OPINION: A balanced approach benefits Meriden taxpayers

OPINION: A balanced approach benefits Meriden taxpayers

I am Dan Brunet and have proudly served as the Area 3 Republican City Councilor for the last eight years, six of those as Minority Leader. What have I learned and what do I stand for?

First, I believe in fair, rational government. I listen to the people of Meriden, apply sound judgment and base decisions on facts – unswayed by special interests. When considering how to address matters – such as building new high schools, water rates, nepotism in city jobs, and tree and sidewalk replacement – public input is the most important part of my due diligence. My starting point is always the residents so that I fully grasp their concerns and opinions.

I take a common-sense approach to issues, after carrying out thorough research and weighing the pros and cons. When trade labor unions attempted to monopolize the new high school projects, I crunched the numbers to show how open competition would benefit Meriden. When unnecessary regulations on nitrogen and phosphorus levels were going to cost residents millions of dollars in higher water and sewer rates, I initiated a dialogue with the EPA to decrease the burden.

Transparency in government is critical. Discussion and debate are the cornerstones of healthy policy and we need diversity of thought in Meriden – particularly when identifying any detrimental impact of new initiatives. By reviving televised public comment, attending neighborhood associations and participating in public safety forums, we can better engage residents and make sure that they understand, influence and benefit from City Council decisions.

I will continue to fight for limited taxation. The City of Meriden should deliver the best possible services at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers, but this requires persistent scrutiny of proposals. This year’s budget was substantially decreased through tireless debate and recommendations made by Minority Party Councilors. We must ensure that all plans are examined, and if required, challenged. For example, Meriden simply cannot afford to give away tax dollars through recently approved developer tax breaks. If the City Council were balanced, these may not have been pushed through. I aim to improve the perception of Meriden by pursuing opportunities that benefit the city as a whole. For example, the East Main Street corridor is ripe for economic growth as new market-rate apartments are built, and we must ensure it mimics the success of I-91 to the Middlefield border.

We have made great strides downtown with green space, a train depot and an influx of new housing. However, housing developments built downtown the 1960s and 1970s did not bring business to the area. We must learn from our history and move in a different direction – only new market-rate housing will draw in residents with more disposable income, which will spur commercial growth.

If you stand for a fair, common-sense approach to government, vote Dan Brunet on November 7th, along with the other Republican and We the People Candidates. We bring open dialogue and fresh ideas that will put Meriden on the path to sustainable growth.

Republican incumbent Dan Brunet is a Meriden city councilor representing Area 3.

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