With the election less than a couple of weeks away, Meriden Democrats are taking every opportunity to browbeat city residents into believing that everything is sunshine and lollipops in the Silver City — and that we taxpayers owe our good fortune and, of course, our votes, to them.
Should anyone dare to pull aside the curtain, they are swiftly labeled as “negative.” In the Democrats’ world, you can’t love Meriden and talk about the very real challenges our city faces. Most of all, you can’t suggest that Meriden Democrats don’t have all the answers and that, in fact, it is past time to put an end to that political majority’s heavy-handed rule of city government.
I, for one, don’t mind the Democrats calling me names. Local Republican candidates don’t care either. And every day I run into city residents who are equally disillusioned with the Democrats’ take on the world. They know that everything isn’t coming up roses.
Meriden residents are worried about increase in taxes, and water and sewer rates. They look at our empty downtown and rightfully wonder if it there will ever be a reason to spend time there other than going to court or the police station.
They tell me they drive by our lovely new Meriden Green and check out the half-finished mixed-use Meriden Commons I and wonder what the finished product will do for our city. Of the 76 apartments in this $14.5 million residential/commercial project, only 15 will be leased at market rate.
The rest are slated for affordable and low-income housing. It makes sense to question how this will affect our local economy, as opposed to just boasting about all the amenities this complex will provide its tenants.
Of course, Meriden Democrats talk excitedly about the businesses and restaurants they claim will occupy the 4,000 square foot ground-level commercial space, but it’s a bit too early to crack open a bottle of champagne. Construction is only half-way done and we don’t actually know what kind of businesses, if any, will move in to the Meriden Commons.
City residents can’t help but notice that the much heralded new train station has been completed for weeks. Dare we assume that the city’s Democrats will somehow hold a ribbon cutting just before Election Day?
Right about now, I imagine Meriden’s loyal Democrats are crafting a response to such “negative” thinking.
Meanwhile, Meriden’s Republican candidates are busy crafting real solutions to the problems facing our city.
For example, Republicans stand for economic development that will have a positive effect on our city and expand our tax base.
Among other things, that means providing incentives to create jobs that allow people to afford market rate housing, eat at the restaurants we hope will open here, and shop at the businesses that the Democrats assure us are coming.
Meriden needs elected officials who aren’t afraid to be labeled as “negative” because they know that the first step toward finding solutions to our problems is admitting that we do indeed have problems.
Being open to such “negative” thinking means electing more Republicans.
Fortunately, we have excellent Republican candidates: Area 1, Beth Bryan; Area 2, Josh Broekstra; Area 3, Dan Brunet; and At Large candidates Lenny Rich and Manny Santos. Republican incumbents Dan Brunet and Lenny Rich have distinguished themselves as City Councilors who don’t shy away from being called “negative” by Democrats for speaking up for the good of our city.
Manny Santos was fearless in taking on Meriden’s Democratic machine as mayor, and is ready to do so again as a member of the City Council.
Finally, we have Irene Masse, who retired as Meriden’s beloved long time City Clerk and is ready to once again put her brand of common sense, love of community and political experience to work for her hometown.
If you love our city and want our elected officials to show their love by speaking up for the greater good, vote Republican on Election Day.
If someone calls you “negative” just tell them that you’re okay with that if it’s the price of making Meriden a better city for all of us.
Anna P. Neumon is secretary of the Meriden Republican Town Committee and former deputy mayor and city council member.