Michele on the Issues
Eliminate Wasteful Spending. Live within Our Means.
West Haven has continually run deficits year after year. Despite the current administration stating that the city has a surplus, it is artificial at best. Damaging accounting practices have hurt the taxpayers due to unrealistic and uncertain revenue projections.
My administration and a team of experts from groups such as the Board of Finance, will implement short-term savings and plan for long-term spending cuts. We will improve policies, processes and the checks and balances that are needed to manage our budget. Just like in any business or household, there are opportunities to identify waste and then put actions into place to eliminate it. This includes right-sizing the organization. The road will not be easy, but we can accomplish these tasks with hard work and determination. And I have heard you loud and clear – no more tax increases!
Economic Development: Retain and Grow Business.
Business owners should be recognized for their contributions to the community and not punished with exorbitant personal property taxes and building fees. West Haven should be the city of opportunity for businesses and not the city that has the reputation of bottlenecking current and potential business owners. The three major entryways to our city - the Kimberly Avenue area, all West Haven Route 1, and the Milford-West Haven Baybrook town line – should be inviting and vibrant.
My administration will develop a comprehensive, city-wide plan that embraces true economic development. Collaborating with every district, we will offer a broad and strong vision that will entice and excite existing businesses to stay in West Haven, as well as new businesses that wish to be part of a “West Haven Renaissance.” Our plan will identify the history, character and uniqueness of each neighborhood that will be vigorously marketed to businesses and developers.
West Haven homeowners can no longer afford to supplement a weak tax base. Building more low-income housing because there are state subsidies attached or waiting incessant years for developers to start a project is not economic development.
Education: Providing Students and Teachers an Environment to Thrive.
A strong educational system is not limited to the daily instructional activities that take place within the four walls of our schools. Appropriate funding and the management of that funding in every detail, whether it be for salaries, books or buildings, is necessary to maintain and support an environment where students can thrive. Furthermore, our teachers are on the front lines every day and deserve classrooms where they are not encumbered by regulations that inhibit them from teaching.
I will work with our Board of Education and state legislators to eliminate any unfunded mandates that have a stranglehold on the delivery of education and that hold the city’s overall budget hostage! We will also work with the BOE Central Office to help identify any spending that can be eliminated or reduced if tax dollars are not directly supporting education.
I will also make it a priority to further strengthen and expand our town-gown relationships with both the University of New Haven and Yale University West Campus.
Safety Is Paramount.
The good citizens of West Haven are hard-working, family people. We love our community and it is shown time and time again when any Westie is in need. We all deserve a peaceful, safe city where we can enjoy our everyday activities. However, we have witnessed disrespect for our citizenry, the laws and our police department.
My administration will have zero tolerance for anyone who breaks the law. We also will encourage building more neighborhood relationships with our men and women in blue, as well as our other first responders in our fire departments and emergency personnel. My administration will request foot patrols, more bicycle patrols and the reopening of sub-stations. Our West Haven Police Department protects and serves. Our fire departments and emergency personnel are always there for us in our times of need. Let us all be part of the solution to insure a safe community.
Blight Is Not Right nor Acceptable.
Our city is full of assets, whether it be our citizens, shoreline, train station, or neighborhood restaurants. However, crumbling sidewalks, potholes, and blighted property are discouraging at the least and unsightly and harmful at their worst.
My administration will crack down on blight of all forms, regardless if residential or commercial. Pride in ownership need not only apply to homeowners but also to absentee landlords.
We will work with community groups so that we can showcase the performing arts and festivals again with events that contribute to the vibrancy of our city’s culture and diversity. We will capitalize upon our great beach and shoreline with recreational and leisure activities. We will partner with our non-profits, universities and businesses to create an environment where all West Haven citizens can participate. Residents deserve a clean and attractive city where they can enjoy all the best that we have to offer.