A message from Andy Bessette, Chair, MetroHartford Alliance Board of Directors:
At the September 20th Board meeting, we had a robust conversation on what position the MetroHartford Alliance should take on the fiscal challenges facing the state and the capital city. That conversation reflected the diverse views and priorities among our Board members as well as all of you, but the Board was united on the point that we should encourage our investors to advocate with their legislators on issues that are critical to supporting economic development in the region.
With that in mind, we are providing five key points you may want to communicate with your representatives.
- It is important to provide appropriate financial support to our institutions of higher education, both private and public, as they are the primary source of the talented workforce needed to retain and recruit private sector employers of all sizes.
- We need to ensure investment is made in our transportation infrastructure and internet connectivity. The ability to move people and goods effectively and efficiently within and through the state and access to a robust communication and information network are fundamental to economic growth.
- The municipal aid component of the state budget must include appropriate incentives for local governments to take a regional approach to the delivery of municipal services to improve consistency and cost effectiveness.
- In regard to Hartford’s fiscal crisis and the potential for the city to file for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy protection, we readily applaud the leadership of Mayor Bronin and the City Council over the past 20 months and support their effort to understand the Chapter 9 process and the pros and cons of such a filing. If such a filing is necessary to implement comprehensive and sustainable reform to the city’s fiscal structure, we support it.
- Finally, we view the XL Center as a critical regional economic development asset that we must rebuild along the lines recommended by the Connecticut Regional Development Authority.
We appreciate your consideration of advocating for legislative support of these economic development assets that are critical to sustained growth in private sector employment and capital investment in the region.