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Miller And Behuniak Cut Loose In A Freewheeling ‘Navel Gazing’

by STAFF | Oct 11, 2017 5:23 pm

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Posted to: Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Shelton, Navel Gazing: The Valley Indy Podcast

Two elected officials from Seymour shared their thoughts Wednesday on everything from the state budget to local charter revision during a special video version of “Navel Gazing: The Valley Indy Podcast.”

The conversation between The Valley Indy reporters, Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller and Seymour Board of Selectmen member Stephen Behuniak was streamed live on the Valley Indy’s Facebook page.

Press play to watch, and remember to press the volume button, too.

STATE BUDGET

Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller said the town has the potential to lose $8 million in funding if Gov. Malloy’s emergency executives orders come to fruition.

Both Miller and Behuniak urged state officials to work on a spending plan that doesn’t cut the town’s throat and trigger mass layoffs in town government.

THE RACE IN ANSONIA

Behuniak and Miller also shared their thoughts on Monday’s nearly two-hour Valley Indy debate between Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Tarek Raslan.

Miller, a three-term Republican incumbent in Seymour, said that although debating isn’t Cassetti’s strong point, Ansonia’s popular mayor still managed to give his best debate performance of his political career.

Miller predicted an easy win for Cassetti on Election Day (Nov. 7).

Behuniak, the chairman of the Seymour Democratic Town Committee and vice-president of The Naugatuck Valley Young Democrats, said Valley Indy reporter Eugene Driscoll pressed Raslan too hard on the question of whether Raslan will advocate for a tax increase if elected.

Behuniak said Raslan is doing a good job explaining municipal finances to people, and that even if he doesn’t pull off a win this year he’s setting himself up as a formidable challenger down the road.

The article continues after a message from our sponsor.

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THE RACE IN DERBY

Behuniak and Miller then chatted about the Derby mayor’s race, in which GOP candidate Rich Dziekan is trying to unseat two-term incumbent Democratic Mayor Anita Dugatto.

Behuniak said Dugatto is working to mend fences within her party after a hotly contested Democratic primary Sept. 12. Miller said Dziekan is a great candidate who can benefit if Democrats unhappy with Dugatto decide to stay home on Election Day.

The Valley Indy used the discussion as an opportunity to plug the 7 p.m. Oct. 24 debate between the two candidates happening at Derby High School.

The Indy reporters are moderating.

CHARTER REVISION

The conversation then turned to Seymour, where town officials recently started a “charter revision” process.

A charter is the set of policies that set rules on how the local government runs. There is talk about reducing the number of people on some Seymour boards and commissions because there are simply not enough volunteers to serve.

Behuniak is advocating for term limits in Seymour, and both agreed that some elected officials in town should expand to four-year terms instead of two.

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