26th District primary: Kim Healy’s priorities are zoning, state pensions, business
Seeing it as a strength that she is a political newcomer, Kim Healy is looking to put her energies into running for the 26th District seat in the state Senate, should she win Tuesday’s primary.
A resident of Wilton with a background in accounting, Healy says one of her priorities is getting the state’s financial books in order, especially as they relate to unfunded pension liabilities. Healy also wants to keep zoning local and help businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
She was asked two questions — on her priorities and her experience — and following are her answers.
Hearst Connecticut Media: “ What are the three top priorities you’d take into the state Senate and try to get done? ”
Planning and Zoning — I will protect the New England tradition of local control over our towns, particularly with planning and zoning. As Nutmeggers, we cherish the individual characteristics of each of our towns, and we work hard to build and maintain those traits. Recently, the majority party tried to legislate state control over local towns through school regionalization, which led to the formation of the Hands Off Our Schools. Now legislators are pushing for state control over local planning and zoning. The legislature has proven that it makes irresponsible and sometimes reckless decisions, which result in adverse unintended consequences and costly unfunded mandates. We should never surrender control over our towns and neighborhoods, particularly to a state government that cannot get its own fiscal house in order.
Pension liabilities — I will make every effort I can to work with the legislature and deal with our unfunded pension liabilities. They are crippling Connecticut’s future and must be addressed. The solutions to this problem are simple to understand but politically challenging to enact. It takes strong leadership and a focus on our communities to bring about a genuine solution to our pension crisis. I believe I have the necessary background to tackle this challenge, and that is why I’m running.
Reinvigorate business — I will work to bring business back to Connecticut. COVID-19 has brought many new residents to Connecticut and it will likely increase commercial activity. Some towns are already seeing increased commercial real estate demand. We need to make Connecticut competitive again to bring in new businesses and encourage current ones to stay. Furthermore, we should incentivize businesses that can address emerging needs as a result of the pandemic, such as PPE producers for first responders. This would create more jobs and a local manufacturing of critical items.
Hearst Connecticut: What separates you from your opponent, making you the better candidate for the 26th district?
KH: I am a wife, a mother, a former auditor, and an engaged, proud member of my community. After working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, I took time off to raise my four children in Wilton. As a mother, I have a vested interest in the future of Connecticut where I want to stay, and where I would like my children to live into their adulthood.
I have been the treasurer of many organizations since leaving my professional career and am currently on the board of the Wilton Library Association as treasurer. I am a volunteer tax preparer for retired and low-income individuals and I am involved in many other great organizations that serve the needs of people in our area.
I was endorsed by a two-thirds majority of delegates at the Republican convention and I have the best chance of winning in November. I also received the endorsements of two former 26th District senators and a current member of the state Assembly.
The 26th is a politically diverse district. Residents want practical solutions and legislators who are willing to work with all of their colleagues to enact them. I am one of a number of high-energy newcomers to the political stage from Fairfield County who could no longer sit on the sidelines. I look forward to bringing my relevant experience and knowledge to the state Senate to bring a positive change to CT. I will advocate for out district’s interests in Hartford and be an effective representative by bringing common sense, innovative solutions and sound fiscal policy to Hartford.
The 26th District encompasses Redding, Ridgefield, Wilton and portions of Bethel, New Canaan, Weston, and Westport.