A recent Westerly Sun letter by Robert Lombardo (“Gu might have money, but none of it’s local,” Sept. 7) with a harsh and snarky tone wasted words only to say Victoria Gu lacks experience. We should discuss the experience of anyone and all running for office. We should also remember that voters gain the experience of living with decisions politicians make once they get into office.
We should consider what we have experienced in Westerly with local politicians. Three issues come to mind: the Potter Hill Dam, the $50 landfill fee for homeowners and the Winnapaug Golf Club and potential zoning mayhem.
What about the experience of the environmental groups and Westerly citizens that wanted the Potter Hill Dam to come down? At first, local politicians signaled they agreed with the groups. In good faith, environmental groups gave the town money for studies. Then the local politicians reneged on their original direction. Not only did they allow the dam to stand, but they moved to buy it and maintain it. The few excuses the leaders gave for their actions were not convincing. I believe abutters on the river behind the dam swayed our local politicians into buying and maintaining it. This protects their private recreation area. We can only wonder how they won the politicians over.
What about Westerly property owners waking up to a $50 landfill fee added to the tax bill? Local politicians added the fee despite a strong town budget surplus.
Shore Road and Misquamicut homeowners are experiencing an assault on zoning rules that define the nature and quality of their neighborhood. Local politicians are backing radical zoning changes that will turn Shore Road into Hotel Avenue. What is ironic is that these same local politicians granted money to study beatifying Route 1. Is that for show? The same people support zoning changes that will spoil Shore Road. You must wonder, what are these local politicians gaining? Shore road property owners will not gain anything. They lose. What does the town gain? It gains responsibility for more traffic on roads not suitable for the traffic they bear now.
Experience is important. I do not want the recent experience we have had with local politicians to go to the Senate. I support the bright, young, energetic candidate with no local political experience. We need a breath of fresh air. I believe Victoria Gu will give us that breath of fresh air.