There is an open seat in the state House to represent Redding, Easton and Weston. Bonnie Troy is a Green Party candidate, cross-endorsed by the Democratic Party. Adam Dunsby is the Republican First Selectman of Easton.
Dunsby is currently serving his second term as First Selectman. He was a member of the Board of Education from 2009 through 2013, and previously served as an adjunct professor of finance at Fairfield University. He was a founding partner of a Stamford-based investment firm.
Troy, a Weston resident, has an organic land care business and an associate with a company that educates people about green energy options. She also works with land trusts and nature conservation organizations on sustainability events. She's also a beekeeper.
Troy ran as a Green Party candidate in the district two years ago and gained 19.5% of the votes. The Democratic Town Committees of the three towns in the district also endorsed Troy. She says that speaks volumes as to how people feel about this political climate. She notes that the Democratic Party was willing to move laterally to get behind what she believes in.
Education reforms will likely take up a large portion of the session given the more than decade old legal battle that's headed to the Connecticut Supreme Court. A Connecticut judge laid out a lot was about what the state should be doing to improve the state's education system. Dunsby says his experience serving on the Board of Education and the regional education service center has put him in a good place to deal with education issues.
Troy says the state needs to look at what's working, where is the money being spent, where are the kids being left behind, where the money is being lost. She doesn't think it's a one-sized fits all solution. While there might be some shared regionalization that might work with resources or equipment, Troy says that won't work for education reforms. Troy notes that as a Green candidate, she's not running on party lines but running for a community.
Funding for all of the initiatives in Governor Malloy's 30-year transportation plan is a lingering question. Troy says the first thing is to track the money make sure those who are supposed to be overseeing the funding are actually overseeing the funding. Right now, she says the money isn't going to where it needs to go. If the state wants businesses and people who want move or stay in Connecticut, Troy says the government needs to have state of the art transportation.
Dunsby also called for improved infrastructure. He says the best way to achieve that is to use the funds allocated for transportation on transportation. Dunsby says it's important to budget long-term for capital projects. He is not in favor of a mileage tax or tolls. Dunsby says introducing new revenue sources will generate new ways to spend the money. He instead called for operating with current dollars.
Economic issues are the top of a lot of people's minds. He says one of the biggest challenges facing the government is that the state keeps borrowing more and more. He believes the state needs someone who will fight to reduce spending and taxes, and will fight to maintain local control for the towns. The number one issue is fixing the business climate, making the state a more welcoming place. Dunsby called for a stable tax environment, rolling back taxes and creating a stable regulatory environment.
Troy would like to see incentives created to help small businesses thrive. She notes that the district has a lot of open space and farmland. She's been touring farms to see what they're doing and what they need. She encouraged more people to shop local.