Middlesex Coalition for Children Candidate Forum

This morning, I attended the Middlesex Coalition for Children candidate forum. Izzi Greenberg always does a great job at moderating the forum. So I wanted to give her a "shout out" for her professionalism and her organizing the non-partisan event along with her coworkers. There were many important issues discussed at the event, which candidates were asked to acknowledge one way or another that they were coming.

Rep. Joe Serra, did not bother informing her that he would be "attending" and just showed up, and showed up late, delaying the start of the event by a few minutes. That's okay; it happens, but what he did over the next few minutes was extremely disrespectfully to everyone at the forum. Instead of sitting at the open designated seats at the front table, he pulled a chair to the end of the table. Just in this brief gesture I saw a representative who saw himself above his constituents.

Our political leaders should be acting in concordance with the people they represent, not elevating themselves as something more than a chosen member of the community to speak for our interests. Our leaders should be approachable and voices for the collective, not only themselves.

At the forum, each of us were given two minutes to introduce ourselves and express our stand on the issues. (Izzi did a great job of keeping everyone to the task.) When it was his turn to intro himself to the attendees, he started with, "Let me give you some advice..." and started to lecture all of us that we need to know that there is only one "pie" (meaning $ available) and they need to let him know what they need. He then went on to say, "I told the seniors, there's no free lunch. There's only one pie and everyone wants piece."

During my intro I mentioned that CT doesn't have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. I spoke about the mismanagement of funds and the mass exodus of 250,000 taxpayers over the past ten years because of CT's fiscal irresponsibility.

Joe Serra went on to say that the fiscal problems are the result of "Ella Grasso, Weicker and Jodi Rell,” essentially pawning the problem off onto leaders no longer in office to answer for themselves. He gave no acknowledgement to his 24 years of voting for every single tax increase during his tenure and his lack of making any effort of fixing the problem. He finished talking and walked out of the forum just as Izzi was starting the program. Shouldn’t a proper representative stay for the entirety of an event, they did not even have the respect to RSVP to?

His demeanor and actions were extremely disrespectful to everyone, the moderator, the guests, and the candidates. He was at the event for just 15 minutes to say his two cents. That's it. Walk in late, lecture the crowd, accuse Republicans from decades ago of being responsible for our fiscal problems, and then leave as if there were no disrespect dealt to all present.

Make no mistake, Joe Serra does not care about the issues or the community. He has done and continues to do nothing to help the residents of Middletown. 

In contrast, I am someone you can count on to stand up for our residents both in Middletown and the State. This November 6th, you have a choice in the 33rd. Vote for someone - Joe Serra - that wants more taxes and tolls and is part of the problem up in Hartford or take a chance on me, someone with a proven record of speaking up for those that need a voice and fighting for the taxpayers (4 years BOE).

I'm the someone that will be there for you - Not Joe. It'll be your choice on November 6th. More of the same old taxes and more people leaving CT or me, the person that will fight for you and is totally accessible. Call me with your issues. (860) 575-7125) I'm here for you now and when I get to Hartford, God willing, with your support. I won't let you down. I pledge to remain an active member of the community if elected; I will not alienate or disrespect the people I have promised to represent and do right by.

Linda Szynkowicz