FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Daily Voice sent out a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year's election.
The following are the responses of Kevin Coyner, Democratic candidate for the State House of Representatives seat for District 132 (Fairfield). He is facing Republican incumbent Brenda Kupchick.
Name: Kevin Coyner
Affiliations: Democratic, Working Families (endorsed by both, on ballot for both)
Education: MBA in International Business – George Washington University; BA in Economics – Lewis & Clark College; Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan
Married/single/family: Married to Natalia, a registered nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital, two grown children Alison and Ryan, educated in Connecticut public schools
Past offices: Retirement Board, Representative Town Meeting (both Greenwich)
Current race: State Representative, 132nd District
Volunteer: Center for Family Justice – Investment Committee; Debian Linux Developer (Software in the Public Interest, Inc); Executive Board member of Local 1042 (firefighters union); Former volunteer firefighter
If elected, what would you do to improve roads and trains in Fairfield County?
We need to fully fund our rail and road infrastructure in order to ensure the safe and reliable travel of our commuter population, as well as to attract the businesses of tomorrow to Fairfield County. As State Representative, I will advocate for fiscally responsible funding to repair our roads and aging rail infrastructure. We have talked about fixing our transportation problems for far too long. We need action now, and we need a plan that is not simply a band-aid, but a long term vision that could serve us for the next fifty years.
If elected, what is your position on state spending and the state budget?
As a former bond and options trader in international financial markets, I know what it takes for governments to responsibly fund their long-term investments and daily operations. If we are to prosper as a State, we must strike a balance between keeping government spending under control yet also wisely investing in our State to foster a healthy economy and consistent growth.
Taking a hatchet to the budget, which seems to be the politically popular response of many politicians, will only result in our economy sliding back into recession while other states move ahead. We need to carefully budget for smart investments in the areas that will help rebuild our State. We need to rebuild our transportation infrastructure, and we need to make sure our greatest natural resource – our young people – have the educational advantages they need to succeed in today's competitive world. These two areas have to be a priority in our State budget.
We also need to establish a non-partisan body to review waste and fraud throughout state government, and consider consolidating departments that perform redundant functions. We need to encourage job and small business growth in order to produce revenue that will fund the vital resources that many Connecticut residents depend on daily. A healthy, growing economy can be the best means of addressing our State budget shortfalls.
What is another top issue or priority in your town or district that you would address in office?
Young people are leaving our state in droves due to lack of opportunity and high cost of living. We need to bring the jobs of tomorrow to Fairfield today, and establish a state sponsored student loan program that would offer incentives for native Connecticut residents to return to the state to live and work here after graduation. We need to stop wild fluctuations in property taxes. Its unacceptable to expect that a 21 percent rise in property taxes in a year is the norm in Connecticut. Let's propose a 4 percent property tax cap, tied to the Connecticut Consumer Price Index, to provide the residents of Fairfield and Southport with some property tax relief. We also need to make sure that the state is living up to its obligation to fund our schools so that we don't have to turn to property taxes as the sole source of revenue for public education.
Why should people vote for you?
I chose a career in public service as a firefighter because I care about people, and wanted to be a part of making my community a better place to live. It's for these same reasons that I'm running for office. I have the knowledge, experience, passion for service, and savvy needed to deliver real results for the constituents of Fairfield-Southport, to make a meaningful difference in people's lives. I have a vision where Connecticut is seen as a destination; a place where businesses and families want to be. Help me make that vision a reality by casting your vote for me on November 4th.
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