Friday, May 24, 2024

“Distressed Municipality”


Stratford Residents Have Suffered from Laura Hoydick’s Failed Leadership

by Immacula Cann

On Tuesday, I and Stratford Democrats are announcd a major voter education initiative around Stratford’s status as a “distressed municipality.” Under Mayor Laura Hoydick’s failed leadership, Stratford was for the second year in a row placed on Connecticut’s list of “economically distressed” municipalities. The first step towards a state takeover of municipal finances, this serious designation will have lasting impacts on our town.

“‘Distressed municipality’ is a dry term, but buried underneath it is real human suffering,” said Democratic mayoral nominee Immacula Cann. “Mayor Hoydick has done a very good job of talking around its significance, and all too poor a job of getting us out of this mess. Each year Stratford loses more small businesses, and when they go, they take jobs and dreams with them. I’m concerned she’ll welcome a state takeover to bail herself out on the backs of our most vulnerable.”

“Distressed municipalities” are defined by their low educational attainment & wealth, their aging housing stock, and their high unemployment & poverty. The designation diminishes potential investment, deters business from relocating, and ultimately leads to a cycle of decline that becomes harder and harder to reverse. Its significance is far too often lost on the voting public, and can ultimately lead to a state takeover, creating crushing tax burdens and crippling unions.

“Talking to my neighbors, they all agree that we should be doing better given our location and our natural assets,” said Democratic Town Council candidate Kathleen Callahan. “Similar towns are not facing the same challenges we are. We’ve all learned in our lives that a problem cannot be addressed until it is acknowledged and named. We cannot continue to pretend all is okay — we must accurately assess where we are.”

Campaigning this week, Democrats, who have knocked on thousands of doors, will continue educating voters that “distressed municipality” isn’t meaningless jargon. It means fewer jobs, diminished town services, and higher taxes. The record is clear: under Mayor Hoydick’s failed leadership, Stratford’s fortunes have turned only for the worse.


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