Waiting to hear if he qualifies for the August primary for governor via a petitioning campaign, Republican David Stemerman has released a 15-page plan to “restore Connecticut’s world-class infrastructure and transportation systems” that includes calling for rail upgrades, port improvements, expansion of the city-owned Sikorsky Memorial Airport located in Stratford and high-speed ferry service to Manhattan. See proposal here. Of all the candidates for governor Stemerman, so far, has the most detailed plans for where he wants to take the state.
“Imagine what Bridgeport would become with a train time to New York City of 45 minutes, a major commercial airport at Sikorsky, a free-flowing I-95, and a high-speed ferry service to Manhattan,” Stemerman declares in the “Vision Bridgeport 2028” portion of his plan.
Stemerman wants to join Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik on the August ballot. He needs more than 9,000 verified signatures from GOP electors in Connecticut to qualify, a process that is under review by elections officials. If he makes the ballot he’ll force other candidates to become more specific about their vision for Connecticut.
More on this in a Stemerman news release:
This is the latest in a series of detailed policy rollouts by Stemerman which have also included proposals to implement across-the-board tax relief for Connecticut families, overdue regulatory reforms for small businesses and a restructuring of the state’s pension system which has placed the state on the road to financial disaster. As the Hartford Courant editorial board wrote recently, Stemerman is the only candidate running for Governor, in either party, who has laid out detailed policy proposals to save Connecticut from a looming financial crisis while rebuilding the state’s strengths to grow the economy.
“Gross mismanagement for decades have left us at a dangerous cross roads. Our transportation trust fund is broke and debt has grown so high that annual debt payments are crowding out future projects. Worse, Governor Malloy and the Hartford insiders have repeatedly diverted transportation receipts away from transportation to fix their ongoing fiscal crisis,” Stemerman said today. “As a successful businessman I know there are better ways to move our roads, trains and planes into the 21st Century. My plan will attract billions of dollars in private investment to get our congested highways flowing again, cut train travel times to New York City down by as much as half and build our airports into major regional hubs for passengers and cargo.”
According to CNBC’s annual Top States for Business ranking, Connecticut ranks near the bottom in terms of infrastructure at #47. Similarly, U.S. News and World Report ranks Connecticut’s road quality #45 out of 50 states. Southern Connecticut is one of the largest population centers in the country without major commercial passenger air service. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) is woefully inefficient. The cost for a mile of highway in Connecticut is $497,659 as compared to $180,000 for the country–more than twice as much.
David’s Principles for Rebuilding our Transportation Infrastructure include:
1. Harness the innovation of the private sector;
2. Ensure transportation receipts are spent only on transportation;
3. Spend your money wisely; and
4. Reduce the time to deliver projects.
“Career politicians in Hartford are stuck in rhetoric of the past while citizens are stuck in traffic. The transportation improvements I’ve outlined in this plan will revitalize our cities and surrounding towns–with major initiatives in our four largest cites–Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Stamford. My plan will improve access for our coastal and rural communities throughout the state for work and play. It will also provide construction jobs and skills development in the building trades for projects that lay the foundation for our future prosperity,” Stemerman concluded.
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: David and his wife have been proud to raise their five children in Connecticut where he started his own business, Conatus Capital, ten years ago, and built it from a single desk to a multi-billion dollar business. He understands what causes businesses to succeed and fail, what works and what doesn’t. And most importantly, he knows what it takes to grow jobs and wages, and has a track record of delivering results.