Democrat Jeff Bonistalli is looking to unseat 14-year incumbent, Republican John Frey.
The 27-year old says he is running for the State House position because his generation is ready to shape events and create a legacy of our own. Bonistalli says the era of things is over and the era of people has returned ever since the great recession. He works at The Barn teen center and the Boys and Girls Club. He has served on the Ridgefield Board of Assessment Appeals and the Youth Commission.
Bonistalli says some of his focus if elected will go to the well being of children, mentally or physically, before they are in crisis. He also is interested in helping returning veterans and protecting seniors. When it comes to the education reform package passed earlier this year, Bonistalli says it was well intended, but doesn’t help high performing districts like Ridgefield. He notes that the reforms teach to a test and do not help students to learn.
Bonistalli says the 8-30G housing statute puts Ridgefield’s character at risk. He says developers use loopholes to override the town’s Planning and Zoning commission without thinking about the impact of the community. He says there are too many small plots where multiple units are being put up that drive down property values and strains town infrastructure. He would like to see the law repealed and Affordable Housing statutes reworked. He adds that the cost of living in Connecticut is causing young people to flee the state.
Republican incumbent State Representative John Frey has been a proponent of bills that aim to curb underage drinking. He introduced a measure that would impose consequences on adults who host parties with alcohol and minors. He petition for the penalties after a series of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in Ridgefield that resulted in the deaths of young people who were seen drinking, while homeowners or other adults were present, at private residences before.
Frey is opposed to the mandatory sick leave law for businesses. He says at a time when Connecticut is bleeding jobs and the economy is sluggish to turn around, this bill imposes unnecessary burdens on business. He says the culture in Hartford needs to change to attract business, rather than making the state a place the entrepreneurs look to avoid. He notes that the mandatory sick leave is the first of it’s kind to be passed by a state in the country.
Frey, a real estate broker and past chairman of the Connecticut Real Estate Commission, says the 8-30g program is well intentioned, but harmful to property values. He says there’s been an increasing number of applications that would change the communities people have come to know in Ridgefield. He says changes to the law have been submitted over the years, but none have been able to get through. He would like to see revisions put in place. He has proposed a four-point plan.