Consider 3 questions
Next week, the voters of West Haven are asked to determine the leadership of the city over the next two years. For the first time in decades, voters have a real opportunity to select from among three viable candidates, all with extensive experience, and all well-known in the community.
Dorinda Keenan Borer is the Democratic nominee and has a record of public service from city boards and commissions, as well as an extensive stint in the General Assembly as representative of the 115th Assembly District. While there she moved up the leadership ranks and has been instrumental in bringing many thousands of dollars into the city. Her work with various civic and fraternal organizations is impressive and has given her the visibility she enjoys today.
Republican Barry Lee Cohen is the Republican nominee and has a record of public service that spans back decades in the fraternal and social work he has done, a solid record as a businessman, and terms on the City Council representing the 10th District. He lost a bid for the mayoralty two years ago by a handful of votes, in the strongest showing by a Republican in decades.
Steven R. Mullins, write-in candidate, is a name synonymous with public service. Serving on several boards and commissions over this adult life, Mullins is a longtime member of the Republican Town Committee, served several terms as a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission, and has a resume of service in various civic and fraternal organizations throughout the city.
The stage is set with three very impressive candidates. And, lest people think Mullins’ idea of a write-in candidacy is a lesson in futility, write-ins have done very well in the city over the years and should not be discounted. It is our belief this crop of candidates is one of the best the city has produced in many years.
When making up one’s mind, we hope voters will look less at the party and more at what each candidate has to offer. We suggest using three criteria when selecting:
Ability to Effect Change – The last several years have pointed out the city needs to alter its way of doing business. The inability to effect change has hampered directives from the Municipal Accountability Review Board, which became so frustrated it imposed a Tier IV level on city operations, giving it, rather than city leaders, the deciding hand in making decisions. Which candidate voters believe can make the effective changes needed should be a determining factor.
Decision making into action – The last few years have seen an inability of leaders to convert decisions into action. The ability to lead includes getting the disparate people, departments, and personnel on one page. We have not seen that type of leadership. Programs or projects are announced, and it is years before any sort of implementation takes place. Streamlining that time lag and getting the machinery of government to work efficiently is another determining factor.
People instead of politics – The city’s political structure has been problematic for decades because decisions have been made based solely on political expediency and not what is best for the people of the city. The spoils of victory are seen as the booty of some in the political class. This must change. People rather than party must be the determining factor. Party politics has hampered this city in many things over the years and has aided in our financial decline. Voters must choose the candidate who puts the city first.
These are the criteria voters should consider when entering the voting booth Nov. 7. Our future depends on it.