th District
The former State Senator representing the 36 th District has resigned, bringing about a special election on August 17th to fill the vacancy. The district covers Greenwich and parts of Stamford and New Canaan.
The strongest candidate is Republican Ryan Fazio. He is determined to bring a positive change to our state government and create a better future for our families. He is focused on reducing taxes and the cost of living, both of which are unacceptably high. Ryan will support our local police and work hard to reduce crime rates. He is passionate about education and will work to raise academic standards in the schools.
Ryan grew up in Greenwich and attended the local public schools. He has volunteered as a tutor and advocate for inner city school kids and has also delivered meals to the home-bound elderly in Greenwich for years. He has great experience in the private sector working in renewable energy in Stamford. More recently, he has also shown his ability to work across the aisle in government as a town legislator on the RTM and as a member of the first selectman’s Energy Efficiency Committee. Now he is poised and ready to bring a positive change as our State Senator.
By contrast his opponent seeks to join the legislative majority Democratic party which has presided over financial mismanagement for many years in the most partisan ways. Disinformation is often the order of the day in today’s politics, so here are the facts as to the majority’s performance:
• Enacted two of the largest tax increases in Connecticut’s history, increasing every tax in sight from income tax, sales tax, business tax, estate tax and gift tax. The state now has the second highest taxes in the nation.
• Allowing long-term debt to soar up to $85 billion – third highest in the nation per capita.
• Fully 25% of the budget is now required to service the state’s debt, even with current low interest rates.
• Provided only 38% of the required funding for the state employee pension plan, fifth worst in the nation, which leaves a shortfall of $76 billion
• Ignoring the wishes of Connecticut voters who overwhelmingly adopted an amendment to the State Constitution to establish a spending cap, the majority party used a series of legal, interpretive and procedural gymnastics to declare the cap invalid
• Plugging in one-time Federal pandemic aid relief into this year’s budget, giving the appearance of a balanced budget, when in fact these funds will not be available next year when a shortfall is thus assured.
The state is at a crossroads. Continued fiscal mismanagement will accelerate the trend of people and business moving out of state, as with General Electric. But it is not too late.
By electing Ryan Fazio voters will be putting in place a strong change agent. Electing his opponent would signal acceptance of the dismal status quo. It is time to begin the Connecticut turnaround.
Scott Frantz, former State Senator, 36th District
Bill Nickerson, former State Senator, 36th District
Note: The deadline for submitting letters to the editor for candidates in the Aug 17 special election for State Senate 36th district was Aug 10, 2021