Addressing the Question of Balance
Newtown Republicans have been hearing a great deal about the topic of balance this election season. Our opponents are suggesting that voting for them will return balance to the system, a theme we’ve heard in the past. What exactly does that mean? Is there an imbalance? 

Let’s take a look at the facts. First, let’s talk about the balance of voters here in Newtown. We have 17,386 registered voters. Of the registered voters, Republicans represent 36%, Democrats 26% and all other parties 43%. The other parties include Unaffiliated, Independent, Green, Working, Libertarian and all others, with the majority of those being unaffiliated.  Republicans and Democrats are not the majority of registered voters.

Today we have 74 elected officials in Newtown. 58% are Republicans, 35% are Democrats and 7% make up the balance. You, the voters of Newtown, selected these elected officials. Republicans believe our success is a result of the voters supporting our plans, actions and goals.  

What about appointed positions? We have 150 appointed officials in office today in Newtown. Republicans represent 46%, Democrats 37% and the balance is 16%. The difference between how many republicans and how many democrats are in appointed positions? There are 59 Republicans and 55 Democrats, a total of four people.

In the last two years on the Legislative Council there have been 132 votes (not including approval of meeting minutes or adjournments of meetings). Of those 132, all but SIX were unanimous. Of the six that were not unanimous, none were split on party lines, and in four of the six cases, Republicans cast the dissenting votes. During the same time period, the BOE has had 329 votes and 287 of them have been unanimous. Only one vote was along party lines.

A careful examination of the voting records on the Board of Selectman and the Board of Finance would reveal similar results. The voting on all of the major boards shows no sign of an imbalance or any substantial opposition on the issues that have come before these boards.  The process provides for ample opportunity for any differing opinion.  The “fact” is that the boards largely move forward in unison.

Let’s take a look at a specific example.  Democrats will tell you there was an imbalance on the Charter Revision Commission. 

Did you know the only candidates not chosen to serve on the Charter Revision Commission who had submitted their names were Republicans? 

Did you know the Legislative Council Charter Revision candidate selection committee reached out specifically to the Democratic Town Committee to solicit possible candidates because only one had come forward?  

Did you know that the chairman of the Charter Revision Candidate Selection Committee was also a democrat?

Despite the fact that these concerns bubbled up well before the process was completed, Republicans took steps above and beyond what was required to be inclusive.

Republicans have also been hearing that decisions are being made by a handful of people.  Too many decisions made by too few people are the concern of the Democrats, but that is not the reality.  Newtown has a representative form of government.  Newtown’s structure of government requires checks and balances, decisions to be vetted at many levels and, in the end, offers many opportunities for input into the discussion and finally voting.

 
What do Republicans Think?

Now lets talk about the kind of balance that matters.

Newtown voters have come together to support the first budget proposal in the last two years. Republicans think that’s because your elected officials have been able to strike the right balance.  Investments in infrastructure, creating a more friendly business environment, improvements in our roads, sufficient funding of our school budgets, and clear fiscal policies that reduce the cost of borrowing are all examples of the type of balance the voters expect.  The “fact” is that in a democracy voters elect representatives who understand their concerns, reflect their demographic and support the issues that are most important to them.  Republicans work to achieve this every day. We hope you agree.