AARP reminder

to vote

To the Editor:

As a proud member of AARP, I write to encourage all readers to vote this November 6. Elections have consequences, and this one will not be any different. In the U.S. House of Representative, 14 percent of its membership will be new. There will be at least three new U.S. Senators. Since 2008 there have been 473 new Congressmen: 76 in the Senate and 397 in the House.

It is important to recognize that Americans, 50+, are now the most powerful voting bloc. Given that, there are a number of issues that our national leaders must address. Medicare is a historical deal that cannot be broken. Affordable quality health care needs to continue with a look at the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Social Security must be kept strong for current and future generations. In the realm of caregiving, some 40 million Americans care for those in need. They are the backbone of America’s care system and face physical, emotional and financial challenges. The caregiving families deserve significant support.

On the state level, the legislature in 2016 enacted the Connecticut Retirement Security Program to be phased in beginning in 2019. It will provide over 600,000 residents without a retirement savings option through the workplace a means to save for their retirement via payroll deduction. It is important for state candidates to continue implementation.

Of particular concern is the assurance from our legislators that as the utility market in Connecticut continues to change, consumer interests will be protected. Finally, apropos of the national need for caregiving support is the need in our state for a family leave law that allows employees paid leave to attend to their caregiving purposes. Plus, there is a need to expand services and supports for seniors to live independent lives in their homes and communities.

As can be gleaned there is so much on the national, state and even local plate for consideration in this election. Elections do in fact matter! Your vote matters! Be the difference. Vote.

Lloyd W. Stableford

Trumbull

Vote for Haskell

To the Editor:

Please join me in supporting Will Haskell as our next State Senator. Will represents the best of a new generation of dynamic, intelligent young candidates this year who are willing to challenge the status quo and move us forward.

Take for instance the issue of transportation. As a former Westport Transit Director, I believe Will understands the complex transportation problems facing the South Western Connecticut region. For years now, there has been an emphasis at the state level on projects oriented along a north-south direction (for example, the Greater Hartford High-Speed Rail & Bus Rapid Transit) while comparable projects along the much more heavily traveled east-west coastal corridor where we live and work have been virtually ignored and underfunded. Will understands that the towns in South West Connecticut must work together to maximize funding, reduce duplicative waste and enhance public transparency around spending priorities. Will’s opponent, who currently serves as the co-Chair of the Transportation Committee, continues to perpetuate our region’s disarray choosing to blame others instead of advancing solutions, like transportation planning reform. She should be held accountable for her long record of inaction and inertia in Hartford.

Friends, it’s time to elect leaders, not longtime politicians, who are willing to confront complex problems with logical solutions that put our region on a path to a better future. Voting for Will is a step in that direction.

Jennifer Johnson

Westport

New Canaan is

in good hands

To the Editor:

New Canaan is in good hands. The First Selectman finds much needed parking for commuters and town's people. He supports our historical heritage, like saving the Valley Road house, where the funding and further upkeep is secured by a reliable organization.

The Chairman of the Town Council reminds us of the “Bach amendment” of the Town Code: “Take no donation that comes with an open-ended liability.” (This was adopted, when Bill Back was chairman of the Council, where I served with him)

The Bach Amendment clearly directs us that if a citizen group or not-for-profit organization recommends improvement, installation or use in a public building, it has to provide all necessary funds for construction and for future upkeep before they can come to the Town for approval. It is not the taxpayer's obligation to fund part or all the necessary expenses for a project that a citizen group would like to do, regardless of the merit of their recommendation. Let us honor our legendary chairman's legacy with enforcing his Code amendment!

As far as the “Brick Barn” on Richmond Hill is concern, the proposal to keep it from demolition does not meet the Bach requirement. Funds to reconstruct it are only promises from questionable sources. There is no reliable need or user proposed. A structure of architecturally questionable quality in the beautiful Mead Park would stand as a useless “sour thumb”. Instead of keeping it physically present, let us remember the old fuel depot with an appropriate memorial plaza at its place, as it is recommended by the eminent landscape architect and public servant Keith Simpson, who did so many good work in our town’s parks.

Laszlo Papp

New Canaan

Stefanowski has tools to rebuild state

To the Editor:

I am voting proudly for Bob Stefanowski for governor. He is the best person for the job. Bob has a plan — a positive management plan that will help rescue Connecticut from the financial disaster Gov. Dannel Malloy has been so successful in making worse. I am particularly encouraged that Bob’s plan will benefit every person from every region and from every walk of life. But a plan alone is not enough. We need a proven leader who has experience turning around mismanaged organizations. That leader is Bob Stefanowski.

We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis, brought about by chronic overspending and robbing Peter to pay Paul. The last eight years under Gov. Dan Malloy have resulted in crippling taxes and debt. As the result, businesses and residents continue to flee Connecticut. If you have ridden in our slow, dirty commuter trains, driven on our broken highways or visited our crumbling cities, you know the results of these policies. As our governor, Bob will end out-of-control spending. He will bring jobs back to Connecticut. He will help Connecticut’s economy shine.

This is Bob’s plan to rebuild Connecticut:

Phase out corporate income tax and business entity tax over 2 years

Phase out state income tax over 8 years

Eliminate the gift and estate taxes

Embrace zero-based budgeting to reduce spending

Enact a taxpayer bill of rights to ensure government accountability

Bob Stefanowski has the leadership skills, business acumen and do-able plan to rebuild Connecticut. He has the we’re-in-this-together temperament to work with all constituencies to provide pride and prosperity for everyone. Please vote for Bob Stefanowski.

William Gardner

New Canaan