We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running for election on Nov. 7, 2017.
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 candidates running for office in West Hartford’s Nov. 7, 2017, municipal 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. 7.
If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] by Oct. 18.
Name: Ryan S. Langan
Party, position seeking:Republican, Town Council
Family information:Married to Audrey Langan for 10 years. My parents, Steve and Kathleen Langan are both lifelong West Hartford residents. My sister, Michelle, her husband and two children, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins also grew up and continue to live in West Hartford.
Other occupation, if applicable: General Manager, Sales & Business Development for Doosan Fuel Cell America in South Windsor, CT, which manufactures renewable energy systems.
Political experience: This is my first time running for public office, though it has been a lifelong goal to serve my community and hometown. I am currently serving as the Treasurer of the West Hartford Republican Town Committee.
Other relevant experience: Vice Chairman, West Hartford Conservation and Environment Commission. Seven years of work experience with the U.S. Department of Commerce and seven years of financial, renewable energy and sales leadership experience with General Electric.
Why are you running for office? West Hartford needs new leadership and better fiscal management to ensure it remains one of the best towns in Connecticut. While our town is recognized nationally as a top place to live, and for our fantastic school system, these rankings will not solve our financial challenges. After 15 years of continuous tax increases, higher fees, and cuts in services, West Hartford has become an unaffordable place to live for hard working families and retirees. This tax burden is driving families to move out of West Hartford. We need new leadership on the Town Council that is focused on smarter spending and lower taxes.
What issue(s) are your primary area of focus?Property taxes today are $78 million higher than they were in 2007. That is a 45% increase in ten years! Hartford Magazine (August 2017) ranked West Hartford 47 out of 50 towns in property tax affordability within the Greater Hartford area. We are down at the bottom of these rankings with Hartford and New Britain. This hurts retirees and working class families the most. We need smarter spending to keep West Hartford a safe, welcoming, and diverse community, where we can all afford to live and work.
Several topics are likely on the minds of West Hartford voters this year. Please provide a brief statement regarding your opinion about:
- The Town of West Hartford budget: The Hartford Courant (August 10, 2017) reported that the number of West Hartford households with children declined by 7% in five years. They are leaving town because it is too expensive to stay here. Without smarter spending, more people will leave, leading to higher tax rates and a downward spiral, just like Hartford is experiencing now. Let’s not follow in Hartford’s footsteps.
- The State of Connecticut budget situation: Facing a near certain decline in state funding this year, and a long history of the state underfunding West Hartford, the current majority on Town Council increased spending and taxes this year. Their current strategy is to “hope” that it all works out and the state does not cut +$22 million from our budget. Hope is not a strategy for managing a $285 million budget. We need new leadership on the Town Council to better manage the risks we are facing because of the permanent fiscal crisis at the state level.
- Regionalism: When the Town Council considers any policy, including regionalism, the first question must always be “is it good for West Hartford?” If we cannot be assured that regionalizing services will save West Hartford money without compromising quality, we should not do it. I have yet to see any credible plan where West Hartford’s education and public safety services get regionalized and quality stays the same. The State should take the lead with regionalism by reducing the number of State Representatives from +150 to 50. Maybe with fewer State Representatives, they could solve the permanent fiscal crisis and get Connecticut back on the right track.
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today? The impact of the state budget crisis on West Hartford.
What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? I am not part of the Connecticut political establishment. For too long, local and state officials have been over-promising and under-delivering for the people in West Hartford and across the state. If you want continued budget crises and ever-increasing taxes, then support the political establishment. If you want West Hartford to continue to thrive as a top-ranked community, then vote for me, and a new majority on Town Council. We will confront the economic realities of today head-on with sound strategies and smarter spending, not just with hope.
Anything else you would like to share?Your vote on November 7th counts more than ever for West Hartford. This is not about national politics. This is about a broken State and the impact it will have on our community, our schools, and our neighbors. We need new leadership on Town Council that recognizes the current challenges and will work hard to look out for West Hartford.
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