Editor's note: Mayoral and council candidates were invited to submit columns about their campaigns.
Meriden is my home. This is where I grew up, where I received a great education that prepared me for college, and where I continue to try to give back as best I can. That is why I am a candidate for Meriden City Council representing Area 2. I am 33 years old and a lifelong resident. I graduated from Maloney High School in 2001 and CCSU with a bachelor’s degree in International Business/Finance in 2005. For the past 7 years I have been employed in banking. People who know me, know that this is not my first attempt at seeking elected public office. While some people would give up and quit, I can’t do that. I run not for the title, salary, or whatever recognition a local politician garners in this day and age. I run because I believe I can benefit the area of Meriden I would represent and the city as a whole.
Our city is not without its challenges. Every community, regardless how well off they are perceived, has their own issues that they must work together to tackle to enrich their community. Meriden needs a City Council and leadership that is willing to work together with staff to improve efficiency, stabilize the tax base, and budget appropriately. This will help to ensure proper and necessary services are provided for our safety and prosperity.
Progress is happening in Meriden, but at what cost? Tax abatements that were given to developers to subsidize affordable housing downtown will have an effect on our community for the next 17 years. The first floor of 24 Colony St remains empty while the apartments above are at capacity. Debt service for the 2 like new high schools will affect future budgets for years.
Certain public officials, current and past, shout from the hills that any opposition or concern for Democrat Plans for the city are cheerleaders for failure and just naysayers from the sidelines offering no solutions of their own. That could not be further from the truth. The “opposition” in the form of Republican and We the People councilors and candidates have and will continue to propose common sense ideas and policies that will best allocate the resources available to Meriden.
I will work with all councilors and city staff to ensure best practice policies and methods are put in place. I will support a common sense approach to spending, public referendums on major city expenditures affecting our budgeting for years, open and responsive representation for all Meriden citizens, and will strive for no future tax increases.
Josh Broekstra, of the Republican and We the People parties, is a city council candidate for Area 2.