Chairman’s View: Connecticut Needs Team of Rivals to Outrun the Bear (Aug 9, 2018)
By Inn8ly Developers
Chairman’s View: Connecticut needs team of rivals to outrun the bear
BY JOHN ENGEL. CHAIRMAN, TOWN COUNCIL
To borrow from an old joke, “How fast do you need to run to survive a charging bear?”
Connecticut does not need to outrun the bear. We need to outrun New York and New Jersey. Signs of that foot race are taking shape. New York real estate is experiencing decline for the first time in nine years, around 10% annually in price and volume. Connecticut both benefits and suffers when New York catches cold as the best alternative without leaving the area altogether.
Are August reports showing a rebound in Greenwich harbinger of a trend? Greenwich is always the last to slump and the first to recover. New Canaan, Darien and Westport will follow. Much depends on Tuesday, Aug. 14, for both political parties’ primaries. This election sets us up to outrun the bear.
In heavily Democratic Connecticut (D = 38%, R = 21%, Unaffiliated = 40%), Democrats Ned Lamont and Joe Ganim are running against Trump. Lamont moved further left this year pledging to “stand with labor unions.” Pandering to the left is a response to Ganim’s candidacy. It will help him on Tuesday but hurt him in November when 831,436 unaffiliated voters get a chance to vote.
Five Republicans are still running against Gov. Malloy and his 21% approval rating. They say “It’s the economy, stupid,” but plans differ widely. Tim Herbst mostly focuses on law and order issues. (Tim, psst, it’s the economy!) Bob Stefanowski and Mark Boughton promise to eliminate the state income tax. Is that bold or is that pandering? Stefanowski provides a website full of math. He ran big businesses. Maybe he can run the business of Connecticut? Steve Obsitnik always starts with his 300,000 jobs plan, economic development and knowledge corridors, true to his entrepreneurial high-tech roots. He makes our universities part of the solution. David Stemerman, finance guru, sounds like Mike Handler with his laser-focus on restructuring debt and renegotiating bad contracts. An investor, he talks about attracting investment to transportation and creating public / private partnerships.
Of the seven candidates running four are successful businessmen and three are mayors. Which will win? Paraphrasing scripture, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich businessman to win in Hartford.” But, Malloy may have soured the populace this time around on what a mayor can do.
Gentlemen, how will Connecticut outrun the bear? You need both financial and political savvy to get past the primary, win the general and convince an evenly split legislature to implement your agenda.
Connecticut needs bi-partisan cooperation, job growth, radical restructuring of our debt and bold ideas around transportation if we are going to outrun the bear.
I sincerely hope a “team of rivals” with all their talents can emerge to put us back on track.