O’Brien asks voters for support, Nov. 7
First and foremost, I would like to thank the people of West Haven for their support throughout my tenure as your Mayor. I truly love working every single day to improve the city that I call home. As many of you know, I have decided to run as a write-in candidate in the General Election this November. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain how I arrived at this decision and what I think this election is truly about.
The results of the primary last week were humbling to say the least. After reflecting for a few days, I recognized the mistakes I made by not communicating with our community more often about what we were doing to improve their lives and what issues were important to them. Then I thought about the choices we have in November and I realized how worried I was for the future of our city.
People from across our city and from all different walks of life began reaching out to me asking what happened and expressing how badly they wanted me to continue fighting for West Haven. I know that a majority of people in our city recognize that the other two candidates are not equipped to be Mayor. The outpouring of support I received made me realize that I could not just sit on the sidelines.
I will not stop fighting for West Haven. My administration has kick-started an unprecedented amount of economic development and laid the foundation for financial recovery. Our public school’s test scores are rising, we have secured all-day kindergarten, and a new high school is on the way. Our blight ordinances now have teeth, our police officers and Public Works crews have upgraded fleets, overall crime has dropped 12% in the past year, and our streets are safer and cleaner than ever before.
Now is not the time to allow our city to slip backwards. The progress we have made in the past few years must be preserved and expanded. The answers to our city’s problems are not massive cuts and austere policies. I understand that sensible cuts can be made and we have made them, but we cannot cut out way too prosperity. The real answer is economic growth, smart investments in our future, and an understanding of how people are affected by their local government.
In my next term, I promise to devote even more of our resources to attracting every single development to our city to lessen then the tax burden on our residents and create jobs. I promise to never make a single cut to our education budget and ensure the new high school is completed within budget and on time. I promise to hold at least one town hall meeting per year in each district to listen to the issues that concern our residents and be able to directly respond to their needs.
While I am staying involved myself, it is even more important that every single West Haven resident who believes in my vision for West Haven also stays involved. We cannot take progress for granted, we cannot assume the outcome of elections, and we cannot let West Haven regress. We need everyone who believes in a strong future for West Haven to join the O’Brien Army of volunteers, speak to your friends, family, and neighbors, and get out to vote and write in Ed O’Brien on Tuesday, Nov. 7!
Edward M. O’Brien
Rossi is a longtime part of city woes
Nancy Rossi is a longtime part of the problem, not a real solution. Ed O’Brien and Nancy Rossi began serving as council members together in 2005, part of a system of one-party rule that has existed in West Haven for many years.
Nancy Rossi was the Finance Chairman of the West Haven City Council from 2007-2011 and again from 2013-2015. As Finance Chairman she failed to convince the majority party controlling the City Council to slow spending and take a realistic view of expected revenues. Having failed to lead her party to sensible spending policy, she was responsible, with the rest of the majority party, in running up large deficits. She is a long time participant of a system of one-party rule that has contributed to West Haven’s current dire situation today.
The New Haven Register noted the following about Rossi, “But her (Rossi) business-like approach seems to lack the human factor needed to be mayor as quality-of-life issues beyond numbers never factored into her conversation as to why she should be mayor.”
Effective change in West Haven city government will only come if we elect a person with a vision that includes all of West Haven’s people, that includes all of our neighborhoods, and all of our business districts. That man with a vision is David Riccio. Dave has been a voice, unfortunately a lone voice, for taxpayers on the City Council for over 20 years.
Voters must make a real change now. West Haven has been so mismanaged that we have to pay more than 6 percent interest on money we borrow because our bond rating is just above junk status. Now we’re borrowing to pay off past deficits! Dave Ricco understands that borrowing to pay off past deficits without controlling spending and running up new deficits is a recipe for disaster.
Effective change in West Haven City government will only come if we elect a mayor who has the guts to make the hard choices that must be made, who has a realistic view of expected tax revenues, who can curb wasteful spending. A mayor who understands that yes, while we face difficult social issues and the people of our community don’t always have the easiest path at times needing help, also understands that over-reliance on state aid grants that may not be coming because the state is broke, is not healthy. We must get our own house in order by taking a hard line on waste and costly bloated city government. We need an economic development plan that makes sense, a plan that includes all of our city, not just one project that may or may not happen.
I have lived in West Haven for the past 51 years, and now more than ever West Haven needs a fresh start and the only way that will happen is to elect David Riccio as our new Mayor on Nov. 7.
Joseph Viola, Jr.