Gaynor in solo debate focuses on need to cut state spending

Republican Matt Gaynor faced the crowd alone Tuesday night, answering questions about his plans for the 14th state Senate District, minus a debate opponent.

The Plymouth Men’s Club hosted the political forum, and while the group invited Gaynor and Gayle Slossberg, the incumbent Democrat of the 14th District, Slossberg responded that she was unable to attend.

So Gaynor decided to take the stage alone.

“Why I decided to run is simple,” Gaynor told about 50 people in attendance at the First United Church of Christ in downtown Milford Tuesday night. “I don’t want to lose my home.”

Gaynor said Milford represents his family history. His grandparents met at Milford High School and his mother used to lifeguard at Gulf Beach.

“Which is why it saddens me to see so many people being forced to leave,” Gaynor said. “Youth are looking in other states for employment. The elderly, who often worked their fingers bare to the bone, can’t afford to stay here.”

He listed five things he would propose right off the bat if elected to the state Senate:

He wants initiatives and referenda so that voters get to vote on important laws, such as gun control, which he said is full of loopholes.

Gaynor would repeal the state’s early release program because he said too many dangerous criminals make their way back onto the streets.

He said he would push to repeal and replace the state’s affordable housing law — 8-30g; repeal the state’s participation in the Common Core initiative, which sets certain educational standards, and he would set term limits for elected officials at 10 years.

Gaynor criticized his challenger for the way she is handling the state’s affordable housing law. Slossberg recently initiated an affordable housing moratorium for Milford, and at the same time had city officials start calculating Milford’s housing points, which she said could allow the city to be exempt from 8-30g.

Especially in the last two years, residents have been complaining that developers use the affordable housing law to squeeze developments into inappropriate spots.

Slossberg has said the moratorium would give officials a chance to study the law and see how it is being used.

Gaynor charged that the moratorium stalls any decision.

“She’s just kicking the can down the road,” he said.

While Gaynor touched on gun control and Medicare during the half hour presentation, he spoke the most about the need to reduce state spending.

“We have to reduce the amount we’re spending,” he said, adding that there are a number of state departments that are “top heavy” with high paid administrators.

Unfunded mandates create a burden for local taxpayers, and there are a lot of unfunded mandates. Gaynor said there are 1,200 in Connecticut, regulations that force municipalities to spend more money.

“You need to vote against them,” Gaynor said. “And you need to repeal them.”

Gaynor also talked about the need to attract and hold onto new businesses, something he said is best accomplished through tax breaks and similar initiatives.

Wrapping up, Gaynor said, “Slossberg stands for what’s wrong with Connecticut. It’s status quo with Slossberg; reform with me.”