Tammy Nuccio, a Tolland resident is running for House of Representatives District 53.
Party affiliation: Republican Party; Independant Candidate also
Family: Mark, Alexandria, Sarah, and Cassidy
Occupation: Financial Analyst - 30+ years of budget experience
Previous elected experience: Chairwoman of Tolland Town Council, Council member of Tolland Town Council, Board member of Eastern Highland Health District
Family members in government:No
Campaign website: www.nuccio4ct.com
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it. Divisiveness. Our government is working on an either/or mentality right now, and it’s making our living environment worse. Cities vs towns, Alliance school’s vs non-alliance, police vs community, public vs private. Connecticut has many issues, be them COVID, employment, budget, debt, education, transportation, crime, police, community, and many others. There is no shortage of problems, but there is very little compromise for the betterment and consideration of all. I feel as if the small towns are bowled over, left out of the conversations, and some people are okay with that. I am not. It is important that our voice is loud and clear at the table. Every decision needs to be made considering the impact on all towns and all residents of Connecticut. To do this I plan to reach out to other people. Regardless of party affiliation, when we’re talking about people there is no qualifier. If I can work with other small towns that have similar situations as ours, I can find common ground and allies at the table to start raising our voice for our residents.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
My opponent has proven to be an establishment politician. I am an advocate for the people. She has consistently voted with the Democrat establishment and answers to them, while I have consistently listened to the people in my town and have worked to find solutions that help them. I may not always meet their desired outcome, but I am open and honest in my process and communications and I will not vote on something that I don’t fully understand. The democratic establishment has gotten CT to where it is today, one of the highest taxed and most indebted states in the country. It’s time for the people to have a voice again.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job? I have been in local politics since November of 2017. Currently, I am the Chairwoman of the Town Council. We, as a council, have worked collectively and in a bipartisan manner to implement new committees and policies to address needs that have been raised by our residents. In addition, I have worked with the Governor and his staff to navigate the COVID crisis for Tolland. I have fought to help people and businesses in need. One my main objectives has always been the communication of clear and timely information with the members of my community. In addition, in my professional life, I am a senior financial analyst with decades of budget experience. I have the strong financial background, proven local leadership, and the passion that will enable me to help our residents at the state level.
Do you believe Connecticut needs reform when it comes to electric utility oversight? What steps, if any should be taken? What I’m concerned with in regard to electricity is how we got to where we are, and I don’t have those answers yet. I’d like to understand the legislation that was passed and the deals that were made in regard to Millstone. All of these things factor into our current situation and I can’t speak in an educated manner on those topics without details. It’s easy to look at Eversource and blame them, but it’s harder to look at what role our government had in getting us where we are. As far as regulation, we, as usual, are toward of the top of the list when it comes to most expensive states. PURA is already in charge of regulatory oversight and clearly what has been done isn’t enough, our government is failing the residents. I see the state as complicit in this issue and we need to take responsibility and come up with a solution for our residents.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses? Local businesses are hurting. First and foremost, we need to remove regulation that makes it harder for them to get back on their feet while still keeping people safe. For instance, the exemption for experience rating for unemployment insurance is set to expire in December. These companies would not have laid off their employees had the Governor not closed the state. There is no reason for them to then make financial restitution for the next 3-5 years for an action they had no say in. There are still businesses that can’t even open, and they may never open again. Many of our food establishments are struggling to stay afloat with the regulations on capacity and may not make it through the winter. At this point we have to look at what we can do to help, for example encouraging people to go back to work and creating buying consortiums for PPE for small businesses. This includes working directly with people in their respective industries to understand their unique needs and develop actionable plans to help them. I propose we find a way to “yes” instead of just dictating businesses stay closed. Unfortunately, to do that, we need to give legislators to the ability to do their job and the governor just extended his Emergency declaration until February of 2021.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
• Budget - understanding why Connecticut is once again, in the top of the most expensive states when it comes to paving one mile of road. Looking for ways we can we find efficiencies in overlapping organizations to save the taxpayer money while still providing services. Why is the answer to every question more money and not more efficiency or changing how we do things?
• Transportation - money we are already paying in taxes for roads goes to the general fund to be spent on everything except roads instead of the lockbox that is dedicated. The people voted for that lockbox. They want their dollars spent as intended, and the state is skirting the issue by “redirecting” funds from where they should be going.
• Education - our ECS formula is new but the model is antiquated. The state needs to fully fund education in a way where smaller towns aren’t being penalized. We can ensure equity in the schools without taking from one area to give to another. Unfunded mandates are broad sweeping and can sometimes hurt a school district rather than help. We need to give districts the autonomy to decide what they need and explain what they do not.
• Crumbling foundations and contaminated wells. These are issues that affect the very home and life necessities for my residents. Advocating FOR our residents is a legislator’s number one priority, not advocating for the government. We have barely seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of crumbling foundations and this is a multiyear issue we need to tackle and fund. Band-Aids will not help.
• Communities are made of up many different people and have very different needs. We need to be truly inclusive to find commonality and work to make Connecticut more welcoming while celebrating the individuality of our residents. Accessibility to services and availability of affordable healthcare are foundations for a healthy and happy life, all of these issues are important to my residents.
• Seniors and college grads are fleeing our state. Typically, when one family leaves, a new family moves in. However, it’s the disparity in income that is hurting our state. Rather than focusing on that disparity of income, I’d like to find a way where our seniors feel they could retire and live out the rest of their lives here. I’d like to find a way to encourage young graduates to stay in our state, put down roots, and grow their families here rather than go somewhere else.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions? My platform is defined by family. How can we make this state better for everyone? I started this because I was truly sick of watching people leave the state, people I loved, people I enjoyed, and people that I just barely knew. I am committed to making this state a place my children want to come back to and raise their children, a place where our seniors can afford to retire in. I’m committed to making this state inclusive and welcoming for everyone. I’m interested in working hard to understanding what barriers exist, how to remove them, and move forward in putting people over politics.
Tammy Nuccio. (Luz photography)