In our era of populist tumult, New Canaan is the point furthest from. We mostly supported Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton. We are not grabbing torches and pitchforks. Many of us don’t even own pitchforks. We are not about to storm the ramparts (but might consider adding ramparts to the next home renovation). When populists talk about “the people,” they don’t mean our people. When they refer to “workers,” they don’t mean you even if you’re knocking out 80 hours of work per week to make partner at Goldman. If next year’s winner is either Donald Trump or Elizabeth Warren, then whatever happens, next year’s loser is you.
So this political moment is not of our making. While that is fine with me vis-á-vis what that will look like in the history books, it has its costs. Costs: no one cares about us and it shows when you look at government budgets. Our state suffers from a massive fiscal imbalance when it comes to revenues sent to DC versus spending returned. The new SaLT deduction cap (which was recently upheld in a failed Hail Mary lawsuit to get those deductions back) exacerbates this imbalance. Meanwhile, our county suffers from a massive fiscal imbalance when it comes to shoveling money to Hartford and getting back little but red tape, corruption, and excuses. We pull the wagon while subjected to endless criticism from those sitting in it.
Much of what we get from DC and Hartford are beyond our control, but we can do something about how we manage our own affairs in New Canaan this year. It is time to freshen things up. Want to move beyond a lot of tired political debates that have bogged us down for years? One solution is to elect younger leaders such as my friend Mike Mauro who is running for our Town Council. Mike’s young family is at the beginning of its life in New Canaan. He brings a fresh perspective on how to maintain New Canaan’s appeal to new families such as theirs. Town Council’s demographics should reflect our town’s and young families need representation.
Mike is a bright, energetic, honorable leader. He also has a skill set that is perfect for the tasks at hand. Professionally, he is a legal expert and particularly adept at labor negotiations which is a skill that New Canaan sorely needs. His expertise in labor law enables him to assist our town in developing a responsible budget. Two-thirds of that budget is devoted to labor costs and there is massive room for cutting waste. Mike will pursue fiscal measures to reduce our mill rate while providing continued excellence in town service. Many candidates talk about fiscal discipline and taxpayer advocacy before Election Day; Mike is nearly unique in acting on those ideals after Election Day.
[Editor’s Note: NewCanaanite.com will accept endorsement letters for local candidates through Oct. 28.]