Democrat Sean Ronan, a Bridgeport police detective and a four-term city councilman in West Haven, is running against incumbent Republican Charles Ferraro to represent the 117th District.
Ronan said he wants to focus on bringing more businesses to the state: He noted that there have been some good moves in the past few months, such as the deal to keep Sikorsky in Connecticut and news that the Henkel Corp. is moving to Stamford.
He said he would look at existing regulations that may be antiquated and hurting businesses and preventing others from setting down roots here. He talked about streamlining the process for businesses that want to open up in the state.
An Army veteran, serving from 1988 to 1992, Ronan said he also plans to focus on the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant. Referring to a Superior Court judge’s recent ruling that Connecticut’s ECS formula shortchanges poor children in urban communities, Ronan said he believes more funds may be directed to West Haven.
He’s also planning to delve into the 8-30g affordable housing statute. The statute is not causing concerns in West Haven as it is Milford, which has seen numerous proposals under the affordable housing law. West Haven has about 13% of its housing set aside as affordable, Ronan said, largely because of the Meadowbrook apartments. Thus, West Haven has surpassed the 10% minimum needed to be exempt from 8-30g.
Ronan speculated that perhaps the law is not “a one size fits all” and may need to have different criteria to address the needs of different communities.
Ronan’s children are the fifth generation to live in the family home not far from the shoreline in West Haven, so he says his roots are deep. He is proud of the city’s long public shoreline, and said he would also work in Hartford to bring funds or Army Corps of Engineer manpower to shoreline towns where beach erosion is an issue.
As a councilman he voted in favor of using eminent domain to take homes and businesses for a waterfront development project in West Haven. Ronan said he supports the plan because the area is largely blighted and the project would allow access to that area of waterfront. Bottom line, he believes property owners are being properly compensated and the project is good for West Haven.
The 117th District includes parts of West Haven, Milford and Orange.
In a written statement released when he announced his campaign, Ronan said, “Connecticut has some real challenges to overcome in the years ahead. As a city councilor, I have earned a reputation for working across party lines to do what’s right for our families. As a sworn police officer, I have taken an oath to protect and serve our families.”
Ronan said that as a legislator his priorities would include developing and passing fiscally responsible budgets that protect education, job creation, public safety, veterans, and health care without putting undue financial burdens on working families.
Ronan said he supports all-day kindergarten and believes “we must support and develop an education system that encourages parents, teachers, administrators, civic leaders, and business leaders to work together to develop curricula that prepare our students for today’s global economy and enhanced technology.”
He said he would support working families by backing state investment in economic infrastructure, like roads, highways, light rail, broadband Internet, worker training, and education.
As a police officer, Ronan said, he has seen firsthand the devastation caused by drug addiction, and he supports recent efforts to curb the heroin epidemic by providing uniform standards for insurance coverage and substance abuse treatment, strengthening prescription drug monitoring and strengthening penalties for possession and distribution of opioids.