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Elections Government

Meet the Candidate: Bill Wadsworth

Bill Wadsworth. Submitted photo

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the 5th State Senate District special election on Feb. 26, 2019.

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 the 5th State Senate District special election.

Identical questionnaires have been sent to all 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 voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Feb. 26.

If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Candidate Name: Bill Wadsworth

Age: 66

Party, position seeking: Nominated Republican Candidate for the State Senate Fifth District

Family information: My Wife and I have a blended family of six children and six grandchildren

Other occupation, if applicable:  I own a construction management company

Political experience:

  • Zoning Boards of Appeals Member, appointed
  • Town Plan and Zoning Commission Member, elected
  • Capital Region Council of Government Planning Commission Member, appointed
  • Southwest Fire Station Building Commission Member, appointed
  • Fire and Police Building Committee Member, appointed
  • Town Council Liaison to West Woods Upper Elementary School, appointed
  • Town Wide Fire Station Building Committee Chairman, appointed
  • Town Council Acting Chair (2004-2006), appointed
  • Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Member, appointed
  • Farmington High School Addition & Renovation Building Committee Chairman, appointed
  • Town Council Liaison to the Historic District Commission, appointed
  • Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Representative, appointed
  • West Woods Golf Course Expansion Committee Member, appointed
  • Goal 2 (Traffic and Land Use) Committee Chairman, appointed
  • Town Council Liaison to the Economic Development Commission, appointed
  • River Access Committee Chairman, appointed
  • Town Council Member (6 Terms), Elected
  • Town Council Acting Chair (2010), appointed
  • Capitol Region Council of Government Legislative Action Committee Member, appointed
  • Land Acquisition Committee Chairman, appointed
  • Town Council Liaison to the Chamber of Commerce, appointed
  • Sewer Committee Chairman, appointed
  • Farm Committee Member, appointed
  • Green Committee Member, appointed
  • Municipal Green Efforts Subcommittee Chair, appointed
  • Town Council Liaison to the Plan and Zoning Commission, appointed
  • High School Renovation Committee Chair, appointed
  • State of Connecticut, House of Representatives (21stDistrict), elected
  • Appropriation Committee Member
  • Transportation Committee Member
  • Human Services Committee Member
  • Aviation Caucus Member
  • GMO Task Force Member

Current Service

  • Town of Farmington
  • Land Acquisition Committee Member, appointed
  • Economic Development Commission, appointed

Other relevant experience: I have spent my entire life working in the private sector, most of it in the construction industry. For the past thirty years I have managed many large projects including the Hartford Healthcare Building at Blue Back Square. This experience has given me a strong background in delivering a quality product at a competitive price. I believe that experience would be very useful in creating a state budget.

Why are you running for office? I have a very strong desire to provide public service. I am running for the hard-working families of the 5thDistrict have a voice in Hartford against the grocery and prescription taxes, forced school regionalization and the other more than 50 taxes Governor Lamont is considering.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? My first focus would be the State budget and how it is affecting the working families of Connecticut. I want to help create a budget that isn’t funded on the backs of hard-working people. This means cutting spending where possible and not taxing our citizens any further.  

Several topics are likely on the minds of voters in the 5thDistrict. These are complex topics, but please provide a brief response to the following:

  • What is your approach to the State of Connecticut’s budget, and the possibility of using tolls, sports betting, or legalized marijuana to increase revenue? My approach to the budget is to control spending. My experience in the Town of Farmington is that fiscal discipline is needed to maintain services.

The tolls are just another form of a gas tax and the State of Connecticut has one of the highest gas taxes in the nation. Hard working families should not be additionally taxed to drive to work or visit their grandchildren. Connecticut residents would pay about 70 percent of the 1 billion dollars collected each year.

I do not believe that legalizing sports betting for the mere increase in tax revenue is a valid reason. The revenue brought in would be miniscule in conquering our deficit.

The concept that the legalization of marijuana is being done for the sole reason to collect revenues. As with sports betting, the revenue brought in by the sale of marijuana would only be a very small portion of our deficit, only about $180 million. Long term studies of states like Colorado and the effects of the legalization of marijuana should also be looked at, as it could end up costing the state more money over time due to health issues etc.

  • Specifically, where do you think spending cuts should be made in the state budget? As a former State Representative, I was part of a Republican Caucus that crafted an alternative budget that had no or few tax increases. If the focus is on providing fundamental services for the residents of the State of Connecticut, then savings could be achieved. Core services such as transportation, Public safety, public health and education need to be maintained.
  • What can the State Senate do about unfunded pension liabilities? The State of Connecticut has an obligation to properly fund all its pension liabilities. Teacher’s pensions, state employee pensions and retiree health care have been negotiated in good faith for decades with the fault of the State of Connecticut not fulfilling the funding requirement. The funding should not fall on the families of Connecticut. The State must find a way to use the revenue which they are already receiving in a more fiscally responsible way in order to fulfill the obligation.  
  • What is your opinion on regionalizing some services? The 5thDistrict has excellent school systems that have taken decades to mature to where they are today. By forced regionalization it would take the control out of the hands of the parent’s and local officials and the decisions would be made remotely from Hartford. This would eliminate the tightknit school communities that have formed between, teachers, students, family and administration.  
  • What is your opinion on Educational Cost Sharing for the towns in the 5th District? ECS grants need to be fully funded. This education was supposed to be paid for by interest on the school fund. Somewhere along the way the cost for education was shifted to the towns and cities, which led to tax hikes on families. The full funding of the ECS grant would return some of that cost to where it belongs.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing 5thDistrict voters today? I think that the biggest issue facing the 5thDistrict voters today is the runaway budget, which has resulted in record high tax increases. These tax increases have impacted the hard-working families in the 5thdistrict in a very significant way. Some families have had to give up essentials such as food, clothing or shelter, just to be able to pay the astronomical taxes in the state. These are choices that should not have to be made. Families should not have to choose between food for their family or gas in their car.

What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position?I have a long-established track record believing hard working families should be able to keep as much of their money as possible. During my time on the Farmington Town Council and in the House of Representatives, I have always argued against higher taxes and in favor of hard-working families keeping as much of their earned money as possible. From my background I have knowledge of the way government runs so I can hit the ground running and immediately start working for the people of the 5th District.

Anything else you would like to share? I believe that the State of Connecticut needs to provide leadership and resources in two main areas. The first one is education. Our residents, especially our young people, must be given the best opportunity possible to get a great education. This will ensure that they are employable after they graduate.

The second area is jobs. Excellent employment opportunities for our workforce will ensure a high quality of life. The State of Connecticut must provide a stable and low cost environment to keep current businesses, allow current businesses to grow and to attract new businesses. This will stabilize our economy and provide a consistent platform for our state government to provide its core services.

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