Elections Government

Meet the Candidate: Beth Bye

Beth Bye. We-Ha.com file photo

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running for election on Nov. 8, 2016.

Beth Bye. Submitted photo

Beth Bye. Submitted photo

Compiled by Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the local candidates running for office in the Nov. 8, 2016, election.

Identical questionnaires have been sent to all major party candidates, and each profile received has been submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign management. The responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our publication style. Questions left blank have been deleted.

As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com is not making endorsements of any political candidates but we are publishing this information in order to assist West Hartford voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 8.

If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at editorial@we-ha.com ASAP.

Name: Beth Bye

Age: 54

Party, position seeking: State Senate

Family information: Married to Tracey Wilson. We have 5 children ages 20 – 28. Peter, Brittany, Adam, Caroline and Billie.

Other occupation, if applicable: Executive Director of 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm

Political experience: West Hartford School Board, State Representative and State Senator.

Other relevant experience: Long time Early Childhood Program Director and Program Developer. Former Director of the School for Young Children and Trinity College Community Child Center. Helped develop Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School.

Why are you running for office? I am running for office to represent residents of the 5th District and give them a voice at the State Capitol.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? My primary focus:

  1. Grow jobs in CT. Build on successful business sectors like Bioscience, Precision Manufacturing, and Financial Services. Continue to support small business development through programs like Small Business Express. Encourage entrepreneurship. Enhance access to high speed broadband for businesses and residents.

  2. Ensure we keep our place in the US with our top notch workforce through investments in education (Prek – Higher Ed).

  3. Work for fair State Education Funding for West Hartford.

  4. Protect our environment

  5. Maintain our high quality of life through public safety, supporting our parks, trails, museums, and improved transportation systems.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today?

Property Taxes and Schools

West Hartford is a great town. Developers want to build housing here and entrepreneurs want to start new businesses here. Families choose our Town because of our top notch schools. Our schools need support to keep class sizes low, to continue to thrive and offer great academics and programs of distinction in the arts, music, and athletics. West Hartford has been chronically underfunded by the State Education Funding system. This puts an unfair burden on West Hartford residential and commercial property taxpayers. We have made progress over the past two years, but there is more work to do to assure our community can continue to support our schools and town services – without increasing local taxes.

What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position?

I believe I have the experience of serving locally and serving on the state level – giving me important perspective about how the state and towns work together to support local communities. I have been successful working across the aisle on successful efforts like toxins reform, higher education costs, LGBT rights, disabilities funding, mental health parity, reducing student testing, and gun safety. At the same time, I also have have proven that I am not afraid to take on large, powerful interests on behalf of my constituents – examples are the NRA, Comcast, DCF and MDC.

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