NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The Daily Voice sent five questions to each of the candidates running for statewide office this fall. The following responses are from L. Scott Frantz, the incumbent Republican running for state Senate in the 36th District, which includes New Canaan, Stamford and Greenwich.
Frantz, 52, has served in the state Senate for four years and works at a private equity firm. He has lived in Greenwich since 1960. Prior to his election to the state Senate, he served as chairman of the Connecticut Developmental Authority, chairman of the Brownfields Redevelopment Authority and chairman of Bradley International Airport.
Frantz is also a member of the Arch Street Teen Center, the Corporate Angel Network and chairman of the Republican Roundtable. Frantz also served as a member of the President’s Council of Americares, International House New York, Mystic Seaport and the Greenwich Historical Society.
He and his wife, Icy, have been married for 19 years and have four children as well as two dogs. He counts mountain climbing, ocean racing, fishing and flying among his hobbies.
Frantz is being challenged by Democrat Dan Dauplaise and Green Party candidate Remy Chevalier.
Daily Voice: What are the biggest issues facing the 36th district?
Frantz: I believe the most daunting issue facing the Legislature is our fiscal condition, which will worsen unless meaningful steps are taken to address the cost structure of the state and its unfunded liabilities. The cost of state government is crowding out spending on other important programs and threatens existing promises to state employees. If reelected, I would continue to work diligently to improve Connecticut’s economy, reduce the cost of state government and lower tax rates.
Given our revenue shortfalls, I would also continue my work on improving Connecticut’s business environment, which would also yield more revenues to the state and create jobs. Given the odds of another deficit in FY2013, I would continue to fight for reducing the structural cost of state government so that we can afford to fund programs and functions that are desperately needed such as healthcare, social services, education, and transportation.
DV: What were your biggest achievements in office?
Frantz: Some representative achievements are: Passing bills to allow videotaping to prevent accidents during loading and unloading; requiring tower developers to consult with potentially affected municipalities 90, rather than 60, days before applying to the Siting Council and prohibits tower installation within 250 feet of a school or commercial child day care center; requiring smoke and carbon monoxide detection and warning equipment in all residential buildings under construction; and establishing an independent airport authority.
Additionally, I consider one of the more notable achievements being able to help keep new taxes from being implemented on certain industries and convincing the Executive Branch that excessive tax rates will reduce revenues to the state long-term.
DV: Is Connecticut going in the right or wrong direction?
Frantz: I believe that Connecticut is heading in the wrong direction by not taking steps to immediately improve the business environment and overall tax climate for individuals. Instead of reducing corporate and individual tax rates to encourage entrepreneurship or businesses to move here, the current administration has allocated over $1 billion to incentivizing companies to relocate here or stay here if considering a move out of state. This becomes very expensive over time and does not send a healthy message to the business community. We have become number 50 of all states in far too many important categories: places to retire, debt per capita, fiscal management and achievement gap. We are near the bottom in business friendliness. Connecticut used to be one of the premier states in which to start a business, raise a family and be educated; there is no reason why we can’t target achieving top five status.
DV: What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?
Frantz: I believe we learn more from our constituents about the issues of our time than any other source, which is why I spend as much time as I can listening to what they have to say and asking lots of questions. I continually send out emails and regular mailings to encourage feedback from constituents, which works well. Additionally, I try to conduct as many community meetings as possible with our delegation to achieve feedback from constituents.
DV: Why should people vote for you?
Frantz: I am running for a third term to be in a position to help dramatically improve the direction of the state starting with our fiscal challenges. We face daunting circumstances: an underfunded pension fund, a depleted unemployment compensation fund and a defunded health care fund. Unfunded liabilities are nearly $100 billion. The majority party in Hartford having not legitimately balanced the budget for years makes it very difficult to make any contribution to these funds. If conditions worsen, health care, education, transportation and public safety will suffer dramatically. I strongly encourage constituents to vote for me because I am a strong voice in Hartford for fiscal stability. If we are able to restore meaningful fiscal health to the state of Connecticut, then we can all get on to the business of funding and improving all of the different program areas for the benefit of the citizens of the district and the state.