Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh what a night!

Tonights debate was interesting. Sadly it is campaign season, so you have to take everything said on both sides of the debate with a grain of salt. A recurring theme was taxes, taxes, taxes. Two things were repeated again and again by both sides. One was that the State mandates far too much and does not provide funding for it. This was repeated by both sides of the aisle. This makes me wonder why exactly the Democrats would like Tim O'Brien for mayor. Hasn't he been part of the unfunded State mandates? To me an unfunded mandate is like a broken promise, and I don't know if I'd want someone who breaks promises as my Mayor.

Candidate Sherwood actually said that he thought that State mandates were good for the city, explaining that they brought about necessary changes, though he also stated that they needed to be funded. I disagree with him a bit that all State mandates are a good thing. State mandates carry the problem of "one size fits all," and while it isn't as bad as a Federal mandate (proximity is key in policy creation and state level officials are close to their voters) it still can sometimes impose an unneeded burden on a city.

The other idea that was repeated again by both sides is the need to grow the grand list. To me that means increase the number of business and properties in New Britain contributing to the coffers of the city. This goal seems at odds with providing senior tax relief, a campaign point of the Democratic candidates. Several Republican candidates were also quick to point out that there are already several State level programs to provide seniors and other groups with tax relief. Many of the Democrats talked about the need to expand the program with city funds, and perhaps there is a need there, but where are the facts and figures? How many seniors in New Britain are being forced out of their homes due to taxation? Yes, taxes are a burden, but they are a burden we all have to share.

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