What Matters Most to Easton: John Shaban Responds
1. What do you believe is the single most important issue facing Easton voters and why?
Economy and jobs. As our state recovers from quarantines and shutdowns, we must also realize that we are picking up where we left off — fiscal mismanagement that hurts all citizens. Indeed, our poor fiscal policies have caused a decade of stagnant job growth, depressed home values, and wealth and opportunity to flee Connecticut. Moreover, our repeated state deficits have resulted in the perpetual underfunding of education, infrastructure and environmental programs.
We face more multi-billion dollar deficits in 2021 and beyond, which will again prompt the Democratic majority in Hartford to seek additional tax increases and more job-killing policies. The solution is proven and clear. Hartford must stop changing the rates and rules every year, and let our economy, job creators and job seekers regain momentum. A stable tax and regulatory structure will return confidence, investment and prosperity to our state, which in turn will allow us to pursue needed social policies with funding and action instead of empty words.
Simply put, we must stop Hartford from cannibalizing a struggling private sector to feed a glutinous and unapologetic public sector. We thrive as a community when the private sector thrives, and our state policies need to start and end on this undeniable tenet.
2. What is the second most important issue?
Local control of schools and land use. A group of “progressive” legislators want to strip our small towns of control over schools and zoning and send money and authority to Hartford. They continue to push mandatory school regionalization with nearby towns and cities, the removal of SROs from our schools, and the weakening of local zoning control coupled with “desegregation” taxes.
I have fought against and will oppose any forced regionalization of schools and services, and will continue to advocate for greater local control of education and land use. Our communities thrive when we govern at the local level first. Easton’s schools —parents, teachers and local school officials — should determine how and where our children will be educated, and our communities should decide how and/or whether to work with SROs.
Easton’s land use — I have fought for local control of zoning for over a decade, first as zoning vice-chair (Redding) and then as your state representative for three terms. I support workable senior/affordable housing plans that both enhance the character of our communities and protect our property values and natural environment. We live in Easton, Redding and Weston for the character and pace of our small towns, and I will work to preserve both.
3. Why should Easton voters support you on November 3?
Small towns have different needs than big cities. I will focus on the needs of Easton, Redding and Weston first, not national debates and movements. I served as your state representative for three terms (2011-2017) and did not run for a fourth term, opting instead to run for U.S. Congress. For six years I served on the Environment, Judiciary, and Finance Committees. I worked to pass legislation to establish greater local control over our towns and schools, secure more open space, and protect our natural resources. I will build on these efforts to help our community and our State thrive.