Letter: How can we afford to keep living in Connecticut?

To the Editor:

As the upcoming November elections come into focus, I want to share a question that has been on my mind and one I have discussed with friends and family in recent years: how can we afford to keep living in Connecticut?

In the wake of Gov. Malloy demanding $10 million to prepare a plan to implement tolls and study its impact, I again revisited that question, and my list of reasons why I have a future in Connecticut got even shorter.

It’s not that tolls are necessarily a bad idea by nature — on the contrary, charging motorists for using state highways makes some sense. The problem lies not with how the money is collected by the state, it is with how much is being collected already and what happens to the money being spent.

Taxpayers in places like Ridgefield have been uniquely targeted by various tax hikes, funding cuts to our town, and fees in recent years. However, when we read reports of where our hard-earned money is being spent, it raises serious questions about how it is prioritized. For example, the Hartford to New Britain busway continues to be mocked for its light ridership. Meanwhile, the price tag on the new Hartford to Springfield train line could have covered all of the costs needed for repairs to the Metro-North New Haven Line.

Our own Rep. John Frey has been a leading voice for years in favor of alternative ways to invest in transportation and has vocally opposed attempts by the legislature to raid money in the Special Transportation Fund. This year, he helped successfully negotiate a budget that fully funds the STF by transferring over a tax on new cars that exists already.

I hope my fellow Ridgefielders are aware of how important his representation has been to theirs.

Wayne Floegel

West Mountain Road, Sept. 10