An open letter to the newly elected city government of New Haven, 

With the results of the recent city election, New Haven will be represented entirely by Republicans. This provides an opportunity to demonstrate that Republican principles can adequately provide for citizen services at a low cost to taxpayers.

As a fellow Republican, I would like to repeat some of those principles and add some strategies that will benefit our community.

First, I would ask that all of the elected representatives be sure that the only personal gain would be from a stipend. Do not participate in any other perks that will add to the taxpayer obligation, such as, health insurance, retirement plan, or personal expenses. Elected office should always been viewed as a sacrifice on the officeholder, not as a financial gain.

Develop – with community input – an aggressive business attraction plan. With the transportation infrastructure soon to be all in place, it is time to sell it to potential businesses. Updating a new comprehensive long term growth and zoning plan will give reassurance to businesses and community members that development is being done responsibly with future generations in mind. There has been much discussion regarding the use of various tax incentives as a tool to attract and retain businesses. I believe that an active public discussion needs to examine the responsible use of them, including an evaluation of their effectiveness. With all of the discussion regarding the permit process for businesses that is taking place in a nearby community, our processes should be re-examined for possible streamlining also.

There needs to be a comprehensive community input on future infrastructural efforts. Where should the priorities of local government be placed? I suggest that public safety be first. Where are the needs for improvement or change in public safety and what could be the associated costs? Because of the highway system that navigates through the city, perhaps adequate pedestrian tunnels or bridges would effectively better tie the city together. Encourage private development of the end of the Greenway trail with the downtown region.

Finally, I would suggest making city government even more open to the public. Rather than encouraging the public to sit in on meetings, bring the meetings and information to the public. Could public broadcast be beneficial? Publishing all of the various budgets and monthly updates would be informative. The use of technology to better deliver city services should always be an evolving process.

As a Republican, I look at the results of this past election as more than just a clean sweep. It is a rare opportunity that government can effectively meet the needs of the community that is low cost and less intrusive. I challenge all of the winners of last month’s city election to demonstrate not only to New Haven, but also to the nation that Republican principles can provide for a thriving community.

Steve Gordon

 

POSTED: 12/15/11 at 6:42 pm. FILED UNDER: Opinions