Delegation to Republican State Convention

Delegation to State Convention is Announced

Chairman Beeman announces the following are members of the Meriden Delegation to the Republican State Convention May 11-12, 2018 at Foxwoods Resort Casino: Eric Barbour, Guy Beeman, Joshua Broekstra, Daniel Brunet, Thomas Fitzgibbons, Anna Neumon, Leonard Rich and Joseph  Vollano.  For more information, a listing of contact information for delegates is provided below. <hr>
FIRST LAST # STREET APT# Mailing ZIP CODE PHONE# EMAIL
Eric Barbour 68 Nutmeg Drive E Meriden, CT 06451 203-237-3069 [email protected]
Guy Beeman 87 Country Lane Meriden, CT 06451 203-235-7158 [email protected]
Joshua Broekstra 101 Frary Avenue Meriden, CT 06450 203-213-8984 [email protected]
Daniel Brunet 67 John George Drive Meriden, CT 06450 203-237-2812 [email protected]
Thomas Fitzgibbons 46 Hourigan Drive Meriden, CT 06451 203-238-3431 [email protected]
Anna Neumon 217 Columbus Avenue Meriden, CT 06451 203-237-1843 [email protected]
Leonard Rich 103 Spring Glen Drive Meriden, CT 06451 203-237-0826 [email protected]
Joseph Vollano 410 Parker Avenue South Meriden, CT 06450 203-217-0987 [email protected]

Tale of Two Cities

Tale of Two Cities

By Manny Santos

I often look at our Meriden as “a tale of two cities:” one as it is and the other as it could be… if citizens voted for people who understood non-taxpayer funded economic development.
The Record Journal article of 3/20/17, entitled Corporate Tax Changes Could Impact Meriden’s Downtown Development, contained a brief update on some of the revitalization efforts, but focused on the uncertainty in the future of tax credits that have up to now, been so central to the success of these projects. With a new administration in Washington anxious to get our national economy roaring once again, as well as the business community already showing optimism, the misleading need for these taxpayer monies might be disappearing. So what will happen to these projects, and Meriden?

First, let’s remind ourselves how we got to this predicament. As I wrote in previous columns, President Obama and our own Governor Malloy, influenced and presided over such a poor economic climate, that banks were reluctant to make traditional loans and businesses were reluctant to take risks. This created an opportunity for politicians to promote the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC), and with great success for developers, because it allowed massive tax reductions, at taxpayer expense.
There are two huge problems with this. The first and most important is that it drives out other market-driven economic development that don’t rely on tax credits, because they can’t compete and the concentration is on lower income demographics. If a neighborhood can not support businesses, be it restaurants, boutiques or supermarkets, they won’t locate there. It robs the community of the opportunity for a middle-class.

The second huge problem is that it essentially demands we remain in a bad economy. This was the most glaring aspect of the Record Journal article I sighted. To spur business activity, corporate tax rates will have to be reduced. Businesses provide jobs. If they have to pay high corporate taxes, they will either raise prices (not good for us) or they hire elsewhere, or not at all (also not good for us).

Because Meriden has relied so heavily on state and federal aid, including the aforementioned LIHTC, we are at the mercy of conniving politicians in Hartford and Washington. This is why two years ago, with the help of Len Suzio, we introduced the Meriden Preferred Economic Development Advantage Loan (PEDAL) program, which leveraged provisions in the Community Reinvestment
Act, encouraging private banks to invest in the development of communities they service. We managed to get half-dozen banks to participate, with others close to making a decision to join. This would have potentially made available, in aggregate, over $150 million for local development projects.
Not one Democrat City Councilor even as much showed any interest in making the PEDAL program successful. So it’s no surprise the current mayor and Democrat-controlled city council neglected to continue the program, leaving no other options, should we ever get to where we now find ourselves. On the other hand, as the Record Journal points out, Larry Kendzior, former city manager and current Housing Authority commissioner, mentioned they may be able to get alternative funding through the Community Reinvestment Act. So, maybe at least one person in City Hall saw some value in the PEDAL initiative.

Many of us believe Meriden does not need more affordable housing in the downtown we want to revitalize. Yet, it should be clear to every Meriden taxpayer the scope and makeup of all the proposed mix-use, mix-income housing projects (not including the 16 units on city owned building lots and the 39 low-income in Yale Acres). Of the 9 distinct multi-unit projects, all 9 contain affordable and/or low-income housing. That is, of the 615 units downtown, 240 are otherwise affordable and 101 are low-income Mills replacements, resulting in 55% being affordable or low-income. Of the five projects closest to the Meriden Green, totaling 464 units, 267 are affordable or low-income (58%).
Make no mistake, people less fortunate should have access to housing. The question is, should it be downtown? We all deserve a vibrant downtown, day and night, and this can happen only when businesses locate there. These businesses will not locate there, if the residents cannot support them and if the downtown does not attract others from surrounding communities.

Every effort should be made to shift the number of affordable/low-income units to approximately 20%. With a renewed national business attitude, other funding mechanisms should be sought, including the use of the Community Reinvestment Act (a blueprint already exists). Increasing the number of market- rate apartments can be achieved, if the city council, the mayor and the city manager make it a priority. Otherwise, it’s up to the citizens to demand it.

Why I’m A Republican

Why I’m A Republican

It is said that politics is war without bloodshed. That may sound morbid, but few in the know would disagree that politics is not for the faint at heart, especially in
Meriden.

There are some elected officials that are in it for the betterment of our city; however, the few that aren’t can overwhelm otherwise good public servants. Then there are those who genuinely believe they are doing good, but apply policies that have proven bad, time and time again.

More damaging is the third type, the ones with political ambition, who will say anything and do anything just to stay in power. On a number of occasions, I have
been asked why I’m a Republican (presumably because Meriden is such a Democratic city, so is the state). My answer usually centers on defining the fundamental
differences between the two political philosophies, but today I think sharing an often repeated story might be best.

Recently, while I was working in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation,
I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said she wanted to be president someday. With her parents standing there I
asked her, “If you were president what would be the first thing you would do?” She replied, ”I’d give food and houses to all the homeless
people.”

Both of her parents, Democrat Party members, were beaming with pride! “Wow … what a worthy goal!” I said. “But you don’t have to wait until you’re president
to do that!” “What do you mean?” she replied. So I told her, “You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I’ll pay
you $50. Then you can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.”

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eyes and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and
you can just pay him the $50?” I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party.”

The above exemplifies a contrast between the two major political parties and their fundamental beliefs. This isn’t to say Republicans don’t think
there are truly homeless people who simply are not able to care for themselves, of course there are. Not to mention it’s human nature to want to help those less
fortunate.

The difference between Republicans and Democrats (or if you prefer, conservatives and liberals) is striking. In one, we are encouraged to reach our highest potential
and that we have it within ourselves to do so; something called self-reliance (teach someone to fish). In the other, we are encouraged to seek help in order
to reach our potential and we are not capable of achieving success without reliance on others, mainly some government entity (give someone a fish). Which one
are you?

Yet another difference between the two parties: one has reverence for the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution; the Constitution that
clearly differentiates the powers given to the three distinct but equal branches of government; that clearly states the founding fathers’ belief that in order for
man to be free, government must be limited, and any authority not enumerated to the federal government must stay with the people (the States).The other party
believes these documents are just words written by some old men long ago and have no relevance to today, or are subject to interpretation; that we the people only
have the rights because of a benevolent government; that we are not born with inalienable rights.

Which one are you?

The party contrast is also evident in immigration,but here I find that many average Democrats disagree with the party leadership. The Democrat establishment
believes in open borders, opening wide the doors to our country for essentially anyone to come in at any time, whether legal or not.

This is dangerous for our nation, as it compromises the bedrock of our democracy: a citizenry that respects our laws and voluntarily complies. We are now in a culture
of lawlessness where people just don’t want to follow rules or the law. Further, what does it say to someone who enters the United States illegally, when the very
first action they take is in itself unlawful.

At least one Meriden city councilor has been trying to promote Meriden as a “sanctuary city,” where “undocumented migrants” can feel safe from deportation
and can have easy access to taxpayer funded services. In the last eight years, under President Obama, even the words “illegal alien” were wiped from our
vocabulary, desensitizing us to unlawfulness.

Manny Santos is a former Meriden mayor.