February 26, 2020

Letter to the Editor: State Rep. Carney Hopes to be Old Lyme ZBA Alternate, Urges Vote for Whole Republican Team

To the Editor:

On November 5th, I’d ask voters to support the Old Lyme Republican team. It is comprised of experienced residents who are dedicated to ensuring Old Lyme is a great place to live, learn, and raise a family.

Tim Griswold and Chris Kerr have decades of local government experience and are ready to lead Old Lyme. Tim’s 14 years as First Selectman allow him to start on day one to tackle the challenges our community faces.

Tax Collector Judy Tooker has provided over 2 decades of outstanding service to the people of Old Lyme. Her 99% collection rate is one of the best in the state and ensures our necessary services are funded.

The rest of the ticket includes seasoned public servants such as Janet Sturges, David Kelsey, Jude Read, Steve Ross, Harold Thompson, Nancy Hutchinson, Stephen Dix, and Dave Evers – all of whom have served the town well and deserve re-election. Newcomers include Matt Olson, Tammy Tinnerello, and Mike Miller – all of whom have impressive private-sector resumes and will be good additions to our government.

Row B’s Board of Ed Candidates, Suzanne Thompson, Jennifer Miller and Steve Wilson are committed to our schools and ensuring our kids continue to receive a top-notch public education.

In addition, I’d ask for your support for Sherry Johnston and myself for ZBA alternates.

Please join me in supporting the entire Row B slate on November 5th. Thank You!

Sincerely,

Devin Carney,
Old Lyme.

 

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Op-Ed: Carney Says Proposed State Education Budget Cuts Will Seriously Impact Region 18

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Does Governor Malloy have a problem with communities that succeed? This is a question we need to ask ourselves. Year after year, the schools of the 23rd District work diligently to provide quality education to our youth. Our teachers and administrators add to the success of our state by instilling the proper foundation to produce the industrial, business, and community leaders of tomorrow. Many of our best and the brightest students chose to continue their education in Connecticut – something of which the governor should be incredibly proud. Just last year the valedictorians from Region 18 (Lyme and Old Lyme) and Westbrook as well as the salutatorian from Old Saybrook chose UConn.

We have seen two budget proposals over the past two weeks that would do damage to the schools in the 23rd District. The Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee released an incomplete budget that would cut Education Cost Sharing (“ECS”) funding to the towns in our district by 33 – 56%. This was bad enough. But, under the governor’s updated proposal, the four towns in the 23rd went from receiving a recommended amount of $1,831,496 in ECS funding to $0 for FY 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017). A total of 28 towns were zeroed-out, while many cities, like the governor’s hometown of Stamford, were held harmless. Talk about a shared sacrifice.

These proposed cuts – made at a time when most local Boards of Finance are crafting their own fiscal year budgets – are unfair. The clear lack of respect and care on the governor’s part is alarming. All four towns in the 23rd District will now have funding gaps and may require local property tax increases to offset them. This would add an even greater burden to Connecticut’s taxpayers and Connecticut simply cannot afford to lose additional wealth at this time. However, that’s where these indirect tax hikes would be directed – all 28 communities being zeroed-out are considered ‘wealthy’.

Although these cuts are debilitating to small towns like ours – which already receive far less back from the state than we put in – we must keep in mind that this is only a proposal.

I remain committed to finding a solution with other members of the legislature to address this inequitable cut to our towns and to solving our $930 million deficit. The state wants people to move to Connecticut and one of our best selling points is our top-tier education. While we are faced with many serious and pressing economic issues, predominantly the ongoing budget crisis, great public education is one area on which we can pride ourselves.

I have written a letter to the governor urging him not to turn his back on the children and the taxpayers of the 23rd District and to request that he amend his updated budget and eliminate these cuts. The taxpayers of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook provide a great deal to this state and the deficits would be much, much higher without us. If either the legislature’s or the governor’s cuts are enacted, then it would be only fair that some of the approximately 380 unfunded state educational mandates be eliminated.

Instead of education, the governor and the legislature must look to balance the budget through real structural changes in the way state government is run. Changes could include pension and benefit reform, re-negotiating of union contracts, a moratorium on unnecessary government projects, serious spending and bonding caps, and tighter controls on overtime. When I last checked, many don’t live in Connecticut for bloated government overtime, but they do for our great schools. In fact, it may just be the only thing keeping them here.

To read my letter to Governor Malloy: click here

To see how Connecticut towns fare under the Appropriations budget: click here

To see how Connecticut towns fare under the governor’s budget: click here

To read the governor’s budget proposal: click here

To see the approximately 380 unfunded educational mandates: click here

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